London to Montcuq -Newcastle Upon Tyne are among my frequent visited places
Like my bookmarks there are certain places I frequent. London I live in so it is on the top of my list of frequently visited places, as is Montcuq which I visit on a regular basis. Newcastle Upon Tyne is another of my go to places. This month I have visited all three. Montcuq earlier in the month I noticed has been giving its self a promotion.! I noticed new trendy shops that have opened and of course the fantastic bookshop/cafe; now putting live music on.
Add Paris, New York, Tokyo, !making up my dream/fantasy of frequently visited places.
Montcuq is promoting it’s self and I do love it when a town speaks up and puts itself on the map. The new tourist office in Montcuq are promoting aprons with the slogan, Paris, New York, Tokyo Montcuq! they are setting themselves up there, with the big boys.! It’s cute but I couldn’t bring myself to waste 35 euros on an apron!. At least they are putting Montcuq firmly on the map of somewhere worth visiting
Do we all have frequently visited places?
My Apron would be London, New York, Brixton Newcastle.
I remember a shop in Brixton, which had the tag, New York, Paris, Milan, Brixton!!! ha ha, it sold street clothes, sequenced tight leggings etc for the very young, & skinny fashion conscious types. It did tickle me at the time and Brixton is now firmly on the map.
When I first moved to Brixton, it was empty and taxis would not go there! it was considered too dangerous! Yes it’s famous for riots, but as well as historically, it has a rich musical/theatrical heritage. It is rocking with street markets & vibrant mixed communities. Not forgetting the music venue The Academy where some of the top musicians and bands have played, including Bob Dylan, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Clash, Lou Reed to name a few. You can listen to cool jazz at The Effra Tavern for free midweek. Numerous bars, are packed, as are, cafes, and restaurants. Brixton is thriving.
Euston Bloomsbury area and a guided tour
As an employee and Unite Rep I was invited to an event at the Headquarters of the NEU off the Euston Road. Not a regular thing I do on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but enticed by the free lunch and Guided Walking tour with award winning tour guide Rachel Kelsey I couldn’t resist. While walking up the Euston road I was met with hordes of Sunderland supporters down for the day. Euston Road is always busy it is a hub of activity 24/7.
I feel at home in North London and was Happy to participate in the conversations about workplace issues and chatted with a woman from Middlesborough who led a workshop on disability and women in the workplace. We had a good old catch up about going to Middlesbrough Rock Garden back in the days, (around 1978-70) and she and I had seen many of the same bands, The Damned 999, Skids, Adam and the Ants etc.
There was also a snazzy duo called Florence Joelle singing some old classics while we had lunch.
The event was well organised; not a great turn out though. It does seem Unions aren’t fashionable and there was a no show from Sharon Graham general secretary of Unite. I did enjoy hearing Sally Alexander feminist, activist and author who organised the first women liberation meeting at Ruskin College and we watched some great footage from the 70’s of women’s protests in Trafalgar Square. For anyone born in the 90’s or later, you might be surprised that women weren’t born with rights!
The Blue Badge Guided tour
Around Euston and Bloomsbury Square is a miss mash of institutions. The tour was dedicated to pioneering women who had influenced the area. Mary ward https://www.marywardhouse.com/history a social reformer who in particular championed the cause of women of poor means, promoting education for them. There is the Mary Ward House in Euston, which hosts conferences and the Mary Ward Centre off Russel Square near Holborn, where there are many courses available and they do discounted rates for persons on low income.
Virginia Woolf was also a famous writer and part of The Bloomsbury set; of women she said
“women must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”
How very true, at least some money and most definitely a room!.
The tour guide Rachel Kelsey is a blue badge guide and is a first class guide, check her out on Go London tours
Among many themes she talks about women & her talks include: London from suffering to salvation, including Bloomsbury Babes. Cosmopolitan London -Brixton Notting hill, Jewish London the list goes on. Well worth checking out her walks and books.
IS THERE LIFE IN PECKHAM?
It’s ridiculous but true I bought the single by Alexis Sayle in the early 80’s “Allo John got a new motor,” One of the lyrics, was “is there life in Peckham, is there life on Mars!! It was early 80’s and I was living in New Cross South East London, not far from the fearless Peckham. I always think of that when I think of Peckham.
Walking from East Dulwich to Peckham on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and settling for a half in Beer Revolution Peckham. There was a spectacle on the main road. Watching in marvel as a young guy on a bike gave the police the runaround; the guy did full 360 spins in the middle of the road then scooted off and reappeared again.
Peckham is a funny old place,
It’s full of life and hosting plenty of cafes and bars. Joolz does a great vlog about Peckham and well worth a
Walking up towards Nunhead (famous for it’s cemetery) and Peckham Rye alongside the young uns heading towards a festival near Goose Green. We oldies then went the opposite way.
A big festival was also going on in Herne Hill. In the words of David Bowie, “Don’t lean on me man coz I can’t afford a ticket. That’s just the way it is. I just keep on walking, admiring the flowers .
Black Down & The Temple of the Winds via The Sussex Border Path.
It had been years since I went out hiking with a Meet up Group but this invite, sort of appeared in my junk and I knew I had a spare day and needed to do something different, so I booked a return ticket to Haslemere (near Guildford) and met up with 20 others and off we went.
It was a tough walk, with many ascents and descents and what I feared the most, mud! I was wearing somewhat inappropriate footwear more suitable for city strolling than climbing uneven hills followed by sinking into mud!
My feet were killing me afterwards and I spent a fair time cleaning the mud off shoes; but fair doos to my Clarkes trainers that I wore for NYC in 2017 are still going strong after 2 washes..
Muddy shoes aside it was a great day out good to meet new people, I was so busy chatting and listening to peoples stories I didn’t really bother taking many pictures. We walked at a fair pace as well so there wasn’t too much time for that.
If you don’t fancy joining a meet up group and are adventurous enough to strike out alone or with a friend or two, there is a tourist office right outside Haslemere Station. It’s on the Guildford line and a well known trail called The Serpent trail can be explored, over 65 miles of South Downs National Park. Some of the walks will be in the free pamphlet you can pick up from the office. Otherwise consider joining a group, they are friendly enough and Tom is a good leader so save you from having to think too much!
TO SEE a very old post I wrote some years ago, out in The Peak District with The Meet Up Group.the link is Exploring & walking in the UK
I managed a two day trip to Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Meeting up with an old friend, we went along to see a play called We are the best. I guess it was about youngsters trying to form a band and hating the system. It could have been much better. I don’t like to give anyone bad press, but we weren’t impressed. That’s not to say Live Theatre hasn’t got anything to offer. This isn’t a music/theatre review blog so I will leave it at that.
The following day we took a metro to South Shields and walked up the coast for about 10 miles to Whitburn.
Time goes too quickly and before I knew it I was back in London getting ready for work again. I have a couple of planned walks to go on in August but as yet, undecided about July.
As well I’m struggling to decided whether to lead a walk or not this year. I haven’t done one since before lockdown. If I do it will be Seaford to Eastbourne probably and in September. I have until the 15th July to decide.
Until next time keep on keeping on. Feel free to comment, like or share.