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
This morning we got up for a run we weren’t sure was going to happen. Hot on the heels of hurricane Ophelia came Storm Brian. It arrived on Friday night, all wind and rain battering the bedroom window. On Saturday morning I did the unthinkable and stayed in bed nursing a cold I’ve picked up from CJ while Commando went to parkrun in the howling gale. Even parkrun was in doubt but, after Commando and Rob, who was RD for the morning, walked round to check for fallen trees, it did go ahead. Meanwhile, a few miles along the coast in Southsea, the Saturday Great South Run events were being cancelled and there were some doubts whether the ten mile race today would go ahead.
May 2014 and my first visit to Milford on Sea. The sun had been going in and out of the clouds all morning and, as I stood looking at the steep shingle bank ahead of me it came out briefly, making the quartz in the huge black rocks sparkle. This seemed like a sign to keep going so I did. In hindsight this may not have been one of my better decisions. Continue reading Hurst Spit, shingle wind and a long slog – first published 11 May 2014
In early March 2014 the sea had called me and I’d answered with a walk down to the shore. There were signs of Spring everywhere, along with signs of the terrible winter storms. Parts of the path were crumbling and, as I passed West Lodge I wondered what the damage would be along there. What I found makes quite an interesting tale, mostly about the amazing power of the sea. Continue reading The Power of the sea – first published 6 March 2014
When I planned the first walk of March 2014 I’d hoped there would be sun, or at least no rain for once. When I checked the forecast that morning it didn’t look like I was going to get home dry though. The route was around thirteen miles, give or take and it looked as if they were going to be mostly wet ones Continue reading A March march – first published 2 March 2014
Something was bothering me about Commando’s half marathon as I struggled against the wind in February 2014. The alternative name was the Muddy Beach Run! Now anyone who knows Commando knows he is rather fond of being clean. He is even more fond of his car being clean and we’d driven down to Southsea in his car, not mine. Muddy Beach Run conjured up images of people barely recognisable under a thick sticky coating of, well, mud. Somehow I could see things going very badly. Continue reading So why do they call it the Muddy Beach Run? – first published 23 February 2014
The last few of days of January 2014 were a whirl of activity, most of it centred around trying to find a job. There was a meeting at Office Angels which turned out to be far shorter than I’d expected. The person I was supposed to see hadn’t turned up, never a good start, and the one I did see wanted me to completely change my CV. Frantically working away to make the changes, I got so involved I almost made myself late for my afternoon dentist appointment and had to march it out for the three miles or so to get there. Thankfully the old choppers were fine. Pete, my dentist told me, “you really need to eat more toffees and brush your teeth less often to give me something to do.” Continue reading Aiming for Hamble and trying to beat the wind, rain and tide – first published 31 January 2014
October 28 2013 and the world outside my morning window was a scary looking affair, trees blowing all over the show, rain hammering down. The news was full of it, the worst storms in decades had finally hit the south of England with ninety mile an hour winds, torrential rain and flooding. I say finally because the weatherman had been warning us about it for days and I was beginning to think it was a bit like all those barbecue summers they promise us, not going to come to anything. Continue reading Going to sea in large vegetables is a bad idea – first published 28 October 2013
It turns out the storm chasing me on my walk back from Moorgreen was actually Storm Katie and, despite the sunshine when I reached the village, she hadn’t finished with us. Last night the house was pounded by rain and buffeted by howling wind. It kept me awake, worrying my roof was going to come off. This morning all was well, apart from a lot of debris in the garden. While I was surveying the non damage I heard someone in the garden next door saying ‘oh bugger,’ over and over. The carport roof next door was peeled back like the lid of a sardine tin. As I’m pretty sure that roof was only held on by blu tack I was hardly surprised. Continue reading Storm damage
March started with torrential rain. Today was supposed to be the driest day of the week so I thought I’d head to Portswood for my newspaper and then on towards the Sports Centre for a bit more boundary stone hunting. Typically, I’d hardly left the house when the rain began to come down. It was icy cold and wind buffeted it behind my glasses so my eyelashes sparkled with droplets at with every blink. Briefly I thought about turning back but talked myself out of it. Surely it was just a very heavy shower? Continue reading Odd things in odd places
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