Hills, windmills and another fallen tree

10 January 2018

After a string of dull grey days when all my walks were about getting somewhere as quickly as possible before it rained, the sun came out to play. This obviously called for a proper walk and I knew just the place for bright blue skies. The Bursledon Windmill was calling and, for the first time this year, CJ was joining me. Usually I’d head along Shoreburs Greenway to get to the windmill but, with all the recent rain, this didn’t seem like a good idea. The trail is muddy at the best of times and I didn’t fancy getting half way and finding it flooded, or losing a boot somewhere along the way. The alternative was a long, boring walk along the main road but this didn’t appeal much either so I plotted a more scenic but much longer route meandering through Sholing. Continue reading Hills, windmills and another fallen tree

Two bridges lite

4 January 2018

The first proper walk of 2018, if you don’t count lots of dashing about shopping or wandering around the Old Cemetery in the mud, was a version of Commando’s two bridge challenge. Frankly, at under four miles, it wasn’t much of a challenge but it was the first ‘just for the sake of walking’ walk of the year and there were swans, mud and some climbing that probably wouldn’t have seemed half as bad if I’d had breakfast before I went out.   Continue reading Two bridges lite

Happy New Year

1 January 2018

First thing on New Years Day all the sensible people are in bed sleeping off a late night, too much food and way too much alcohol. My warm bed was just a hazy memory as I strolled across Southampton Common, wrapped up against the chilly morning air. For some reason the parkrun organisers thought it would be a good idea to have an extra parkrun today. In fact there were two, one at Netely and one st Southampton, with the Netley one starting before the Southampton one so people could run both. Continue reading Happy New Year

Tales from the photo archive winter 2017

There are always lots of random photos that don’t quite make it into a post for one reason or another so , once again, I thought I share a round up from my 2017 photo archive as a kind of alternative look back at the year that has just passed.  Continue reading Tales from the photo archive winter 2017

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