Searching for signs of spring at Millers Pond

28 February 2017

Meteorological spring starts tomorrow, although the vernal equinox and the real, official first day of spring is a few weeks away yet. In the spirit of positive thinking CJ and I set out for Millers Pond this morning in search of signs of spring. It might be considered jumping the gun just a tad but we had high hopes as we set off along Spring Road.  Continue reading Searching for signs of spring at Millers Pond

Revisiting St Denys, a church a building site and a Priory arch

22 February 2017

We had five recreated F.G.O. Stuart postcards in the bag but our walk wasn’t quite finished.  As we turned to leave St Denys Church I noticed a sign on the door saying it was open. Almost exactly a year ago I first went inside the church on my quest to find out more about the lost Priory of St Denys. Back then renovations were underway and I always meant to go back but, until now, never quite got round to it. From the looks of things the renovations were still ongoing, there were workmen’s vans, theodolites and cones outside in the road. As CJ had never seen the inside of the church and the wonderful secrets it hides we went in anyway.  Continue reading Revisiting St Denys, a church a building site and a Priory arch

Postcards from Southampton

The first picture postcard

22 February 2017

The very first picture postcard was posted in Fulham, London to the writer Theodore Hooke in 1840. It’s thought he hand painted the picture of postal workers and posted it to himself as a practical joke on the postal service. In 2002 the card sold for £31,750, making it a very expensive post card indeed. The first commercially printed postcards were lithograph prints produced in France by Léon Besnardeau in 1870. Over the next ten years sending postcards with pictures of holiday destinations became popular and so began the golden age of the picture postcard. Of course those days are long gone and Facebook posts have largely taken the place of sending postcards.  Continue reading Postcards from Southampton

Denny Wood, the penultimate CC6

19 February 2017

Today brought the penultimate CC6 at Denny Wood in the New Forest. For once it was an area I knew fairly well as I’ve walked through it many times as part of the Care For A Walk fifteen mile fundraiser. Usually it is muddy and I had the feeling today was going to be no exception. On a different day I might have gone for a wander across White Moor to Lyndhurst and Bolton’s Bench a coulple of miles down Beaulieu Road, or crossed the road and done my usual trick of getting lost in Matley Wood. Today though I was being gentle on my poor old foot with its healing blister. Besides, there wouldn’t be too much time as, James, one of the Spitfire’s super fast runners, was running his first CC6.  Continue reading Denny Wood, the penultimate CC6

Son et lumière

10 February 2017

Despite three days of resting my poor injured foot there was no way I was staying home tonight. Commando read an article in the Echo about a sound and light show at the new Watermark Development and CJ and I were eager to see it, even though we had no real idea what to expect. In normal circumstances we’d have walked over the Big Bridge into town but this evening, to avoid too much walking, we caught the bus.  Continue reading Son et lumière

An ancient chapel, a blister and a long hard walk

7 February 2017

And so we limped away from the duckpond towards the place I’d really been heading for all along. Well, I limped anyway. The huge, spiny tree trunk in my boot gave me a sharp pain whenever I put my foot down and I was convinced there’d be a puddle of blood when I finally took the boot off. CJ still had no real idea what we were about to see but I did and the memory of the tranquil little church went a long way towards making up for the pain in my foot.  Continue reading An ancient chapel, a blister and a long hard walk

Limping through Manor Farm Country Park

7 February 2017

When CJ spotted the sign for Manor Farm Country Park he was surprised and delighted in equal measures.
“I can’t believe we walked so far,” he said.
“Only five miles,” I said, with a quick look at my Garmin, “less if it hadn’t been for the getting lost, and quicker if it hadn’t been for the mud.”
“I haven’t been here since I was really little. I think it was with school and I was about six.”
He had a big grin on his face as we set off along the muddy Farm track. Continue reading Limping through Manor Farm Country Park

The trails of Hedge End, gloopy mud and a bramble disaster

7 February 2017

According to the weatherman today was supposed to be the best day of the week, not that I entirely trust the weatherman of course. After days of rain, blue skies were a very welcome sight though and I decided to make hay while the sun was shining, or at least go out for a walk. Back in November, CJ and I went to Botley. Rain and a lack of time scuppered our plans and most of the route I’d plotted out went unwalked. Later I plotted a better one to the same destination and today was the day to walk it.  Continue reading The trails of Hedge End, gloopy mud and a bramble disaster

Mud, swans, photo bombing coots and funnel duckers

4 February 2017

Parkrun was brought to us this week by damp, mud, steaming runners and a photo bombing coot or two. It was also freezing cold but I’m getting used to that now. The talk of the day was breaking records. The parkruns at Lymington, Winchester and Eastleigh were cancelled and, from the outset, it was clear there were a lot more people on Southampton Common than normal. It looked as if the record attendance of nine hundred and forty two might well be broken.  Continue reading Mud, swans, photo bombing coots and funnel duckers

Sports Centre adventure

2 February 2017

Wind and rain has been the order of the day here. Not just any old wind and rain, gale force wind and torrential rain. Apparently, this was storm Doris. It seems to me there have been a lot more storms since they started naming them and I wish they’d stop, because it’s playing havoc with my walking. Continue reading Sports Centre adventure