A late waking didn’t auger greatly for a really good distance but a sterling effort on a chilly day, even if I say so myself, pulled it (whatever ‘it’ is) out of the bag. Not a hint of an ache or pain, despite not feeling totally up for it until I was probably into double figures. I imagine that I will have a number of days like this on the big walk, just getting through the day and clocking up some more miles. I ate and drank more than I usually would, perhaps a symptom of a little bit of boredom, not helped by a 0-0 draw for Pompey at Hartlepool. A couple of bottles of water, half a cheese baguette (only half because there was horrible mayonnaise), a Yorkie – Raisin and Biscuit flavour, a skinny latte with vanilla, a sausage roll and some fruit and oat biscuits. Probably just about calorie neutral then over the 5 hours 50 minutes! 18 miles. In China, the number 18 is a lucky one, meaning that one is going to prosper and rooms on the 18th floor in hotels are often very expensive. So that makes me feel a lot better about today and life in general!
Started off with a wander down to the posh bit. Hamble is one of those places you only find in Hampshire, and it is around here that the 1980s BBC series Howard’s Way was filmed. Maritime is ever-evident, no more so in some of the thoroughfare, “Robinson’s Compass Adjusters: Nautical Instruments and Period Maritime” surely could only be here. The marina is a bit quiet in the cold and thankfully there is little of the flaunting of opulence one sometimes sees down here. I have no problem with people having lots of money, and spending it in any way they wish, but there is often an uneasy feel to the area with people visiting just to be seen here. Sweeping generalisation, yes, I know.
A couple of cars honk at me and I’m not sure who they were but I’m more entertained by some Southampton fans drinking outside a pub. Several are definitely XXXXL material, though if Matt Le Tissier could play for Southampton, they clearly created a market for those oversized club replica kits. I wander about a bit before heading back up Hamble Lane and cutting through a wooded area and Royal Victoria Country Park. Nice as always, but with more 4x4s each time I visit. The definition of optimism surfaces on the horizon as I see the ice cream van on Weston Shore on 30 November. I can only think it has broken down and is now immovable; even on the coldest days there seems always to be at least one ice cream van in that car park. To be fair, it is selling hot drinks today but I eschew this opportunity until later and walk up to Sholing , Burseldon and up Swanwick Lane as the sun sets slowly in the west.
Pam is quick to remind me that there are just 11 weeks to go. Still so much still to do. More on that in the future.