Nov
2014

Ammendment is my middle name!

Taking a Break

I was working hard towards designing a new website for a friend, organising a meet up group for other Word Press /website developers and having to deal with a lot of technical problems that were a bit over my head. I was backtracking, going over and over the same problems, thinking I have sorted them out only to find out I haven’t.

There was a lot to explore and some of it suddenly seemed too much, without much site of a reward for the amount of work I was going to be doing.  I originally published this on 1st of November 2014 but due to technical problems I’m doing it again. Time (lack of it) and decision-making seems to have been another theme of October. Having had a late summer holiday in Palma and so busy since coming back, I haven’t had the time to go on a proper walk. This blog was started with the intention of me writing about walks I was going on.

When all else fails, take a break

Beach in Mallorca

palm trees

Palma /Si! Photo30_34A Photo25_29A Photo33_1A

Si, Si Cate Blanchet Advert in Palma

Si, Si
Cate Blanchet Advert in Palma

 

Back to Camberwell &  office politics.

Making Changes of any kind takes perserverance, patience and hard work. 

So Until next episode- keep on Keeping on. 

Oct
2014

Guest Blogger Madelon Lyle walking to raise funds

Madelon Lyle

Looking at the bigger picture. –

“This August I walked all of the Cotswolds Way – 100 miles -and only fell over once.”

Walking with a group of ramblers from Chipping Camden to Bath we averaged 12 miles a day over 9 days and it was very strenuous – the total uphill walking added up to a surprising 10,600 feet. I did this to raise money for the charity 21st Century Tiger which aims to prevent tigers becoming extinct in the wild. Please see this link if you would like to donate as I still have a long way to go to reach my target of £10,000. The link tells you more about the plight of the tigers and what motivated me to do this. www.justgiving.com/Madelon-Lyle

66 miles to Bath
66 miles to Bath
We stayed 6 nights in Cheltenham and 3 nights in Bath. A mini-bus took us to the start of the walk each morning and collected us at the end. This enabled us to do the entire Cotswolds Way as a linear walk without having to carry our luggage.The scenery and colours were beautiful with plenty of butterflies and wild flowers. The path itself was very easy to follow being well marked & maintained. Surprisingly we encountered very few other walkers so we felt we had the whole stunning landscape to ourselves!

My favorite part was the section from Chipping Camden to Cheltenham which passes through many pretty Cotswolds villages such as Stanton with its ancient houses, Broadway and Winchcombe. The section from Cleeve Hill to Cranham is a ridge walk with great views of Cheltenham. Near Cranham is the famous cheese-rolling hill which we walked past (but not up thankfully). Here people participate annually in the ancient tradition of rolling cheese down the hill and many legs get broken in the process.

Another lovely stretch was from Kings Stanley to Dursley taking in fantastic views from Coaley Peak and Cam. From Wootton-Under –Edge to Bath the landscape changes becoming more gently undulating and agricultural though still with the occasional incredibly steep hill. On the subject of hills the one leaving Dursley called Stinchcombe Hill should be re-named “Stinking Hill” and if I did the walk again I would miss it out, possibly taking a bus from Dursley to Wotton-under Edge and rejoining the path from there.

66 miles to Bath

The Cotswolds Way takes you past ancient monuments and follies (e.g Broadway Tour, Hailes Abbey, Grenville Monument) and historic sites such as long barrows and the battlefield where the English Civil War was fought – we walked through the field on which the recent movie “A Field in England” is based.

It also passes many National Trust houses and places of interest such as Sudeley Castle at Winchcombe, Stanway House and Fountain, Prinknash Abbey & Bird Park, the Rococo Gardens at Painswick, Horton Court, Dyrham Park to name but a few. It is often possible to get a welcome ice-cream break or tea shop stop at these places but unfortunately as typical Ramblers we hurtled past them without stopping. Although we were only walking 10-12 miles per day the hilly landscape slowed us down and we needed all the time to reach our destination. If I were doing this walk again by myself with a few friends I would probably break it down into shorter sections of 8 miles in order to enjoy the views more (the photographic opportunities are endless) and to incorporate visits to these NT houses.

BROADWAY TOWER ON COTSWOLD WALK
BROADWAY TOWER ON COTSWOLD WALK
I loved the wildlife as well as the scenery and walking through a forest we stumbled across a herd of Gloucester Old Spot pigs wallowing in the mud. We also came across muntjacs, rabbits, birds and many types of sheep and cattle and masses of butterflies although I did not see the rare blue butterfly which apparently can be spotted in the Cotswolds if you are lucky.I would highly recommend this walk to anyone considering doing it, but you do need to plan quite carefully and allow lots of time.

The end of the walk

The end of the walk
The end of the walk
And now a little bit more about the tigers:

The tiger population has dropped from 30,000 just 20 years ago to approximately 3000 in the wild today. A dead tiger is worth £100,000 to a poacher so it isn’t surprising they are being killed every day.Tigers are extinct in 11 countries and 3 sub-species are already extinct. They now live in just 7 % of their historic range. By saving cats, the impacts are far reaching and conserve vast landscapes upon which many species depend, including humans.

These quotes sum up the reason I am fundraising for tigers:-

“Future generations would be truly saddened that this century had so little foresight, so little compassion, such lack of generosity of spirit for the future that it would eliminate one of the most dramatic and beautiful animals that this world has ever seen” – George B. Schaller (field biologist).

“Saving the tiger is a test. If we pass, we get to keep the planet.” Marjorie Stoneman Douglas (conservationist)

http://www.justgiving.com/Madelon-Lyle

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
2014

Edit Edit Edit

 

EDIT EDIT EDIT

 

I noticed a typo on one of my  recent blogs , I don’t often look back at them but because i had been getting a lot of pings !and track backs, I was curious as to what was happening,I don’t fully understand  Pings & track backs but I think it boils down to people spamming the site, that is my simplistic view of it and for now that’s about as far as I want to venture into that territory.Tis not good to have errors once published, but sometimes these things happen. Now some may say Tis is incorrect but that’s another story as after all we might say Tis so why can’t we write it instead of It is or It’s.! Well that’s about as technical as I will get about language for now.

Some people are bothered some people wouldn’t even notice.That’s why writers have editors! that is where a lot of the work is done, the devil is in the detail. Being a walker/photographer/writer and last but not least THE EDITOR. I do apologise and hope it didn’t put anyone off reading my future blogs.

Moving on and back to my walking,

I wrote in my last blog about photography in blogs ,well since that I have been on a couple of walks, I will spare you the details but the camera I was given is broken! and it was my fault. Trying to force shut the door where the batteries lived.So no photos from the last two walks.

The answer is blowing in the wheat!

Why is wheat so beautiful?

 

I walked from Rye to Hastings again  a tough walk with a lot of steep ascents and descents and the following week, just over 14 miles a circular walk from Lewes, a fantastic walk, but the last 4 miles were tough. AT the highest peak in the South Downs we were 590 feet above sea level the fantastic spacious South Downs is an excellent place to walk, it took over 5 hours of walking.

I’m Going to do two more walks in August and will go back to my 35mm film . It’s what I know and like. I’m sure I could use one film to cover both walks. the first walk I’m doing is Lewes to Saltdean which I have done before but not with the group so I will be interested to see what route they take, the second walk is a new one.

A gateway to the Sea at Dover

 

 

Next blog is Thorny Island.

 

Jul
2014

Photography in posts

 Photography in Posts

 

A gate in village St Cirq Lapopie

A gate in village
St Cirq Lapopie

Theres’ no doubt about it, a few nice photos in a blog sets the scene.

But- How much do pictures make the blog?  How much of a photographer do I need to be? Everybody these days is a photographer, and after a conversation in my half hour lunch break with a work colleague,I failed to convey any real sense about why I continue to use film instead of digital. Still, even after getting my film developed I have to decide on maybe 3- 5 pictures to publish in any given blog. Photography is now a big part of my blog, I feel when I go on a proper walk I need to take some pictures.

As always summer in Brixton is a joy to behold !!!  Sitting at my desk trying to be productive; the sound of SIRENS going past the window every five minutes, cars zooming down the road at top speed, people shouting into their mobile phones or just shouting generally, to themselves or someone else, is my background soundtrack.

I’m still not 100% sure whether I really want to do the 14 mile walk Rye to Hastings. But I’m getting claustrophophic..Neighbours to either side of me, (party last night,) possibly another one tonight!. I think I’m going to have to go on the walk.

There I have talked myself into it again…. I may come back bedraggled with sunstroke but I will give it a go.

My last trip to France was a bit fraught what with the train and taxi strike to contend with . Getting to Cahors from London left me slightly frazzled, ditto coming back, and to top it all the temperature was peaking around 34 celsius on some days. Not my ideal weather by any means. I did not do a lot of walking, far too hot, but there are dedicated walkers  passing through the village of Montcuq every day as part of a pilgrimage they do. It’s a famous walk they do and one year I may even do it. Who knows?

This picture is of a clock in the centre of Cahor. It was an exceedingly hot day and we stopped off here to have a coffee and listen to a soundcheck for a band performing that evening , so it was hot and loud. clock in Cahors

This cobblers had a unique window display of miniature shoes, a picture I did not take, and this is where my question about photography is now really coming into play.cobblers in Cahors

Having a film restricts the amount of photos you can take, the time, & cost of film development. I like the process admittedly, as I don’t know exactly what I’m going to get, but I’m going to try an old digital camera that has been given to me and see how I get on with that. I have used digital before and can’t say I got totally into it and the camera conked out pretty quickly..

 

name of river?

The river lot runs through Cahor and onward down towards an area we visited for a picnic by the river and  to visit a historic village called Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. A photograph is the equivalent to a thousand words. How could you describe everything you have seen on every walk you have gone to? A collection of photos with a few snippets is probably sufficient. Depending whether I have anything significant to say about an area or life in general, a blog can really only say so much.

Back to the UK having had a film developed

Before visiting France I spent a nice weekend in Newcastle and the coast and the weather was perfect. June has to be my favourite month.

Someone sailing away- wish it was me

perfect day in june tynemouth

A perfect day in Tynemouth this photo could be anywhere but it was truly lovely, very relaxing.

port of Tyne june 2014

One of my very favourite sights has to be the bridges over the Tyne, this was taking from the riverside having pub lunch on a Sunday in June.

tyne at nightThe night before walking back from The Cluney having seen The Rezillos this was taken with a camera phone .I’m not sure why I haven’t got into a camera phone at this stage. It was a beautiful evening, there was hardly anyone around as well which was strange. The revellers for some reason don’t make it down to the river!! they stay in town.

Walk from Dover

MOVING to FURTHER ventures with the walking group on the 12th of July, it was warm, but not a clear day. The walk was a circular walk from Dover, we could not see France as it was not clear enough.

A gateway to the Sea at Dover

A gateway to the Sea at Dover

 

White cliffs of Dover

White cliffs of Dover

Wild flowers on cliff top Dover

Wild flowers on cliff top
Dover

Last but not least… I did not expect to see these on my walk……

Very curious creatures, they ran towards us as they were extremly curious

Very curious creatures, they ran towards us as they were extremely curious

Yes walking can be interesting at times, you have to keep on going and you never know what you might come across.

 

Until next time

Best Wishes

Julie