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

Apr
2015

Being Spontaneous

  Getting out and where to go next.

 

Having spent several hours trying to delete robots from my list of contributors (not real people!) They sign in to my site to encourage me to click on their links with the intention that I will then click onto their sites and they get hits! Which helps them in the popularity stats!.To prove my commitment to all things WordPress and to my blog I attended a WordPress meeting on Tuesday evening at New Zealand House. I got some insights from that meeting and am currently exploring some ideas. In the meantime certain features may disappear, or appear, such as follows me on twitter or leave a comment.

 

I have been out and about quite a bit recently. Spring and good weather helps.I had decided to cycle to the South Bank on what promised to be an extremely polluted day! it was very warm and a grey mist hung over London. I cycled round the back streets and got to Waterloo for 11am and as I sat down I was greeted through a loud microphone (not me personally) but a great massive loud welcome to the festival which was followed by loud drumming and trumpets and people dressed in pink wigs dancing! I had a vague idea of doing some work on my Mac, but gave up on that, & walked over to Covent Garden to get myself a t-shirt, walked back  picked up my bike and cycled back to Brixton.

 

Blackheath/ Greenwich

Walked down to Greenwich Market where I picked up some great illustrated cards from THE DM Collection wwww.thedmcollection.com and had some lunch.

 

How mean is time?

How mean is time?

 

Then a ferry along the Thames down to the Embankment

view from Thames Clipper

view from Thames Clipper

taken from Ferry to Thames

Going home to Brixton from Embankment

Walking over bridge from Embankment heading to Brixton

 

As it was such a lovely day we carried on & walked back to Brixton from Embankement

The day after I joined up with the Finchley walking group from Highgate to Angel which was about 6 miles.Last Sunday I  walked with the south bank group on a 11 mile walk in the Guildford area.  I don’t write about every single walk. I try ot be a bit selevtive.

May looks to be a promising month, I’m working as a poll clerk in the General Election then  going to Berlin the day after. There is a choice of Walks and a couple of Bank Holidays and many events happening, so  I am going to be spoilt for choice.

 

This blog is dedicated to karen & thanks for the free drinks at The New Order exhibition atThe Proud Gallery Camden.

As promised I aim to get a blog out by the end of the month.

Until next time see you then

ps if you want to try and leave a comment there is a speech bubble at the topif you hover over it and click on it it should open a comment box. Or just scroll to the end of this blog.

Julie.

 

Mar
2015

Mad as the Mist and Snow- March 2015

Mad as the Mist and Snow..

When the white line has appeared this means it’s downloaded.  Play while reading. It helps.

An Appointment with Mr Yeats 

Mad as the Mist and Snow is an exciting song conjuring up excitement and delirium like Mad March winds whipping up Spring. W.B. Yeats poetry interpreted by Mike Scott, evolves into great music, great songs. What more could you want in life.? This track makes me want to run and dive into the Atlantic or something.! I Saw The Waterboys recently at The Roundhouse in Camden, they didn’t play any songs from this Album as they were promoting a new album more bluesy influenced. Mike Scott has a very distinctive voice and you could actually hear the lyrics which I have to say isn’t something that I have come across in a long while.

Music will always feature in my life as I have a strong musical background. Music & Walking can be great companions. Walking across NYC in the 80’s with my Sony Walkman was one of the most enjoyable experiences ever.

I have been getting about a bit recently, I also saw

The Unthanks at The Roundhouse a few weeks back an interesting set up. A folks influenced group from Newcastle. They cover Robert Wyatt with what is a brilliant version of The Sea.

 Unthank is an actual surname. strangely enough, in my job someone called me up with that surname, not so long after me discovering this group. (spooky)

Speaking of Newcastle- my home town. I discovered THE RAMONAS they played at The Think Tank Newcastle .An All female band, devoted to The Ramones! The singer looking strangely like Joey Ramone! Another night out on the town for me! http://www.ramonas.co.uk

Previously in a recent visit to my home town, I saw a  Ramones cover band  they all wore black wigs and were pretty good. But I have to say I saw The real Ramones who I saw in Queens New York, back in the early 80’s on the same bill as Meatloaf! The Ramones were all about the energy and are great to listen to for a pick me up. J

I know, I bet you’re wondering what’s happening to all the walking!

Plans for Spring Walks

As Spring is in the air I have been actively arranging walks. Things are taking shape and it looks like my walking activities will pick up more in the Spring. At time of writing, I’m currently staying at South Shields a five-minute walk from the beach. On Friday evening  I walked along the beach with my old flat mate and dog.  The light was fantastic ( I came out without camera and phone) but it was fantastic to see ships and just a bit of space.

I was peeved I hadn’t taken the camera on that walk, but it wasn’t really planned, I was totally spaced out having arrived up North..

COULSDON CIRCULAR

 Pony with a lot of Bread on the menu

Just had to  stop to take a shot of this, spotted on a recent walk . How much bread can he eat?

Pony with a wide selection of bread

Until next time.

I will love you and leave you..x

Happy Easter