walking after an illness

It’s not always easy to go walking after an illness

I had a  tumor taken out of my neck (it was benign but could have grown massive)  it doesn’t prevent me from walking, but still has it’s side effects. My legs were fine, but it takes a lot of energy & planning to get out there. Although my legs were fine, I didn’t feel right. To go walking after an illness, it’s best to mentally prepare.

People can not see your scars. Usually, people are wrapped up in their own thoughts, and cannot see you are feeling a bit vulnerable.

It’s best just to have a chat with a walk leader, in case you feel unwell at any point. My ear and side of the face were numb the wound leaked when I ate. I had gone to my GP after my op, She thought it may be an infection after the op. I went back to the consultant, who so casually said, oh that’s just because we took your saliva glands out! that often happens. The GP wasn’t aware of that fact, neither was I.!  Eating out with others, I felt worried that my ‘face would leak’!. 

At home, I felt safe and it was good to catch up with what other people are doing on-line, other bloggers and in particular the 365 projects (photography) 

After some time at home, I decided to make the most of the late summer good weather. I went for a  really interesting walk with the South Bank Group. A really good bunch of people.  We started at Bermondsey a linear 5-mile walk going through Southwark Park via Rotherhithe,  some of which is by the river onto The Thames Path, with fantastic views of London. Of course, I didn’t have my camera, but I will go back.

Many "nooks an crannies" and historical reference points to the Docks; Russian Dock, Lavender Dock, good old Surrey Docks, to name a few.


So many references and stories were told and someone had some old photos of the Docks from 1969 which was quite interesting. The leader Roger Aylward had an in-depth knowledge of the area and has lived in London for 50 years and in Bermondsey for the last 10 years. It was a large group and a really sunny day, so we meandered at a very slow pace stopping at frequent points for historical talks about the Docks &  just to admire the stunning city landscape. Continue reading


Food for Thought

Food For Thought has been my favourite cafe since the early EightieS

I have very few cafes that I frequent, but first on the list is Food For Thought. It doesn’t stay open too late, so it is more of a lunchtime café and can be a bit pokey. But if you get there early and find a seat it is a real treat.

 Food For Thought based in Covent Garden, serves, delicious vegetarian food? 

There aren’t nearly enough restaurants/cafes like that. Providing Good vegetarian food at decent prices. Food for Thought has survived and kept going strong but hasn’t branched out and turned into a chain. It has kept true to itself which is unusual in this day and age. The only café similar, I know of is Bonnington Café, but that is more of a community café, based in Vauxhall. I don’t live there but have visited on a few occasions. I do remember a morning breakfast of pancakes bananas and maple syrup. Pretty good.

When I was told that I had a tumour in my jaw a month ago I walked from London Bridge Guys hospital into Central London about and around Covent Garden- 


I was running out of steam and I got to the Haymarket, hungry and very much looking forward to eating, and I was heading to the Stockpot another favourite of mine. I got there and was dismayed it had closed down. This was becoming depressing. They aren’t vegetarian but they have a menu that does cater for vegetarians at affordable prices. It was a bit too late to go to Food for Thought. Where are all the decent cafes in LONDON? Why is everything so expensive? What is happening to our city? 


Anybody who has ever gone to the GP and come out being referred on a 2-week pathway ( possible cancer) will know the feeling.


The heat was on, the summer crowds were piling in and I was feeling stifled. I had a biopsy and was thinking about it being cancerous and what that could mean. I figured out whatever the outcome I had no control over it and I would have to wait and see. Of course, the thoughts of my funeral popped up and what I would do should my life be shortened!


The day wasn’t getting any better, and I decided to call it a day and to look forward to my up and coming walk along The Seven Sisters in Sussex.


Until next time


seven sisters cliffs Sussex









Hope all is well.



Northward Bound

South Shields-my birthplace



We had a great 5-6 mile walk along the cliff tops. I guess we take our heritage for granted, but having spent some of my childhood there & later teenage years, I spent little time walking along the beach. The coastal area is maintained by the National Trust and although the area has been damaged to some extent by previous recessions it is resilient.

Souter Lighthouse to South Shields walk graphic

Craster in Northumberland

We then ventured Further up from the South Shields coastline to visit Craster in Northumberland. It had started raining fiercely and we got a bit frightened off by the massive herd of cows who seemed intent on blocking our path at the gate that led to Dunstanburgh Castle. The photo of the cows doesn’t quite do it justice, but it was funny They were grazing down by the rocks and when they saw us coming they all ran towards the gate! I didn’t have the nerve to just walk through them! City Dwellers at heart.

These cows were actually galloping!


You can just about make Dunstanburgh Castle in the background, but being soaked through after walking about a half a mile we walked back and sat under shelter and enjoyed the local Craster kipper in a bun! I need to spend more time in Northumberland and make at least a week of it.


kippers at Craster

Craster fishing village in the rain

Craster fishing village in the rain


Live Theatre

Heading back to Newcastle Upon Tyne, where I lived from about 5 years old to 14 then returned on and off in my 20’s. 

We saw a wonderful production at a new play called TYNE written by Michael Chaplin.;

A fantastic talented musical cast journeying in time and space along the banks of the Tyne. This brand new play maps the epic history atmosphere and soul of this mighty river in story, music and images.

Chaplin’s TYNE live theatre

Illustrated with evocative imagery of the River Tyne is accompanied by live songs and music inspired by the river compiled by musical director, Kathryn Tickell. The music was exceptional and extremely moving.


I’m going to be doing a few walks around Kent/ Rye and Hastings over the next few weeks. 


In the meantime I am looking forward to swimming /cold beers and cinema!!!

Will keep you posted.





365 photographs and finding walks

Posting 365 photographs

Lately I have doing a bit of background tidying up, streamlining my work on line. I was recommended an online project by a photographer friend of mine. The basic idea is that you post a picture for every day of the year. You don’t have to post a photograph every day, but you do need to post 365 photographs

 I don’t have a digital at the moment and am using film, so my contributions are a bit ad hoc. I’m half way there and certainly don’t post a picture every day. Eventually though I will post a full 365 pictures. I have a few followers and I enjoy seeing other amateur photographers.


Linear walk Hitching to Letchworth

I recently joined up with a new walking group based in North London, we went out a  couple of Sundays ago which was the hottest day of the year at that point.




Although now we seem to be having a heat wave, it seems  a good time for me to do a bit of research. I have an intense aversion to heat! It makes my skin boil, and I get very irritated. I don’t know if it has anything to do with me being a North Country girl, but I actively avoid too much sun.

The linear walk Hitching to Letchworth via the old town of Hitching then Oughtonhead Common Nature Reserve led to a Lavender field. It was surprising to see such nice countryside and only about 30 miles outside of London A train from Kings Cross took about 30 minutes.

I did a couple of country walks with my South Bank Group, on different occasions both around 8 mile walks. I’m starting to get to the point where I want to make up my own walks and do them when I feel like it.

Research and reading maps

I’m becoming interested in researching places and reading maps. A group can be good but I am also very independent minded and like to do things my own way. Still I would encourage anyone who wants to get out of the city to join a walking group. If like me you have spent more years than you care to remember living in London as (wonderful as it is.)There is more to life. Anyone who knows London will know you can’t just get up and go for a walk , to really get anywhere scenic you need to travel at least 30 miles but more like 50 -60 for coastal walks which I prefer.

I’m also looking into the Saturday Walkers club publish walks and maps.

If you like to read a bit of history and view maps, you can also print out walks and download an audio programme outlining historical references to any area that you are interested in researching.

I haven’t been very successful with the phone application map my walk as I find it a bit fussy and difficult to read a map on a phone with the sunlight blaring on it. Far easier to have an idea first and then just amble along. I’m not too worried about getting lost really. It’s not like I’m going off into the Amazon Jungle.


Until next time please keep reading commenting sharing.


200 Flights were cancelled at Heathrow

Due to one aeroplane having to make an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport 200 Flights were cancelled


We were told we would not get a flight that day &  we were sent away from the airport in a state of disbelief. This made no sense whatsoever to us, and we were not offered any alternative flights.  Arriving back at Brixton in the pouring cold rain was a miserable way to begin our Bank Holiday Weekend.  We were looking forward to going to Berlin for what had promised to be an exciting Gig /Birthday Party. That was now out the window. 200 Flights were cancelled at Heathrow does not make a good headline. I’m astounded as to how one plane had an issue and the casing came off the jet engine, meant they had to cancel all of the flights going out to Europe that day. Surely they could have just done a quick check.


There was little we could do about it, the money for the flight and hotel would be refunded, but what now? Our Long Bank Holiday Weekend. ? We had missed the gig therefore, we weren’t going to go back to the airport the following day to pay again and hang about with thousands of others trying to find a flight. Surely British Airways could have shifted the plane and got some planes out to Europe! So close yet so far! It’s not like it was a major catastrophe just a fault in one of the plane’s engines.


I won’t book with British Airways again.

We were without a plan and peeved off but decided to just have a walkabout and managed 10 miles on Saturday, starting at Aldgate in the East End. I had thought maybe we could meet up with the South Bank Walkers who were following Jack the Ripper’s trail through Victorian London’s sinister East End but somehow got off at the wrong station and it was too late.

I will spare you the details, but we missed this walk by about five minutes. Feeling a bit jinxed at this point we wandered over to Petticoat Lane Market.

This was an area I hadn’t visited in years. I picked up a few goodies at the market then we walked through the city of `London’ The City of London is surprisingly quiet at weekends. We then walked to London Bridge, where we stopped off and had a lovely pub lunch by the river.

I spotted a massive dead fish floating down on a very a fast tide along the Thames. It looked strange just bobbing along being carried downriver with the waves.

We carried on walking over Southwark Bridge to Blackfriars where we stopped for a drink. The sun was beaming at this point and a nice breeze blew from Father Thames. We then carried on down the Embankment towards Vauxhall and walked to Oval then further to Brixton. The day out was nice due to the weather, but you know I would have preferred to have been to Berlin. 

A quiet place in the City of London – Bank Holiday when I was meant to be in Berlin


On Sunday I took my book out with me – ‘Walking Haunted London.’

I wanted to test out a short 3 mile walk around St James & Green Park area. There are some very interesting stories in the book with plenty of historical references and stop off points.  A nice lunch was had at  Shepherds market Mayfair and then a walk back through Green Park, past Buckingham Place to Victoria train station and back to Herne Hill. It was the best we could do under the circumstances. We tried to get away and just couldn’t, what a blow.

I want to try a few more of these walks and possibly lead one in the autumn when the dark evenings set the stage for a good Ghost Walk. I’m aware there are professional walks available all over London already, for more information try.


Until next time Keep your chin up and one foot in front of the other.