Winter Blues

 It’s January. Anybody got the winter blues?

Me too. I always feel depressed in January. Possibly not getting out on a good walk has contributed to that. The last walk was in November. That is somewhere away from London, into the countryside or down to the coast.

Losing my Mojo!

I did walk to work and back for a week when I thought I had a slow puncture  & I couldn’t be bothered to sort it out. That kind of sums up the bleak feeling. It’s not really achievable to be ‘on it’ all of the time. Some downtime is beneficial. But the winter blues seem to come around every year. I guess the only solution is to go somewhere and get away from it all. Staying indoors all month is a recipe for disaster.

Getting out into the wilderness? Who me? Not I.

A scheduled walk, Sunday the 27th of January has been written off due to snow all last week. Although the snow has gone, the ground will be damp, and as it defrosts it can get swampy.  It is still freezing cold, but at least the sky is clearing and the sun came out yesterday in London.

Phoenix Cinema

So if all else fails there is always the cinema. The Phoenix was built in 1910, the cinema finally opened in 1912 as The East Finchley Picturedrome, part of the first wave of cinema building happening across the UK in the early 1900s.


One of my favourite old art deco cinemas, so off I go to the Phoenix Cinema https://phoenixcinema.co.uk/PhoenixCinema.dll/Home to see a ballet broadcast live from Moscow. It’s not normally something I would do, and I enjoyed it much more than I could have imagined. It was in three parts with  decent 25 minute intervals . The sets costumes and coordination were beautiful, it was truly sublime. It has been years since I have seen anything so beautiful.







A scene from the ballet La Bayadere. Stunning costumes and sublime coordination.


                    I really must get out more.

Travelling back on the rail replacement service to Kings Cross wasn’t too bad after an afternoon at the cinema; the full moon was shining and I had forgotten how high up it was around Highgate. I have been down in the valley of Brixton far too long, and doing the cycle from Brixton to Camberwell South East London (work) Walking through St Pancras International just made me want to get away more. I longed to jump on the Euro Star and drift away.


So I guess it's time to start really digging out some routes to walk, and planning ahead. January is always the longest hardest month of all. 

Trudging around in the snow to get to work is a drag and those that travel on trains have to endure an extremely bad journey if there is a train at all!  

The Railway Services in the South of England, seem incapable of delivering any kind of reliable service when we get a bit of snow, it just adds stress to the whole month.

I’m personally ready to say goodbye to January and start looking forward to February and planning some days and weekends away.


Until then Happy readers

Adios &  farewell.




To Quote Bob Dylan, NO- Direction Back Home. 

 I had promised myself that I will do the Regents Canal walk before Xmas this year-but and let’s face it, the canal walk would likely end up in a pub.  Nothing wrong with that as such, apart from getting caught up with shopper’s en route back home. I am going to leave any walking trips until the proper bleak mid-winter, when the air is crisp and clean.  Less crowds, more space. My last canal walk, seemed like a busy highway, and we ended up dodging cyclists, joggers and prams. Such is London life.

Looking back at life in London

I have lived in London since about 1982 starting off in South Kensington, some time in North London, then to New Cross eventually settling into Brixton. I spent the years 1978-1982 going backwards and forwards from Newcastle to London, in those days I took off at a moment’s notice and had sudden pangs of homesickness where I would hitch up the M1. For some years this was my mode of travel. I wouldn’t dream of it now.  That was to be young careless and free. I hasten to add, and skint! and skinny!.

Brixton was a vibrant place back then and there were lots of squats and coops. Perfect for the time. It was easy to find somewhere a bit run down and do a bit of work in it and live there rent free.

A bit of a shambles but when your young you don’t care about things like that or at least our generation didn’t, we thought it was great. I would like to see the artificial reality crew dealing with that lifestyle.!

London Underground

London is a massive place and I probably spent over 20 years going to gigs/trying to get bands together and music generally ruled my life. I’m old enough to remember when you could sit on the circle line ran all night and you could smoke and drink.! I have since become accustomed to avoiding the tube if /when possible, but it is convenient.

1979 In these days you could smoke on the tube and the circle line went around and around all night!

1979 In these days you could smoke on the tube and the circle line went around and around all night!









Much to talk about through the night! This was always welcome after a night in the MUSIC MACHINE .
Typical flyer for the Music Machine..

The last two years have seen me looking for adventures close to home. The world has gradually become a smaller and more expensive place to live. I don’t enjoy travelling in the way I used to.


It’s a toss-up as to what’s worse- sitting in traffic in a car, or being held up in a train because of engineering works. I generally walk and cycle if I can. I understand other cities aren’t so bad. Living in London for all the fun I have had, it always had another side to it. Driven by a power, I don’t relate to. I have mainly lived on the side lines. Seeking out pleasure and fun, while juggling making some kind of a living. It is great to reconnect with my creative self, while still having a job to pay the bills.



Until next time keep on keeping on.







This Monkey’s gone to Heaven! /Gone to Devon


This monkey’s gone to heaven!” Eh, I mean, this writer’s gone to Devon.

This monkey gone to Devon!


Visiting Devon…

It can be a heavenly place and I have visited some beautiful spots. Unfortunately I don’t get the time to go off when visiting m y brother and young nephews. Perhaps when there older, we can go a bit further afield. I did try to find a walk with a group based in Devon, via the Ramblers website, but there was nothing near to Torquay on my recent visit. 

My brother had told me of a 13 mile walk from Brixham to – Kingswear.

I would be happy for a 3- 5 mile walk on this occasion. A walk I can do from the seafront. Next time I will explore further. 

AFTER THE RAIN comes the sun.




Also, getting back to the feet, I haven’t walked any great distance in these walking shoes I bought recently from Clarks, size 6 and a half!.  

It is a weird one, the floppy toe syndrome! I can’t explain it I really can’t. The podiatrist offered a sort of explanation, which went a bit over my head.   There was some kind of operation that I could have but if it was anything like the surgical procedure to remove a verruca I don’t think I will bother. 

I have yet to get into the habit of strapping my toes together to support them, but the podiatrist did show me how that was done! I will be  taking my ASIC running shoes as a back- up, as they give me no problems at all, they are great but being white not suitable for muddy paths etc.

Pictures from Devon and blog about walk will be on its way too you soon.


The Pixies This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven

keeping it short, keeping it real.


Seaford to Glynde

Seaford to Glynde 




Walking takes a certain amount of stamina, this was an 11-mile walk in Sussex starting at Seaford to Glynde all in the countryside. We walked up Northwards inland over vast open spaces and quite hilly in parts. We had glorious autumn weather that day but still, the earth was damp with residues of rain from the previous nights of heavy rain. 

A few of us fell over including myself, as parts of the walk were chalky and damp downhill and we kept skidding.

My legs were hurting and I was too hot, covered in mud! preoccupied with not having the right walking gear and annoyed that I had burned my only pair of walking trousers in a rare ironing frenzy!

I wasn’t sure how Rural Sussex would photograph in black & white.

I needed to use up a 35mm film. It seemed a shame, especially it being Autumn and the colours being so vivid but I quite like the effect. I know you can use effects on most smartphones to Black & White, but I vouch that film is very different from digital and has a different outcome. Well at least in printed format.

Such is life.

The walk started at Seaford over the downs, walking in the countryside to Berwick Church.


I had mentioned the church on my first blog, as we walked there from Charleston House.

After a pub lunch, the group seemed to split into the Fast and Slow Walkers, I assigned myself to the fast group but we had to keep stopping to wait for the others in case they got lost. I’m sorry to say, but that got very tedious after a while.

Romantic Berwick Church Autumn 2012

I have the need to walk everywhere now

I am from Newcastle but have lived in London now longer than I lived in Newcastle.. Still, it was my old stomping ground and I’m still truly love the centre of Newcastle with its magnificent bridges. I have been revisiting in the last few years.

We tried to walk to the now-famous Cluny music venue on the Friday night we arrived.

It seemed such a lovely romantic walk along the Tyne, however, we were on the wrong side of the river, going in the wrong direction!

We backtracked & opted for a gig in the Westgate Road Newcastle, near my old primary school; A Ramones cover band was due to play.

We slipped into the Art Centre next door where they were having Tango lessons! We had a beer and watched that while waiting to see the Ramones cover band. Some contrast!


Best Wishes

Rye to Hastings walk

Rye to Hastings 13 miles

The Rye to Hastings Walks as described by Walk Leader Margaret Wasdell. “A brisk walk through a wonderful section of the Kent Coast, following parts of the Saxon Shore Way.”

FH000011Rye to Hastings how to get there.

An early start from Charing Cross we took the Hastings train then changed to a local network train to Rye.  We walked through the picturesque village of Rye, and downhill across a small bridge over a river at Brede; then up a steep hill, catching a glimpse of the sea as we walked towards an ancient village called Winchelsea.

There we had a picnic under the sun in the churchyard of St Thomas the Martyr; incidentally, Spike Milligan was buried there.

 After half an hour lunch we walked on and over some fields towards a 16th-century castle built by Henry the V111. 

We then followed a path alongside the Royal Military Canal & walked briskly for 30- 40 minutes. Then arriving at an open road towards the seafront of Pett Level & further on until approaching The Fairlight National Trust Reserve.

After admiring the views we walked up into woodland for several miles, taking us up to Fairlight Cliffs.
The walk provided us with a stunning view out into the sea and led into Hastings Country Park from there on the walk consisted of many steep ascents and descents eventually arriving at Hastings.



FH000009Did I mention the steep ascents and descents into Hastings?Up and down and Up, and down,then Up,then down again.


It was an invigorating walk and well worth the effort to get there.

I need to mention that this walk alone made it worth joining up with a walking group. They have experienced guides which without I would have given up. I’m not much of a map reader, but eventually, as I get out more I will start to learn

Until next time.

Enjoy the views