The lost estates Weston, Weston Grove

17 January 2018

We’d walked from the top of Weston Lane to the bottom and the closer we got to the shore the more the wind buffeted us. We were now walking on what would once have been part of the Weston Grove Estate. Of course, the whole of Weston once belonged to the Chamberlayne family. The exact history is unclear but in 1424, Alice, the wife of Ralph Chamberlayne, inherited an estate on the east bank of the River Itchen. By the late 1700’s all the land between Itchen Ferry and Hamble belonged to William Chamberlayne, in part inherited from his father’s friend and client, Thomas Dummer.Things have changed beyond recognition since the Chamberlayne family owned this land. What was once the domain of one family is now home to thousands of people and the word Estate has a whole different meaning. Continue reading The lost estates Weston, Weston Grove

Tales from the photo archive, Autumn

Autumn began with some random shots of my garden, where everything was either going to seed or ripening. Continue reading Tales from the photo archive, Autumn

Tales from the photo archive Spring

The first of my spring photos come from a walk around the City Centre parks on 7 March. I was running errands so didn’t have too much time to look around. The trees were still bare but The crocuses were flowering, a sure sign spring was in the air. Continue reading Tales from the photo archive Spring

Hamble or bust

27 October 2017

Last week, a little dawdling and some getting lost on our walk through Spear Pond Gully meant we missed the chance to drop in on Commando at work. Today was his last training shift so I thought I’d walk down to Hamble and meet him while I still had the chance. In theory it should have been a nice easy walk, all downhill after the climb to get to the village but timing would be key. Arrive too early and there’d be a lot of waiting around, too late and I’d have a long, uphill walk home.  Continue reading Hamble or bust

Show me the way to go home

12 October 2017

We’d left to Road that thought it was a trail and were back on a real road again, with houses and even a sign for a railway station off to our left. One of the houses had an interesting gateway, a little like a lych gate. For a second I thought it might be the church where I was planning to stop and have a break. It wasn’t but the gate wasn’t so interesting I was about to take a photo when my phone rang. It was Commando, calling on his lunch break for a chat. If we’d walked a little quicker we could have made a detour and gone to see him. Once he’d gone I took my photograph of the gate. It was worth the wait, especially the sign that said Beware of the Gnomes. That really made me smile.  Continue reading Show me the way to go home

The sea and the sky

20 September 2017

When I woke up to blue sky I knew exactly where I wanted to go today. Blue sky and sea go together like chocolate and orange. Ok, so it was only a tiny little bit of blue sky amongst quite a lot of cloud but still, beggars can’t be choosers in late September.  Continue reading The sea and the sky

The lost walks, part one

As I finally cleared away the debris of my old blog I came across two walks from that last October weekend. Walks taken when I was blissfully unaware of what lay ahead. There were no words, I never got as far as writing about them, just photographs and hazy memories. My hand was paused over the delete button but, the more I looked at those photographs, the more I remembered of those lost walks. It seemed a terrible shame for them to stay lost so I am going to do my best to recreate them now. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of what follows, it was almost three years ago after all and sometimes I struggle to remember what happened last week. Still, with a little poetic licence, here goes. This is the first of the lost walks… Continue reading The lost walks, part one

Elegy to a fallen tree

27 May 2017

Facebook was the instigator of my next short walk with Commando. For as long as I can remember there’s been a dead tree standing at the end of the shore near Abbey Hill. It must surely have been a live tree during my lifetime but I only remember it as a bleached driftwood skeleton. Perhaps it was too mundane to notice when it was alive? Whenever I walk along the shore here I stop for a moment to sit on the bench beside the dead tree, have a drink and enjoy the view across Southampton water. I always knew it would fall some day. A photograph on Facebook told me that day had come. Continue reading Elegy to a fallen tree

Woods, hovercraft, ice cream cones and gateposts

5 April 2017

As our little jaunt to Eling had been a success as far as my poor old knee was concerned I thought I’d try a longer walk today.  The sun was shining and the sky was blue, more or less, so it seemed like the perfect day for a walk down to the shore. The breeze from the sea would take the edge off if it got too hot and there are plenty of places to sit if need be.  Continue reading Woods, hovercraft, ice cream cones and gateposts

A cool breeze on the shore – first published 22 July 2014

As soon as I left the shade of the woods and stepped out into the sun on the shore I could feel the heat. The sun seemed to be searing my skin even though I’d slathered on the cream before I left home. There is no shade along the promenade unless you duck into one of the little beach shelters but I couldn’t just stay sat in one of them until nightfall so I set off along the shore, thankful that there was at least a cooling breeze blowing up from the water. Continue reading A cool breeze on the shore – first published 22 July 2014