May
2015

Escaping to Berlin

Escaping to Berlin, post-2015 General Election

 

I was working as a poll clerk the night before my weekend trip. There was excitement in the air. At 7 am a queue was forming. Sadly as the day developed, the crowds dwindled. After a 12 hour working day, I returned home feeling somewhat despondent. The chances of getting a new Government seemed slim!

Visiting Berlin.

 I was going to Berlin, my treat for taking on extra work.  We arrived and found our hotel situated in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin. The Hotel Die Fabrik is an old converted factory. Despite its industrial look, we found it to be comfortable and relaxing.

Bear in Courtyard of Hotel

Bear in Courtyard of Hotel

hotel Die Fabrique

Hotel Die Fabrique

Getting around Berlin

We had bought a weekend travel card. Once you activate the card at a station, you can jump on and off any bus or tube. The card cost £20 euros for the weekend, it is a pretty good deal.

We had a couple of gigs to see and wanted to get to know the city.

An old contact of mine from the music scene in Brixton had moved to Berlin and was performing with her band on two nights. They were intimate gigs and enjoyable. See more about Kathy x here. https://youtu.be/S50fgmfNa4U

Check Point Charlie www.mauermuseum.de/

We visited the Checkpoint Charlie museum, which took absolutely ages to locate. We walked for miles and frequently took wrong turnings. Although that’s the way to get to know a city! Berlin was interesting and there were lots of new things to see.

Outside the museum now a tourist attraction.

Outside the museum now a tourist attraction.

 

The Museum Checkpoint Charlie was founded by the human rights activist DR, Rainer Hildebrandt. It is a museum-unlike any other.

The museum explores the history of the Berlin Wall and the stories of those affected by it.

In the museum, you can discover some of the clever ways people tried to escape, over the Berlin Wall. 

We read the stories of those escapees who risked their lives to win their freedom. When we remember their past; we keep alive the memory of those who died trying to escape.

Extreme measures to escape are exhbited some inventive methods were made in a desperate attempt to escape

Extreme measures to escape are exhibited.  

Some got through, others didn't. Have a look at their website

Some people got through, the checkpoint, others weren’t so lucky.

 

 

 

love and peace

x

Apr
2015

Out and about in London

 sometimes we just want to get out and about

I am greatly encouraged to get out and about walking around London recently. The spring and good weather help. My first walk/ bike ride, was from Brixton to the South Bank on what promised to be an extremely polluted day! I

It was very warm and a grey mist hung over London. Firstly I cycled round the back streets and got to Waterloo for 11am. I know the route pretty well, so I know where to tie the bike around Waterloo.

I sat down inside the South Bank Centre, with my Mac Air book, intending to do some work.!, but I gave up on that, due to the festival hall hosting some kids dance /music event. I then walked over to Covent Garden to get myself a t-shirt, walked back & picked up my bike, then cycled back to Brixton.

 

Walking around and in Blackheath/ Greenwich

Another day out and about in London, where we walked down to Greenwich Market from Blackheath, where I picked up some great illustrated cards from THE DM Collection wwww.thedmcollection.com and had some lunch.

 

How mean is time?

How mean is time? Greenwich Mean Time, the clock in Greenwich park

 

Then a ferry along the Thames down to the Embankment

view from Thames Clipper

View from Thames Clipper

taken from Ferry to Thames

Going home to Brixton from Embankment

Walking over bridge from Embankment heading to Brixton

 

Having walked about Greenwich, we decided to take the clipper to the Embankment; as it was such a lovely day we, decided not to take a bus back and & walked back to Brixton.

The day after I joined up with the Finchley walking group from Highgate to Angel which was about 6 miles.

 

Additionally Last Sunday I walked with the South Bank Walking Group on a 11 mile walk in the Guildford area.  May looks to be a promising month, I’m working as a poll clerk in the General Election then going to Berlin the day after. There is a choice of Walks and a couple of Bank Holidays and many events happening, so I am going to be spoilt for choice.

 

This blog is dedicated to Karen & thanks for the free drinks at The New Order exhibition at The Proud Gallery Camden.

As promised I aim to get a blog out by the end of the month.

Until next time see you then

ps if you want to try and leave a comment there is a speech bubble at the top if you hover over it and click on it this should open a comment box. Or just scroll to the end of this blog.

Julie.

 

Mar
2015

Mad as the Mist and Snow

Mad as the Mist and Snow

An Appointment with Mr Yeats 

Mad as the Mist and Snow is an exciting song conjuring up excitement and delirium like a Mad March wind whipping up the Spring Air. W.B. Yeats poetry is interpreted by Mike Scott, in the above album. It is a thought-provoking recording, as it evolves into great music, & songs. What more could you want in life.?

Album cover for An appointment with Mr Yeats

 

This track Mad as the Mist and Snow is taken from the album An Appointment with Mr. Yeats, it makes me want to run and dive into the Atlantic or something!  I Saw The Waterboys recently at The Roundhouse in Camden, they didn’t play any songs from this Album as they were promoting a new album somewhat different, more bluesy influenced. Mike Scott has a very distinctive voice and you could actually hear the lyrics, I have to say is something I’ve not come across in a long while.

Music will always feature in my life as I have a strong musical background. Music & Walking can be great companions. Walking across NYC in the 80s with my Sony Walkman was one of my most enjoyable experiences ever. I had three tapes that I played a lot, Prince Sign of the times, U2 The Joshua Tree, and Sonic Youth Candle.

I have been getting about a bit recently, I also saw The UNTHANKS at The Roundhouse a few weeks back an interesting setup. A folks-influenced group from Newcastle. They cover Robert Wyatt with what is a brilliant version of The Sea.

 

 Unthank is an actual surname. Strangely enough, in my job, someone called me up with that surname, (not so long after I discovered this group.) That was a strange experience!, (taking that call that is.!)

Speaking of Newcastle- my home town. I discovered THE RAMONAS http://www.ramonas.co.ukthey played at The Think Tank Newcastle. An all-female band, devoted to The Ramones! The singer looked strangely like Joey Ramone! Another night out on the town for me! 

Previously in a recent visit to my hometown, I saw a Ramones cover band they all wore black wigs and were pretty good. I have to say I saw the real Ramones in Queens, New York, back in the early ’80s; they were on the same bill as Meatloaf! The Ramones were all about the energy and are great to listen to for a pick-me-up. 

I know, I bet you’re wondering what’s happening to all the walking?! Music would have been my preferred career choice, but that’s another story.

Plans for Spring Walks

As spring is in the air I have been actively arranging walks. Things are taking shape and it looks like my walking activities will pick up more in the spring. At the time of writing, I’m currently staying at South Shields a five-minute walk from the beach. On Friday evening I walked along the beach with my old flatmate and dog.  

The light was fantastic (I came out without a camera and phone) but it was fantastic to see ships and just a bit of space. I was peeved I hadn’t taken the camera on that walk. I was totally spaced out having arrived up North.

COULSDON CIRCULAR

 Pony with a lot of Bread on the menu

I just had to stop to take a shot of this, spotted on a recent walk How much bread can he eat  

There isn’t a lot to say about this walk, but this photo says a lot, this was the most interesting subject of the day. A pony on it’s own with about 20 loafs of bread. What is that about? (and why is this photo so green?)

Pony with a wide selection of bread

Until next time.

I will love you and leave you..x

Happy Easter

Feb
2015

Canal / Coast

Canal walk -Maida Vale to Limehouse

Our Canal walk, was just over 9 miles. So not bad for a Sunday stroll the sun shone all day, it was great to feel the sun on our faces.

 

 

 

 

Regemt Camal starting at Maida Vale, finishing at Limehouse

Regent Canal- starting at Maida Vale, finishing at Limehouse

 

We walked past Regents Park Zoo. The Bird Aviary, is situated along side the canal.  

I saw a very sad-looking Pelican/Stork/Heron type bird staring out towards the canal. It had very long legs, & a lengthy beak. It depresses me to see beautiful birds with clipped wings locked in.

 

I’m not in the habit of visiting zoos but when I visited Berlin a couple of years ago for the first time, we had a couple of hours to spare on a Sunday and visited the Zoo. It was heart -wrenching to see a massive Gorilla looking seriously sad and depressed, I’m a massive animal lover and only just getting over my beloved cats passing away just over a year ago. 

 

A very Crowded Canal Walk

Back to my observations about the Canal walk. I have to say it was too narrow and there were: too many joggers/ too many cyclists/too many people generally; particularly as we got to what is now trendy Hackney. Kings Cross is also having a makeover and the joggers still jogged (thud -thud ) over a bouncy type bridge around kings Cross.

This had the effect of us humble walkers hanging on to the rails for dear life. Why can’t the joggers just go to the park!? Annoying people.

 

Back Down the coast Seasalter to Whitstable

This last weekend we walked about 7 and a half miles from Sea Salter to Whitstable. While there we popped into a micro pub called Handsome Sam. I sampled a half of blonde beer and very nice it was too.

The town is charming and we were given flyers to a forthcoming play Anne Frank.

Whitstable a great day out

If you got to Whitstable for lunch time, you could have something to eat, in one of the great cafes or bars. Then a stroll around the harbour, maybe see a play and then get a train back to Victoria.

 

Julie

Jan
2015

Walking in Winter

 Walking from Wimbledon to Richmond

I had my first walk of the year walking across the park at Wimbledon all the way to Richmond.

 Walking on a crisp winter day, can be especially rewarding. When getting home to a hot bath feels a real treat. Follow that with nice warm meal.  You will feel you have earned it.

Walking in winter is especially popular with The Ramblers, it feels good to get out with a group, and shake off the cobwebs.

www.ramblers.org.uk

At less than £5 a month, you can look forward to a monthly magazine, and helping the Ramblers in their campaigns to restore the countryside and coastal paths. Money well spent.

Birdhouse Wimbledon Park

 

Walking in winter does have  problems. 

I did spot a group of deer in Richmond Park but they were so well hidden among the fauna, it was tricky getting good photographs of them in the poor winter light. 

Houseboats Richmond

 

 Richmond along the river in winter

I left the group at Richmond and walked keenly towards Kew Gardens.  I read a sign post that said a quarter of a mile to go to but this was just to a smaller bridge, Kew Harbour. It is not the same as Kew Gardens. After another 2 miles to go it was getting dark and very cold. I got to Kew Bridge at dusk and spotted the sign for Kew Gardens railway station.

As I carried on walking into what looked like a bit of a cul de- sac, I asked directions. Having spotted a local man with a wheelbarrow.  He told me I wouldn’t be the first to be asking the same question! He went on to say -yes you could get there but it certainly was not a direct route. At this point I just wanted to get home.

 Dear readers, know your limits when walking…

If you do deviate try and remember especially in winter.  It gets dark and cold even in London and that means hanging about waiting for buses and trains. After being out walking for 6 hours, and the temperature suddenly drops, you can be very cold. It goes without saying that in the winter you aim to finish the walk and get to somewhere before dusk where you can get a nice drink and something to eat.

 

I went to see the film Wild based on the biography of Cheryl Strayed, walker and author. 

Cheryl Strayed -Wild read my blog about her adventures.

The film did not convey the depth and breadth of the distance she walks; as films go it was ok, but having read the book, I felt it went for the sentimental story, National Geographic it wasn’t. It could have been better. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See You February