Jun
2018

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe

A new advertising campaign from Transport For London

It has been launched to raise awareness of air pollution issues in the capital and the new Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is due to come into effect in April 2019. It features a choir of children singing the famous Hollies hit, All I need is the air that I breathe. A great song in its day I have had it on my I Pod for some years; takes me back, reminds me of better days. (in some ways.!)

The pollution in inner cities is rife. As a cyclist who works in the inner city, I get blasts of fumes in my face on a regular basis. I get sore throats and headaches as part of the parcel. Getting out of the inner cities & London as often as possible is essential.

Hastings to Rye

Walking to Rye from Hastings recently I clocked up 17.1 miles which is equal to 39,340 steps and 85 floors, a long walk! I can’t pretend it was easy as it was only my second attempt of leading this walk and left most of the decisions to Martin who was co-leading.

The mist at the beginning of the walk didn’t help by throwing us into corners and then having to backtrack. We got there in the end. I think after much thought I prefer the walk to start at Rye and finish at Hastings.  Might try to master that before the summer ends.

sheep relaxing

Happy sheep among the daisies, sitting outside Cambor Castle

 

We walked in the mist all the way through Hastings Country Park by the time we got to the military canal leading to Rye it had cleared up nicely.

 

Winchelsea ButteRfly on a Buttercup

Picture of a Winchelsea Butterfly landed on a buttercup, courtesy of Chelin Miller who also blogs http://www.chelinmiller.com

 

 

Not a very nice walk to The Lovely Gallery!

Last Sunday more to do with the trains not working than any real desire to walk, we trudged uphill on an urban walk from Brixton to Sydenham High street; the walk was about 6 miles. For some reason, I decided to let the map on my I Phone dictate the way; whereas usually when walking to Penge East I would at least walk to Crystal Palace  & down through the park. We missed a couple of turnings so it was a bit of a bore.

We were rewarded for our efforts, as we visited The Lovely Gallery. It was great that the artist gave a talk about his work and as it was the last day there, we were presented with wine to help us appreciate the exhibition. It takes time to adjust the eyes from an Urban sprawl to see beyond everyday reality.! Got there in the end.

Followed by homemade scones with jam and strawberries, lovingly baked by the gallery owner, we had an off the cuff great day out. Worth a visit if you are in the area

The  Lovely gallery

Down to Earth

Down to Earth -Martin Fidler displaying his latest collection http://www.martinfidler.com

 

Canterbury Trails-Kent Linear Walk

From door to door, the walk added up to 16.5 miles, 24,230 steps and climbed 25 floors.  We ambled alongside The Great Stour river through Blean woods to the University of Kent Campus descending into the city centre for a few beers in the City of Canterbury. A whole day of Sunshine!

Sheep flat out in Cantebury

Came across herds of sheep flat-out.

PIC OF TIRED HOT SHEEP

SHEEP FLAT OUT

looking down towards Cantebury

Heading inland to Canterbury

 

The Canterbury walk, although long was nowhere as strenuous as the Hastings to Rye, or the Seaford to Eastbourne I led recently. I must be a glutten for punishment as I’m determined now to go back and get the  RYE TO HASTINGS ROUTE under my belt.

I prefer having the option to stop at Winchelsea & have a sit down near the beach at  Petts Level before ending up in Hastings, it just works better. Additionally, Hastings is a bit more lively than Rye so to end up at Hastings you know you have a load of pubs and possibly a bit of live music to look forward to at the end of the long walk.

I just need to work out if there’s a way of cutting out the Country Park perhaps going around, I have done variations on this route following other leaders so it’s worth a try.

I’m currently up in Newcastle Upon Tyne my hometown visiting The Cluny in Ouseburn Valley and getting out and about up the coast. I will regale you with More tales about that next post, as always at the end of the month every month. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May
2018

Walking With The Beast

Where are you going?

sun coming down at Eastbourne

Nearly There?

 

I have been writing about Walks and things discovered along the way for some years now. It’s an infinite subject.

Are you Walking away from someone or something? Or towards an event; walking for charity? on a Demo, a stroll in the park, walking for health, walking with the Beast? I love my little 25-minute lunchtime walk, it can take the edge off as I leave my desk, log out of my computer and phone, I walk up Camberwell Grove to smell the roses!

Walking with The Beast can relate to that suffocating feeling like an Incubus nightmare when the depression smothers you and you can’t think straight anymore. Taking that long needed walk can release the beast in all it’s might throw it around a bit, wrestle with it and hopefully beat it.

Back in the eighties, I was in love with a band called The Gun Club and sadly the singer died prematurely of a stroke in his early 30’s. The song Walking With The Beast was one of theirs. I diverse somewhat but it pays good heed to accept life’s’ imperfections and striving too hard to be good can be equally as damaging. Walk a bit with the beast sometime and discover it’s nothing to be scared of.!

My planned walk from Seaford to Eastbourne

The previous day it had rained all day, and I had been thinking about joining up with Unite they were holding a demonstration in Central London. I decided to give it a miss on this occasion. Have a bit of a wind down from work and prepare for my big walk.

 

Blue Skies Open Heath, wild flowers

Blue skies open space

Fortunately, the sun came out in the afternoon which made for a very pleasant day walking. We covered the actual Seven Sisters in an hour and got to Eastbourne for 5 pm. We had walked 15 miles by the end of the day.

picture of walkers at Beachy Head

walking from Seaford to Eastbourne

Somewhere Inbetween!

 It is always a pleasure to find things off the cuff. I had attended The Hub weekly Meet up for bloggers in Euston & afterwards, took a short walk to The Wellcome Institution. 

I have been popping in there for some years now. You never know what you will find. I rarely plan a visit there.

Sire  

Strange picture of Bull with sperm straws on his back!

Strange Beast indeed!

 

A series of large photographic portraits of bulls taken at an Irish stud farm Dovea Genetics.  The sculptures represent different characteristics that are being bred into cattle such as being hornless, being able to withstand changes in climate. The colourful straws are semen straws! Somewhat complex content. See Link Below for full details.

https://wellcomecollection.org/installations/WryoVx8AAAjk9Xg

 If that wasn’t strange enough I then walked into a room following my ears/

Under -A Video Installation

There were 2 video projections named Under exploring the 3 elements which measure free diving:  time, distance and depth. Each of the Under films was entirely shot and performed on a single breath of air in the Red Sea.

Coming Up

Tomorrow I lead the walk Hastings to Rye see my Up & Coming walk page for further details.

 

Apr
2018

A LEADER AMONG LEADERS

LEADING A WALK

Doing the Recce ( An old-fashioned word meaning setting the scene, or working out the walk)

On Friday I set off to lean a new walk. Hastings to Rye. I had two other group leaders helping me, I would have been lost otherwise. It is essential to do this to find out; what works, where the toilets are, where to eat, how long it takes and any changes that may have been made En-route.) I’m sure when I lead the walk on 1/6/2018 it will be a perfect day!  Hopefully, Martin will be a joint leader on this walk. Martin & I had previously walked on a walk led by another South Bank Group member but it was from Rye to Hastings, so both of us were sort of doing this a bit based on that memory.

view of Hastings town from top of stairs

A view from the hill of Hastings.

 

GOING BACKWARDS HASTING TO RYE

 In a way, this was really creating a new walk, based on some knowledge of the area. Getting to Hastings was easy and we headed straight through the old town and turned in at a side entrance by The Dolphin Inn, there is a steep staircase leading up to East Cliffs Hastings.

 

Bollards sign post routes

These bollards really help

 

Martin is well acquainted with Hastings, as he occasionally displays his artwork at a Gallery near the seafront at St Leonard’s. On this occasion, he met us in Hastings and told us there was a warning about erosion in Hastings Country Park which meant we would be diverted.

 

a bridge crossing over near

I recognise this bit, leads to a naturist beach

 

We were keen to avoid too much of the steep climbs of which there are many. The diversion worked quite well as we only had 3 difficult steep climbs in which you have to stop at the end to catch your breath. Hastings Country Park is pretty well signposted but is vast; if you are not careful it is easy to get waylaid then exhausted. Texan Jane held firmly to the map correcting us when we were going wrong. Both Jane & Martin have been leading walks for many years, but still, it was my walk, but we all contributed to making it happen. The rain poured down from 2 pm- 6 pm, we had no choice but to carry on.

 

coming out of woods to cliff overlooking sea

Coming out to Fairlight

picture from cliffs coming out of Hastings Country Park

Looking out to Sea, huge clouds, lots of rain, from 2pm-6pm

 

Gray and blue skylight picture of sea

looking towards Petts level

seat with a view over coast

Seat with a view, out to sea.

 

leaders leading the way

Where now Jane? eh, Martin?!!!

a picture of sign post in three directions

I’m sure it’s this way, yes definitely, I ‘m sure…… 

 

Buying the right tickets & learning how to get around the somewhat overcomplicated  system

My word of advice is to avoid advanced tickets if possible and try to get the off-peak return instead. Split ticketing is another way of possibly getting a cheaper ride and using the oyster up to Zone 9 then buying the ticket from further out. Below is a link which has some interesting information about travelling, I occasionally attend a Blog Meet UP Group in Euston and would recommend this blog about travel. blog/travel-money-matters/5-tips-for-cheap-train-travel

 Having the right clothes

Having the right walking gear is essential, the subject deserves it’s own blog, although that might be a bit boring. Google, Goretex! and you will be on the right track. It is not fun being soaking wet, knowing we have another 8 miles to walk in the rain, believe me!

camber castle near Rye

picture of ruined but still standing Camber Castle

Looking through the window of Camber Castle

 

Please subscribe to my blog to help it grow.  The more people who read it the better. One day I may get some advertisers to pay me to write about their products, an ambition I have yet to work on.! 

When I first joined the Ramblers in 2011 I received a free copy of The Best Walks in Britain, and took it with me on my first visit to Seaford; from where I took a bus to East Dean then walked back to Seaford via The Seven Sisters, after I completed my Accredited walk leaders course, I started taking a group out doing variations on a theme. This year I am extending it to Eastbourne, which is roughly an extra 4 miles. See my Up & Coming Walk Page for further details.

http://icantexplainmyfeet.com/places-to-visit/up-and-coming-events/

 

Until next time keep on keeping on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

t

 

 

Mar
2018

The Rite of Spring

finding the moment

It’s been extremely frustrating recently, not being able to get out on long walks, due to an excessive workload. A change of scenery and a good long walk with a bunch of people is very good for the soul. Getting muddy boots and feeling the fresh air is invigorating. I’m so missing it.

It’s been too long, I think the furthest I’ve walked since November is probably about 6 miles. Mainly from Clapham to Brixton, the furthest being to Chelsea, or Penge via Crystal Palace Park.

I’m not getting anywhere near my 10,000 steps a day, due to cycling to work and back. Still, improvements have been made to my working life which is why I haven’t been getting out. So Happy Easter, welcome to a damp weekend.

 The South Downs Lewes

Frogs doing what frogs do!

 

SOUTH DOWNS LEWES SUSSEX

This time last year or thereabouts I had decided to go off on my own walking across the South Downs and came across these mating frogs. I really enjoyed being out in nature. I will be having my 1st non-urban walk April 13/4/2018 re-visiting, The South Downs Lewes for a similar walk.

If I can have a few wee runs around the park during the next coming weeks, it should prepare me a bit for my practice walk from Hastings to Rye at the end of April.  I will be leading that June the 1st so need to get out and learn the route. Luckily someone wants to do it with me, so less chance of getting lost. I’m also leading Seaford to Eastbourne in May.

Sharing Blogs

In the meantime, I would like to share an old blog written by a yoga teacher who I met in Scotland back in 2011, at a yoga retreat. 

http://icantexplainmyfeet.com/yoga-in-scotland-living-loving-life/

Beautiful Lake

Looking back at the pictures I feel a strange wave of sadness.

I haven’t seen anywhere as beautiful since.

 

H A P P B I R T H D A Y  B R Y A N

MARCH 31ST 2018

©Julie Connelly

Feb
2018

Brixton versus Clapham

Brixton v Clapham

There’s no comparison really Brixton is cool and edgy and Clapham, well Clapham, just isn’t cool and edgy. To be serious though, due to my lack of time to go out on walks, I have got to thinking why not write about places I know about. I have lived in Brixton since 1984 and have been on nodding terms with  Clapham, Brixton’s posh friend, for many years.

Ritzy Saturday Afternoon this cool looking couple got in the way of my camera! Watch out for protests outside for the living wage

 

Hang on a minute, I think I’m experiencing feelings for Clapham!

Until recently I rarely had much reason to visit Clapham.
On occasions, I have met up with friends to go to Eco, a Pizza place with a touch of class, it is spacious & runs a great service, I have never been disappointed in my many years of visiting them.  http://www.ecorestaurants.com

Just off the high street, I have also been known to make the odd visit to Clapham Manor Street to sample the beer.  http://www.thecraftbeerco.com

Sun shadow at side of The Clapham Tap

On my walks to Chelsea, I pass the bar heading towards the old Railway bridge across to Matrimony walk, leading to Wandsworth Road, straight on to Battersea Park, into  Chelsea. One of my favourite urban walks.

In-between Clapham & Brixton If you look there is always something to see

ONCE A PLACE FOR FILM SETS

REMAINS OF A FILM SET WAREHOUSE

An interesting looking poster outside a hair salon previously a corner pub

In NYC in September there were a lot of outside places to play chess, looks like it’s catching on in Clapham North

Clapham Old Town

MANY years ago I jammed in this place with ‘Those girls’ a  line up that didn’t last very long, but it was  a cool place to hang out

Once upon a time, many years ago, in Clapham Old town people lived in these and one of them was a rehearsal studio!

 

CLAPHAM does have the Common and the old town it is nothing if not quaint, with an authentic French Café situation on the corner of Bromwell St. Old town does have some lovely shops, and diverse cafes.

I have had the soup many times at Tart, but do check, as some soups like Tuscany bean soup sounds vegetarian, but when I had that it had bits of pork in it. Just ask, & they will serve without; they are nothing but nice. It is Clapham after all.

The old Clapham House Picture house on Venn St. A really nice area just off the high street.

Brixton still knocks the socks off Clapham

mural, rastafari man, wall outside Brixton Arcade

Massive Mural Brixton Market

Clapham is growing on me but there is something about Brixton that can’t be matched. I think it’s the sheer diversity, and in terms of trendy new places popping up all the time. Brixton has the lot. Brixton Academy, and a range of small clubs, lots of bars, a huge library a better high street, lots of markets, Brockwell park.

Atlantic Road near The Dogstar Club

 

Give me back my wig

 

CARLTON MANSIONS COLDHARBOUR LANE BRIXTON

Once a Housing Coop , cheap rent

On the corner of Atlantic Road/Coldharbour Lane Brixton

This building is about to be redeveloped or pulled down. I knew several people who lived here paying about £5 a week rent.

Considering the flats were so pokey and had toilets virtually in the living space, that was probably too much to pay anyway.

They were a  cooperative and as far as I know most people have been evicted, hopefully to a better place. Still, good parties and other shenanigans happened there.

CAMBERWELL THE GROVE

Up to the top of The Grove, cut up an alley, down a back lane, and back into Love Walk, a half hour walk. 

LOTS OF OLD ALLEYWAYS IN CAMBERWELL

My walk up and down The Grove is something I  try to fit into my lunch break;  I just love looking at the houses and gardens and breathing a bit of air.

While I walk back and forth to two working offices, not to mention my Sunday post at Pimlico. I consider my options and at the present have various options to consider  I think less work is the better option, but what to get rid of!

Next post will be the Easter Post more jiving and conniving to follow.

keep cool & keep walking, you know it’s good for you.

Check out my Up & Coming walks  Page for new walks.