Oct
2012

Thinking about walking- thinking about writing!

Seaford to Glynde

GIANT MUSHROOM

 

I really didn’t fancy going on a walk this weekend I had things on my mind and wanted to write. I persisted  and reasoned that I  could use up a black and white  film to use up. I had bought  that at the airport going to Berlin this summer  hadn’t used it and only taken a few shots in Newcastle. I wasn’t sure how Rural Sussex would photograph especially it being Autumn and the colours being so vivid,but I quite like the effect. I know you can use effects on most smart phones to Black & White, but I vouch that film is very different to digital, and has a different outcome.

Seaford to Glynde

Walking  takes a certain amount of stamina, this was a 11 mile walk in Sussex starting at Seaford to Glynde all in the countryside. We walked up Northwards inland over vast open spaces and quite hilly in parts. A few of us fell over including myself, as parts of the walk was chalky and damp down hill and we kept skidding.The weather had been glorious autumn weather that day but there were still residues of rain from the previous nights of rain. Sometimes I ‘m not really in the mood to walk with a group as groups can split up and this one split into two; slow walkers, and fast walkers.

My legs were hurting and I was too hot , covered in mud! preoccupied about not having the right walking gear and  annoyed that I had burned my only pair of  walking trousers in a rare ironing frenzy!

Such is life.

The walk started at Seaford over the downs to Berwick Church, I had mentioned the church on my first blog, as we walked there from Charleston House.After a pub lunch, the group seemed to split into the Fast and Slow Walkers, I assigned myself to the fast group but we had to keep stopping to wait for the others incase they got lost. I’m sorry to say, but that got very tedious after a while.

Church Yard at Berwick 16th Century Church in Autumn Sunshine

 

Romantic Berwick Church Autumn 2012

Cotswold Outdoor Clothing

Feet and other issues.. as you will gather are an important part of these posts.

I spent too much time the following  day in Cotswold Picadilly trying on totally unsuitable walking boots; designed for climbing Mount Everest and the guy was trying to convince me I needed a size 7 shoe which was ridiculous. No way are my feet that big..!Clarks Shoes measured my feet the following Saturday and confirmed the correct size -one foot was five and half the other 6.! I later went for a reflexology session, which was like a psychological foot reading followed by a foot massage.(not for the faint hearted)

Check out if you want more info on that. it is quite interesting and therapeutic.

www.felicityreflexology.co.uk

 

Newcastle Upon Tyne

Without a doubt it is the best city in the UK

I am from there but have lived in London now longer than I lived in Newcastle.. Still it was my old stomping ground and I still truly love the centre of Newcastle with its magnificent bridges.

It’s been voted as one of the best nightclub areas in Europe. Although we weren’t there for that. Preferring a bit of live music.

We eventually found the Cluny situated in an industrial part near the Tyne, at Blaydon www.thecluny.com it is a great location away from all the hyped up city centre with its gangs of lads and lasses getting legless! CHECK  it out if you are ever in town.

We tried to walk there on the Friday night we arrived and it was such a lovely romantic walk along the Tyne, however we were on the wrong side of the Tyne going in the wrong direction! I think my London head was a bit disoriented, so we opted for seeing a Ramones cover band on the Westgate Road, who were almost as good as the real Ramones who I saw in New York in 1986! The support band were a raucous punk band, and getting a bit bored waiting for the main band we slipped in to the arts centre next door where they were having Tango lessons! so we had a beer and watched that while waiting to see the Ramones cover band. Some contrast!

 

We did get to the Cluny  the following night in a cab!! It is situated in a valley on the Tyne under a massive old bridge. It is my idea of romance! On the sunday there is a big market on the Tyne and we strolled along there and then visited the Baltic.

I’m off to France next week so I might take some of my unfinished writing there and start planning some other writing that I am interested in exploring.
Until next time.
Best Wishes
Julie
Sep
2012

Rye- Hastings walk

Rye to  Hastings 13 miles

FH000011

A brisk walk through a wonderful section of the Kent Coast, following parts of the Saxon Shore Way. Thus- described by walk leader Margaret Wasdell.

 

 An early start from Charing Cross we took the Hastings train then changed to a local network train to  Rye.  We walked through the picturesque village of  Rye,  and down hill across a small bridge over a river  at  Brede; then up a steep hill , catching a glimpse of the sea as we walked  towards an ancient village called Winchelsea.

There we had a picnic under the sun in the churchyard of St Thomas the Martyr; incidentally Spike Milligan was buried there.

 After half an hour lunch we walked on and over some fields towards a 16th century castle  built by Henry the  V111. We then followed a path alongside the royal Military Canal & walked briskly  for 30- 40 minutes. Then arriving at an open road towards the seafront of Pett Level & further on until approaching The Fairlight National Trust Reserve.
We then walked up into some woodland taking us up to Fairlight  Cliffs .
The walk provided us with a stunning view out into sea and led into Hastings Country Park from there on the walk consisted of many steep ascents and descents eventually arriving at Hastings.
 FH000010
 PETT LEVEL SEA FRONT
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A VIEW FROM FAIRLIGHT CLIFFS

FH000009Did I mention the steep ascents and descents into Hastings?FH000012

Up and down and Up, and—Down, and ….

FH000013You get the picture I”m sure!

It was an invigorating walk and well worth the effort to get there.

It’s worth joining up with a walking group as they have experienced guides which without I would have given up. I’m not much of a map reader, but eventually as I get out more I will start to learn

Until next time.

Enjoy the views

Julie

Aug
2012

The Charleston House Experience

My first ever ‘Ramble’

Glynde to Berwick via Charleston House, Sussex

Having pondered for some years about joining a walking group I eventually met with a bunch of  Ramblers at Victoria London and introduced myself. I wanted to start walking and getting to know places that were accessible from London on public transport and could be done within a day . Ok it’s a far cry from walking the Himalayas but it’s a start. Taking the train from Victoria we changed at Lewes and took a short journey to a place called Glynde.  We walked past a terrace of quaint cottages and then walked across a motorway over to a field and headed towards  Firle Place. Already I was in love, what a breath of fresh air. I needed this more than ever. I have walked around London for so many years now and as much as I love London,have to get out sometimes! We walked through Firle place  a historical national park and I felt like I had gone back in time. It was May and so the new-born lambs were out grazing on the grass and the flowers were blooming, it was so sweet, and so very refreshing after being cooped up at work all week.

After a few miles walking over fields we were at Charleston Farmhouse situated in the heart of the Sussex Downs.It’s called Farmhouse which is a bit misleading as it is more like an artist’s retreat hosting a stunning collection of art, much of the furnishing having been upholstered to its original plan by Laura Ashley.

 CHARLESTON FARMHOUSE

The place is unique and available guided tours give a fascinating insight into the lives of the Bloomsbury crowd which consisted of a loose group of artists, writers and intellectuals, the sister of Virginia Woolf, Vanessa being one of the prominent figures there. I found it to be  sublime and inspirational.  Words are difficult to find to express the beauty of this special place. For further information click on this link. http://www.charleston.org.uk We then walked towards Berwick Church built in the 16th century. Here were further works of arts and murals by The Bloomsbury Group, and were part of the original deco.

The next walk I did after that was a month or so later.  The Ramblers organisation sent me a copy of Walk Britain, which has 50 walking routes with Britain’s Best views. I took the book with me to Seaford and went off on my ownsome and did very well that sunny day in June. I walked the Seven Sisters Cliffs which is described in the book as a leisurely  8 mile walk! Walking slowly to the park is a leisurely walk, the Seven Sisters is somewhat strenuous  Up and down!.Up and down, Up and down!! That is the Seven Sister Cliffs!

The next walk will be the Rochester Dickens walk, another very short walk. After this I’m walking from Rye to Hastings which will be the longest I have done in years

Until next time, watch those feet!

 
BW Julie                            
Jul
2012

Shoes and Boots! JULY 2012

 

Shoes and Boots

Having joined the ramblers last year I went on my first walk.I wore an old pair of walking shoes that I had bought on Amazon for £20. It was May and pleasant at the start of the day.(My next blog will be about the walk which was really lovely)Walking  back after about a five-mile walk or so we hiked over a couple of fields our  leader was getting slightly lost and it started spitting with rain,it carried on that way for the next few miles. By the time we got to the train station and had waited some time for the train my feet were soaking wet.

By the time I got to Lewes station and sat waiting for another train (cafe bar shut at 5pm on a Saturday -why ?, the enjoyment of the walk was becoming a distant memory as the misery of sitting in the cold with wet soggy socks became a reality.

My next port of call had to be a shoe shop. I knew I had to buy a smart waterproof walking shoe before I went on another ramble. Previously I had managed some summer walks down the coasts. The cliffs named the Seven Sisters for one (I will enclose that walk too in another blog) and I was as happy as Larry in my Asics running shoesecommended to me by the podiatrist. I ran a couple of times in them but I really wanted to go on some really long walks as far out of the city as possible.

Having trawled through pages of walking shoes on-line, buying and returning several pairs via Amazon, I was getting a bit desperate. My desire to walk a million miles away from the inner city was becoming unlikely if I couldn’t walk in any shoes. They were either, too small -too tight- too heavy-too expensive. How come the North face shoes I bought at Blacks did not do me any favours!?I was size five and a half and they seemed fine, but after just a couple of miles along a muddy bank near Cobham just after Christmas I was in agony. Had my feet grown? I have since bought boots that are size 6 and 6 and a half but they are too big!

This is a question for the podiatrist. Feet are strange things. We are individuals after all. It’s not a case of one size fits all. I tried them twice and managed a couple of miles or so before my old toe problem started hurting which on the second occasion resulted in me being confined to the sofa for the rest of the evening in agony!. I saw the podiatrist who told me the toe in question had a bit too much skin at the bottom which you had to look at from an angle (I could not manage to look under my toe) and that it was causing pressure on the joints. She said my toes were slightly webbed! Perhaps swimming would be more suitable!

My question

How comes I didn’t get that with the Asics or the Vans plimsolls? I have been told flat shoes are even worse than heels by an Orthopaedic Surgeon after twisting my ankle some years ago.

The plimsoll saw me walk 4 miles on a coastal walk with no twinges of pain of any kind. Ditto; The Converse, the Puma, the Reebok, the Adidas, the list goes on. So how can I find a really good quality walking shoe?  I wanted something WATERPROOF and strong wearing but flexible.

Ok I’m looking in the Ramblers Best of page and am going to scan it, and if anyone can recommend great shoes. I would really appreciate it.

 

Webbed feet!

 

Until next instalment 

Best Wishes Julie