Golden morning light illuminates golfers and container ships passing between Fort Gilkicker and the alleged spy training centre at Fort Monckton.
Browndown Range doesn’t have a flag flying – first time I’ve been lucky on the walk so far and not had to detour around an MOD site due to live firing.
Decorator / Handywoman Van parked outside the Hovercraft museum
Glistening jellyfish two feet across, a sandy footprint neatly placed on one side of its body.
A row of precious houses each with variously phrased notices all stating the privateness of their tiny strip of beach.
Man complains in a pub that his medium rare steak is not rare enough.
Approaching Southampton water the forest of chimneys at Fawley oil refinery emerge. Three vast tankers are moored alongside.
Lost myself in the picture making process and exclaim “Fuck Yes!” with the camera pressed to my face as the perfect scene contrasting the oil refinery and nature reserve unfold. As I lower the camera I notice a couple of previously unseen dog walkers right next to me studiously looking in the opposite direction.
At river Hamble masts stretch to the horizon. Acorns thud to the path as they fall from the trees.
Frantic cheering of children and parents at Hamble Community Sports College as students run around a field. A train passes close. A van marked ‘Badger Cleaning Services’.
I admire a yacht held aloft in a boat hoist. A lady notices my interest “Oh she’s mine – there’s one bit I can’t reach myself when she’s on wooden blocks and last year the seaweed stuck on there”
She breaks off suddenly to address the painters “I think you’ve just painted over the echo sounder”
Glimpse the ruins of Netley Abbey as sunset. Night is cool immediately, I put on an extra layer and a head torch and press on.
A metallic clanking sound carries across Southampton water as cars embark a ship in the distance, nearby the gentle lapping of waves.
On the outskirts of Southampton now, a pub called the Victoria has the whole building painted with a huge St George flag. Car pulls up to a smoker in the entrance who says “You after Gary? he’s in the khazi mate”
Itchen bridge flies over the houses lit handsomely in neon blue.
Walk over the silent water far below, passing Samaritans notices and help points at intervals.
In a dark industrial estate one building has the shutters up revealing two boxers sparring in an orange glow.
I enter the Southampton through the student village “I’m 19 years old! not a baby!” I hear from a window.
“Can I spare any change?” I’m in the centre now. It’s late but Southampton uni gym is busy with ponytailed girls on step machines staring at a TV screen.