Originally my plans for the morning were to walk to the military cemetery at Netley with CJ. The weather forecast was not good though and, after getting soaked through yesterday, it didn’t seem worth the risk. Despite the distinct possibility of rain Commando was going out for a run with the fast boys. He suggested we get the train to Hamble and walk from there. Once he got back from his run he’d pick us up in the car. He might even get there before the silence at eleven o’clock. It sounded like a plan so, after a swift check of the relevant train times and prices, we set off for Bitterne Station.
Midsummer 2014 and I’d followed the Hamble Rail Trail, a disused railway line and ended up at a real station. The rail trail seemed to have come to an abrupt end. I hadn’t expected to end up at Hamble Station but the thought of catching a train home to my village crossed my mind because I was pretty hot at this point and obviously lost. There is only one train an hour stopping at my little village though and I was pretty sure I’d just seen it go past. As the station is unmanned there was no one to ask and no one to buy a ticket from either. There may have been one of those horrible automated machines somewhere if I’d cared to look. Machines and I don’t get on very well though and I didn’t relish the prospect of losing my card or the long wait for another train. Continue reading Hamble Rail Trail, the wrong side of the tracks – first published 21 June 2014
Mid May 2014 and Commando had a race to go to. As ever, I tagged along for the walk. Even at nine thirty it was sunny enough that I had to track down the sun screen before we left the house and, for once, I didn’t even take a coat with me. The venue was Victoria Country Park, somewhere I’ve walked many times and, as it was only a 10k and would take Commando less than an hour, I wasn’t going to get a chance for much of a walk in but, still, a walk is a walk and I had a plan… Continue reading A run in Victoria Country Park – first published 18 May 2014
The weather had a decidedly autumnal feel as CJ and I set out on our walk this morning. My weather app said it wouldn’t rain but, as we looked across Chessel Bay from the bottom of the steep steps, the sky said different and I’d left my fancy camera at home just in case. Our aim was Victoria Country Park where I’d read work was going on to restore the chapel. CJ had read an Echo report that the D-Day memorial had been vandalised. The former sounded interesting, the latter disturbing. We wanted to see both for ourselves even if we did get wet. Continue reading Big changes afoot at Royal Victoria Country Park
Away from the shore breeze the heat made walking a chore as I made my way through Netley to Victoria Country Park. The coffee shop was tempting but the detour to get to it proved an obstacle too far so I hurried across the open field towards the trail through the woods where there would at least be shade. Hot and sticky I may have been but I couldn’t resist a stop to look at a beautiful poppy sculpture that has appeared in front of the chapel since my last visit. The small flower bed beneath it was planted with real poppies, fat buds not quite ready to open. It will look stunning when they do. Continue reading Poppies, pill boxes and pipelines
Training for the Moonwalk is a challenge. Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation or the time to go out on long walks especially in the mud and cold. It has to be done though, if you want to live through twenty six point two miles on the night. Every week the walks get longer and the motivation more illusive, particularly when you come to the long miles. In February 2013, three months before Moonwalk night, I reached the first of those long miles. Continue reading sixteen miles, woods, chapels and fallen soldiers – first published 8 February 2013
Some days I just don’t feel like going out but, at the beginning of January 2013, my Moonwalk training diary told me I needed to walk ten miles. The walk I’d planned started on a familiar route and then led me into the unknown. Of course, for me, this is a recipe for getting lost. Still, if I wanted to be able to finish twenty-six-point-two Moonwalk miles by May I had to get out there and walk whether I wanted to or not. Continue reading a longer walk than planned – first published 4 January 2013
Recently I was tagged by Sherri from A View From My Summerhouse to take part in the Black and White 5 Day Challenge. Because I’ve been on holiday and therefore out walking I’ve had quite a bit to write about this last week so, instead of a roundup of the week this is my take on the challenge.
Black and white photography is something I’ve always admired but never really dabbled in before but I’m about as good at sticking to rules as I am at finding my way when I’m out on a walk so apologies to Sherri and the challenge setters. My take on it is to use photos for my last five days of walking. For the record the real rules are as follows;
On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.
The first three photos are from my Hockley Viaduct walk. It was difficult to find pictures that would work well in black and white. There was a lot of trial and error and some discussions with Commando Junior who knows about photography. The first is looking along the Itchen from Blackbridge, I liked the way the lack of colour brought out the patterns in the water and how the buildings suddenly looked older and more interetsing. The second is of the railway arch and train bench close to the start of the viaduct, the shadows and the brickwork on the bridge really benefitted from the monochrome look. Finally a moody looking shot of the restored signal on the viaduct itself. The dandelion motifs on the path were lost but the variations in the shades of the bricks became more pronounced. It surprised me just how different things look without the distraction of colour.
The next set of photos are from the Five Bridges Road trail. Photo number one was one of my attempts to photograph the viaduct across the water meadows. It didn’t work because I was shooting into the sun but, in black and white, the arches are almost visible and I loved the way the branches turned to silhouettes against the sparkling river. The second picture was the avenue of trees by St Cross Hospital where the loose cows frightened me. Without colour the cow looks less threatening and the texture of the tree bark really stands out. My third shot didn’t actually make it into the post because, as ever, I had way too many photos. The arches at Winchester Cathedral look much to same with or without colour but I think the atmosphere of the photo is different. The stone looks far colder and I could almost imagine a ghostly monk around the corner in this version.
The day three photos come from my historic dockyard trip. Despite my sadness over the run down state of my local station, I have to admit that peeling paint and old bricks look rather good in black and white. The second photograph felt a little like cheating because the tinted glass meant there was very little in the way of colour in the picture taken inside the Spinaker Tower to start with. A little fiddling though and the chrome and glass seemed brighter and crisper and, in fact, I like it better than the colour shot. Finally, I couldn’t resist the temptation of a huge sailing ship sans colour. The rigging and the sky were the big differences when I compared it to the colour shot. Black and white really does bring out the detail.
The Saturday Parkrun provided the photos for day four. It took a fair bit of time to find photos from the run that worked well in black and white but, in the end, I settled on three. The D-Day memorial on the shore looked good in shades of grey, especially the rocks around it. The second shot I chose was of the driftwood on the beach. Although I like the way the grain in the wood looks and the details that came out on the pebbles, it didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped. Even so, I’ve included it. Finally, shot number three had to be of Commando running. I cropped this shot as I wanted Commando to be centre stage. One of the things I liked about the original was that I caught him in mid air. In the black and white version this more pronounced. It really looks as if he’s flying.
The final three photos are from my Sunday walk along the river. Despite being innately colourful things flowers seem to do very well in black and white and my first picture is of the blossom tree that flowered through the winter and is flowering again now. I couldn’t resist the merest hint of pink in this one though. The inside of the church is my second photo. As with the arch at Winchester Cathedral I think old buildings lend themselves very well to monochrome photography and I especially like the shadows of the pews, which I’d not noticed in the colour version. Finally, the mass of little birds in flight by the reed beds brings my black and white adventure to a close.
In the spirit of breaking rules, I shall not be nominating five people to take part in the challenge but I will throw down the gauntlet to all my WordPress friends to have a go at this challenge. Go on, I dare you!