Jul
2017

Happy Birthday I can’t explain my Feet -Best posts 2014-2015

Best Walks of 20142015

 As promised this month it is the best walk/blogs of 2014-2015. It’s difficult to pick the best walks, or the best blogs;or even the best pictures, but did manage to select a few.  All walks are archived, so can be accessed by month and date on the right hand side.

My favourites of 2014

February 2014 Westgate to Margate…

A familiar stroll – See archives for more stories and pictures.

MARGATE BEACH FEBRUARY 2014

 

May 2014 Urban Landscape

One of my favourite off the cuff walks.

The entrance to the Wharf has a varied display of street art, sculpture & murals.

A musical tide chimer….

July 2014 Photography in Posts

Walking the cliffs of Dover.

Wild flowers on cliff top Dover

Photography is another tricky art form, depending on what camera you use will determine whether you can size them up all the same. After a lot of experimenting with different cameras, I realised the convenience of an I phone is sufficient but a portable recharger and an old I Phone is needed. One phone just for pictures the other for maps on very long walks. Occasionally I like to use a 35 mm camera. 

SEPTEMBER 2014 – TWO WALKS- SUSSEX & THORNEY ISLAND

Rolling rollin rollin

Bales of Hay in Sussex

 

Thorney Island

Thorny Island looking out to sea

 

Broken up at sea…

 

My favourites of 2015

Rambling on is a way of describing someone who is talking a lot from one subject to the next, not necessarily coherently, or accurately but often; hopefully entertaining.

March 2015 Mad as the Mist and Snow 

Is one of my favourite blogs, I am writing about what I like and not just a description of a walk I have been on. Although in the main most of the blogs are about walks, my rambles can include anything along the way.  I can ramble on or go for a ramble. Two bonus audio tracks included in this one.

April Oh April

I love these photos taken at Peckham Rye Station with a 33 mm camera, they look picturesque.  I just love open spaces and railway lines.  April is always a good time to get out walking .

April  2015, spent a lot of time walking about London along the river. I have some of the best days doing this.

 

Greenwich meantime clock

Keeping an eye on the time walking from Blackheath to Greenwich

 

July 2015 -Cudham Circular

Watch your head!

A great day of surprises,including this bird of prey we encountered en-route. We then visited a fantastic a wild garden, opened for public viewing. Well worth reading about. An inspirational garden, meeting the owners was a real bonus. Walk led by Judith Robertson.

August 2015 Berwick to Seaford

 A day of fantastic weather.

 

May, June & July are great for walking .

It can get a bit hot- so watch out for that, walking in the outdoors, & getting dehydrated. No shops here.!

 

September 2015 A perfect day

Walking from Chesham to Missenden. 

 

BIG SKY BEAUTIFUL DAY

 

October 2015 Belfast

I had lived in Galway and travelled quite a bit in The Republic of Ireland. I did a degree in Humanities as a mature student and chose Irish Studies as my main subject.

Up until October 2015  I had never visited Belfast and thought it was about time I did. I cried on the tour bus going through the Sectarian area of West Belfast in the Falls Road area. See October 2015 archives for full article.

The Flag is everywhere in Belfast.

 

People travel from afar to see The Giants Causeway County Antrim

 

November 2015 Meet Up Groups

I was  connecting with meet up Groups, including Word Press who have given me this platform to design and write my monthly blog. Fantastic tool, & inspiring creative people. Also teamed up with UK Explorer a new walking group. See blog for further details.

December 2015 Dirty Boots South Shields

 I love visiting the place I was born. I have started re-visiting over the last few years.

THE BEACH SOUTH SHIELDS

 

Overall in 2014 & 2015,  I went out on a good selection of walks and trips. Next Month is my final Best of series covering the years 2016-2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Aug
2014

Edit Edit Edit

 

EDIT EDIT EDIT

 

I noticed a typo on one of my  recent blogs , I don’t often look back at them but because i had been getting a lot of pings !and track backs, I was curious as to what was happening,I don’t fully understand  Pings & track backs but I think it boils down to people spamming the site, that is my simplistic view of it and for now that’s about as far as I want to venture into that territory.Tis not good to have errors once published, but sometimes these things happen. Now some may say Tis is incorrect but that’s another story as after all we might say Tis so why can’t we write it instead of It is or It’s.! Well that’s about as technical as I will get about language for now.

Some people are bothered some people wouldn’t even notice.That’s why writers have editors! that is where a lot of the work is done, the devil is in the detail. Being a walker/photographer/writer and last but not least THE EDITOR. I do apologise and hope it didn’t put anyone off reading my future blogs.

Moving on and back to my walking,

I wrote in my last blog about photography in blogs ,well since that I have been on a couple of walks, I will spare you the details but the camera I was given is broken! and it was my fault. Trying to force shut the door where the batteries lived.So no photos from the last two walks.

The answer is blowing in the wheat!

Why is wheat so beautiful?

 

I walked from Rye to Hastings again  a tough walk with a lot of steep ascents and descents and the following week, just over 14 miles a circular walk from Lewes, a fantastic walk, but the last 4 miles were tough. AT the highest peak in the South Downs we were 590 feet above sea level the fantastic spacious South Downs is an excellent place to walk, it took over 5 hours of walking.

I’m Going to do two more walks in August and will go back to my 35mm film . It’s what I know and like. I’m sure I could use one film to cover both walks. the first walk I’m doing is Lewes to Saltdean which I have done before but not with the group so I will be interested to see what route they take, the second walk is a new one.

A gateway to the Sea at Dover

 

 

Next blog is Thorny Island.

 

Jul
2014

Photography in posts

 Photography in Posts

 

A gate in village St Cirq Lapopie

A gate in village
St Cirq Lapopie

Theres’ no doubt about it, a few nice photos in a blog sets the scene.

But- How much do pictures make the blog?  How much of a photographer do I need to be? Everybody these days is a photographer, and after a conversation in my half hour lunch break with a work colleague,I failed to convey any real sense about why I continue to use film instead of digital. Still, even after getting my film developed I have to decide on maybe 3- 5 pictures to publish in any given blog. Photography is now a big part of my blog, I feel when I go on a proper walk I need to take some pictures.

As always summer in Brixton is a joy to behold !!!  Sitting at my desk trying to be productive; the sound of SIRENS going past the window every five minutes, cars zooming down the road at top speed, people shouting into their mobile phones or just shouting generally, to themselves or someone else, is my background soundtrack.

I’m still not 100% sure whether I really want to do the 14 mile walk Rye to Hastings. But I’m getting claustrophophic..Neighbours to either side of me, (party last night,) possibly another one tonight!. I think I’m going to have to go on the walk.

There I have talked myself into it again…. I may come back bedraggled with sunstroke but I will give it a go.

My last trip to France was a bit fraught what with the train and taxi strike to contend with . Getting to Cahors from London left me slightly frazzled, ditto coming back, and to top it all the temperature was peaking around 34 celsius on some days. Not my ideal weather by any means. I did not do a lot of walking, far too hot, but there are dedicated walkers  passing through the village of Montcuq every day as part of a pilgrimage they do. It’s a famous walk they do and one year I may even do it. Who knows?

This picture is of a clock in the centre of Cahor. It was an exceedingly hot day and we stopped off here to have a coffee and listen to a soundcheck for a band performing that evening , so it was hot and loud. clock in Cahors

This cobblers had a unique window display of miniature shoes, a picture I did not take, and this is where my question about photography is now really coming into play.cobblers in Cahors

Having a film restricts the amount of photos you can take, the time, & cost of film development. I like the process admittedly, as I don’t know exactly what I’m going to get, but I’m going to try an old digital camera that has been given to me and see how I get on with that. I have used digital before and can’t say I got totally into it and the camera conked out pretty quickly..

 

name of river?

The river lot runs through Cahor and onward down towards an area we visited for a picnic by the river and  to visit a historic village called Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. A photograph is the equivalent to a thousand words. How could you describe everything you have seen on every walk you have gone to? A collection of photos with a few snippets is probably sufficient. Depending whether I have anything significant to say about an area or life in general, a blog can really only say so much.

Back to the UK having had a film developed

Before visiting France I spent a nice weekend in Newcastle and the coast and the weather was perfect. June has to be my favourite month.

Someone sailing away- wish it was me

perfect day in june tynemouth

A perfect day in Tynemouth this photo could be anywhere but it was truly lovely, very relaxing.

port of Tyne june 2014

One of my very favourite sights has to be the bridges over the Tyne, this was taking from the riverside having pub lunch on a Sunday in June.

tyne at nightThe night before walking back from The Cluney having seen The Rezillos this was taken with a camera phone .I’m not sure why I haven’t got into a camera phone at this stage. It was a beautiful evening, there was hardly anyone around as well which was strange. The revellers for some reason don’t make it down to the river!! they stay in town.

Walk from Dover

MOVING to FURTHER ventures with the walking group on the 12th of July, it was warm, but not a clear day. The walk was a circular walk from Dover, we could not see France as it was not clear enough.

A gateway to the Sea at Dover

A gateway to the Sea at Dover

 

White cliffs of Dover

White cliffs of Dover

Wild flowers on cliff top Dover

Wild flowers on cliff top
Dover

Last but not least… I did not expect to see these on my walk……

Very curious creatures, they ran towards us as they were extremly curious

Very curious creatures, they ran towards us as they were extremely curious

Yes walking can be interesting at times, you have to keep on going and you never know what you might come across.

 

Until next time

Best Wishes

Julie

 

Apr
2013

Learning to lead & the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

 

Sticking To The Plan

There’s a lot to be said for sticking to a plan, but then again, it can be a total pain and I prefer an open-minded approach to life. I recently did the leaders walk in the freezing snow. Personally a 8 mile walk in the freezing cold is not my idea of fun, and I don’t hold the No pain no gain attitude. But in this case I felt like I had to stick to the plan, because if I didn’t I would have missed the chance to get together with the group and learn something.I met up with the South Bank Walkers Group on a Sunday morning and we discussed the roles of being a Walk Leader and Map reader. It was interesting and I have put my name forward to do my first walk later in the year. The next newsletter comes out in July so I will be in the July to October issue and I’m going to lead the Seven Sisters Walk. For this walk you need reasonably good weather. I haven’t decided the date yet, but his year at some point!  Now that Spring seems to be here I can get out on some decent walks and will be out next  Saturday and be writing about that next Sunday.

In the meantime, I am enclosing a very short book review, a novel about someone who went on a very long walk.!

 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Written by Rachel Joyce published by Black Swan 

A tale of a walk of 627 miles in 87 days from Kingsbury to Berwick

book cover Harold Fry

I would describe it as an old-fashioned English story; quaint, sweet, innocent & sad.In short the main character the elderly retired Harold is living an intolerable existence, his wife barely speaks or looks at him, they live separate lives both thwarted by the experience of their son’s suicide. The story takes off really when Harold gets a letter from someone called Queenie to tell him she remembered his kindness and wanted to thank him and that she was dying.

He wants to do the right thing but isn’t sure what it is.  Initially he is going to post a letter to her but just can’t face it and feels, in the light of someone dying a letter was nowhere near adequate.He starts walking to a letter box not wanting to post it after meandering past 3 or 4 post-boxes he gets the idea to keep walking and personally visit Queenie, starting in Devon where he lives, to Berwick where she is dying in a hospice. We are not too sure who this character Queenie is at this point.

A lot of the background isn’t revealed until midway in the walk, when Harold is extremely undernourished and ill prepared for the distance walking the 600 miles from Devon to Berwick.The story of how his life became so unbearable becomes clear as the walk evolves.He meets waifs and strays along the way, and even becoming a minor celebratory with many people jumping on the bandwagon with their own reasons for being out there!

There are pleasurable aspects and a newfound joy to be discovered in the simplicity of walking, and living outdoors under an English sky and countryside, that still holds many beauties, something he had forgotten to take time to appreciate.He encounters both a painful recollection of what it is he is escaping and the joy of not knowing where he is going, the unknown future he is moving towards.

It unravels during his walk that Harold’s father was an abusive alcoholic and his wife blamed Harold’s past for the demise of their son, who had turned into a layabout, drunk and a drug addict before hanging himself.

The relationship with Queenie is one of two alienated souls who manage to find solace in each other while working in the Brewery. As Harold is of a time, so is Queenie, an unassuming secretary without the usual attire and personality associated with a secretary, she is humble and conscientious which does her no favours under the rule of the chauvinistic factory owner who try’s it on with her and intimidates her constantly in front of the rest of the staff.

Harold offers some support to Queenie in terms of old fashioned friendship with no strings attached. In turn she takes the blame when Harold goes off the rails when he as he had reacted violently and wrecked the bosses office, whilst still in shock and grief hearing of the death of his son.

The end of the road offers Harold reconciliation with his wife after bearing his soul having witnessed the demise of Queenie who had simply wanted to say thanks; she could no longer actually speak as her tongue had been cut out in an operation relating to her brain tumour. It was a moving end to the story and really the end had to reconcile him and his wife, additionally it is moving to read about the encounters with hangers-on he meets on the road and the different types of people, each with their own stories and grievances slightly lost in need of an awakening, they follow Harold and also contribute to his own healing.

JULIE C©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ÓJulie Connelly