May
2013

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.

 

https://www.london-ghost-tour.com

 

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

 

 

 

Apr
2013

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Written by Rachel Joyce published by Black Swan 

A tale of a walk of 627 miles in 87 days from Kingsbury to Berwick

book cover Harold Fry

 

 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, is a work of nonfiction. A story about a man who went for a very long walk. I would describe it as an old-fashioned English story; quaint, sweet, innocent & sad. In short the main character the elderly retired Harold is living an intolerable existence, his wife barely speaks or looks at him, they live separate lives both thwarted by the experience of their son’s suicide.

The story takes off really when Harold gets a letter from someone called Queenie to tell him she remembered his kindness and wanted to thank him and that she was dying.

He wants to do the right thing but isn’t sure what it is.  Initially, he is going to post a letter to her but just can’t face it and feels, in the light of someone dying a letter was nowhere near adequate. He starts walking to a letterbox not quite able to post it.

After meandering past 3 or 4 post-boxes he gets the idea to keep walking and personally visit Queenie. This mission starts in Devon where he lives, to Berwick (in Northumberland but on the border of Scotland) where she is dying in a hospice.

Walking from Devon to Berwick a free map image – Google Search

We are not too sure who this character Queenie is at this point. A lot of the background isn’t revealed until midway in the walk. At this point Harold is extremely undernourished and ill-prepared for an arduous distance of 600 miles.

The story of how his life became so unbearable becomes clear as the walk evolves.

Walking from Devon to Berwick. A long way indeed.

 

He meets waifs and strays along the way, and even becoming a minor celebratory with many people jumping on the bandwagon with their own reasons for being out there! There are pleasurable aspects and a newfound joy to be discovered in the simplicity of walking and living outdoors.

 

He discovers that life still holds many beauties under an English sky and countryside, something he had forgotten to take time to appreciate.
He encounters both a painful recollection of what it is he is escaping and the joy of not knowing 
where he is going, the unknown future he is moving towards. 
It is about reconciliation and redemption. A fantastic read.

 

For further reading to do with walking see my Best Reads Page. Good ReadsThe Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

 

 

Until next time, we all have walks we can do for many reasons

 

JULIE C©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ÓJulie Connelly

 

 

Mar
2013

Sharing Blogs

Sharing Blogs

Sharing blogs with other writers and journalists helps us to create a  writing community.  Online forums are a useful place for writers to connect with other writers, or for those who write a blog.

Online forums are a great place to share information & it is encouraging to be part of a group.  It gives us a chance to open up to a larger and more diverse audience.

We can all benefit from this experience.  Writers often work alone and they do need some sort of feedback. Writers can  be a lonely lot at times.

I think sharing blogs is a good idea. Manjuaga is a devotee to yoga and Buddhism. He also writes blogs that are a joy to read. He is a thoughtful, & natural writer.

 

It was at The Buddhist Centre called Dhanasoka in Scotland where we met. After the retreat, I read Manjuanga’s blogs.  He lives in Manchester and runs yoga classes on a regular basis. He can be found on twitter.@Manjunaga.

httpp://www.dhanakosa.com 

Some of my pictures from the retreat

A rare quiet road

Spring Rites

In his blog called Spring Rites, Manjuaga writes about the riots that broke out in Paris; caused by the Avant-garde nature of the new music to hit the Parisian audience.

 

The avant-garde nature of the music & the new modern form of choreography caused a riot in the streets of Paris.

Artists such as Stravinsky and Nijinsky taught a new dynamic invention, in which they broke away from old traditions. They created a different type of dance. the audience did not know what to do!

 

The Punk revolution had the same impact on society.Manjuanga believes that practicing yoga can benefit us all from being rigid and stuck in our ways.

The act of movement keeps us alive and well.

to see more writing from Manjunaga -the link is here. www.manjunaga.com

 

 

 

 


 

Feb
2013

Westgate to Margate

Westgate to Margate is a nice little walk WALK THE PATH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 We parked up at Westgate -on -Sea and then walked to Margate along the seafront, heading to the Turner gallery. Westgate to Margate is about a couple of miles or so along the seafront, so a return walk clocks up about 5 miles which is a decent little stroll.

www.turnergallery.com

There are a lot of artist’s shops and galleries and it looks set to becoming very modern eventually.  We visited the (Winter Gardens. https://www.margate-live.com)to the right of Margate Town Centre. We checked out the up and coming acts that are going to perform there. Simple minds are a band I wouldn’t have expected to see playing there; but reassuringly they had a psychic show, which is the sort of thing you expect at a Seaside Resort. I always associate fortune-tellers and psychics with sea-side towns; the towns usually being a mixture of run-down, majestic and fun. My kind of town.

BLACK CAT-ALIVE AND WELL...

BLACK CAT-ALIVE AND WELL…

I just love this photo of the cat in the window in one of the old small town houses.  

We were convinced the cat was stuffed, we stood transfixed staring at this motionless cat, with closed eyes. We stood there for what seemed like ages looking at it, a woman walking up the hill then joined us!

The three of us were mesmerized -then the cat suddenly opened its eyes!  It was spooky!  What must the cat make of it? Even more strange was behind the net curtain we suddenly spotted the owner who seemed extremely amused at us all standing staring into her window. Luckily she took this with good grace!

Easy walk along the sea-front

Easy walk along the sea-front

I must just add thanks to Justin in Arizona who is a GO Daddy internet adviser who saved the day for me yesterday and rescued me from being without my dashboard! For some reason it was not available and this is the panel where I write my blogs, he assured me he could fix it and he did, I was so relieved.

I have subscribed to Go Daddy to host my blog for another year and would totally recommend them as a host.

http://godaddy.com

I’m planning on learning how to lead walks, starting with an introduction to how to do that in March. I hope to step up the pace in March and get out on at least a couple of walks. All in all, we clocked up about a 6-mile walk, on a really mild day in February, nice and easy does it.

Until the next exciting episode.

Keep it real….

BW

 

The Author!

 

©Ms Julie

 

 

 

Jan
2013

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.

INTERIOR OF BOSHOI BALLET

INTERIOR OF BOLSHOI BALLET Theatre

 

 

 

 

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.

©julie