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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jun
2017

I can’t explain my feet turns five!

I can‘t explain my feet  2012- 2017

I can’t explain my feet was created & designed by myself in July 2012. To celebrate I will select some favourites throughout the summer months.I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing, learning, and getting out and about walking. Just select date from archives on right hand side bar.

2012

July 2012  Shoes and Boots My first ever blog.

August 2012  The Charlston Farmhouse Experience ( my first experience with a walking group)

September 2012 Rye- Hastings (my favourite walk)

October 2012 Thinking about walking thinking about writing. Newcastle, Seaford/Glynde. Black n White pics.

December 2012 London life/Music Machine (music is never far away from my thoughts)

 

1979 you could smoke on tube- All night!!

Looking back & Looking forward

I know when I first started this blog I was very excited. As I progressed and learnt about using Word Press, I joined a Word Press meet up group them formed a meet up group, I learned about different host providers, & about all the aspects of publishing on-line. It has since become a part of my life. Finding a walk, going out taking pictures- then writing about it & publishing it.

Any feedback is appreciated.  At the moment though I need to get off the treadmill, take a step back and see what’s next.  Continue reading

May
2017

MAY

 Seven Sisters Walk Done n Dusted.

A great group & really good weather .

I certainly feel like I have got to know this area of East Sussex pretty well. The  next walk I’m going to learn is the Rye to Hastings walk.  See next blog for more details, of future walks.

I walk therefore I am!

 

Continue reading

Mar
2017

Cows, frogs, humans & others!

Exploring East Sussex

Looking through the window of closed pub in Glynde

No service today.

 

I had bought an OS LANDRANGER map 198 which covers Brighton and Lewes , it went as far as Firle  but not as far as Charleston House which is sort of where I wanted to go. Weather wise it was a bit grey and overcast. Last time I had visited a few weeks earlier it had been snowing so this was an improvement. I was recognising land marks and getting my bearings in the area. The village cafe was also closed until 17th of March. It would have been nice to have had a tea break and look at my map, but the best I could do was sit on a wall by the bus stop and rest my feet.

The answer is blowing in the Wind my friend

 

I got as far as the end of glynde village, uncertain as to how to get across the A27 without getting run over. It was another 5 miles to Charleston, so I figured I would get the train to Glynde next visit and walk to Charleston house from there. Or train to Charleston and walk back to Lewes which is about 8.5miles.

Frogs,cows and other friends of mine!

Near the start of my walk on The South Downs towards Glynde.

Frogs getting matey

I was on my own and not making any noise I just stuck my head over the railing and they swam towards me, there were quite a few of them swimming about. Real Cute.Confirmation that there is so much wildlife ‘out there’ not something we are aware of living in cities. Although a frog did manage to get into my garden at Railton road once and was living in a big glass jar I had left there! Not to mention the other frogs I had to kiss !

I was in a bit of a strange frame of mind having had a few dealings with some militant vegans on Face Book. Frankly the experience had left me feeling a bit disturbed. Being out in nature walking alone gives me time to unwind and let my thoughts run free. Returning from my walk heading towards the Golf club and just about to walk out of the downs back into Lewes, this old fellow waddled slowly towards me. He was really cool.

Animal Welfare

Earlier in the year I had  spent some months studying for a diploma in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutritional Therapy. I have been a vegetarian in the main since my early 20’s after watching a documentary about pig farming, it put me off eating meat. I was/am beginning to consider a more vegan lifestyle. Every little act of awareness can help to put a stop to unnecessary cruelty to innocent animals. The Body Shop & Neil’s Yard are two companies I know that have good ethics regarding quality and animal welfare. Testing products on animals is one thing I am totally against. I walked through the field looking at the cows wondering what sort of life they had, they seemed content from what I could sense. They were out in the fields grazing.

On returning home I eventually worked out how to redeem my code to download the ordinance survey map onto my phone . I  was about to buy my return ticket for the following week to Lewes to continue my walk, engineering works were scheduled for the next three weeks in the area.

Engineering Works

It just puts a spanner in the works. It makes the day too long. Lewes is near Brighton, getting to Lewes from Brixton is a two-hour journey each way. Add on engineering works, & any other diversions, makes for a tedious day.

Off to Newcastle 1st of April.

 

Feb
2017

Destinations & Travel

Walking/learning/living

It’s good to be inspired. I recently attended Destinations- The Holiday & Travel Show at Olympia. It was interesting listening to Nicholas Crane speak at The Stamford Writers stage about how he researched and wrote his latest book.  Most people will have seen him on the BBC series Coast.  He was an impressive speaker. His talk covered about 5,000 years in 40 minutes. Not an easy task.

The making of The British Landscape

Guardian review 30/09/ 2016 (extract from The Making of The British Landscape)

“The first “little ice age” hit around 6700BC. About 500 years later, a huge North American lake broke through its dam and dumped such a huge amount of fresh water into the Atlantic that the Gulf Stream shut down. Temperatures plummeted, trees died, sea water pushed into rivers and Britain’s landscape changed again. Only 200 years later – a geological blink – a tsunami crashed over Doggerland. Britain became an island and isolated”-

  Exploring the British Isles and beyond

Finding further inspiration to get out and explore the island that I live on.

Julie Bradbury has a current show on ITV, where she walks along some of the most picturesque landscapes in Britain.  Her walks are always on a perfect summer’s day!  Interesting  & picturesque without being excessively long or difficult.  Unlike Julia I’m not commissioned by ITV or the BBC to write or to walk. This is a pure solo effort. Looking at her website  I noticed she has massive sponsorship obviously with a team of website experts and marketing advertising behind her. Unfortunately I have a full-time job and do not have a team of people to do my marketing and promoting.  Nor can I control the weather ! See below for the link to the fabulous Julia Bradbury.http://www.theoutdoorguide.co.uk/

Getting to know Lewes and the surrounding areas.

I may not have a team of experts behind me but that’s not going to stop me having a go. I’m getting better organised than ever. Considering my previous chaotic existence this is quite an achievement. !

Sheep spaced out on a Snowy day in Lewes/South Downs, Sussex

Lewes Sussex has been an area I have been venturing into on and off since joining a walking group, I now want to make my mark and learn to lead walks in this area. A friend from the South Bank Ramblers Group came along with me on a bleak mid winter’s day. I wasn’t sure where to start and had a few maps with ideas, but opted just to go the tourist office in the high street.http://www.lewes.gov.uk/tourism/

We kept it short as it was freezing we did a return from Lewes to the foot of Glynde and back again, then a brief walk around the town to the castle. We were rewarded with a fantastic vegetarian breakfast.
Laporte’s a French Café /Wholefood shop in Lansdowne Place Lewes.
www.laportes.co.uk

It really was the bleakest of days. We stopped to have a swift half while waiting for the train.  The pub is a five-minute walk from the railway station. We walked over the bridge, where I noticed the cloud parted slightly, the glowing full moon in the day time sky glimmered like a jewel.I frantically struggled to switch my phone on & then the same clouds closed like a pair of curtains!

If you look very carefully by enlarging the picture you will see a bright white cloud, closing back over the moon.!

It came, it went The Snow Moon This was also a Penumbral lunar eclipse, visible in most of North & South America, an auspicious day for some.For more information on the next eclipse known as Annual Solar Eclipse Sunday 28th of Februaryhttps://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2017-february-26 Live coverage will be streamed.

 

Until next time, keep on keeping, more adventures from me at the end of March .

 

 

 

 

Jan
2017

Return to Godalming please?!

 Guildford to Godalming

A doddle in comparison to planning it! A breeze in fact, less than it’s printed 6.5 mile description.  Last weekend in between planning for a job interview I decided I was going to do this walk, & buy the ticket in advance as you do.

I needed a walk, I needed some fresh air, no question about that. I checked in the South Bank newsletter for details of the next up and coming walk.

Breaking Ice

The newsletter & on-line South Bank Website said to  buy a return to Godalming and get the 9.30am getting off at Guildford  meeting at 10.15am on the 21st of January.

I’m raring to go. I get onto Train-tracker.  I type in London Waterloo to Godalming return 9.30am. I’m looking but there isn’t a 9.30 train! to Godalming. I called one of the leaders. Yes she tells me, the train is at 9.30am, she is looking at the website and she can see it, she sends me the link. I tell her I’m looking at it too and there is no 9.30am train from Waterloo to Godalming. Something vital is missing in this conversation,but neither of us have a clue what.!

Several emails, phone calls and double checking hours later.  She says she will look into it. I eventually think to put in london to Guildford on Train- Tracker, as no one else has suggested that and lo and behold!- the 9.30am train is there… but it isn’t stopping at Godalming.

‘Going for a walk’

There is a lot more to it than you think.

I now know to buy a return to GUILDFORD. But where is Godalming? The following day, the second leader called me; apparently coming down from the highlands of Scotland to get a phone signal to contact me. Obviously I had no idea that she was in The Highlands. I would not have phoned her to bother her. she seemed somewhat vexed with me when I met her.!

God damn it where the hell is Godamling anyway? It must be on the GUILDFORD LINE. Well it is but the 9.30am train from Waterloo isn’t going there, BUT  a train at 9am is going to Godalming, another at 10am and so on every hour.

I can’t  buy a return from Waterloo at 9.30am to Godalming that stops at Guildford.  Fact.

I have to buy a return to Guildford and a single ticket form Godalming to  Guildford. For those of you still reading, (tell me about it!) please check this out!

How to pronounce Godalming!

Elocution lesson  of the day folks.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eoh53gOFDXk

So where is Godalming?

Guildford to Godalming

 

Well as you can see it’s a walk along the river just under a 2 hour walk. In hindsight perhaps I should have looked it up. The way I look at it though, is the Leaders are organising it, I’m just following. My job is to buy the ticket and join in! I am accredited walk leader but I simply don’t know the Surrey area.

It was a short but sweet walk.

We watched a swan take off in full flight along this river, a magnificent sight ; for a split second I thought about taking a snap shot but it happened so unexpectedly I let it go.

Sweet Bridge en route to Godalming!

 

It was over far too quickly and I left the group at Farncombe as a bunch of the group wanted to have lunch at midday. The rest sat by the river to eat a packed lunch.I decided to split & I carried on to Godalming.  It was only about 25 minutes further to go. The inevitable engineering works, slowed down the journey. I didn’t care, I was going home, and thinking about the Lewes walk the following weekend. I have since found out that the Lewes walk has been cancelled due to engineering works.

Will get a new walk worked out for February. There’s a lot of socialising going on that month, but I will fit it in somewhere.

Guildford Swan Lake

 

Dec
2016

Building Bridges/Burning Bridges?

H A P P Y  N E W  Y E A R  2 0 1 7

My blogs are changing all the time some are full of stories- others are brief and to the point. Well- It’s the end of the year, and as tempting as it is to do a re-run/replay, I think the verdict is still out.  What direction I’m taking? Who knows.

Life may appear to be steady, but in reality is far from it. A big change is well overdue. I have plans in motion and circumstances will change, but unlikely to be at the strike of Midnight on New Years Eve. Oh, if only Cinderella!

I have been writing this blog since 2011 and those of you who know me may understand, that I have a lot of creative ideas I want to explore. Having made a start with various studies and projects, it is a  matter of keeping at it & finding the enthusiasm to carry on. Walking is a big help, it’s a great way to think, unwind and get out in the fresh air.

There are still hundreds of new walks to be discovered and further adventures to be had in 2017. I will be sending out a little Newsletter to some old friends, new acquaintances and others inviting you all to subscribe/comment on my blog. Plans to create a new website in 2017 with different types of writing is on the cards, so let’s see how it all pans out.

In the meantime,  here are a couple of walks done in December.

 

Continue reading

Nov
2016

The Lake District

The Lake District Autumn 2016

cnv00024

Taking the train from London Euston I had a quiet carriage front facing seat, which was a good start. The train was heading to Glasgow & was packed. As the train took off I reminded myself that I must go to Glasgow for a weekend. I have been meaning to go to the yearly Celtic Festival hosted there every January; the live broadcast of various gigs on Radio 3 every year, is as  close as I’ve got to it.

cnv00023 I think I would like to keep going.  Just keep moving on -from one place to the next. Continue reading

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.

 

img_0069

 

 

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

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