New walks & Ventures


New walks and new ventures, somewhere around Berwick Sussex & The Devils Punch Bowl

In my previous blog, I mentioned I was going to try & learn some new walks. True to my words, I went off armed with some printed instructions & headed towards Berwick Station East Sussex to meet a walking ‘buddy’. Finding new walks isn’t always easy, but we have to try.!

Getting to know Berwick in Sussex

Arriving at Victoria early was fine, but I missed my connection from Brighton to Berwick. I had a vague memory of the area. My first walk with the South Bank Ramblers covered this area. Consequently I was late & the pouring rain looked set to continue for the rest of the day. Luckily there was a café/pub right next to the station at Berwick, so we could have a coffee & plan what to do.

Like a lot of new ventures you have to try more than once to make it a success.

My walking companion had a good grasp of reading a map so I happily let her take the lead. I had taken the initiative to organise the walk, but the rain and me being late meant we had to cut it short. I was grateful to her having an ordnance survey map and being able to read it. Miraculously the rain stopped within five minutes of us starting the walk and then poured down again about five minutes before we finished.

Despite the fact we only clocked up just under five miles, we walked over dry hard fields, lumpy  ground and such. My legs the following day; ankles, feet &  calf’s in particular were painful. My feet are usually the problem and they were throbbing like mad having worn the boots from 8am to 8pm . I’m obviously going to have to wear them in.

Devils Punch Bowl and Gibbet Hill  10 mile Hike.

Into the trees

Into the trees  Magic Mushrooms in Autumn         


http://www.meetup.com/Explorer-UK/ Organise regular walking Day trips and weekends. You can book online.

I joined this MEET UP GROUP on line.

Tom will purchase your tickets and lead the walk. It’s a good way to get to know areas and meet people.  40 minutes outside of London from Waterloo we were in Haslemere. 

It was a perfect Autumn day for a ten-mile hike along the Greensand Way to The Devil’s Punch Bowl on the borders of the South Downs National Park.


MAGIC MUSHROOMS- not really!


Caterpillar at the Devils Punch Bowl, beautiful colours, so vibrant.


We enjoyed beautiful views across the Bowl’s natural Amphitheatre before climbing out the other side to see even further from the second highest point in Surrey. Along the way  visiting the Sailor’s Stone and discover its gruesome history, before finishing the walk at a lovely pub a few minutes from the train station.



By the by I like to get inspired through reading.


I finished reading Bill Bryson comical journal about travelling today in the UK, and felt inspired to keep on writing about my days out and walking adventures. 

Neil Roberston (my uncle) sent me this link regarding magic mushrooms!

The Magic Mushroom pics on your blog look like Fly I Agaric. For MM pics see: http://http://www.magic-mushrooms.net/gallery.html#.WBXvZxmnwj0


I knew they weren’t literally magic mushrooms that get you high,but they sort of look Magic. 


Avoir Farewell.



September 2016

In September 2016, I happened to visit a few places. I was in Hastings, Palma and France!


Alligator sand sculpture

 September 2016, was a busy month for me. The above sand sculpture,while crumbling slightly, still looked impressive. This man-made lake is a very relaxing hang out. A perfect place to cool off. A 20 -30 minute walk from Montcuq village.

Lake near Montcuq on a perfect summer day


Fantastic walking area in Hastings


Rye to Hastings, or Hastings to Rye,

Either way this is one of the most difficult walks I have done, and I still haven’t cracked how to do it exactly without the aid of someone else. I’m sure I could do so, if I lived nearer and had time to get to know it. It remains one of my favorite walks all the same. Best done in May or June.

more stories of Hastings/London

Hastings Country Park, bigger than you think



It was my first ever all inclusive holiday. I know I’m maybe the only person on the planet who has never sampled this experience.! I had to try it once and there were many good things about it. Not so much the free bar as the types of drinks you could get weren’t great. Unless you like getting pissed on cheap cocktails.

In the mountains of Palma


The hotel was really good, the pools were nice and the food was plentiful, probably all that free food was too much for me.  I don’t know what it was exactly, I felt a bit imprisoned because I couldn’t walk anywhere really and I felt the main resorts were just full of German tourists out to get totally drunk! Not my cup of tea.  Perhaps if I had stayed in the centre of Palma and just taken a couple of days out at a beach I might have enjoyed that much more. My first and probably last all inclusive type of holiday.

More posts coming up in October, last day of the month, every month.




Finding new walks

Finding new walks can be challenging.

Getting out and finding new walks, isn’t as easy as it looks. Trying to get a ticket to go somewhere equally so. Disappointed that Southern Railways haven’t got their act together yet. Not sure what’s going on with them exactly, but I went onto their website and tried about 5 times to book a ticket to Bishopstone near Lewes, for a 12-mile walk.  If someone has hacked their website it’s not that surprising -but- please sort it out!  

The ticket office at Herne Hill was closed on Saturday & usually get a good price ticket from them.  Buying from the ticket machine would cost about £26, but £17.50 on line. I gave up in the end and opted out. I’m not happy about having missed a walk but will have to make up for it some other way.

Finding new walks, and finding the name of flowers can also  be a challenge. They are pretty at least.


I am planning some new walks, & have found another South Bank Walker who has agreed to try out some walks with me around the Lewes area.

I have finally bought a new printer  & scanner which means I can scan & email the routes for her to print, then we can get out in the Autumn. It is about time to start planning some new adventures.

I have booked for a week in the Lake District in Autumn. The last time I was near that area in Penrith was the Blue Moon Festival, and we all took some illegal substances, I can’t remember the details but it was either acid or magic mushrooms, and everything was either totally hilarious or really scary.! That was a long time ago. I do remember it being a very pretty area though and Keswick was/is a popular tourist, so it will good to revisit the area.


In the meantime, I’m revisiting  old places



Cactus in Greenhouse at Physic Garden

I’m pleased to say that I revisited the Chelsea Physic Gardens recently, I had mentioned it when talking on the Robert Elms Show on BBC LONDON a couple of weeks ago.

I bravely volunteered to present my ideal day out in London on the radio ( a regular feature on his Saturday show)  and the Physic Gardens was my first port of call.


SIR HANS SLOANE originally from Northern Ireland


I often walk to Chelsea as it’s not a bad walk from Brixton. I had family over last weekend & took them to visit.

The Garden has been running talks throughout the summer on the subject of scents. It was a coincidence that one of the women who came on my Seven Sisters Walk was there as a tour leader.

She led a large group around the garden explaining the origins and different sections of plants from all over the world. It is hard to retain all the information about the history and use of plants for medicinal & other uses such as perfume and some cosmetics.

I can however, recommend to try it for yourself. I did a brief course at the gardens many years ago, with the intention of being a tour leader, but I wasn’t confident enough at the time.



Medicine Cabinet

Medicine Cabinet

Sunflowers can cheer us up among other uses

Sunflowers can cheer us up among other uses


phyisicians collection box!

Physicians’ collection box!

Photography in posts

I have been receiving a lot of marketing emails encouraging me to take up an I PHOTO course.

After a lot of emails, I decided to call into the Apple Store in Covent Garden. The emails are nothing to do with the Apple company. It is just some independent guy trying to make a fast buck.

For some time now I have been thinking about developing my photography skills but not sure how or what type of camera to invest in. I thought if someone can build a course on it with over 50 CDS at $99 there must be a lot to learn. I had watched about 2 minutes of his publicity video and felt that the guy was dragging it out somewhat so that’s what prompted me to find out for myself. Result.

I have done courses in the apple store before so I was aware they did workshops and classes. I was thrilled to find out they had a Free I phone workshop.

“Showing you how to compose and capture a great shot. We’ll explore the key elements of photo editing using the Photos app for quick fixes or fine adjustments. Bring your iPhone and follow along as we show you how to enhance your images with built-in filters and features. Then discover all the ways you can share your favorite photos.” They lend you the attachments and take you around Soho to test them out & it’s free!  It’s a start anyway.

While I was out there I popped into the City Lit & enrolled for a course in spring


Scanning our old prints, negatives, and transparencies & learning to digitize your images so you can archive or print them. I have hundreds of negatives and old photos that aren’t in good nick and look forward to doing this.


Just to mention I got mentioned in a book recently by HONEY SALVADORI it’s called Pull it Pull it. It’s all about Brixton back in the days, when there were loads of squats &  taxis would not go there! It’s officially released next month so if anybody wanted to check it out I can give you more details next post.


In the meantime, It’s Bank Holiday Monday and I’m out to get some downtime. Next weekend I’m off to Faversham festival


Until Next time.

keep on keeping on.





The Eden Project


 I Had bought advanced tickets for the P J Harvey Gig at the Eden Project, and that was a good move. The rest of the trip wasn’t planned.

BEE AT The Eden  Project

I had hoped to have a good few days before the PJ Harvey gig, relaxing. I was feeling uptight.

We managed to get to Taunton after about 7 hours from London, Heading towards Somerset on the Weekend of Glastonbury in torrential rain, which made for a tedious journey. There were long queues; I was feeling apprehensive. ‘Britain had spoken ‘and had voted to get OUT of Europe. I had voted to stay in the E.U and my partner voted to leave.! It had been agreed that at some point no matter the conclusion we might be camping at some point.

Looking In -Looking Out


Stopping at Taunton for a night with enough time for a meal and a couple of drinks, we enjoyed a little walkabout in town which was very quiet. There was a sweet little park and the town was smart but not a lot happening.!

A sculpture in the Public Garden of Taunton


The next day heading for Exeter

We had a relaxing day, some shopping & a browse around some of the side streets, and vintage shops. We stopped for a brilliant ploughman’s lunch at a café on the green facing the cathedral. Later that day, we drove down to Torquay for some evening sun and a couple of drinks. We spent a night with my brother and nephews before heading back on the road.

Cornwall my old friend

After a night at Torquay, the next day the rain started again so that put a dampener on our plans to camp near Sennen Cove. Somewhat despondent we stopped at a dismal pub on the road to nowhere.

I was presented with the worst sandwich in the world, ever! I actually took it back. Something I have never done before. But when it comes to food, I wasn’t having it! I will spare you the details!

I have a soft spot for Penzance. 

 For one it being situated near Lands End, it is a lively town with easy access to some lovely beaches and fishing ports nearby. We were lucky to get a B & B at the last minute. The people down there are extremely friendly and helpful,

On way to Sennon Cove

On way to Sennen Cove


After a night in Penzance we made our way to Sennen for a quick dip in the sea, which was  freezing. Then headed up to the Eden Project for a night of camping for the gig. I haven’t camped in about 15 years. It wasn’t great I must admit but I survived!



Despite the ups and downs of the last few days, I wasn’t disappointed with the gig.






Let England shake - PJ Harvey

The band have moved to another level, the set they played was really well choreographed and delivered a range of songs from two recent albums.  It was  extremely moving. Ms Harvey has matured into a slick and cool performer. I was entranced.

Have a listen to the apt named Let England shake track from one of her albums

There’s a really well-written review of the gig worth reading follow this link.


It’s been emotional lately and it’s a must to get out of London as much as possible and in particular to get out and walk.

PS If you like my blog please sign up and you can get it delivered to your Email inbox. .



Until next time.

Keep on Keeping on

Julie C.






Walking in Hastings.

I managed to get out on a mid-week 11 mile walk last week to Hastings through the vast country park


South Bank Walkers taking it in their stride.

South Bank Walkers taking it in their stride.


Walking at a pace

Hastings has a massive country park and it’s been a while since I had done a walk with a group. I have still to devise a few more new walks. I followed the leader this walk. He didn’t lie when he said it was brisk.  I don’t mind walking miles but I like to stop a bit, to take in the views . If I had been leading it I would have wanted to start in the town  had lunch there and then start the climbing.This walk was pretty much pounding furiously by-passing the town and straight up to the cliffs and into the woods.Once we got out of the woods it was refreshing to have the open space and views.

Out in the open Hastings.

Beautiful – Changing sky at Hastings


Heading back to Hastings
over the cliffs.


It seemed to be over before it begun and I decided not to follow the leader back to the station at 4pm and just have a little wonder along the beach and watched the seagulls fishing!

Sea/Sky Hastings

Sea/Sky Hastings


British Summer Time

Summer doesn’t last long enough in the UK I wonder how we would be if it was summer all year? But British summer that is-so that would include summer rain instead of winter rain and it would stay light all year round?! How different it would be. I don’t feel that it’s my favourite season but I always feel I have to make the most of a sunny day, but then so do thousands of others, so it’s difficult to go to a beach or a pool without half the world showing up!.

Southern Trains continue to provide the worlds worst service. Luckily I don’t commute into London, but getting anywhere on southern trains is a bit hit and miss these days. Another strike due next week. I had a walk ‘pencilled’ in this thursday around Southampton, I Considered the amount of projects I wanted to catch up with & the trains and unpredictable weather then decided to give it a miss.


Sometimes you just want to walk about and I Have been doing a lot of that in London.  Even just deviating a bit from the beaten track and you can feel like a tourist but  away from the main hub.

then the back of Victoria around Pimlico

The back of Victoria around Pimlico

Catching the sunset over Lambeth Bridge walking towards Vauxhall

Catching the sunset over Lambeth Bridge walking towards Vauxhall

Lambeth sunset after a few drinks in Victoria

Never mind Waterloo Sunset ! Look at Lambeth sunset.
After a few drinks in Victoria (magic)



Just to keep it all in perspective , I’d like to finish it here with a nifty little tune from Wire ….. about blogging. ! WIRE may well be sneering at the online world, and i get it but it keeps me out of trouble.. just about..

Keep on keeping on

It’s a funny old world !