Some Saturday mornings parkrun doesn’t seem like such a great idea and I wonder why I’m getting out of bed early to watch a lot of runners going round and round The Common. This Saturday, with rain beating down and wind making it all seem worse, was a case in point. There was no way I was staying at home in the warm and dry though because this was a very special parkrun. John Grant, the founder and Chairman of the Itchen Spitfires Running Club and the Event Director of Southampton Parkrun, was about to run his two hundred and fiftieth parkrun. Obviously, the Spitfires had a few surprises up their sleeve for him. Continue reading A parkrun milestone
We left Chartwell Copse feeling rather excited to have discovered a new and interesting looking footpath. Walking towards the gate I was careful to keep my bearings so I’d know which way to turn to get to it. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too hard to find a way onto it and then we could explore and find out where it led. Continue reading A surprising discovery
Sometimes the places you think you know really well have little surprises up their sleeves for you. Today’s walk, the first real walk for a while due to a major redecorating project which I’ll tell you all about another time, was a perfect example of this. Cutbush Lane has been a regular walking route for me since I was in my teens. It was one of the ways I used to walk to the White Swan pub back in the days when I quite liked a drink. In fact I often walked along there going to the pub and coming home again, slightly the worse for wear, in the dark because I knew it so well I didn’t really need to see where I was going. Continue reading The mystery of the hidden pond
Early June 2014 and I’d crossed the Itchen Bridge and walked along the seafront to God’s House Tower. There had been some vague notion of walking up towards West Quay when I started out but nothing you could actually call a plan. I stood, looking at the tower, partly marvelling at the way it had stood the test of time and changes, partly wondering where to go next. What I didn’t realise as I stood there, was that these old walls I’ve lived with all my life and grown to love could surprise me with things I’d never noticed before. Continue reading Hidden surprises in the medieval walls – first published 9 June 2014
Sometimes Commando likes to take me on magical mystery drives and surprise me. In January 2014, after his ten mile marathon training run and my very short walk around Hum Hole, he had a plan to make sure I got my full quota of walking in for the day. He took me to a familiar place for some very different views. Continue reading A Sunday Surprise – first published 19 January 2014
While we lazed by the pool on our second day in Lanzarote we consulted our Lanzarote guide book. Two places jumped out at us, Jameos del Agua and Cueva de Los Verdes, both of which were very close to each other. The problem being they weren’t all that close to us. According to our map both were around twelve miles away, walking distance, just, but not in the Lanzarote heat and not with the huge possibility of getting lost. Continue reading Cueva De Los Verdes an underground adventure – First published 19 October 2013
The Saturday morning after the getting hot and bothered in Winchester and not finding a rhino,I got up early to go for a walk. Once again it was hot and muggy, although maybe not quite as muggy as it had been. So commenced the usual pre walk routine, granola, shower, dress. There had been no route planning, I had zero idea of where to go for my scheduled short walk. As I sipped my breakfast smoothie I went through possibilities in my head but I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for any of them. For once, I just didn’t feel like going. Continue reading Parkrun WAG – first published 20 July 2013
Over a coffee Commando told me about his run all around the streets of Gravenhurst and how he’d found a nice place down by the lake and I told him about my hike on the trail and how I’d got lost, found another amazing fungus and been a bit worried about bears.
“There is a bear in the woods,” Commando said, “didn’t you see it?”
“Seriously?!” I gasped.
“Yes, it’s down by the lake,” he smiled, “I’ll show you if you like.”
“You are kidding me, right? It wouldn’t still be there now anyway would it?”
“This one would, come and see,” and he took my hand and led me outside. Continue reading Bears and cars, fear and learning in Muskoka
Leaving my chilly perch under the stand of pines I ambled back down the hill beside the avenue of limes heading for the place I’d first emerged into the clearing on that wet July Day. Back then I had no idea of the extent of the woodland and the rain stopped me exploring further than the little park by the road that had first caught my attention. When I plunged back into the trees I soon found myself at the meeting of three trails where I’d sheltered from the rain that day and there were the steps I’d climbed, looking less treacherous in the sun. Continue reading Interconnected woods and surprises