Sep
2015

A Perfect September Day

 

 Brixton circular via Chelsea, Victoria & Pimlico.

I had organised a little party at the weekend and was still feeling lethargicon Monday, so I decided to take adavantage of the good weather. Walking to Chelsea from Brixton via Clapham into my favourite London space, Battersea Park.

Albert Bridge Chelsea Embankement

Albert Bridge Chelsea Embankement.

 

I never get tired of Chelsea although I no longer work there, I still enjoy popping up there to the  Kings road which is still full of poseur’s but it is basically these days a mainstream shopping street. The real life characters have in the main all gone.  It still is classy though without being too exclusive. I  have probably mentioned it before but I used to cycle from Brixton to Chelsea on a regular basis many years ago when I worked freelance and I still love to do that.

Walking back via Pimlico & Victoria onwards to the ever developing mess of  Vauxhall with it’s nightmare roads and diversons;  I then trudged on to Kennington past the Oval cricket gorund. At this point I tried to cut off the main road and  somehow managed to get   caught in a labyrinth of sprawling blocks of housing at Kennington bordering on Camberwell. I try to avoid the main roads but the area is so built up now I had to get back onto the main road. Not the sort of walking I enjoy. I was  lucky on the next walk. No rain no heatwave, just a perfect September day.

Continue reading

Aug
2015

Blue Moon

1/08/2015

BERWICK TO SEAFORD (LINEAR)

Berwick (Sussex)Station
WILMINGTON LONG MAN, ALFRISTON & CUCKMERE HAVEN (13 miles. A gently undulating walk but with two extended hill climbs. From Berwick to the village of Wilmington with its ancient Church then, the first climb, up to the Long Man chalk figure then down to Alfriston village for Pubs/Cafe/Tea shops/picnic lunch. Then along the Cuckmere River valley, the second climb up to dramatic views along the river to Cuckmere Haven & the sea, then down to Exceat for the 9 miles opt out by bus to Seaford. Alternatively continuing for a further 4 miles along the cliff coastal path to Seaford.

 

Blue Moon

weetabix!

After a restless night not being able to drop off and waking up sporadically, I  jumped up checked the clock which said 8.07!! I was going to have to leave at 8.10 which gave me 3 minutes to sort myself out. I had been lying awake for some time but as the alarm hadn’t gone off I didnt’ know  what time it was.

Walking as quickly as I could I witnessed a car crash at the junction of Coldharbour Lane, Atlantic Road, which I walked around rushing straight to Brixton Tube. It wasn’t a serious crash, just a bonnet to bonnet collision. Drivers going too fast as usual a van blocking the way. Drivers and cars constantly irritate me and I couldn’t wait to get away.

Was it the Blue moon! causing my restless night?

Like the tides affected by the gravitational forces of the moon. ?

Moon Beams or other, the tensions had been building for most of the week. The last few days I had found myself  unable to relax, the usual conflicts from the workplace playing on my mind and a general unease about the future. Watching the news alone at home & feeling a sense of hopelessness.

The night before the walk, the neighbours were at it at one side and there was definitely someone walking about upstairs. As my neighbour had moved out a few weeks ago I wasn’t sure who the hell it was (turned out it was my neighbour returning for more removals) late at night.

Towards the man in the hill

Wilmington Long Man /Alfriston & Cuckmere Haven

looking down to Exceat

Nevertheless, the walk was to be done. A beautiful day we had walked from Berwick to Alfrington.

We had stopped for lunch at Alfrington a very pretty village and somewhere I would visit again. From there it’s only a three-mile walk to Exceat but you could just follow the river and avoid the hill. The Exceat is the river that joins the sea at Seaford, so  we had another magnificent view of the Seven Sisters. Admittedly not having breakfast or enough water or any sun-cream I came out of this walk with a headache and sunburn. It happens, especially on the longer walks.

Walking towards Seaford from Exceat

Due to rushing out I hadn’t properly prepared. Be time I got to the Gallon Inn  I was parched. (This was a drop off point for those only wanting to do a 9 mile walk. )I bought a bottle of sparkling mineral water for £2.50.!

Can we start placing water fountains in the countryside? Carrying all this water around is getting a bit expensive as well as heavy.

 

Arriving at Seaford

Arriving at Seaford

 

As we finished our 12 mile walk, I wasn’t keen to rush for a train back to London and arrived at the seafront. I just couldn’t face rushing back a few of us sat down drinking tea for about an hour, just gazing at the sea. Yes I had a headache, yes I had sunburn, but I still felt a lot better than if I hadn’t done it. The trick is to be more organised. Something I’m working towards.

This walk seems so long ago now. The planned walk I had for this week, I opted out of due to heavy rain. The second Wednesday I have booked off to do a walk & not been able to do it due to extreme weather conditions.

At the end of October I will be taking every Wednesday off for 6 months while I work on my ‘career plan’! but as well as that I have the option to go on a midweek Autumn or Winter Walk and do my courses at home in the evening hopefully feeling mellow and glowing from the Autumn sunshine !.

 

Until next time. Keep going .

Hope you all have a good Bank Holiday Monday.

Jul
2015

No Brainer! Do not walk in the midday sun….

Posted on 31st July a Blue Moon !  

Do as little as possible in the mid-day sun & glow in the midnight moon

After having survived some kind of food poisoning on the hottest day of the year, I missed out on the intended walk but made up for it on a lovely gardens walk

GARDENS WALK TO CUDHAM CIRCULAR

From Knockholt, an easy walk across country though lanes and woods, to Cudham, to visit a wonderful, varied and original garden after a pub or picnic lunch. Return is via Newyears Wood and Fairtrough Farm.

 

Watch your head!

Watch your head!

 

Recent walk led by Judith Robertson, absolutely suited my mood  a truly relaxing enjoyable walk. A couple of surprises in store, one being the sight of a Hawk trainer we came across when ambling along after our picnic lunch.The second surprise being the fantastic private garden.Judith told me she had found it in a book called :

“The Most Amazing Gardens in Britain and Ireland: A Guide to the Most Magnificent and Memorable Gardens (Readers Digest) Paperback – 28 May 2010″.

 

wild flowers in beautiful vase

Wild flowers in beautiful vase.

 

Garden as Therapy

The owner of the garden had been in an accident where he fell asleep at the wheel while driving in Australia. He lived to tell the tale but had suffered severe injuries which had an impact on his ability to do much for many months. nevertheless, he was friendly and welcoming and seemed on good form and his lovely partner was really nice she  provided tea and cake for everyone and seemed to enjoy the company,while we all wondered about and found so many nooks and crannies to hide out in. Perfect. I didn’t want to leave. Meeting people with a story to tell adds the element of surprise to the day. 

go wild in the country

Go wild in the country

 

The Cottage Garden Cudham

The Cottage Garden Cudham

 

DSCN0292

We had to power walk and run the last mile so as not to miss our trainfrom Knockholt  to London they only ran every hour. We had been planning to get a certain time train but some of the group had gone astray, so we got held up a bit.

Our leader had to backtrack which meant a bit of hanging about while we decided what to do and who was going to lead the way back, someone had a map and knew how to read it.!

All in all a really lovely day out.

 

 

 

 

Next planned walk 1st of August

Jun
2015

Ramble on!

 

Ramble On, “The story of our love for Walking Britain “by Sinclair Mckay

ramblers everywhere

 

particular like his chapter with the very long title “In the Gower Peninsular to consider the surprisingly Long History of walking  Gear – While Wearing Quite Unsuitable Clothes.”!

I have to agree  with his rant about the insane  growth in popularity, and commercialism of walking gear which has taken over.To see people walking around Central London in Clothes that are suitable for wearing  for skiing in the alps or , ramblers in towns with walking sticks is laughable. You may feel you can’t go out for a walk unless your head to toe in Jack Wolfskin  or another extremely expensive brand Cotswold. gear!! total nonsense of course.  This is worth a read , and I recommend it.

McKay discusses the commercialism of the countryside the years of battles and forbidden land rules among many other subjects he writes about, he manages to drop in a quote from Withnail & I  a film I watched again a couple of years ago and it was  still  hilarious. Based in the Lake district when Withnail asks “What’s the point of the country”? The fundamental comic point being that it is an error for town dwellers to think that they can rejuvenate in the country!. Mckay has some interesting stories about the history of walking as well as a  wry observation of some of the more  general trends with walkers.

I have been a member of the Ramblers association for nearly three years now, and although I haven’t done any dramatic long walks it still is a good group to join in when the need takes you. In all walks of life some people take everything really serious and with any group there is a certain mentality. But on the positive side a group has the basic mindset that walking is good for you mentally as well as physically and a good old day out. At best you can meet interesting people who you can get talking too   The brain can free flow and with the right scenery that can be truly enjoyable.

 

I would just like to add that I hosted my first WordPress for intermediate WordPress users.My second one will be the first Wednesday after the Bank Holiday.

I have been doing a lot of walking around London lately and came across some intersting spots.

Off for a walk down the Old Seaford Sussex area this weekend.

 

Best Wishes Julie.

 

 

 

 

 

May
2015

May 2015

 General Election 2015 & Berlin

Having worked last year as a poll clerk at the European Election in Belgravia, which had a moderate turn out, I thought this  General Election was going to be a  massive turn out and possibly a change in government. At 6.40am people were actually trying to get in and vote. As soon as  we opened the doors at 7am a queue was forming and it looked encouraging. Westminster is a strong conservative area ‘tainted’ with a large group of homeless and people living in temporary hostels, side by side. Sadly as the day developed a picture emerged , postal voters stayed at home or abroad and the homeless ventured out with some hope that a Labour Government might do something for them that a Conservative government wouldn’t.  After a long and disappointing day, I returned home to get some sleep.

BERLIN

The following day a flight to Berlin which got us there unlike Bank Holiday weekend 2013 ) when all flights to Europe from Heathrow were cancelled.(see blog Bank Holiday weekend 2013)

We had a couple of gigs to go to in different areas of Berlin our hotel was situated in the Kreuzberg area  Hotel Die Fabrik an old converted factory which is basic but chilled with a great cafe.

Bear in Courtyard of Hotel

Bear in Courtyard of Hotel

hotel Die Fabrique

Hotel Die Fabrique

 

Much walking about trying to locate places on a W/END city break, despite maps and smartphones it is a given that getting lost is on the menu. Berlin is completely alien to me.

First gig of kathy’s… (AN OLD MUSIC BUDDY from London) is in a New Zealand bar – an intimate gig Kathy on guitar and vocals with percussionist Nancy from Chigaco. I felt like I had walked into sacred territory a mature crowd, sat around candlelit tables; mainly from the language school.

Wild Women as they called themselves had a captive audience . We walked in and past them as they were half way through their 1st set.

A jaded londoner walks into a bar and says , is the imported new `zealand beer nice,? the owner replies, well I wouldn’t serve you shit beer would I !hmmm (  I know!) I have probably been spending too much time in craft bars where they let you sample beers and usually reel off a list of how the brew was made, the alcohol content and type of hops used etc!.) Amused by the bar owners New Zealand charm which put me instantly at ease I relaxed.

Kathy & Nancy’s 2nd set turned into a lively  music session, a whole load of rock and roll songs everyone likes and the dancing broke out.

We had bought a weekend travel card in Berlin once you have activated it you can jump off any bus or tube and for £20 euros for the w/end, a pretty good deal. We went to another small gig the following night and somehow managed to find the energy to do a bit of sightseeing.

 

Check Point Charlie www.mauermuseum.de/

The following day we visited Check point Charlie museum which we took absolutely ages to locate , probably befuddled from the night before we did manage to walk for ages going the wrong way and getting out at the wrong stations several times before finding it. Last time we were in Berlin we found it easy while we were out and about near Musuem Island. We had taken a tour bus and visited the Jewish Museum.

Outside the museum now a tourist attraction.

Outside the museum now a tourist attraction.

 

It’s difficult to put into words the amount of information and the politics of The Berlin Wall, so have enclosed a brief extract from the Museum webpage.

The Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, founded by human rights activist Dr. Rainer Hildebrandt, is a museum like no other; from its humble beginnings in October 1962 as a two-and-a-half room display about the newly erected Berlin Wall, the museum has evolved into a more than 2000m2 exhibition that explores not only the history of the Berlin Wall and the stories of those affected by it, but also looks at the challenges facing us today as we struggle for worldwide recognition of human rights and freedom.

Here you can discover objects used to escape over, under, and through the Berlin Wall, and read the stories of those escapees who risked their lives to win their freedom. We also remember and thus keep alive the memory of others who died in the attempt –

Extreme measures to escape are exhbited some inventive methods were made in a desperate attempt to escape

Extreme measures to escape are exhbited some inventive methods were made in a desperate attempt to escape

Some got through, others didn't. Have a look at their website

Some got through, others didn’t.
Have a look at their website

 

 

 

Next walking  episode. Hastings and beyond.

love and peace

x