Oct
2016

New Ventures

 

Navigating a 8 mile walk somewhere around Berwick Sussex & The Devils Punch Bowl

 

 

Devils PUnch Bowl

Devils Punch Bowl

 

last blog I mentioned I was going to try & learn some new walks. True to my words, I went off armed with some printed instructions & headed towards Berwick Station East Sussex to meet a walking ‘buddy’

Spanner in the works

Arriving at Victoria early was fine, but I missed my connection from Brighton to Berwick. I had a vague memory in which I had taken a train from Berwick on my first ever ramble, that was the extent to my knowledge of the area. Next time I will make sure to check that before leaving.

Consequently I was late & the pouring rain looked set to continue for the rest of the day. Luckily there was a café/pub right next to the station at Berwick, so we could have a coffee & plan what to do.

Like a lot of new ventures you have to try more than once to make it a success.

My walking companion had a good grasp of reading a map so I happily let her take the lead. I had taken the initiative to organise the walk, but the rain and me being late meant we had to cut it short. I was grateful to her having an ordnance survey map and being able to read it. Miraculously the rain stopped within five minutes of us starting the walk and then poured down again about five minutes before we finished.

Despite the fact we only clocked up just under five miles, we walked over dry hard fields, lumpy  ground and such. My legs the following day, My ankles, feet &  calf’s in particular were painful. My feet are usually the problem and they were throbbing like mad having worn the boots from 8am- 8pm . I haven’t worn them since. I’m obviously going to have to wear them in.

Devils Punch Bowl and Gibbet Hill  10 mile Hike.

Into the trees

Into the trees

                                                                               

 

MAGIC MUSHROOM

MAGIC MUSHROOM

 

Meet up group Explorers UK 

http://www.meetup.com/Explorer-UK/ organise regular walking Day trips and weekends. You can where you can book online for a small charge the leader Tom will purchase your tickets and lead the walk. It’s a good way to get to know areas and meet people.  40 minutes outside of London from Waterloo we were in Haslemere. It was a perfect Autumn day for a ten-mile hike along the Greensand Way to The Devil’s Punch Bowl on the borders of the South Downs National Park.

MAGIC MUSHROOM

MAGIC MUSHROOM

Caterpillar.

Caterpillar.

We enjoyed beautiful views across the Bowl’s natural amphitheatre before climbing out the other side to see even further from the second highest point in Surrey. Along the way  visiting the Sailor’s Stone and discover its gruesome history, before finishing the walk at a lovely pub a few minutes from the train station.

 

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I finished reading Bill Bryson comical journal about travelling today in the UK, and felt inspired to keep on writing about my days out and walking adventures. I’m off to the Lake District this week Monday to Friday for a walking holiday, taking a few books; Mac Airbook, notebooks, camera, film and I phones. So as well as having days out walking I can also be updating my blogs and working on my writing projects, & reading. Can’t wait.

 

 

Until next time. If you would like to check out my up & coming walk page you might find a walk that suites you.They are all led by The South Bank Group who are all members of The Ramblers and all walks are led by experienced walkers .You don’t have to be a member to come along for a walk, if you would like to try it out a couple of times I’m sure you will realise the benefits and join up

If you are new to my blog & like what you read, please subscribe and you will recieve it in you email. I genearlly publish once a month at the end of the month and try to write about at least 1 or 2 walks a month.

I stand corrected, My Uncle Neil has sent me this!

The Magic Mushroom pics on your blog look like Fly I Agaric. For MM pics see: http://http://www.magic-mushrooms.net/gallery.html#.WBXvZxmnwj0

 

I knew they weren’t literally magic mushrooms that get you high,but they sort of look Magic. The colour of them.

 

Avoir Farewell.

 

Aug
2016

Finding New Walks

Southern Railways

 

Disappointed that Southern Railways haven’t got their act together yet. Not sure what’s going on with them exactly, but I went onto their website and tried about 5 times to book a ticket to Bishopstone near Lewes, for a 12 mile walk.  If someone has hacked their website it’s not that surprising -but- please sort it out!  The ticket office at Herne Hill was closed on Saturday & usually get a good price ticket from them.  Buying from the ticket machine would cost about £26, but £17.50 on line. I gave up in the end, and opted out. I’m not happy about having missed a walk but will have to make up for it some other way.

I am planning some new walks, & have found another South Bank Walker who has agreed to try out some walks with me around the Lewes area. I have finally bought a new printer  & scanner which means I can scan & email the routes to her and we can get out in the Autumn. It is about time to start planning some new adventures. I have booked for  a week in the Lake District in Autumn. The last time I was near that area in Penrith was the Blue Moon Festival, and we all took some illegal substances, I can’t remember the details but it was either acid or magic mushrooms, and everything was either totally hilarious or really scary.! That was a long time ago. I do remember it being a very pretty area though and Keswick was/is a popular tourist , so it will good to revisit the area.

Revisiting  old places

I’m pleased to say that I revisited the Chelsea Physic Gardens recently, I had mentioned it when talking on the Robert Elms Show on BBC LONDON a couple of weeks ago. I bravely volunteered to present my ideal day out in London on the radio ( a regular feature on his Saturday show)  and the Physic Gardens was my first port of call.

Chelsea Physic Gardens

SIR HANS SLOANE originally from Northern Ireland

SIR HANS SLOANE originally from Northern Ireland founder of the Chelsea Physic Gardens.

 

I often walk to Chelsea as it’s not a bad walk from Brixton. I had family over last weekend & took them to visit.

The Garden has been running talks throughout the summer on the subject of scents. It was a coincidence that one of the women who came on my Seven Sisters Walk was there as a tour leader &  led a large group around the garden explaining the origins and different sections of plants from all over the world. It is hard to retain all the information about the history and use of plants for medicinal & other uses such as perfume and some cosmetics. So I can only recommend to try it for yourself.

http://www.chelseaphysicgardens.co.uk

 

Medicine Cabinet

Medicine Cabinet

Continue reading

Jul
2016

Let England Shake

June  

A month of Ups & Downs

Looking In Looking Out

With some free time planned off from work, it was a bit of trial and error as to how to plan a little West Coast UK Trip on the 24/6/2016.

Having bought advanced tickets for the P J Harvey Gig at the Eden Project, and a brother living in Torquay, we were trying to get a few days down the coast in before the gig. We managed to get to Taunton after about 7 hours from London, heading towards Somerset on the weekend of Glastonbury in  torrential rain, and long queues made for a tedious journey. Added were the thoughts of what might happen now ‘Britain had spoke ‘and voted to get OUT of Europe. I could not believe it. I was not feeling very optimistic.

Stopping at Taunton for a night with enough time for a meal and a couple of drinks,we enjoyed a little walkabout in town which was very quiet. There was a sweet little park and the town was quite smart but not a lot happening.!

A sculpture in public Garden Taunton

A sculpture in public Garden Taunton

 

The next day heading for Exeter for some shopping & a browse round some of the side streets, vintage shop. We stopped for a brilliant ploughman’s lunch at a cafe ( will blog that later) on the green facing the cathedral,then down to Torquay for some evening sun and a couple of drinks.

Cornwall

After a night at Torquay, the next day the rain started again so that put a dampener on our plans to camp near Sennen Cove. Somewhat despondent we stopped at a dismal pub on the road to nowhere to be presented with the worst sandwich in the world. I actually took it back. Something I have never done before. But  when it comes to food, I wasn’t having it! If Pret A Manger can produce really good quality sandwiches daily so can a pub.

Penzance

I have a soft spot for Penzance.  It being situated near Lands End, a lively town with  easy access to some lovely beaches and fishing ports nearby. We were lucky to get a B & B at the last-minute. The people down there are extremely friendly and helpful,

On way to Sennon Cove

On way to Sennen Cove

 

After a night in Penzance we made our way to Sennen for a quick dip in the sea, which was  freezing. Then headed up to the Eden Project for a night of  camping for the gig. I haven’t camped in about 15 years, so it was somewhat apprehensive.

PJ HARVEY

EDEN PROJECT ST AUSTELL CORNWELL

Despite the ups and downs of the last few days I wasn’t disappointed with the gig.

EDEN PROJECT

EDEN PROJECT

 

The cocktails were obviously stronger than I realised, I was convinced my superb photography skills would produce some stunning shots of PJ Harvey. Alas all I got was the backs of people’s heads and a black void with a few shapes..Hope these pics will do you.

PJ Harvey gig at Glastonbury is available on BBC I PLAYER for another few weeks.

EDEN

EDEN

 

PJ  HARVEY and her band have moved to another level, this isn’t really the place to write a music review but the set they played was really well choreographed and delivered a range of songs from two recent albums.  It was  extremely moving. She has matured into a slick and cool performer. I was entranced.

Have a listen to the apt named Let England shake track from one of her albums.

Let England shake – PJ Harvey

There’s a really well written review of the gig worth reading follow this link.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/pj-harvey-eden-project-review/

I LIKE THIS GREEN SHAPE IN THE DARK

I LIKE THIS GREEN SHAPE IN THE DARK AT THE EDEN PROJECT

 

It’s been emotional lately and it’s a must to get out of London as much as possible and in particular to get out and walk. I have two or three planned for July and somehow finding time to develop my other website Juliecanblog . I haven’t got a time schedule or deadline on this but possibly by the end of this year.

PS If you like my blog please sign up and you can get it delivered to your Email inbox. Also if you are interested in joining any walks with a group please check out my Up and Coming Walks page.

FLOWERS AT NIGHT AT EDEN PROJECT

FLOWERS AT NIGHT AT EDEN PROJECT

Until next time.

Keep on Keeping on

Julie C.

 

 

 

Jun
2016

Hastings/London

Walking in Hastings.

I managed to get out on a mid-week 11 mile walk last week to Hastings through the vast country park

 

South Bank Walkers taking it in their stride.

South Bank Walkers taking it in their stride.

 

Walking at a pace

Hastings has a massive country park and it’s been a while since I had done a walk with a group. I have still to devise a few more new walks. I followed the leader this walk. He didn’t lie when he said it was brisk.  I don’t mind walking miles but I like to stop a bit, to take in the views . If I had been leading it I would have wanted to start in the town  had lunch there and then start the climbing.This walk was pretty much pounding furiously by-passing the town and straight up to the cliffs and into the woods.Once we got out of the woods it was refreshing to have the open space and views.

Out in the open Hastings.

Beautiful – Changing sky at Hastings

 

Heading back to Hastings
over the cliffs.

It seemed to be over before it begun and I decided not to follow the leader back to the station at 4pm and just have a little wonder along the beach and watched the seagulls fishing!

Sea/Sky Hastings

Sea/Sky Hastings

 

British Summer Time

Summer doesn’t last long enough in the UK I wonder how we would be if it was summer all year? But British summer that is-so that would include summer rain instead of winter rain and it would stay light all year round?! How different it would be. I don’t feel that it’s my favourite season but I always feel I have to make the most of a sunny day, but then so do thousands of others, so it’s difficult to go to a beach or a pool without half the world showing up!.

Southern Trains continue to provide the worlds worst service. Luckily I don’t commute into London, but getting anywhere on southern trains is a bit hit and miss these days. Another strike due next week. I had a walk ‘pencilled’ in this thursday around Southampton, I Considered the amount of projects I wanted to catch up with & the trains and unpredictable weather then decided to give it a miss.

LONDON – OH LONDON!

Sometimes you just want to walk about and I Have been doing a lot of that in London.  Even just deviating a bit from the beaten track and you can feel like a tourist but  away from the main hub.

then the back of Victoria around Pimlico

The back of Victoria around Pimlico

Catching the sunset over Lambeth Bridge walking towards Vauxhall

Catching the sunset over Lambeth Bridge walking towards Vauxhall

Lambeth sunset after a few drinks in Victoria

Never mind Waterloo Sunset ! Look at Lambeth sunset.
After a few drinks in Victoria (magic)

 

 

Just to keep it all in perspective , I’d like to finish it here with a nifty little tune from Wire ….. about blogging. !

Keep on keeping on

It’s a funny old world !

 

May
2016

Engineering works on the South East Coast

DUE TO ENGINEERING WORKS……!

We seem to have a hell of a lot of engineering works going on down the South East Coast line these days….They gotta do what they gotta do but as an escape route  it’s getting extremely complicated for a day down the coast.It’s only half an hour on the metro to the coast from Newcastle & Edinburgh, and even in NYC you can be in Coney or Long Island quicker than you get to the Kent Coast from London and cheaper.!

The dreaded rail replacement bus!

The dreaded rail replacement bus!

But Saying that..

I managed to see quite a lot of Kent in one day

Starting at Eltham we had to take a train to Gillingham change at  Gillingham – to get to Faversham.. so lunch in Faversham a little market town, then a Replacement  bus  to Herne Bay…This being somewhat painful & most comical .The driver decided to blast us with his Traditional Jazz CD ! Frankly it was just weird! I burst out laughing at first but looked round at my fellow passengers who were not amused!! What a drag…Perhaps he should have played the Sex Pistols or the Ramones or something. Eventually after a 45 minute bone breaking bus journey steering through steep and narrow bungalows in what seemed like vast estates on the edge of town I felt somewhat sick and couldn’t wait to get off .

At Herne Bay we caught the  Ramsgate train. We had intended to walk from there to Margate a good 7 mile walk with really lovely natural landscape in between including Broadstairs. Surrounded by youngsters on the train knocking back booze, We got off a few stops early & left them to it.The walk fromWestgate to Margate is brief, a flat promenade. As it was unseasonably hot for May there were plenty of people on the seafront sitting in deck chairs outside their huts. In  Margate we sampled some local cider from a couple of Micro-breweries; one  in The Harbour and another in the town. At this point were too jaded to bother with the Turner Gallery.

Canterbury

Returning on the slow route was a train from Margate to Canterbury West, as we had to get off there anyway to walk to Canterbury East to pick up the london train, we decided to eat there.We found a great place where the food was Half Italian & half Lebanese! We noted we would pop back for a day out another time.It was about 9pm at this time and still a couple of trains to get back. An all round 12 hour journey.

Newhaven to East Dean

Next Saturday I’m leading a walk down the coast and as far as I’m aware the trains are running properly.Although I have done this walk & variations on this walk several times, it always pay to do it before leading a group. Even in terms of checking that I’m fit enough to do it. The Seven Sisters Walk is a challenge for most people. Especially if you haven’t been out walking in a while.

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Starting at Victoria changing at Lewes my favourite station, then down to Newhaven Harbour to walk to Seaford  over the cliffs down to Cuckmere Vally and up over the Seven Sisters, ending at East Dean. An 11 mile walk.Often on returning if we have to wait for more than 30 mins for a train back to Victoria we can pop out at Lewes and catch a half in The Lansdowne Arms five minutes up the Hill from station..

 

I love a sign!

I love a sign!

 

The walk starts at an old harbour area which is for jaded eyes is a fine start. We get walking, within 15 minutes we are at the sea front.

 

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After an hour walking we are at the end of Seaford and it’s a steep ascent after that up to Seaford Head, this takes us down to the valley.

here we go again!

here we go again!

It’s always inspiring to walk along the cliffs

a welcoming site

a welcoming site- National Trust Cottage (sometimes for hire)

Funnily enough I re- watched a Nick Cave Film 20,000 Days on Earth last night. Some of the film was shot in this house. A very interesting conversation between Nick Cave and his fellow musician Warren Ellis discussing Nina Simones backstage behaviour at The Meltdown Festival held in  London’s Royal Festival Hall. This was  recalled while  Warren Ellis was cooking up eels for a not very hungry Nick Cave!  Entertaining. ***

Seaford Head Nature Reserve and the Cuckmere Valley is a haven for wild birds, flowers and sea life. We watched a crane bird or a heron? catch a fish as we strolled along the valley heading towards Seven Sisters cliffs.

a sign!!

A  Sign!! (I do love a Sign!)

A gate! I also do like a gate!

A gate! I also do like a gate!

Having managed the Seven Sisters, with tired legs I reach this gate with some sense of relief that the worst part is over.

At this point we are heading up towards East Dean Village for a well-earned drink. As we cut through the small woodland, we come across a slow-worm which is like a small snake. Or as described in Wikipedia

“The Anguis fragilis, or slow worm, is a limbless lizard native to Eurasia. It is sometimes called a blindworm.”

I’m not a fan of snakes or worms, so moving on, we leave the woods and lo and behold we see the light!  The Tiger Inn at East Dean, where a wide range of beers and ciders are waiting to be sampled.

 

In the meantime I will savour what’s left of the Bank Holiday Weekend and get myself down to The Tate at Blackfriars. Until them my fellow travellers ..

keep putting one foot in front of the other when you can.x