Jan
2016

Walking at night

 

The City at night

 Walking to the South Bank in Waterloo, starting at Railton Road is about 6 miles. I love this walk, especially at dusk. The city at night has a magic all of its own.  Walking at night is a great time to think. It’s nice to be able to stop when and where you want, with no particular place to go; that’s the way I like it.

Once a Housing Coop , cheap rent

On the corner of Atlantic Road/Coldharbour Lane Brixton

 

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER

As I walk from my flat in Railton Road, the 1st place of interest I come across is Carlton Mansions; which was soon to be demolished. It has served as a coop for over 40 years. It was a three-layered tenement type building, with huge staircases. I seem to recall getting lost in there, under the influence of something or another. The design of the flats were all unique. I have known several of the tenants there. They are pokey but at £10 a week or so, worth it.

Originally, the building was put up to provide accommodation for the railway workers, as the building is situated on the corner of Coldharbour lane &  Railton Road. Back in the Victorian times, when the railways were being laid down all over London; the accommodation was often built to house the immigrants who had travelled to work there.

In the late 70’s it was taken over by squatters who formed a coop. The Inhabitants were forced out of their beloved homes recently and rehoused by the council. There were many a wild night parties held in Carlton Mansions

 

Walking in London can be like a new adventure!

Sights seen walking at Dusk from Brixton via Kennington towards The Southbank

Sights seen walking at Dusk from Brixton via Kennington towards The Southbank

 

When walking towards Kensington, I decided to try heading down a few unfamiliar streets. There are always new developments in London, and sometimes it can feel like you are actually in a new city.

The other side of the coin is the death of the beloved old buildings.  It was sad to see The Old Cricketers pub being prepared for the scrapheap.

The last time I went to a gig there, I saw Rat Scabies from Punk, band ‘The Damned. As well I  saw The Glitter Band without Gary.! I guess, things have to move on.

Walking at night gives the city a glow that creates a magic place to be.

As I amble down Kennington Lane heading to the South Bank the memories flood back. In the early 80’s I worked as a part-time Library Assistant.  in the cut at Waterloo.  I lasted in the job a year, as I found it too boring.

If I had the sense, I would have gone to college and studied for the librarianship course. I could have got myself a decent well-paid job. Although now those jobs are being cut; so maybe I was right to carry on being a loafer!

 

I walk I write I take pictures

The old Library at dusk in  The Cut Waterloo.

 

Walking about at night, I can ponder while roaming.

I was far from being sensible in those days & I packed in my job to marry an Israeli friend,( we were playing music together) At the time, music was all that mattered to me. He wanted to avoid being in the army, and we were having a good time playing music, but I for some reason wanted to travel to New York City. He was happy to give me money to do this.  I stayed for a month.

We both benefited from this arrangement, I was looking for something but I’m not sure what. I went there with some vague ideas about travelling and being a musician. I thought NYC might be better than in London. It was fantastic but not as good as London when it came to the music scene. I missed everybody when I was away. I tried to extend my visit and travel further to California but that’s another story.

 

Until next time, keep on keeping on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec
2015

Dirty Boots

My dirty boots have been sitting outside my flat door since November.

I’m the sort of person that will leave the dirty boots on a newspaper, outside the door for months on end. I do intend to clean them eventually!.  The last walk I did was especially muddy and wet, so I figured it would be a while before I venture on a muddy walk. I have to say I’m not keen on muddy walks, it’s ok every now and again; hence the neglected walking boots!

Walking along the coast, North and South

At the beginning of December, I visited South Shields and Newcastle and got to enjoy the fresh air. I never get tired of this part of the UK, it is my birth town and I feel at home here.

THE BEACH SOUTH SHIELDS

THE BEACH SOUTH SHIELDS DECEMBER 6th 2015

 

 

 

The eye at South Shields

 

 

The day after Boxing Day I walked a circular walk from Seasalter on the beach to Whitstable. We had  a little Browse around the town and a couple of drinks in Handsome Sams’ Bar- a micro pub based in the Centre of town.

 Take a walk in their shoes

At least I have a choice about going out for an eight-mile walk. Spare a thought for those who have walked thousands of miles trying to escape war and conflict.

An interactive website set up by channel 4 shows the routes that are taken and choices available. It’s bleak but real. The scale of the humanitarian disaster is something that cannot be ignored.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/jun/09/a-migrants-journey-from-syria-to-sweden-interactive

Planning walks & looking forward!

I have a planned walking weekend In Derbyshire in the spring that is with the new Meet-Up group I joined up with earlier this year. I will also be leading my favorite walk again in June next year which will be Newhaven to East Dean via the Seven Sisters Sussex.

 

Joining FaceBook

 My alter ego Julie Jameson is from another era, but seemingly resurfaced. I don’t seem to be able to erase my account completely without writing to Facebook. I wanted to merge my past unused account with a current one.

As well though I have created a page just for this blog, and if I have done things correctly, this should appear on my Facebook page when I publish it as it does on Twitter.

Ok folks.

RIP Lemmy…

Until then

ALL TH E BEST FOR  NEW YEAR 2016

keep it real!

Nov
2015

Meet up groups

  I’m a big fan of Meet Up Groups.

There are tons of Meet up groups on line, for anything you care to imagine. I joined The London WordPress meet up group after, having created a website, and a blog, using their software.  My blog is about walking and places I visit, a sort of journal. It was my first venture into online publishing. Going to a Meet Up Group, was a way of putting my hobby out there. 

 

 

lets, Meet Up!

Meet UP Groups, meet at a business hub; where freelancers can congregate to work and do business, as well as meet new people, and learn about the latest developments.

The free beer and pizza helped, as we socialized for half an hour before getting down to business.

It is an open source group, where  you can discuss anything to do with the  software WordPress. Subjects that were new to me, such as writing for search engine optimisation!, and installing widgets, which is the basic stuff.

The space is provided Free of charge by their sponsors.  I’m not very techhie but I got a lot out of the meetings,based in New Zealand House, Haymarket.  It sort of verified that I was doing something worthwhile.  My next meet up group I joined for a walk, was the Explorers Uk Meet Up Group.

 

Explorers Uk Meet Up Group

Into the woods

Into the trees

I tried my first day out with this Meet Up Group UK Explorers. The leader Tom is an experienced Hill Walker, who guided us on our walk for the day.

IMG_0381

Walking along the Chilterns and along the Ridgeway to Ivinghoe Beacon.

Our nine mile hike took in fine open views along the top of the Ridgeway. It was great standing at the top,looking down to where we had hiked from. After enjoying the view, we then  headed on walking through an ancient woodland to the Bridgewater Monument.

The walk ended at a pretty village; supposedly it was the same village featured in the movie Bridget Jones. It was a great day out, and we arrived back in London, in enough time, to take a bath, eat a meal, and go out for a drink.

My walk in Oxted area was not quite what I expected.

This walk was meant to be with my usual walking group.  I wasn’t feeling so bright and bushy tailed, on this particular day. I missed my stop at Woldingham station. The next stop was Oxted, where I got off, thinking about how to get back on track.

As I approached the station entrance, I saw a different group of walkers. They had assumed ‘I was one of them.’ asking me if I was there for the walk.

I figured I might as well join them on their Eight mile walk from Oxted to Woldingham.

Halfway through our walk, my path crossed with my original walking group, I we met in the middle of Hanging Wood.! I waved Hello, as we passed by. I enjoyed the walk despite it getting off to a confusing start.

It worked out alright in the end. All in all the day was good fun, and an easy walk.  Parts of the terrain we walked through were extremely muddy, and we climbed some steep hills. Some of the walk was tough but worth it.

until next time, keep on walking

 

 

 

 

I

Oct
2015

Belfast Northern Ireland September 2015

Belfast Northern Ireland, what a weekend.

 

I had been meaning to visit Belfast Northern Ireland for many years, and eventually made the effort to do so.

 

I couldn’t go to Belfast and not say anything about ‘the troubles. Irish is in my blood.I felt I Ever since I made enquiries into my background and where my roots were, I had started taking an interest in `irish history. Firstly I had to gain enough qualifications to get into university. I did that. My life as a mature student age 30  in 1992 at N.L.U North London University began. People often laugh at Humanities and Media studies but that’s what i took. But specialised in Irish & French studies.  I was literary and intellectually curious but did not possess the brain that learns language well, After a year I dropped French and  switched it to English. I loved French literature and politics but could not deal with Grammar. 

It was a fantastic course which absorbed me for years. I was thrilled to go and live and study for 3 month at Galway University.  It was always challenging but worth it. For my dissertation (10,000 words) I chose to write about the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland. It started with good intentions but I  felt lost and overwhelmed – and in way too deep. Although I originally was sympathetic to the Nationalist cause, I had to be objective. I got through it but strangely I had never visited Belfast before now.

 

On this journey we took a guided tour around Belfast the coach led us through Shankhill Road, there were union jack flags everywhere, as well as Unionist murals at every turn. In such a tiny area almost 100 peace walls exist, heavy gates, and even an old prison.

The commentator relayed the tales of the troubles. The whole area felt claustrophobic oppressive and very sad. Although I’d studied Irish studies and covered the ‘troubles’ many years ago and thought I knew about the area; there was nothing like seeing it so close. It felt extremely intense and I fought to hold back the tears but couldn’t it was just awful.

Almost 3,000 lives lost there. 

 

The following day we took a coach tour to The Giant’s Causeway somewhat hungover after a night out in Belfast’s many bars

Photo34_30A

Myself looking a bit chubby-cheeked and the cockney mole, my travelling -walking companion.

 

People travel from afar to see The Giants Causeway County Antrim

 

 

The Titanic Quarter.

Seeing the Titanic experience really brought home how grand a city Belfast once was. Perhaps will be again.  The exhibition was full of visual experiences illustrating the  Titanic experience from the building of the ship and the impact it had on the economy of Belfast. It was thrilling, grand, and ultimately tragic.

Historic Belfast

The whole city was booming from employment at Belfast shipyards as well as the massive economic rise from the linen industry; the Titanic was massive for Belfast.

In part of the tour you actually get into a car similar to going on a ghost train, it takes you deep down to the bottom of the recreated ship where you can see where the boiler makers and all of the crew worked, in extreme dark.

 Emerging from the dark, there are further displays of the ship, different floors show it from different levels and angles video and audio recordings, give you a sense of the dizzy heights the richest millionaires would have felt floating 1st class on this magnificent ship, and the depths of the toil workers endured day and night to build this ship.

After the Titanic experience, we visited St Georges 19th century indoor Market which was packed with stalls, too many food stalls, and live music

We had a browse bought a couple of items, then walked back to the Botanic Quarter to pick up our luggage. We had our farewell drink and lunch at The Woodworkers, a new bar with the best craft beers on six rotating taps. A wide selection of beers a very relaxed atmosphere, and decent music.

Previous to this we had found an Egyptian café in the same area close to the University,  I loved the fact that we were given warm hospitality and a really lovely lunch which was well needed after a cold morning on the top of the open air bus around Belfast.

Since being back I have joined up with a new walking group

More about that next episode.

 

 

Sep
2015

A tale of two walks.

 

Walking around London, and walking in the countryside in the Chiltern Hills

My latest two walks, could not have been more different.  Walking to Chelsea from Brixton via Clapham into my favorite London space, Battersea Park. This is an easy walk I do on a regular basis.  

Once Upon a Time, I cycled there to work. These days, I  pop up there for a change of scenery and walk through the park and over Chelsea Bridge. The Kings Road is basically a mainstream shopping street, these days. During my time spent there, I have come across; George Best, Bob Geldof, Alan Clarke, and Mark Almond, to name a few; but the real-life characters have (in the main ) all gone. I love both of the two walks, as they are interesting in different ways. 

For some reason I decided to walk along by Chelsea Embankment towards Vauxhall, From there on It can only be described, as a nightmare around Vauxhall. alongside the High Rise buildings and ugly roadwork everywhere; it’s highly polluted with diversions everywhere. It is scary just crossing the road.

Pounding the pavements, alongside traffic can be a harrowing experience after about 6-7 miles of it.

Trudging on to Kennington, up towards the Oval cricket ground. I crossed over to Brixton Road. At this point somehow I managed to get caught up in a labyrinth of NEW sprawling housing estates, made up of blocks of housing at the beginning of Brixton Road, bordering on Camberwell. It was not fun.

 

CHESHAM TO GREAT MISSENDEN (LINEAR) 10 miles

An entirely different experience, walking through the woods and fields in the Chiltern Hills, we passed through places with names such as Ballinger Bottom and Lee. Look at that sky, how beautiful it is against the wheat. A real picture.

Big sky

Big sky

This group was led by the South Bank Ramblers, the journey took about an hour and a half on the starting from Brixton.

Edible Mushroom

Edible Mushroom

 

The Cock and Rabbit is famous for being used by CI Barnaby in the Midsummer Murders!, tv series. It was the pub where he often stopped off for a pint during one of his murder investigations. There is more than one sign for this pub. You can see the name of the pub named in the T.V series on the other side. The series Midsummer Murders epitomizes Middle-class English life and is so far-fetched with murders every week, so ludicrous but fascinating at the same time.

Before we reached the pub, as we rambled through woods and fields; and chatted with other walkers, we were drooling over what might be on the menu!  I tried to imagine the food! thinking of classic dishes served elegantly in a Bistro-type environment.
Images of my favourite tv chef, Gino D’Acampo came to mind!

As my mother often said, “you’ve got a vivid imagination!” it was wishful thinking anyway, no signs of anyone in the house so dishy! I was pretty shocked at the state of the interior which was basically dirty, but reluctantly ordered a pasta Sicilian dish that was piled up about a foot high. I felt sick looking at it and wish I had just got a packet of crisps. I’m no food critic but that pub is living off the merits that it attracts crowds based on its notoriety.  It is a lovely location, but they are getting away with murder!

 

 

 

 

As the nights draw in we have now reached the Autumn Equinox. I’m off to Belfast for my Birthday weekend and hope to have a few walks and tales to tell on my return.

 

Another one bites the dust. R.I.P  Lou Reed a true troubador!