Yew Walk?

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This is the Hockley Viaduct railway bridge which was built in 1891 and closed to passengers in 1960. This fell into disrepair over the years and was vandalised in a few places as people clambered up the bank to walk along it and pull on old leavers and signs. However, it was reopened as a proper footpath/cycle path in 2013 and gorgeous views across the River Itchen and towards the City of Winchester can be seen.

I left this behind me and I spent the next 2 hours on footpaths only!

I met up with a lovely lady walking her Cocker Spaniel, or was it the other way around? 😉 She was a local lady so we had quite a bit in common to chat about.

We parted company and the landscape changed from a boggy meadow field to a tunnel of Yew trees with a carpet of Autumn leaves adorning the floor. I almost wanted to grab an armful of leaves and throw them up in the air.

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This rope swing was so tempting that I actually took off my coat and scrambled up the bank. I grabbed the rope, (it was quite high off the ground) I stood for a few seconds whilst sensibility and memories hit me.

It took me back to when I was 9 years old, one of the oldest yet smallest in the class. We had a huge grass playground and a large apple orchard to play in. Lots of my peers would climb this one particular Oak tree, it was huge! One day I was persuaded and a couple of friends helped me reach the branch so I could heave myself up. I’d made it!

Of course the bell rang, playtime was over and I was stuck. Time lapsed and then I spotted the Deputy Head and the entire class (all 16 of them) running across the grass towards me. Nobody laughed or jeered but I still felt embarrassed though totally relieved. Needless to say I never did climb that tree again. This was the reason I left the rope sw2015-11-29 13.53.59ing swaying backwards and forwards whilst I grabbed my coat and wondered on again.


The rest of the walk passed without much drama. I could hear the wind howling either side of me but I was completely protected by the tunnel of trees.

I crossed over a bridge and dropped back down into civilisation. I decided to drop into the supermarket for a decaffeinated latte. It was good to sit down, the last part had been a fairly lengthy steep climb.

There’s nothing like a good walk to get the heart beating faster.

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I loved how these Yew tree routes clung to the bank like a Limpet.




Walking Those Worries Away

Following a tough few days this week I needed to breath some fresh air into my lungs. I grabbed a slice of toast the moment I got in, changed out of work clothes and jumped in the car.

Winchester Water meadowsI wanted to walk off the beaten track before the daylight hours faded completely and headed through the gate…

I soon regretted wearing my trainers as the worn gravel path were covered in large puddles. They stretched from one side to the other. It was like walking through a maze!

It wasn’t the wisest of moves of the day. The light was fading fast and my pace quickened as I knew i wouldn’t make it to the end in daylight. I passed a man and his dog – now he was wearing sensible walking boots. Why didn’t I wear mine, I thought to myself. It didn’t matter really the fresh air was great and the stress of the day slipped away to non existence.

Once out onto pavements I was a littlestreet light relieved, I don’t think i’ll be doing that again in a hurry after work. I tend to walk on street lit pavements only at this time of the year. It’s safer especially if i’m on my own.

I’ve walked for years in the evenings. When my daughter was home I’d drop her off at the race track for her athletic training session and I’d walk, it was like my outside gym – far cheaper I might add. 😉 I’ve met lots of great people and you see lots of unusual sights.

I went through a stage of coming across incidents where my first aid/common sense came to the forefront. I helped a man in his 80’s with dementia who said he’s run away from his carer. He’d hurt his knee and myself and another passer by helped him to the main street. I’d rung 999 because he was very confused and I wasn’t quite sure how best to help him but couldn’t leave him where he was.

Another time I came across a man lying in the middle of the road. He was definitely drunk or high on drugs. It would have been dangerous to approach him on my own. Another chap (from athletics) came to help whilst I rang the police.  How could he be left there! A few bystanders thought it was amusing a started taking photo’s for social media but soon got bored. Meanwhile the drunk man had got up with some help and decided he fancied me – agh lol Anyway I wasn’t on my own and everything worked out for the best. The police soon arrived. I’d seen this chap a few times in town, he was known to the police.

In the high street on another occasion I came across a man who was having an angina attack. Two of us stopped put him into the recovery position and sat and reassured him help was on its way. The paramedics were fabulous – job done.

My walk was nearly at an end. I’d walked at a fairly fast pace, my cheeks were glowing and my heart slightly pounding. I turned the corner and the Christmas Market ahead of me sent a glowing feeling through my heart. It all looked quite magnificent lit up in the dark .

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No major drama’s tonight just shockingly filthy trainers and grid locked traffic. I walked 2 miles back into town and had a coffee whilst the traffic subsided before I headed home.