There is no place like Portsmouth

Sunbathers on Southsea beach 

� Solent News & Photo Agency
UK
Sunbathers on Southsea beach � Solent News & Photo Agency UK

LAWRENCE MURPHY: A worthy alternative to roasties?

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It was the month of February in the year of 1984 when I became a citizen of planet earth as I entered the world at St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth.

Since then, every major event in my life has happened here.

I have moved around the city a few times, living in various places, but have never left it.

Of course, I’ve been on many journeys but whenever I leave the city for whatever reason – to go to work or to see friends or even go on holiday – I always feel there is no place quite like home.

For me, Portsmouth has always been that place.

I just can’t imagine living anywhere that didn’t have a PO postcode and don’t think I would want to.

Especially now that I have two children and want life to be stable for them.

They are both at school and have made, possibly, lifelong friends.

But I do sometimes think I take my hometown for granted.

I forget not only how lucky I am to live here and bring my kids up here, but also how many things there are to do and see in this historic waterfront city.

Miles of beautiful seafront, plenty of shops and, importantly for all parents of young children, lots of parks packed full of slides and swings.

It was great recently when the spotlight was on us for the America’s Cup and we had the opportunity to show off our great city to the watching world.

On a warm and sunny day I could sit in the garden with an ice cold drink and let my two girls run around releasing their never-ending supply of energy.

And maybe, if I’m feeling particularly energetic, I join them in a game of tag or hide and seek.

It’s great to get out of the house and explore with them.

We spend a lot of time on Milton Common, a great place to take our dog Ralph.

It’s never busy on Milton Common, but it’s such a beautiful part of Portsmouth. I feel it’s one of the city’s best kept secrets.

A walk along Southsea seafront and then around Canoe Lake is another favourite of ours.

We sometimes finish off with an ice cream from the ice cream van – the girls never resist.

Just recently we made a visit to Staunton Country Park.

In such a busy and hectic city, it’s hard to believe just around the corner is a place containing all sorts of farm animals.

Caitlin and Alyssa loved petting the pigs and goats.

Sometimes it is nice to take a trip outside the city, but, with my two daughters in tow, it’s nice to take advantage of what we already have on our doorstep.