Jan
2018

Challenging walks

There are two Challenging walks I am leading this year.

There are so many types of challenging walks. The first walk I’m leading is from Seaford to Eastbourne, is a walk I have done before and know to be difficult. The total distance is about 14 miles. Made all the more difficult because of having very steep ascents and descents. It includes the steep Beachy Head, as well as The Seven Sisters. This is scheduled for the 13th of May.

There are many types of Challenging walks. 

Coming up on the 1st of June is another long one, from Hastings to Rye, with a steep start through Hastings Country Park.

This is a walk I need to practice, a few times, to make sure I can keep pace. There are a few members interested in learning this with me. I think what makes this the most challenging walk, is the fact that it is very long as well as all of the steep ascents and descents.

 

trooping through the fields at Rye

Rye to Hastings

 

Previously I have walked starting from Rye to Hastings, and on all of those occasions, I found it to be demanding; especially on a hot summer day. Let’s see how this one goes. I will be doing a practice run for this one for sure.! There are some long flat stretches such as along the Military Canal.

Rye to Hastings walk

 

 

Capital Walkers

A London-based group and usually of a younger age than The Ramblers. They are also calling out for walk leaders, and it’s something I may consider an Easter Walk, a favorite walk of mine is Brixton to Chelsea Physic Gardens then finishing at Victoria. City walks are the way to go, save time waiting for buses. I get around quicker that way. There is no doubt about it walking has become a booming interest. From city walks to the countryside and coastal walks in the Uk,  Europe, and beyond. The choice is yours. Just start walking. 

I joined my group in 2011 and would never have guessed it would turn into such a passion. I’m not saying I hadn’t done a lot of walking previous to that, I always liked walking about looking at places. Planning long walks, and taking a group out, is a different kettle of fish, it takes time, as does understanding routes, train travel, & working out the distances of routes.  It is a challenge to learn and I am always up for learning new things.

https://capitalwalkers.org.uk

Meet Up Group Bloggers- ways to keep inspired to write my blog about walking

I have eventually joined up with a Bloggers Meet Up Group in Euston, and intend to be a lot more group-focused, or, even just getting to know other writers/bloggers. It might sound a bit dull to sit in a room with other people writing, but usually, there are discussions as well.  People generally like to enjoy talking about the work they are doing. I find it interesting to meet other writers/bloggers. It is held in the week, so I can’t get to it as often as I would like to.

Historical walks in London

 

I did manage to visit Charterhouse and the Museum of the order of St John after returning to Clerkenwell a couple of weeks ago. The area deserves its own post; as I was there on a social/business venture, it was a case of popping in briefly to both venues. A Post exclusive will be Coming Soon.  See my post for December for details of the last 2 city walks.

 

SOUTH DOWN DARK SKY FESTIVAL 

Night sky & stargazing is something I have always wanted to do, where better than the South Downs, on a cold clear night. 

I love walking out in the countryside in Winter and the nearest I can get to it at the moment is Winter Watch on BBC 2. This time last year, I was walking on the South Downs in Lewes, on a freezing cold winter’s day, followed by the Best Vegetarian Breakfast ever. Unfortunately, they have been forced to close down due to excessive competition. It is so sad, I was really looking forward to going to this cafe again.

 

winter in Lewes https://icantexplainmyfeet.com/destinations-travel/

Until next time, keep on keeping on.

 

 

Dec
2017

HISTORIC LONDON

There’s always something to discover in historic London

This month I attended two London Led walks. The first walk was a refreshing 5-mile circular walk through all the historic lanes & alleyways; in and around, Greenwich. We strolled through the Royal Park taking in the stunning views of London, followed by Christmas dinner at The Café Rouge. You can’t get any more historic London than Clerkenwell which was my second walk of the month.

Greenwich has always been a tourist destination and rightly so. I feel like I have missed out on so much, mainly due to the fact that I tend to go there on Sundays in the summer when it’s too crowded, and never really take the time to visit some of the museums. My to-visit list features the Fan Museum.

https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk 

 A winter’s stroll through the paths and passageways of medieval and revolutionary Clerkenwell.

The following Friday I met the south bank group at Farringdon Station, the walk was led by Martin Fidler; Artist and walk leader. Martin knows his history and we covered about 700 years of history in our two-hour walk.

Executions in Farringdon were a regular spectacle in those days.

We stood outside Smithfields which was once a square where executions were held. Then onto t St John’s Gates, venturing into 3 churches, and ending at the library where Karl Marx studied. I will have to go back and visit some places. It was a bit of a whirlwind tour covering a lot of history; being a freezing cold day, & fascinating as it all is, the need to keep moving, meant we covered a lot in a short time.

 

Back to 2017 & Street Art.

Street art is something I find interesting and have come across a lot of it lately. Anyone that lives in this day & age can’t fail to see the relevance of this Tesco basic brand and its reinterpretation of it. I was walking down Brick lane last week and discovered this sprayed on a wall. Anyone that shops in Tescos that is. I shop all over the place but this brand is particularly ugly and I haven’t bought it. Whether it’s any good or not I have no idea but unlikely. The fact that we have different foods for different incomes is bad enough! A MURAL NEAR PENGE.

I’m not too sure who the guy in the Top Hat is meant to be exactly, of course, it’s Top Cat America’s favourite wise guy, begging for cash, note the Halifax symbol embedded into his coat. Montcuq at Christmas time

It was great to see this in the window of an apartment in the village. A tribute to the passing of JOHHNY HALLYDAY. I  have a French film on DVD, in which Johnny hallyday plays the part of an ex offender, he’s pretty cool. L’homme Du Train, a real sweet film, available on amazon.

 

MORE ART

Furthermore, this was an interesting sight, posted in the window of the corner gallery-a pop art print of the iconic Marylin Monroe next to the iconic image of Jesus and the cruxificion. 

After a heavy bout of flu & being bed bound, I eventually managed to get out to take a couple of short walks to clear the nasals it was lovely to be able to walk & not see anyone!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is an area that many pilgrims pass through on their long walks

NEW YEARS' EVE IN NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

I’m spending the remaining two days of the year in Sleeperz Hotel  Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne. I can’t believe I went to school on Westgate Road and am now staying in a hotel here. Out of all my visits, this place rocks like no other and I will never abandon my roots. 

From days when shipping and trading were busy on The Tyne.

 

Here’s to the Best city in the World.

see other posts here from  Northward Bound

Cheers to 2018 & Happy New Year

 

Nov
2017

Walking in Eastbourne

I love walking in Eastbourne

I love walking and I love visiting and walking in Eastbourne, I was lucky to find myself on a course for Unite for a whole week staying in a hotel on the seafront.  Was I going to get in some walks while attending a  course? it was winter so the days were short, but I love walking in Eastbourne, The View Hotel is famous for its conferences and hosts many UNite conferences. I had never experienced anything like it as I was fairly new to being a Unite Rep. I wasn’t sure it was my cup of tea, but situations at work had spurred me to get more organised and not to get complacent.  The frequent management changes and attitudes were getting worse, and perhaps just the tip of the Iceberg.

 

I think like most things you can take out of it what’s relevant to you. I’m not a clique sort of person or really much of a group person, so I got through the class, work some of which was very interesting.

.https://www.theviewhoteleastbourne.com

https://www.unitetheunion.org

Eastbourne is a special place to me,  it’s a starting point for a very long hike over to Seaford,  a walk I have led several times. Beachy Head is an incredibly cliff head, walking on over the cliffs,  it’s a whole day of open space. After being cooped up in an office week after week, that is like walking in paradise.

The View Eastbourne

Room with a view Eastbourne, staying at The View

 

Fantastic views, follow the ever-changing skylines 

I know I was here on business, but it was great to open the curtains and French windows to look out at the sea. This is the sort of place I could like to see myself living in, I think to myself, a room with a view, open space, and the sea air. 

early morning walk towards Beachy Head

Walking towards Beachy Head

 

I jogged the mile to the start of Beachy Head every morning before breakfast then another walk into town before lunch. I also managed to get a little climb up to Cliffs Edge which overlooks the sea heading towards Beachy Head.

Eastbourne heading to Pevensy Bay

WALKING TOWARDS PEVENSEY BAY EARLY EVENING

 

I came across this which is situated walking from Eastbourne View towards Pevensy Bay.

Sculpture inspired by ship Wreck

 

I  found a place on the seafront that did Pilates and Yoga, so  I joined in with an easy yoga/mediation class, before the UNITE final night disco.! Lastly I would just like to recommend a cafe in Eastbourne Terminus place. The hotel was very good but on arrival there was no lunch, so I found this place and had to go back a couple of more times for their delicious soup.

The Taste Bud Cafe on the corner of Terminus Road

The hotel was fabulous but the food was a bit too rich and not the best if you want to eat a vegetarian/vegan diet, which I do.

 

Great place to spend a night or two.

see previous walks from Seaford to Eastbourne

Challenging walks

 

 

 

 

Oct
2017

Where Now?

 Where now? looking for inspiration and new walks.

 

Sometimes things happen fast and other times not so. In a period of 3 months back in the late 80s, we had written a set; created a rehearsal studio/recorded a demo, & Where Now was one of the songs I came up with. A friend of the drummer organised a video shoot for a live gig but due to illness couldn’t do the gig so we stepped in, I still have the video, now transcribed to DVD. It always makes me happy to recall that story. I was full of hope and ambition.

Revisited NYC under my belt, Where now?

Is still the question, & as always the future is uncertain. So what is happening with the walking? I’m making plans. It’s Autumn and the weather has been goodAs a starter, I have renewed my My Network Rail Card, so that’s a 1/3 off all journeys a good deal. 

https://www.network-railcard.co.uk

Got down to Birchington on Sea & walked to Margate, a blustery day with the weather changing every five minutes.

Seeing the dramatic effect on the colour of the sea and sky it’s easy to imagine why Turner loved painting the view. The Turner Gallery itself was under construction, but a couple of new exhibitions are opening soon so planning on returning before the end of this year. We clocked up over 10 miles on this walk. Enjoyed a nice lunch at Margate Harbour, and a beer in a bar overlooking the sea. Then walked back to Westgate on Sea and had a couple of beers in the micropub.

 

WALKING BACK, LOOKING AT ROCKS , ALL GONE VERY QUIET

 

Day to Day Walking

It just takes a bit of effort to walk daily. My general walking day-to-day has increased, partly as I have been spending time in Eltham in October and commuting during the week to Denmark Hill; a 25 minute walk each way to and from the station. If I  add a little walk at lunch time, then if going anywhere after work, I find I’m easily walking 4- 5 miles a day.

I did cycle last week to work from Brixton and have found I really don’t enjoy it anymore, I think doing the same thing too long is murder for the soul. 12 years is enough. When I start my career break, I can easily cycle, walk, or roller-skate should the fancy take me. Not having to go to Denmark Hill for 3 months will be thanks enough.

Winter Gardens Avery Hill Park Eltham,

 

Part of the Green Chain Walk cuts through this park linking to other boroughs.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to a weekend in Torquay to visit my brother and nephews, then back to London to get cracking on the various projects that have been on the back burner for far too long.

Watch this space for more talks about walks among other things.

 

 

love and peace

 

Sep
2017

Walking in New York City

Walking in New York City 

 I didn’t expect to be Walking in New York City in 2017, I mean it wasn’t really something I was dreaming up! After a walking weekend in Keswick, the Lake District, I was now considering walking in New York City!

I met an Australian woman on a walking weekend in the Lake District, who told me about her recent visits to NYC. York.  She had told me how the Hudson River, area was being redeveloped. and how she had been walking in New York City, and how easy it was to walk along the Hudson River. Sh.e also recommended The Jane Hotel situated real near to the River Hudson

The Lake District

I felt inspired by her recommendations which alighted a flame I thought had long died, and a curiosity about the Big Apple awakened in me. My last visit had been around 2006. I have always loved my urban walks, and in recent years I was spending more time along the river.

 

Jane Hotel has quite a history.

In 1912, the survivors of the Titanic stayed at the hotel until the end of the American Inquiry into the ship’s sinking. I tend to write about the here & now, but if you like history click on the link below to read more about the history of The Jane.

 

Reception area at The Jane.

 

http://www.thejanenyc.com/history/

I really love this pic looking out towards Ellis Island from the Hudson river near The Jane.

 

THE JANE HOTEL is situated on the embankment of the Hudson River.

It is near where the old meatpacking district used to be and borders on the Chelsea area. If I had to compare it with an area in London, it would be Belgravia around the back of Victoria. The area hosts neat ‘little’ townhouses (at a Grand Price). As well as very good restaurants & cafes. The Mole restaurant was my favorite, a Mexican place with fantastic food & drinks. We ordered a ridiculous amount of food, not knowing what things were. Drowned down with non-alcoholic cocktails, it was fantastic. Probably about 5000 calories just in that sitting.

BACK in 1986,  I travelled alone to NYC on a budget. I was aged 25 with 700 dollars in my pocket.

   

In those days it was  $3 a night for a room in a hostel in Harlem. I was young free and single with 4 weeks to explore. It was easy to really get to know the whole of the city at that time and explore further afield  & beyond from The Bronx to New Jersey, and Long Island.

I had after all travelled to the city, with the vague aim of meeting musicians. Although I did meet a few musicians and saw a lot of live music. The extended visit had to end. I tried to sell my ticket to go on a road trip to L.A but it wasn’t to be. 

I never get tired of seeing The Statue of Liberty, one of many pictures taken from the ferry crossing to Staten Island.

This trip to New York felt very different from my visit in 1986.  

 The room in the Jane Hotel was tight. You could not move, for the two bunk beds took up most of the limited space.  It was stuffy and humid. We kept the air conditioning on all night. With only a tiny window covered in black mesh, it made no odds. You could not open it and the view was a brick wall.  If you woke up it was difficult to tell if it was morning or night!

 https://www.thejanenyc.com/rooms/captains-cabin/

 

We walked 70 miles over 7 days

We walked about 10 miles every day. One of the walks was from Harlem to 5th Avenue Central Park. I attempted to revisit the hostel in St Nicholas Avenue 345th street, I had stayed in back in 1986-7.  On this visit, I couldn’t quite place it. Still, it was interesting to revisit the area.

 Like re- visiting your home town, nothing looks quite the same. Nothing is the same, nor ever will be! 

I really enjoyed seeing it all again; although, it’s a fierce city and it was extremely hot every day and this was September. The subway stations were unbearable and it felt like being locked in a launderette, with the driers on full heat all day.

We got to know the area of Williamsburg where we found a great little venue called the Union Pool. 

They had a great DJ, with a good-sized dance hall. A music venue tucked inside, with a different entrance and a large artificial garden outside, with more bars. The bar sold a beer with a shot of tequila for a few dollars.

Cops at Diner Williamsburg

 

I can’t remember how many of those I had or how we got back to the hotel.! We wandered off with a couple of guys we had made friends with. Sad to say I don’t recall much of our late-night adventure, out on the town!

.http://www.union-pool.com/listing/  

 

Coney Island, The Freak Show is no longer there.

Generally, the food was abundant and good everywhere we went.

We visited the Russian Brighton Beach area twice as it was hot enough to swim and sunbathe. In fact, it was baking.

Juicy Melons

Brighton Beach Subway.

 

 We enjoyed a fantastic meal at Tatiana a Russian Restaurant, situated along the seafront. We were treated to a blast of  Russian singing; The service was fantastic and the food was great.

I felt the beach had lost some of its edginess. Well, in fact, all of its edge. It had been cleaned up a lot. No ladies with snakes, or the tattooed man-eating fire and that sort of thing were on display. I had been entranced on my last visit there with the tattooed fire-eating man. I guess these days most people look like the tattooed man.

Cats for Sale in Union Square

The cats looked so well looked after and all the cages had little notes attached with stories written on them. The stories told were about where the cats were found; mainly in places like The Bronx, and poor areas of NYC. Some cats had missing feet or legs. So sad, but very encouraging to see The New Yorker’s volunteering to help home the abandoned cats.

 

Abandoned cats for sale in Union Square all with a story to tell.

American Indian Mask from the Met.

 

I revisited the Met in search of a lost item.

Every now and again, I see a design that inspires me and had thought about putting it onto a tee-shirt. It’s one of those ambitions that pops up every now and again

 I was hoping on this visit I might be able to purchase the same book, in which the South American Indian design that inspired me all those years ago, might be found. ! I  had lost the book somewhere along the line. It was probably when the basement of my flat got flooded out. The mask above had been in that particular book, so I was on the right track, it has to be out there somewhere.

I never did find it.

 

Until Next time, Keep on Keeping on. It’s all you can do.