Walking with ‘Mother’

The first Mothers Day since my mother passed away was always going to be a tough day to get through and I am certain Mum would have approved of me asking Pammy to be my honorary mum for the day. She thought a lot of Pammy (though she always called her Pam, for some reason). Mum and Dad often holidayed on Hayling Island and liked visiting a café near the funfair for fish and chips. So I had the idea of remembering my Mum by us going there for lunch and taking in a short walk as well.

We parked up near the top of the island and walked down the Hayling Billy Trail before continuing on a road to the sea front. At a steady pace, Pammy and I reached Sea View Café in just over the hour and had a lovely and plentiful lunch, followed by a mug of tea. I can’t remember this place being so crowded before, but perhaps it was a Mothers Day thing, with a number of families around the tables. To further remember Mum, Pammy had some mushy peas, which Mum always liked along with fish and chips.

It was a chilly day and we were reasonably wrapped up against the cold, and while we were eating, there was a short yet heavy hailstorm outside. That softened up some of the Trail on the return walk, occasionally having created large puddles and pools of mud. But I don’t think we really minded; it was nice to think of Mum and nice for us to be walking together, for once. This was like a break from serious distances, a total of just under 8 miles. No need either for much of an evening meal, after those fish and chips!

First plans for the Week of Pain, as I think of this walk today. For the uninitiated, for three of the last four years, I have undertaken to walk on every day in a week in order to build up real fitness. The exception was 2014, when I was otherwise engaged on an even greater challenge. These weeks always promise to be really hard, and usually prove to be slightly different than planned. Big plans as ever, in terms of distances. Thoughts are for the following – a bit of a wish list at the moment, and there will no doubt be a day or two when I scale down in the light of achy limbs:

  • Train to Micheldever and then walk home. Found a reasonable route to Winchester and then it is a ‘straightforward’ route home. Around 28 miles.
  • A route I have done a few times, with some variations. Around Pompey. Something like 15 miles.
  • Train to Havant and then a walk down and around Hayling Island. 18 miles maximum.
  • Walk from Lyndhurst to Beaulieu and back. Approximately 15 miles. Might vary it a bit but broadly follow the road.
  • Train to Beaulieu Road and then walk home. In the region of 20-22 miles.
  • From home up through Knowle Village, up to Bishops Waltham on the A32. Back down the A32 and through Fareham. 27 miles.
  • Round Thorney Island. Start either from Havant or Emsworth Station. Probably the shortest of the week, 13-15 miles. Haven’t thought beyond an initial glance at the map as yet.

Feels a bit optimistic to do all of these but I need a couple of 25+ mile walks just to get that bit of confidence in me. The New Forest always sounds good but more for scenery and views than long distances. Still a couple more weeks to think these through a bit more. A decent walk needed on each of the next two weekends, that’s for sure. Week of Pain from Good Friday to the following weekend, with at least one rest day! Clocks go forward on Easter Sunday morning, so the evenings will be later. Tired just thinking about it……

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