This Monkey’s gone to Heaven! /Gone to Devon


This monkey’s gone to heaven!” Eh, I mean, this writer’s gone to Devon.

This monkey gone to Devon!


Visiting Devon…

It can be a heavenly place and I have visited some beautiful spots. Unfortunately I don’t get the time to go off when visiting m y brother and young nephews. Perhaps when there older, we can go a bit further afield. I did try to find a walk with a group based in Devon, via the Ramblers website, but there was nothing near to Torquay on my recent visit. 

My brother had told me of a 13 mile walk from Brixham to – Kingswear.

I would be happy for a 3- 5 mile walk on this occasion. A walk I can do from the seafront. Next time I will explore further. 

AFTER THE RAIN comes the sun.



Also, getting back to the feet, I haven’t walked any great distance in these walking shoes I bought recently from Clarks, size 6 and a half!.  

It is a weird one, the floppy toe syndrome! I can’t explain it I really can’t. The podiatrist offered a sort of explanation, which went a bit over my head.   There was some kind of operation that I could have but if it was anything like the surgical procedure to remove a verruca I don’t think I will bother. 

I have yet to get into the habit of strapping my toes together to support them, but the podiatrist did show me how that was done! I will be  taking my ASIC running shoes as a back- up, as they give me no problems at all, they are great but being white not suitable for muddy paths etc.

Pictures from Devon and blog about walk will be on its way too you soon.


The Pixies This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven

keeping it short, keeping it real.


Seaford to Glynde

Seaford to Glynde 

Walking takes a certain amount of stamina, this was an 11-mile walk in Sussex starting at Seaford to Glynde. We walked up Northwards inland over vast open spaces and quite hilly in parts. We had glorious autumn weather that day but still, the earth was damp with residues of rain from the previous nights of heavy rain. 

A few of us fell over including myself, as parts of the walk were chalky and damp downhill and we kept skidding. My legs were hurting and I was too hot, covered in mud! preoccupied with not having the right walking gear and annoyed that I had burned my only pair of walking trousers in a rare ironing frenzy!

The walk started at Seaford over the downs, walking in the countryside 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 in case they got lost. I’m sorry to say, but that got very tedious after a while.

Romantic Berwick Church Autumn 2012

I have the need to walk everywhere now

I am from Newcastle but have lived in London now longer than I lived in NewcastleStill, it was my old stomping ground and I still truly love the centre of Newcastle with its magnificent bridges. I have been revisiting in the last few years.

We tried to walk to the now-famous Cluny music venue 

It seemed such a lovely romantic walk along the Tyne, however, we were on the wrong side of the river, going in the wrong direction! We backtracked & opted for a gig in the Westgate Road Newcastle, near my old primary school; A Ramones cover band was due to play.

We slipped into the Art Centre next door where they were having Tango lessons! We had a beer and watched that while waiting to see the Ramones cover band. Some contrast!


Best Wishes

Rye to Hastings walk

Rye to Hastings 13 miles

The Rye to Hastings Walks as described by Walk Leader Margaret Wasdell. “A brisk walk through a wonderful section of the Kent Coast, following parts of the Saxon Shore Way.”

trooping through the fields at Rye

Rye to Hastings

Rye to Hastings how to get there.

An early start from Charing Cross we took the Hastings train then changed to a local network train to Rye.  We walked through the picturesque village of Rye, and downhill across a small bridge over a river at Brede; then up a steep hill, catching a glimpse of the sea as we walked towards an ancient village called Winchelsea. There we had a picnic under the sun in the churchyard of St Thomas the Martyr; incidentally, Spike Milligan was buried there.

 After half an hour’s lunch, we walked on and over some fields towards a 16th-century castle built by Henry the V111. 

We then followed a path alongside the Royal Military Canal & walked briskly for 30- 40 minutes. Then arriving at an open road towards the seafront of Pett Level & further on until approaching The Fairlight National Trust Reserve.

After admiring the views we walked up into woodland for several miles, taking us up to Fairlight Cliffs.
The walk provided us with a stunning view out into the sea and led into Hastings Country Park from there the walk consisted of many steep ascents and descents eventually arriving at Hastings.


Fairlight cliffs

FH000009Did I mention the steep ascents and descents into Hastings? Up and down and Up, and down, then Up, then down again.

Fairlight cliffs

up and down near Hastings


It was an invigorating walk and well worth the effort to get there.

I need to mention that this walk alone made it worth joining up with a walking group. They have experienced guides which without I would have given up. I’m not much of a map reader, but eventually, as I get out more I will start to learn

Until next time.

Enjoy the views



The Charleston House Experience

Glynde to Berwick via Charleston House, Sussex

 (My first ramble) 

Having pondered for some years about joining a walking group I eventually met with a bunch of Ramblers at Victoria London and introduced myself. Knowing very little about what to expect, but informed, the walk was in Sussex and we were visiting a place called Charleston House. I wanted to start walking and get to know places that were accessible from London on public transport and could be done within a day.  This seemed a good place to 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.

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 newborn lambs were out grazing on the grass and the flowers were blooming, it was so sweet, and refreshing after being cooped up at work all week.

After a few miles of 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.


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 is 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. 

We then walked towards Berwick Church built in the 16th century. There were further works of art and murals by The Bloomsbury Group, which were part of the original deco. A wonderful day out, and only one & a half hours away from London.

Romantic Berwick Church Autumn 2012


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.


BW Julie                            

Shoes and Boots!

The state of people’s feet, is a huge issue.

I worked in the rheumatology Outpatients department in a hospital for some time and learnt a thing or two.  My frequent visits to the podiatrist were worth it. Shoes and Boots as most females know, is a very important subject. 


x-ray foot

We have devoted our pocket money to the perfect boot or shoe, only to find out later, we can’t really walk in them!

I never wore stilettos but did have a fondness for pointy boots back in the day. Occasionally fashion came before comfort. By the time I got to my mid -forties, I had to get real. I was walking to work in kitten heels, up to Herne Hill through Ruskin Park, a round trip of nearly 4 miles. Not to forget my lunch time wandering!

On my last walk, I wore an old pair of walking shoes that I had bought on Amazon for £20. It was May and pleasant -at the start of the day! (My next blog will be about the walk which was really lovely)The walk was about six miles or so; we hiked over a couple of fields, then our leader was getting slightly lost. We carried on somewhat lost for the next few miles.


Shoes and Boots!, What to wear for long-distance walking.

By the time we got to the train station and had waited some time my feet were soaking wet. We took a short journey from Glynde to Lewes. We waited there for what seemed a long time to get our connection back to London. Why is the café bar shut at 5 pm on a Saturday? The enjoyment of the walk was becoming a distant memory as the misery of sitting in the cold with wet soggy socks became a reality.

Understanding my feet

My next port of call had to be a shoe shop. I knew I had to buy a smart waterproof walking shoe before I went on another ramble. Previously I had managed some summer walks down the coasts, wearing plimsolls.

Walking The Seven Sisters for the 1st time alone, I was as happy as Larry in my Asics running shoes recommended to me by the podiatrist. 

Having trawled through pages of walking shoes online, buying and returning several pairs via Amazon, I was getting a bit desperate. My desire to walk a million miles away from the inner city was becoming unlikely if I couldn’t walk in any shoes. They were either; too small -too tight, too heavy, too expensive. How come the North face shoes I bought at Blacks did not do me any favours?

I Can’t explain my feet.!


I was size five and a half and they seemed fine, but after just a couple of miles along a muddy bank near Cobham just after Christmas, I was in agony. Had my feet grown? I have since bought boots that are size 6 and 6 and a half but they are too big!

This is a question for the podiatrist. Feet are strange things. We are individuals after all. It’s not a case of one size fits all. I tried them twice and managed a couple of miles or so before my old toe problem started hurting which on the second occasion resulted in me being confined to the sofa for the rest of the evening in agony!.

I saw the podiatrist who told me the toe in question had a bit too much skin at the bottom which you had to look at from an angle (I could not manage to look under my toe) and that it was causing pressure on the joints. She said my toes were slightly webbed! 


Finding a good podiatrist, finding the right footwear.

How comes I didn’t get that sort of pain when wearing the Asics or the Vans plimsolls? I have been told flat shoes are even worse than heels. This advice cane from an Orthopedic Surgeon after twisting my ankle some years ago.

The plimsoll saw me walk 4 miles on a coastal walk with no twinges or pain of any kind. Ditto; The Converse, the Puma, the Reebok, the Adidas, the list goes on. So how can I find a really good quality walking shoe?  I wanted something WATERPROOF and strong wearing but flexible.


I spent too much time the following day in the store, Cotswold in Piccadilly trying on totally unsuitable walking boots; designed for climbing Mount Everest and the (very young) guy was trying to convince me I needed a size 7 shoe which was ridiculous. 
Clarks Shoes measured my feet the following Saturday and confirmed the correct size -one foot was five and half the 
other foot a size 6!  I later went for a reflexology session, which was like a psychological foot reading followed by a foot massage

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


Webbed feet!


Until next installment 

Best Wishes Julie