Columns on mild adventures, transitioning and health and fitness.

Suburban Safari Part Nineteen – Back to the Beach  

Suburban Safari Part Nineteen – Back to the Beach  

by Katie Isham. Restrictions are lifting, travel is allowed and so the time has come. We’re visiting the Solent shoreline.  A trip to the beach is not just about the destination: it’s about the feeling of space you get by the sea. It’s that feeling you get nowhere else, and after another long lockdown, we
Suburban Safari: Sholing bloomstrolling 

Suburban Safari: Sholing bloomstrolling 

by Katie Isham. The recent Spring Equinox has lifted me out of my winter slumber. I took this as a shot in the arm (not the one I’m after, but this’ll do for now) to take a more positive view. Time to fling open the doors and spend an afternoon sprucing up the garden.  But
Suburban Safari: Bishops Waltham pond loop

Suburban Safari: Bishops Waltham pond loop

by Katie Isham. Last weekend I went on holiday. Hold on, you might scream, we’re in lockdown. How did you wangle a holiday? Okay, you got me; I didn’t actually go on holiday, but I felt like I did for an hour.  I embarked on a fifteen-minute drive (hedonistic, I know) to the town of
Suburban Safari: The trees of Telegraph Woods

Suburban Safari: The trees of Telegraph Woods

by Katie Isham. If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Or not. You’re sure to find trees. Don’t roll your eyes – I saw that. Of course there are trees, but over at Telegraph Woods there is a colony of beautiful, breathing, heaving trees to meet; you’ll feel
Suburban Safari: Rekindling the Peartree Passion

Suburban Safari: Rekindling the Peartree Passion

by Katie Isham. What better way to spend Valentine’s weekend than by rekindling your love for an old favourite? Sometimes in life we take for granted what we have. We take for granted the beauty we wake up to. We take for granted the sights we see every day. We don’t always take the time
Suburban Safari: RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 

Suburban Safari: RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 

by Katie Isham. At the risk of ruffling some feathers, this Suburban Safari includes minimal movement. In fact, it’s best to stay as still as possible for the duration. You may be permitted a twitch or two.  When was the last time you spent a solid hour in your garden? I know it’s not really
Suburban Safari: Hatch Grange  

Suburban Safari: Hatch Grange  

by Katie Isham. In the current lockdown and amid rising fear in this wave of the pandemic, we are torn. Torn between staying away from other people or finding some space outside to get some fresh air.  Obviously we all want to stay safe and distance ourselves from others as much as possible, but it’s
Fitness: positive pregnancy, avoiding stretch marks, swelling and weight gain

Fitness: positive pregnancy, avoiding stretch marks, swelling and weight gain

by Gen Preece. Thank you so much for all your kind and positive feedback for part one! Writing it seems like a lifetime ago now and I’m now even more excited to return to personal training and boot camp where I’ll be working with a lot more pre and post natal mammas. Here’s Part 2, which
Fitness: pregnancy choices

Fitness: pregnancy choices

by Gen Preece. Written two days before I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Viviana Milly Preece, dedicated to everyone pregnant during Covid19 And that, my beautiful readers is why things have been a bit quiet from me! These past 17 months since becoming a mum have been some of the most wonderful, joyous, mind
Suburban Safari: Weston Shore

Suburban Safari: Weston Shore

by Katie Isham. On New Year’s Day, I’ve taken to undertaking a “Big Walk”. One involving a big drive followed by a long walk, preferably by the sea, incorporating a stop for a hefty calorie intake before going home to warm up in the way you can only when you’ve been outside cavorting with nature
Suburban Safari: a little light stroll

Suburban Safari: a little light stroll

by Katie Isham. In a year as dark as 2020 has been, it’s no wonder people are keen to bring light into their lives. The streets of Southampton are ablaze with twinkles; this is the year everyone has raided The Range for more rope lights and flashing neon than you’d find in Vegas. Southampton has
Suburban Safari: Woodmill wander

Suburban Safari: Woodmill wander

by Katie Isham. At least once a week I treat myself to a walk to work through Woodmill in Southampton. Sometimes more when the roadworks are rampant. But it’s never for very long. So I thought I would give myself time when I wasn’t racing the clock for a short wander along the River Itchen. 
Suburban Safari: Southampton Old Cemetery

Suburban Safari: Southampton Old Cemetery

by Katie Isham. As Halloween is almost upon us, I thought it would be apt to go on a spooky Suburban Safari – a Cemetery Safari if you will. And the largest, and if I may dare to say, the most dramatic cemetery in the city is Southampton Old Cemetery.  Located in the south-west corner
Suburban Safari: Itchen Valley Country Park  

Suburban Safari: Itchen Valley Country Park  

by Katie Isham. There are a good few Country Parks adjoining our fair city, so I thought it was time to visit one of them. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not usually a fan of a Country Park. It’s a little too prepared for my tastes. You have a brown sign to lead you
Suburban Safari: Mansbridge Reservoir

Suburban Safari: Mansbridge Reservoir

by Katie Isham. The days are getting shorter (and wetter by the current forecast) so it’s time for a snappier safari. Sometimes you don’t have whole day to wander and discover; sometimes you want to escape the daily grind and pop to a nearby location where you can immerse yourself in nature and treat yourself
Suburban Safari: Warsash walk

Suburban Safari: Warsash walk

by Katie Isham. Join our travel writer on her close to home expeditions. I don’t know about you, but I get a little antsy if I haven’t visited some type of shoreline for a while. So it was time to dip into the joys the Southampton Water can offer – although I draw the line
Suburban Safari: al fresco Southampton

Suburban Safari: al fresco Southampton

by Katie Isham. Join our travel writer on her close to home expeditions. As I mentioned when first embarking on the Suburban Safari venture, a holiday is just a break from the routine. Doing something different for enjoyment. It could be relaxation, or it might be exploration. In an ideal world, it would be a
Suburban Safari: Lakeside Country Park

Suburban Safari: Lakeside Country Park

by Katie Isham. Somewhere nestled between where the tarmac triceps of the M27 and the M3 lock in an arm wrestle, is an unexpected oasis of calming activity.  Lakeside Country Park, Eastleigh, is a mere mile from the M27’s junction 5, but it seems like lightyears away from the angry driving of reality. If you
Suburban Safari: Golden Jubilee Butterfly Walk to Weston Shore 

Suburban Safari: Golden Jubilee Butterfly Walk to Weston Shore 

by Katie Isham. Join our travel writer on her close to home expeditions. I love travel. My summer months are usually filled with adventures: far-flung holidays, long weekends immersed in a festival, a few days by the coast, or up-at-the-crack-of-dawn day trips to bustling cities. This year, my passport is languishing in the kitchen drawer whilst
Not Being Busy (from the diary of a neurotic woman)

Not Being Busy (from the diary of a neurotic woman)

by a neurotic woman. I have spent most of my life being a very busy person. During my professional life as a teacher, I always had projects lined up, often redecorating a room in my house, to see me through the school holidays. Weekends tended to be filled with teaching preparation and housework. When I
Letting Things Slide (from the diary of a neurotic woman)

Letting Things Slide (from the diary of a neurotic woman)

by a neurotic woman. Last week I watched a short video on Facebook which, in the opening shots showed a man falling out of bed in the morning, slobbing around in an undressed state all day and who was evidently in lockdown, living on his own and depressed. The video then showed us his home
Transgendered Substantiation # 14: Surgery & Ubuntu

Transgendered Substantiation # 14: Surgery & Ubuntu

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start Picture: Scott Chalmers Photography Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read this, the final entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings
Our life through a lens

Our life through a lens

musings by Chris Richards. These are strange days, we’re living in today Like Robbie Williams wrote in his first solo single (except for his George Michael cover of “Freedom” – also pertinent!) these are strange days and I really do want to be “Old Before I Die”. This pandemic, lockdown, unprecedented time, however it’s being
Coronavirus crisis: New phobias in the time of lockdown (from the diary of a neurotic woman)

Coronavirus crisis: New phobias in the time of lockdown (from the diary of a neurotic woman)

by a neurotic woman. Phobias are not really something that I have ever suffered from previously. I really don’t like rats or mice but I don’t think that this would be classed as a phobia. I don’t have an irrational fear of them, I simply become a little hysterical should I discover one scampering around
Opinion: Life after lockdown

Opinion: Life after lockdown

by Martin Brisland. Since WW2 ended in 1945 we have talked about events being “since the war”. We are now at a new watershed, a line in the sand. Perhaps in the future we will refer to post 2020 events as being “since the pandemic”? I do not aim here to apportion blame for failings
Opinion: Home schooling tips and tricks

Opinion: Home schooling tips and tricks

by Laura Fewell @mathstuitioncovid19 It must be one thing for parents to be worried about their job due to the pandemic, but another to suddenly have a new one: teaching! I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that I’ve learnt over the years as a maths tutor that will hopefully help a parent adjust
Transgendered Substantiation #13:  Hormone Treatment

Transgendered Substantiation #13: Hormone Treatment

by Lucy Rose A few words before we start… Picture: Scott Chalmers Photography Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at
Coronavirus crisis: Life through the window (from the diary of a neurotic woman)

Coronavirus crisis: Life through the window (from the diary of a neurotic woman)

by a neurotic woman. I have never been much of a curtain twitcher. This is simply due to the fact that I discovered a long time ago that, usually, there is nothing of great interest to peer at furtively, unless one happens to enjoy the sight of people getting in or out of their cars
Transgendered Substantiation # 12: Changing Your Name

Transgendered Substantiation # 12: Changing Your Name

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start Picture: Scott Chalmers Photography Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at
Coronavirus crisis: Scared of my shopping (from the diary of a neurotic woman).

Coronavirus crisis: Scared of my shopping (from the diary of a neurotic woman).

by a neurotic woman. I normally do my weekly shop quite early on every Saturday morning. Whilst I wouldn’t say that I actually enjoy it, I don’t mind it and am happy enough to walk purposefully through the store, making fairly automatic decisions about my purchases along with fellow shoppers. Now though I realise what
Transgendered Substantiation #11: The gender identity clinic

Transgendered Substantiation #11: The gender identity clinic

A few words before we start Picture: Scott Chalmers Photography Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at the time. They
Transgendered Substantiation #10: The Wasted Years

Transgendered Substantiation #10: The Wasted Years

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start Picture: Scott Chalmers Photography Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at
Transgendered Substantiation #9: Seeking a referral

Transgendered Substantiation #9: Seeking a referral

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start Picture: Scott Chalmers Photography Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at
Transgendered Substantiation #8: Red’s Choice

Transgendered Substantiation #8: Red’s Choice

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start Picture: Scott Chalmers Photography Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at
Transgendered Substantiation #7: sex, exercise & relationships

Transgendered Substantiation #7: sex, exercise & relationships

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start… Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at the time. They almost
Allotment column: celebrating sprouts and planning ahead.

Allotment column: celebrating sprouts and planning ahead.

by Sian Bryant. A new year and grand new plans for the old ‘lottie for 2020. After the relative success of a hit and hope approach last summer when we inherited our plot, a few plans have been forming over the festive break as to what heights we can hit with our produce this coming
Transgendered Substantiation #6 The voice & the walk

Transgendered Substantiation #6 The voice & the walk

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start… Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at the time. They almost
Transgengered Substantiation #5 – hair & make-up

Transgengered Substantiation #5 – hair & make-up

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start… Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at the time. They almost
Health and fitness column: health and fitness doesn’t have to be forgotten at Christmas

Health and fitness column: health and fitness doesn’t have to be forgotten at Christmas

by Gen Preece. Have you noticed the supermarket’s Seasonal aisles become filled with Christmas stodge earlier every year? This year I saw it on offer before Halloween had even arrived! It’s not always easy to say no to. Especially when times feel stressful and days are colder and darker. And that’s before tins even start appearing in the office.
Transgendered Substantiation # 4 Dressing

Transgendered Substantiation # 4 Dressing

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at the time. They almost
Transgendered Substantiation #3: Strangers, Friends & Family

Transgendered Substantiation #3: Strangers, Friends & Family

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start… Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at the time. They almost
Transgendered Substantiation #2: Coming out

Transgendered Substantiation #2: Coming out

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start… Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at the time. They almost
Allotment column: courgettes and manure

Allotment column: courgettes and manure

by Sian Bryant. It was probably the point where I realised my gardening gloves had developed a hole without me noticing, rendering me incapable of scratching my nose without smearing dirt all over my face that the realisation dawned that this ‘good life’ malarkey was far from glamorous. Standing in my plot, fork in hand,
Transgendered Substantiation #1: But how do you know?

Transgendered Substantiation #1: But how do you know?

by Lucy Rose. A few words before we start… Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the latest entry of my series, Transgendered Substantiation. The series has been adapted from blogs I wrote for my website during my transition, based on my thoughts and feelings at the time. They almost
Health and fitness column: stress part 2

Health and fitness column: stress part 2

by Gen Preece. If being stressed out is stressing you out, here’s how you can stop it snowballing (this does work!) In part one, we established what we need to remember, forget and recognise. Now we will explore how restoring balance can successfully minimise the effects and damages of stress, which I hope you find just
Health and fitness column: stress

Health and fitness column: stress

by Gen Preece. Stress: what we need to remember, forget and recognise Change your perception, change your response and watch the stress fade. Here’s how. We all feel stressed from time to time, whether it’s getting stuck in traffic, dealing with an annoying work colleague or bigger things, like unexpected life-changing events. I believe one
Allotment column: can you dig it?

Allotment column: can you dig it?

by Sian Bryant. For one of the first times in my life, I am in the unfamiliar position of being ‘on trend’. Sadly, it has nothing to do with my sense of style but everything to do with a small plot of land that I recently become the proud owner of. My accessories of choice
Health and fitness column: increase your energy, productivity and free time

Health and fitness column: increase your energy, productivity and free time

by Gen Preece. Most people I meet these days ‘firefight’ their way through the day, certainly most of the ladies that contact me about personal training or joining boot camp, who are struggling to juggle work, kids, home and family life. There may be a bit of structure there, eg the daily routine of rushing to get the kids