Messing about on the river

16 September 2018

Usually on a Sunday morning the fast boys are up early and out running somewhere. Normally somewhere off road and muddy, as my washing machine can attest. This Sunday was a little different. Actually it was a lot different. Someone, possibly Rob, had the bright idea to go kayaking instead of running. Obviously this was something I couldn’t possibly miss, even if I had no plans to actually get into a kayak, being seriously deficient when it comes to balance and agility and not inclined to swin in the Itchen. As it turned out, watching the kayakers was the most fun I’ve had for ages and I got a nice walk into the bargain. Continue reading Messing about on the river

White Swans – first published 25 May 2014

In December 2013 the White Swan pub at Mansbridge flooded. Floods are not a new thing for the Swan, it happens with monotonous regularity and I suppose it’s the price you pay for sitting on the edge of the river. Usually the flooding is limited to once a year at most. Mostly it gets cleaned up and reopens in a week or so. The winter of 2013/2014 was different, the water rose, receded a little, then rose some more, all through December, January and February. It rose higher than I’ve ever known it, closing the whole road at times. In Late May 2014, it finally reopened and, of course, I had to go along to have a look. Continue reading White Swans – first published 25 May 2014

Mud, floods and crowds at Itchen Valley Country Park – first published 9 March 2014


In early March 2014, Commando went off on a twenty mile Sunday morning run, the penultimate long training run before his marathon. It seemed the ideal opportunity for me to go out on another nice long walk. After lots of poring over maps I decided on a route that would take in the Itchen Valley Country Park. The park runs beside the Itchen and touches on the edges of the Navigation. There are trails through woodland, pasture and water meadows. There is also a visitor centre with a coffee shop, what more could I want? Continue reading Mud, floods and crowds at Itchen Valley Country Park – first published 9 March 2014

Bad Planning – first published 16 February 2014


After days of storms and torrential rain 16 February 2014 was supposed to be a sunny break in the wet weather, at least according to the weatherman. Of course, I planned to take advantage and get out for a nice long walk. Commando was off on a sixteen miler, training for his marathon and, as he pulled on his running socks, I brushed my teeth, thinking about where I would go. Things didn’t go quite to plan. Continue reading Bad Planning – first published 16 February 2014

Floods and fungi – first published 3 February 2014


When I pledged to walk one hundred miles every month in 2014 I forgot about February with its pesky twenty eight days. Of course this meant I was going to have to up my daily average if I wanted to hit my February target. WIth a few sums I worked out it was just over three and a half miles a day. Walking the Christmas weight off wasn’t going to happen before summer unless I made more effort.  Continue reading Floods and fungi – first published 3 February 2014

Walking, talking and a seagull melee – first published 16 January 2014


The beginning of 2014 was all about job hunting for me. In between scouring the job sites for likely work, sending off applications and fretting about the ones I’d already applied for, I walked. Sometimes there were great plans and long walks, other times just wanderings, meandering from place to place thinking and trying to find little things to make me smile. Continue reading Walking, talking and a seagull melee – first published 16 January 2014

Just a little further


28 March 2016

“Just a little further,” CJ said, still looking at the pigeons surveying the storm damage. Usually that’s my line and I wasn’t sure of the wisdom of going much further when the storm seemed to be gathering all around us. “I’d like to see the greylag geese.”
Despite my misgivings, we carried on. Maybe our luck would hold. If not I could blame CJ, although that wouldn’t be much use when we were both soaking wet. Oddly, the sky over Portswood, where it had been black and dropping rain earlier, was now blue, probably because this black clouds were now in front of us. Continue reading Just a little further

The last walk


31 December 2015

It seemed fitting that my last walk of the year should be one of my oldest routes. In fact, looking back. It was my last walk of 2014 too so it seems to be a bit of a tradition. The weatherman said it would stay dry until mid afternoon but I didn’t really believe him so I made sure I was well waterproofed when I set off. The sky was blue, I’d almost forgotten sky came in colours other than grey. Although it was colder than it has been, the proof that this has been one of the warmest December’s on record came as I headed for Monks Walk and saw blossom on a tree. Continue reading The last walk

Testing times


14 and 15 September 2015

There would be no more walking before I went back to work, unless you count shopping walks. This wasn’t just because it was a wet, stormy few days, although it was. Monday morning brought something I’d been dreading for a long, long time, something I’d been trying very hard not to think about on my Sunday walk. Not thinking about things is my way of coping with worries and Monday was always going to be a day of fear. You see I had my driving test. Continue reading Testing times

seven soggy, muddy miles – first published 1 February 2013


Back in February 2013 I was training for my second Moonwalk. This time I was using a proper training plan with a long walk one week and a shorter one the next. Even so, when it’s pouring with rain even a short seven mile walk can feel like an eternity. Add to that mud and floods that forced me to change my original plan and you have a real challenge of a walk. Continue reading seven soggy, muddy miles – first published 1 February 2013