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

Apr
2016

Peak District Weekend

A weekend at The Peak District

Starting my journey at St Pancras International.

St Pancras International Champage and Oysters anyone!

St Pancras International
Champagne and Oysters anyone!

 

A GRAND STATION.

I hadn’t realised you could take a train to the UK from St Pancras International . I have only ever used this station to go to Paris on Eurostar. Above the ground floor lays the The East Midlands line. It’s beautifully designed with some really smart-looking restaurants,Including the Champagne and Oyster Bar. I think I could happily spend the day there! This was my starting point for my weekend .

Purchasing tickets on a budget 

I had to purchase various single tickets from different companies, Northern Tickets, Virgin and East midlands. Buying well in advance, you can print them all from the same place.I was off to a place called Hope just outside Sheffield then a small bus journey or walk to Castleton staying in a Hostel for a walking weekend in The Peak District.

Meet Up Group Explorer’s UK

The UK Explorers are  an independent group they organise everything for you and therefore charge for leading the walks.  I was keen to try the night walk in the Peak District and spend a couple of days in a new area .

THE LAMBING SEASON

I took this with my I phone and couldn’t really get too close.

lambing season

My first impression was of a grand tree-lined drive  leading to an old type Manor house, either side of the drive were grass pastures and the sight of very young lambs leaping about or huddling together under the tree. Lambs do truly leap and always make me feel happy. Shortly to feel depressed thinking about their short lives.

Talking the talk Doing the Walk

It can be quite nerve-wracking doing something new but still getting out of the comfort zone never done anyone any harm.. (well it probably did but that’s another story!!)

I had only met a couple of the group before. It’s not a constant group, people can join or leave any time, so you’re not necessarily going to meet the same people every time. It is a good way to get to know areas if your keen on getting out into places to walk at the weekends. We were a group of about 30 and had an annexe to ourselves, there were groups of cyclists and other random groups just out for the weekend. It’s a busy area for walkers.

We started off on Friday night with a night walk. Torches in hand..

Night walk in teh Peak District

Night walk in the Peak District looking for the stars!! sadly it was too overcast and no moon or stars in sight.

 

 

 A PEAK IN THE PEAK DISTRICT

A PEAK IN THE PEAK DISTRICT

 

Plenty of Ups and Downs in this area, or Peaks and troughs..

peaks and troughs

Peaks and Troughs

OUT in the Peak District taking in the views

OUT in the Peak District taking in the views

 

I love sheep

I love sheep

 

We wondered where the lambs were in this idylic spot!

We wondered where the lambs were in this idyllic spot!

 

Continue reading

Jun
2015

Ramble on!

This gallery contains 1 photo.

  Ramble On, “The story of our love for Walking Britain “by Sinclair Mckay   I 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, […]

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

Sep
2014

Thorney Island! A strange hypnotic walk

 

The South Downs and Thorney Island

 

LEWES TO SALTDEAN (linear) – 10 miles

In August I did two walks with the South Bank Group.

The first one was Lewes to Salt Dean, which felt like a fairly familiar walk, having done something similar the previous month. Still was good to get out in the South Downs a  moderate hilly walk with panoramic coastal views as we walked via the villages of Rodmell and Telscombe. We had a Pub lunch at the Abergavenny Arms, Rodmell and then down to the coast at Saltdean. Taking a bus back to Brighton Rail Station.

 

Rolling rollin rollin

Bales of Hay in Sussex

 

Oh how I want to wander …

BIG SKY SUSSEX

BIG SKY SUSSEX

 

The second walk  intrigued  me & so paid a visit to

                  Thorney island.

Bridge to nowhere in particular

Described in the Newsletter as:

“A Moderate walk (joint with North East London) following the coastal path around the island. Birds, boats and beaches. Pub and tea at end of walk at Emsworth. Picnic lunch on the beach.” I googled it briefly to find out where this place was , it was an Island somewhere in Sussex! I didn’t think they had islands in Sussex.!

 

A strangely hypnotic walk, the water to the left of us on this eight – 9 mile walk, walking straight most of the way with the water lapping to the left of us. It became trance like. Perhaps the salt in the water and the fresh air added to that feeling.

After a week in the office it’s always a bit strange to find myself somewhere else, especially out of london. Always a pleasure to escape.

 

The village of West Thorney lies on the east coast of the island and has been incorporated into a British Army military base which occupies the southern part of the island, south of Great Deep. A coastal public footpath, part of the Sussex Border Path encircles the island, but public access to the south of the island is limited to the footpath and the church of St Nicholas at West Thorney. Walkers using the footpath may be asked by intercom to provide their contact details (name, address and mobile phone number) at the security gates to access the southern part of the island. Walkers must keep to the footpath marked with the yellow posts. During the winter months, fortnightly shoots are held on Thorney for partridges, pheasants and snipe.

To the south of the island is Pilsey Island, now joined to Thorney Island by a sandbank, which is an RSPB nature reserve.

Your never quite sure what you are going to come across on a walk and that has to be one of the definite attractions. I prefer to pick a walk I like the sound of then just get up and go. I don’t read up much about it before hand or anything and once there if I find some aspects interesting I can read up about it when I return and perhaps revisit another time.

The Sussex South Downs is a great area for walking and I do hope to carry on exploring this area particular more so on the coast.

UNTIL THEN keep on keeping on

Aug
2013

Food for Thought

Food for thought.

 

AS this is a relatively new blog it’ s difficult to say exactly where I’m going with this. At present I’m making it up as I go along. I have an interest in walking but as well as that I’ am equally interested in writing, reading and music. I may write some reviews when not walking.  So just to summarise this is not a strictly walking blog.

Anyone know that little vegetarian cafe called Food for thought based in Covent Garden,serves,delicious vegetarian food. Not enough restaurants/cafe’s like that. Good prices and decent food. Food for Thought has survived and kept going strong but hasn’t branched out and turned into a chain. It has kept true to itself which is unusual in this day and age.

When I was told that I had a tumour in my jaw a month ago I walked from London Bridge into Central London about and around Covent Garden- The heat was on, the summer crowds were piling in and I was feeling stifled.  Not being able to decide on where to eat  having come straight from work, I was  too anxious to eat  anyway. I was also  disappointed that some of the reliable places  I knew were no longer running business, although Food for thought was still there it was a bit out-of-the-way and closes early in the evening.

You gotta find something positive in any situation .

This blog has been going a year and I’m looking for any contributors who would like to publish a blog about any walk they have done, no matter how small. Just email me julieconnelly@me.com any story you might have that I could possibly use. Maps and pictures also very good.

I’m going to carry on doing it but I will be exploring some other ideas I have about writing blogs. Catching up with some on-line research, reading and some writing exercises. I am trying to broaden my horizons still and find a way to get a bigger audience to read my blog and to network with other bloggers. I still got stuff to figure out about WordPress and options, but I’m taking my own sweet time.

 

Just to remind you.

I will be leading the Seven Sisters Walk on September 14th, it will be the first walk I have ever led.. just stay away from the cliffs edge…

seven sisters cliffs Sussex

All shall be fine.

 

 

 

 

 

until next time..

 

Hope all is well.

BW JULIE

Jan
2013

January , Anybody got the blues?

Anybody got the blues?

Me too.. Not had a walk in a while, in fact since NOVEMBER. I mean a proper walk somewhere nice. I did walk to work and back for a week, when I thought I had a slow puncture  & I couldn’t be bothered to sort it out.

Getting out into the wilderness? Who me? Not I.

A scheduled a walk  Sunday the 27th of January has beenwritten off due to snow all last week.

Although the snow has gone  it is still freezing cold, but at least the sky is clearing and the sun came out yesterday in London.

Phoenix Cinema

Instead, I went to the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley to see a ballet broadcast live from Moscow, not normally something I would do, and I enjoyed it much more than I could have imagined, it was in three parts  with  decent 25 minute intervals .The sets costumes and coordination were beautiful, it was truly sublime. It has been years since I have seen anything so beautiful,.

INTERIOR OF BOSHOI BALLET

INTERIOR OF BOSHOI BALLET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A scene from the ballet La Bayadere. Stunning costumes and sublime coordination.

A scene from the ballet La Bayadere. Stunning costumes and sublime coordination.

 

 

 

Travelling back on the rail replacement service to Kings Cross wasn’t too bad after an afternoon at the cinema; the full moon was shining and I had forgotten how high up it was around HIGHGATE!.

I really must get out more.

Been down in the valley of Brixton far too long, and doing the cycle from Brixton to Camberwell South East London (work) way too long.

Walking through St Pancras International just made me want to get away more , I longed to jump on the Euro Star and drift away.

 

So I guess it’s time to start really digging out some routes to walk, and planning ahead. January is always the longest hardest month of all. Everybody (or a lot of people) are off sick from work and there seems to be more and  more to do.

Trudging around in the snow to get to work is a drag and those that travel on trains  have to endure an extremely bad journey, if there is a train at all.!  The Railways in the South England, seem incapable of delivering a service when we get a bit of snow, it just adds stress to the whole month.

I’m personally ready to say goodbye to January and start looking forward to February and planning some days and weekends away.

 

Until then Happy readers

Adios &  farewell.

©julie

Oct
2012

Thinking about walking- thinking about writing!

Seaford to Glynde

GIANT MUSHROOM

 

I really didn’t fancy going on a walk this weekend I had things on my mind and wanted to write. I persisted  and reasoned that I  could use up a black and white  film to use up. I had bought  that at the airport going to Berlin this summer  hadn’t used it and only taken a few shots in Newcastle. I wasn’t sure how Rural Sussex would photograph especially it being Autumn and the colours being so vivid,but I quite like the effect. I know you can use effects on most smart phones to Black & White, but I vouch that film is very different to digital, and has a different outcome.

Seaford to Glynde

Walking  takes a certain amount of stamina, this was a 11 mile walk in Sussex starting at Seaford to Glynde all in the countryside. We walked up Northwards inland over vast open spaces and quite hilly in parts. A few of us fell over including myself, as parts of the walk was chalky and damp down hill and we kept skidding.The weather had been glorious autumn weather that day but there were still residues of rain from the previous nights of rain. Sometimes I ‘m not really in the mood to walk with a group as groups can split up and this one split into two; slow walkers, and fast walkers.

My legs were hurting and I was too hot , covered in mud! preoccupied about not having the right walking gear and  annoyed that I had burned my only pair of  walking trousers in a rare ironing frenzy!

Such is life.

The walk started at Seaford over the downs to Berwick Church, I had mentioned the church on my first blog, as we walked there from Charleston House.After a pub lunch, the group seemed to split into the Fast and Slow Walkers, I assigned myself to the fast group but we had to keep stopping to wait for the others incase they got lost. I’m sorry to say, but that got very tedious after a while.

Church Yard at Berwick 16th Century Church in Autumn Sunshine

 

Romantic Berwick Church Autumn 2012

Cotswold Outdoor Clothing

Feet and other issues.. as you will gather are an important part of these posts.

I spent too much time the following  day in Cotswold Picadilly trying on totally unsuitable walking boots; designed for climbing Mount Everest and the guy was trying to convince me I needed a size 7 shoe which was ridiculous. No way are my feet that big..!Clarks Shoes measured my feet the following Saturday and confirmed the correct size -one foot was five and half the other 6.! I later went for a reflexology session, which was like a psychological foot reading followed by a foot massage.(not for the faint hearted)

Check out if you want more info on that. it is quite interesting and therapeutic.

www.felicityreflexology.co.uk

 

Newcastle Upon Tyne

Without a doubt it is the best city in the UK

I am from there but have lived in London now longer than I lived in Newcastle.. Still it was my old stomping ground and I still truly love the centre of Newcastle with its magnificent bridges.

It’s been voted as one of the best nightclub areas in Europe. Although we weren’t there for that. Preferring a bit of live music.

We eventually found the Cluny situated in an industrial part near the Tyne, at Blaydon www.thecluny.com it is a great location away from all the hyped up city centre with its gangs of lads and lasses getting legless! CHECK  it out if you are ever in town.

We tried to walk there on the Friday night we arrived and it was such a lovely romantic walk along the Tyne, however we were on the wrong side of the Tyne going in the wrong direction! I think my London head was a bit disoriented, so we opted for seeing a Ramones cover band on the Westgate Road, who were almost as good as the real Ramones who I saw in New York in 1986! The support band were a raucous punk band, and getting a bit bored waiting for the main band we slipped in to the arts centre next door where they were having Tango lessons! so we had a beer and watched that while waiting to see the Ramones cover band. Some contrast!

 

We did get to the Cluny  the following night in a cab!! It is situated in a valley on the Tyne under a massive old bridge. It is my idea of romance! On the sunday there is a big market on the Tyne and we strolled along there and then visited the Baltic.

I’m off to France next week so I might take some of my unfinished writing there and start planning some other writing that I am interested in exploring.
Until next time.
Best Wishes
Julie
Aug
2012

The Charleston House Experience

My first ever ‘Ramble’

Glynde to Berwick via Charleston House, Sussex

Having pondered for some years about joining a walking group I eventually met with a bunch of  Ramblers at Victoria London and introduced myself. I wanted to start walking and getting to know places that were accessible from London on public transport and could be done within a day . Ok it’s a far cry from walking the Himalayas but it’s a start. Taking the train from Victoria we changed at Lewes and took a short journey to a place called Glynde.  We walked past a terrace of quaint cottages and then walked across a motorway over to a field and headed towards  Firle Place. Already I was in love, what a breath of fresh air. I needed this more than ever. I have walked around London for so many years now and as much as I love London,have to get out sometimes! We walked through Firle place  a historical national park and I felt like I had gone back in time. It was May and so the new-born lambs were out grazing on the grass and the flowers were blooming, it was so sweet, and so very refreshing after being cooped up at work all week.

After a few miles walking over fields we were at Charleston Farmhouse situated in the heart of the Sussex Downs.It’s called Farmhouse which is a bit misleading as it is more like an artist’s retreat hosting a stunning collection of art, much of the furnishing having been upholstered to its original plan by Laura Ashley.

 CHARLESTON FARMHOUSE

The place is unique and available guided tours give a fascinating insight into the lives of the Bloomsbury crowd which consisted of a loose group of artists, writers and intellectuals, the sister of Virginia Woolf, Vanessa being one of the prominent figures there. I found it to be  sublime and inspirational.  Words are difficult to find to express the beauty of this special place. For further information click on this link. http://www.charleston.org.uk We then walked towards Berwick Church built in the 16th century. Here were further works of arts and murals by The Bloomsbury Group, and were part of the original deco.

The next walk I did after that was a month or so later.  The Ramblers organisation sent me a copy of Walk Britain, which has 50 walking routes with Britain’s Best views. I took the book with me to Seaford and went off on my ownsome and did very well that sunny day in June. I walked the Seven Sisters Cliffs which is described in the book as a leisurely  8 mile walk! Walking slowly to the park is a leisurely walk, the Seven Sisters is somewhat strenuous  Up and down!.Up and down, Up and down!! That is the Seven Sister Cliffs!

The next walk will be the Rochester Dickens walk, another very short walk. After this I’m walking from Rye to Hastings which will be the longest I have done in years

Until next time, watch those feet!

 
BW Julie