Aug
2015

Berwick to Seaford on a Blue Moon weekend

Magnificent views blue sky& a blue moon

Walking from Berwick to Seaford, we take in, WILMINGTON ,LONG MAN, ALFRISTON & CUCKMERE HAVEN; where the river exeat floats toward Seaford. The walk stretches for approximately 13 miles. It is a gentle undulating walk but with two extended hill climbs.

Starting at Berwick, we walk to the village of Wilmington with its ancient Church then, the first climb starts, up to the Long Man chalk figure. We scan the Cuckmere valley. After the second climb up, we witness a dramatic view where the river drifts towards the sea. We Continue walking for a further 4 miles along the cliff coastal path to Seaford. It is the first time I have walked from Berwick to Seaford and I’m not sure I could remember all that again! 

 Blue Moon lingers high in the sky as we walk in the heat towards Seaford

weetabix!

The moon, or something kept me from having a good sleep. After a restless night not being able to drop off and waking up sporadically, I jumped up checked the clock which said 8.07!!

 

I was going to have to leave at 8.10 which gave me 3 minutes to sort myself out. I had been lying awake for some time but as the alarm hadn’t gone off I didn’t know what time it was.

Walking as quickly as I could towards the tube, I witnessed a car crash at the junction of Coldharbour Lane/ Atlantic Road, It wasn’t a serious crash, just a bonnet to bonnet collision. Drivers going too fast as usual and a van blocking the way. Drivers and cars constantly irritate me and I couldn’t wait to get away.

Was it the Blue moon causing my restless night! 

Like the tides affected by the gravitational forces of the moon. Moon Beams or other, the tensions had been building for most of the week. The last few days I had found myself  unable to relax, the usual conflicts from the workplace playing on my mind and a general unease about the future.

Towards the man in the hill

Wilmington Long Man /Alfriston & Cuckmere Haven. 

looking down to Exceat

Nevertheless, the walk was to be done. A beautiful day we had walked from Berwick to Alfrington, which was a good place to stop for lunch.

 Alfrington is a very pretty village and somewhere I would visit again. From there it’s only a three-mile walk to Exceat;  you could just follow the river and avoid the hill.  The Exceat is the river that joins the sea at Seaford, so we had another magnificent view of the Seven Sisters. Admittedly not having breakfast or enough water or any sun-cream I came out of this walk with a headache and sunburn. It happens, especially on the longer walks.

Walking towards Seaford from Exceat

Due to rushing out I hadn’t properly prepared. By the time I got to the Gallon Inn, I was parched. (This was a drop off point for those only wanting to do a 9 mile walk.) I bought a small bottle of sparkling mineral water for £2.50.! Can we start placing water fountains in the countryside? Carrying all this water around is getting a bit expensive as well as heavy.

 

Arriving at Seaford

Arriving at Seaford

As we finished our 12 mile walk, I wasn’t keen to rush for a train back to London and arrived at the seafront. A few of us sat down drinking tea for about an hour; gazing at the sea.

 

This walk seems so long ago now. The planned walk I had for this week, I opted out of due to heavy rain. The second Wednesday I have booked off to do a walk & not been able to do it due to extreme weather conditions. At the end of October I will be taking every Wednesday off for 6 months while I work on my ‘career plan’! but as well as that I have the option to go on a midweek Autumn or Winter Walk and do my courses at home in the evening hopefully feeling mellow and glowing from the Autumn sunshine !.

 

Until next time. Keep going .

Hope you all have a good Bank Holiday Monday.

Jul
2015

Amazing gardens

GARDENS WALK TO CUDHAM CIRCULAR

This walk was taken from the book Amazing gardens in UK. We started in a place called Knockholt, an easy walk across country, though lanes and woods, to Cudham to visit a wonderful, varied and original garden.  We returned via Newyears Wood and Fairtrough Farm. 

 

Watch your head!

Watch your head! A surprise not on the agenda

wild flowers in beautiful vase

Wild flowers in beautiful vase.

 

This recent walk led by Judith Robertson, absolutely suited my mood, it was truly relaxing. There were a couple of surprises in store; one being the sight of a Hawk trainer, which we came across when ambling along after our picnic lunch.

Garden as Therapy

The other surprise was meeting the owners of the garden. The man had been in an accident where he fell asleep at the wheel, while driving in Australia. He lived to tell the tale but had suffered severe injuries which had an impact on his ability to do much for many months. The garden became his haven.

He & his wife were extremely friendly and welcoming.  We were a large group of about 30, and on our arrival it was fantastic to be provided with cake & tea. Judith had planned this treat in advance. It is part of the Open Gardens scheme, throughout the UK, you can visit the garden and the host provides refreshment for a few quid. It’s well worth it.

 We all wandered about the garden and found so many nooks and crannies to hide out in. Perfect. I didn’t want to leave. Meeting people with a story to tell just added to the element of what makes a great day out.  

go wild in the country

Go wild in the country

The Cottage Garden Cudham

The Cottage Garden Cudham

 

DSCN0292

Losing ourselves in time, we then had to make a run for it.

We were all feeling so relaxed after a great afternoon, and needed to make up some time. This escalated into a power walk and then a run during the last mile. The train from Knockholt to London only run every hour, so we really did not want to hang about at train station for an hour. 

The walk leader had found this particular walk from, “The Most Amazing Gardens in Britain and Ireland: A Guide to the Most Magnificent and Memorable Gardens (Readers Digest) Paperback – 28 May 2010”.

All in all a really lovely day out.

 

 

 

 

 

Jun
2015

Ramble on!

Ramble On, “The story of our love for Walking Britain “by Sinclair Mckay

Ramble On’ tells the story of how country walks were transformed from a small and often illegal pastime to the most popular recreational activity in the country

 

Ramblers- THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!

 

“In the Gower Peninsular, to consider the surprisingly Long History of walking gear ; while Wearing Quite Unsuitable Clothes.”! Sinclair McKay

I have to agree with the words above from one of the essays. It is about the insane commercialism of walking gear. To see people walking around Central London in Clothes that are suitable for wearing when skiing in the Alps or, Ramblers in towns with walking sticks is laughable.

You may feel you can’t go out for a walk unless your head to toe in Jack Wolfskin clothing, or another extremely expensive brand such as Cotswold; total nonsense of course.  

McKay discusses the commercialism of the countryside, the years of battles and forbidden land rules.  Among many other subjects he writes about, he manages to drop in a quote from the fantastic, hysterical film, Withnail & I.  RE-watching it recently, it was still  hilarious.

Based in the Lake district, stuck in a cottage without food and little money, Withnail asks “What’s the point of the country”?

 

The fundamental comic point being that it is an error for town dwellers to think that they can rejuvenate in the country!. Author McKay entertains us with interesting stories about the history of walking as well as a wry observation of some of the more general trends with walkers.

In all walks of life some people take everything really serious and with any group there is a certain mentality. But on the positive side a group has the basic mind-set that walking is good for you mentally as well as physically and a good old day out.

At best you can meet interesting people who you can get talking too.  The brain can free flow and with the right scenery that can be truly enjoyable.

https://quotesgram.com/withnail-i-quotes/

Off for a walk down the Old Seaford Sussex area this weekend.

 

Best Wishes Julie.

 

 

 

 

 

May
2015

Escaping to Berlin

Escaping to Berlin, post-2015 General Election

 

I was working as a poll clerk the night before my weekend trip. There was excitement in the air. At 7 am a queue was forming. Sadly as the day developed, the crowds dwindled. After a 12 hour working day, I returned home feeling somewhat despondent. The chances of getting a new Government seemed slim!

Visiting Berlin.

 I was going to Berlin, my treat for taking on extra work.  We arrived and found our hotel situated in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin. The Hotel Die Fabrik is an old converted factory. Despite its industrial look, we found it to be comfortable and relaxing.

Bear in Courtyard of Hotel

Bear in Courtyard of Hotel

hotel Die Fabrique

Hotel Die Fabrique

Getting around Berlin

We had bought a weekend travel card. Once you activate the card at a station, you can jump on and off any bus or tube. The card cost £20 euros for the weekend, it is a pretty good deal.

We had a couple of gigs to see and wanted to get to know the city.

An old contact of mine from the music scene in Brixton had moved to Berlin and was performing with her band on two nights. They were intimate gigs and enjoyable. See more about Kathy x here. https://youtu.be/S50fgmfNa4U

Check Point Charlie www.mauermuseum.de/

We visited the Checkpoint Charlie museum, which took absolutely ages to locate. We walked for miles and frequently took wrong turnings. Although that’s the way to get to know a city! Berlin was interesting and there were lots of new things to see.

Outside the museum now a tourist attraction.

Outside the museum now a tourist attraction.

 

The Museum Checkpoint Charlie was founded by the human rights activist DR, Rainer Hildebrandt. It is a museum-unlike any other.

The museum explores the history of the Berlin Wall and the stories of those affected by it.

In the museum, you can discover some of the clever ways people tried to escape, over the Berlin Wall. 

We read the stories of those escapees who risked their lives to win their freedom. When we remember their past; we keep alive the memory of those who died trying to escape.

Extreme measures to escape are exhbited some inventive methods were made in a desperate attempt to escape

Extreme measures to escape are exhibited.  

Some got through, others didn't. Have a look at their website

Some people got through, the checkpoint, others weren’t so lucky.

 

 

 

love and peace

x

Apr
2015

Out and about in London

 sometimes we just want to get out and about

I am greatly encouraged to get out and about walking around London recently. The spring and good weather help. My first walk/ bike ride, was from Brixton to the South Bank on what promised to be an extremely polluted day! I

It was very warm and a grey mist hung over London. Firstly I cycled round the back streets and got to Waterloo for 11am. I know the route pretty well, so I know where to tie the bike around Waterloo.

I sat down inside the South Bank Centre, with my Mac Air book, intending to do some work.!, but I gave up on that, due to the festival hall hosting some kids dance /music event. I then walked over to Covent Garden to get myself a t-shirt, walked back & picked up my bike, then cycled back to Brixton.

 

Walking around and in Blackheath/ Greenwich

Another day out and about in London, where we walked down to Greenwich Market from Blackheath, where I picked up some great illustrated cards from THE DM Collection wwww.thedmcollection.com and had some lunch.

 

How mean is time?

How mean is time? Greenwich Mean Time, the clock in Greenwich park

 

Then a ferry along the Thames down to the Embankment

view from Thames Clipper

View from Thames Clipper

taken from Ferry to Thames

Going home to Brixton from Embankment

Walking over bridge from Embankment heading to Brixton

 

Having walked about Greenwich, we decided to take the clipper to the Embankment; as it was such a lovely day we, decided not to take a bus back and & walked back to Brixton.

The day after I joined up with the Finchley walking group from Highgate to Angel which was about 6 miles.

 

Additionally Last Sunday I walked with the South Bank Walking Group on a 11 mile walk in the Guildford area.  May looks to be a promising month, I’m working as a poll clerk in the General Election then going to Berlin the day after. There is a choice of Walks and a couple of Bank Holidays and many events happening, so I am going to be spoilt for choice.

 

This blog is dedicated to Karen & thanks for the free drinks at The New Order exhibition at The Proud Gallery Camden.

As promised I aim to get a blog out by the end of the month.

Until next time see you then

ps if you want to try and leave a comment there is a speech bubble at the top if you hover over it and click on it this should open a comment box. Or just scroll to the end of this blog.

Julie.