The call of the sea – first published 6 March 2014

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I’m always thankful that I live near the sea. There’s something about the sound of crashing waves and the taste of salt in the air that can’t be beaten. It may not be a beach of golden sands, with palm trees swaying and the sun beating down but, some days, the shore calls to me and, when it does, it have to listen. In early March 2014, I did just that. Continue reading The call of the sea – first published 6 March 2014

A steep learning curve and a big change

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19 June 2016

Yesterday morning I slept in and didn’t go to parkrun. Commando rang me at about ten o’clock to say he was going straight into town because he felt like some retail therapy.
“I’ll walk over to meet you if you like,” I suggested, thinking there might be a coffee in it for me.
As it happened there was no coffee involved whatsoever. When I rang him to say I was walking through the parks Commando said he was in Ed’s Diner on the top floor of WestQuay having a milkshake.
“They are amazing,” he said, “like heaven in a glass. If you hurry I’ll get you one.” Continue reading A steep learning curve and a big change

a badly planned Sunday walk – first published 24 November 2013

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Some of my walks are planned with meticulous attention to detail, lots of map looking and even lists of instructions to follow. Not many though. Most are hastily cobbled together wanderings with no proper aim. Quite a few end up with me lost and wondering what on earth I was thinking. At the end of November 2013, with my redundancy letter sitting on the coffee table I went for one of the latter.  Continue reading a badly planned Sunday walk – first published 24 November 2013

Lost in West Wood

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20 April 2016

With the cool salt air in my face I strolled across the grassy area where the kite skateboarders hang out thinking about ice cream. Sadly there were no lads performing acrobatics with their skateboards today. In fact there was no one about at all. Still the sun sparkled on the sea and the grass along the promenade was dotted with daisies. It was enough to keep me smiling. Continue reading Lost in West Wood

sixteen miles, woods, chapels and fallen soldiers – first published 8 February 2013

Weston Shore
Weston Shore

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

If you go down to the woods today

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24 March 2015

My Tuesday walk was prompted by a post on the Southampton Heritage Facebook page about a strange brick structure in West Wood. There were lots of theories about what it could be and it looked so interesting I thought I’d try to find it myself and take a look. I do like a good mystery. Also, as last week’s West Wood exploration was cut short by an unaccountable bout of lethargy, it seemed a good plan to go back and finish what I started. Continue reading If you go down to the woods today

Boundaries, stones, woods and lack of energy

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17 March 2015

A little while ago I visited Cross House, the ancient shelter for people waiting for the Itchen Ferry boats. Cross House was built on base of the old Itchen Ferry boundary cross and, close to the building, I found a strange rectangular stone. This, I discovered later, was one of twelve modern boundary stones, carved in the council workshops in 1988 and placed at significant points along the city boundary. It was not the first one I’d stumbled upon but it was the first time I’d been able to find out what I was looking at. As Tuesday was my last chance for a walk before I went back to work, I decided I’d revisit the first boundary stone. Continue reading Boundaries, stones, woods and lack of energy