Jun
2017

best blogs 2012-2013

 

I cant explain my feet  20122013

Thinking about writing, thinking about walking

 I have learnt about new walks, in areas outside of London, but near enough to be able to do in a day. Since starting this blog it has been a pleasure to have discovered new places and enjoyed writing about them all. After many years of neglect,where I have stayed in my comfort zone too many times. Rewriting and republishing gave me an opportunity to reflect on how far I have travelled. It has been a joy to write about my travels.

I rediscovered my Love of London; as well my love of Newcastle, and the North East coast; and on top of that I have found new places on the south coast and Sussex.

Below I have selected some of my favourite blogs in my first two years as a blogger! It has been great fun.

 

Shoes and Boots!

The Charleston House Experience

Rye- Hastings walk

Thinking about walking -thinking about writing!

LONDON LIFE/MUSIC MACHINE

 

 

1979 you could smoke on tube- All night!!

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May
2017

Is it better to travel or arrive

BRIXTON TO MONTCUQ

 

Magic ward and fairy dust

 

BRIXTON TO MONTCUQ A 12 HOUR JOURNEY DOOR TO DOOR

I leave my building at 8.20am, where I walk briskly down Railton Road to Brixton Tube. As I got to the station, my heart sunk as I was confronted by 2 queues being controlled at the top of the stairs. ‘(crowd’ control!)  There are three staircases to the entrance at Brixton Tube Station, two going in and one for those coming out. There are considerably more want to go in than come out.

Some deviants try to escape the cattle like situation & huddle into a small lift, which is only big enough for about 4 people with suitcases. The scoundrels squeeze themselves in hoping to get to the platform without having to wait in line.

I look back thinking to attempt it myself and see that the lift doors aren’t closing . They are jammed and it’s going nowhere. I wait in line while the people in the lift , realise their efforts to escape are futile.

Is it better to travel than to arrive.?

Arriving at Victoria Station, I was getting flustered at being diverted to a different exit. It was jam packed and claustrophobic. . I start to feel panicky in the crowd trapped under ground.

Further panic as I realised it wasn’t such a good idea trying to get on a peak time train to Gatwick with an off-peak train ticket. I managed to get away with it.

I arrived at Gatwick, realised  in the nick of time Easy Jet who usually depart from South Terminal had changed to North Terminal. If they emailed me that information I overlooked it.

 

I ask again. Is it better to travel than to arrive.?

What is it with this part of the journey, you are at the gate with passport check/boarding pass & going on to the plane. You are told to put your handbag in your bag! Now walk 100 yards from here to the plane and take your bag out of your bag-

Oh for Christ’s sake I’m getting annoyed and flustered now. All said and done once I sat on the plane I was fine.

The Journey French/English

Funny as soon as I got to France all office politics and tedious concerns had dissolved. There is no point caring about things you cannot change, but to focus on the things you can. My extremly limited understanding of the French language is shown up at the ticket bureau in the airport.

Buying a return ticket for the airport bus to Toulouse. We have a bit of a situation. The guy could speak good English.I can sort of string a sentence in French with missing bits!

It was a sort of polite battle of wills as to who was going to lead the conversation. I will make the effort but if the guy can speak fluent English and is keen to do so who am I to argue.? The journey to Toulouse was easy the roads not crowded and I was there in no time.

My next hurdle is buying my aller simple  (Single ticket)to Cahors! I had it written down on a bit of paper but wanted to practice speaking.

There was some confusion the lady misunderstood my request for a simple aller Cahors with a simple Latour de Carol.

Although I might be able to ask for something in French, I can’t always understand what they are saying back. Unless they pronounce it clearly and speak slowly.

She printed a ticket out and I asked if this was the Paris Train or the train that goes to Brive? Apparently not.

This train was not going to either of those places.

I knew something was wrong  Buried somewhere in my bag. I had this information written down, the exact time, price and train type.  The price of the ticket and train and where it was heading to. She was printing the ticket and I knew it wasn’t right. Eventually somehow, I revived my bit of paper. she reimbursed me with the correct ticket. Not too much tutting or disapproval expressed no harm done.

Better to travel than arrive.?

RL Stevenson original quote

“Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.”It is ultimately expressing that to live in hope and anticipation is more exciting than arrival.

Taoists also believed the journey is as important as arriving. Life is a journey. There’s a lot of talk these days about people being on journeys but usually people are waffling on about their careers or path to success.

I doubt  this has much to do with any real journey of Taoist Wisdom, travelling far and wide.!  Modern travel these days has about as much romance in it as a Brussel Sprout, it feels more like being on a conveyer belt.

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Apr
2017

counting Steps

  A feast of walks, counting steps and getting there.

Picture courtesy of Jan n Blue taken from their flat at Newcastle Quayside.

 

I had bought a pedometer & tested it out walking from the lighthouse at Newhaven,to  South Shields . That was a wee walk really about 4 miles.counting steps goes something like this. Roughly speaking 10,000 steps is about 4 miles.

Taking the bus back to South Shields to get lunch, in the fantastic ocean road fish and chip shop. We were going to carry on walking & counting steps in Newcastle, later on that day.

Big Clouds you can almost touch

Marsden South Shields

 

 

It’s surprising how easy it is to clock up the miles, it is inspiring to see if I have walked over 10,00 steps in a day. Before I knew it we had walked over 30,00s steps

 

I spent a lot of time just walking up and down the Quayside & visiting the Baltic http://www.balticmill.com/visit

(there’s always something new & interesting going on in there) followed by a walk in the City Centre & a quick  visit to Tynemouth we clocked up about 12 miles.

Looking at Newcastle from The Baltic

 

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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 some of Brighton and some of Lewes it went as far as Firle; but not as far as Charleston House -which is sort of where I wanted to go. You might understand I am still getting the hang of maps.

Weather wise it was a bit grey and looking bleakly overcast.  I had visited a few weeks earlier; it had been snowing so this climate 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

 

Since a young age, I have got up and explored, the areas I lived in without a definite destination. (maybe it’s called drifting) I was good at that! Usually this was city life. I still have the basic instinct to get up and go. I had a vague plan to day. This was as good as it got.

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!

frogs mating near Lewes South Downs

Frogs having a go!

 

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 .