Jan
2019

London Cemeteries

 West Norwood Cemetery; Perhaps the least known, but most attractive, of the great Victorian London Cemeteries 

It is one of the seven great London cemeteries established in a ring around the outskirts of London. Within the cemetery you will see examples of the magnificent monuments erected in memory of the most eminent citizens of the day, which contrast sharply with the small, simple headstones marking common, or public, burials. One of the most famous cemeteries in London is Highgate Cemetery. I did attempt to visit that later on in the month. See Below for further details.

West Norwood Cemetery

It’s formal avenue of towering limes and the Gothic gloom of the original Victorian planting gives way to paths which recall the country lanes of a bygone era

GREY DAY PICTURE OF ENTRANCE TO CEMETRY

Entrance to the Victorian Cemetery, on a bleak cold morning.

 

Friends of West Norwood Cemetery 

The friends are a charity run by volunteers who aim to increase the publics knowledge and appreciation of the Cemetery. They hold general tours on the first Sunday of every month, & host special themed tours during the summer; as well they host meetings with talks during the winter. There are further details in their programme of events.Additionally The charity raise funds for conservation work, and encourage other organisations and individuals to make contributions. It is surprising how much information is on their website and I would encourage people to take a look, using the link below.

OLD GRAVESTONES IN THE CEMETRY

OLD GRAVES IN THE SHADE.

 

https://www.fownc.org/   MORE INFO ON FRIENDS OF THE CEMETRY HERE.

 

I have two aims this year : one is to get fit for The Jurassic Coast Challenge, and the other to lead a few walks in London.

PICTURE OF PRETTY COLOURED DOORS CAMBERWELL GROVE

MY FIRST SIGHT OF COLOUR- APPROACHING THE GROVE FOR LUNCH TIME WALK.

 

Lunch time walks

In between my work demands and job hunting, I have to maintain some sort of exercise.  A new workout came about at a moment of extreme agitation, and I had to get out of the office to get some air. This has now become one of my regular extended lunch time walks

 I figured out, that if  I walked extremely briskly up Camberwell Grove (up and down is usually about 30 mins) I could just make it to   the massive sainsburys in Dog Kennell Hill. Although this is dooable, it is tight.

 I can then dash over to the sandwich bar  near the entrance and pick up something quickly.

Not something I want to do every day; as well the store does not have a great selection of sandwiches left by the time I get there around 1.50pm. It is a great way to  get rid of those office chains and can be done in  about 42 minutes, my lunch break is 45 minutes!

 

The 30 minute version is also a good little walk, up and down The Grove through the alleys.

PICTUE OF PASSAGE, A PALMTREE FLOWS OVER LAMPOST

LUNCH TIME WALK, A GREAT VARIETY OF HOUSES AND PLANTS TO LOOK AT

Pimlico to Worlds End

HUGE SNAIL BRIGHTENS UP THE DAY OUTSIDE THE TATE GALLERY PIMLICO

ENTRANCE TO THE TATE PIMLICO

 

After my jog round Brockwell Park, I went home to attend to a couple of things, then got ready to go back out to meet a friend at The Tate Pimlico. We walked from Pimlico along the river  by the Embankment to Worlds End & then  had a general walk about the Kings Road, including a visit to Chelsea library and a few shops. At the end of the day my output was a 6.5 miles walk on top of my run, so not bad for a Sunday stroll.

Hungry Seagulls coming in-land for food

Seagulls along the embankment

BRIDGE AFTER BRIDGE ALONG EMBANKMENT

Sun blocked behind building, walking towards Worlds End!

 

Waterlow Park near Highgate cemetery

We just missed the tour at The Highgate Cemetery, so we will be saving that outing for another clear dry day!  Instead we had the shortest walk ever round Waterlow Park. I had done a jog in Brockwell Park earlier in the day, so after my uphill walk from Archway to Highgate, I wasn’t too put out to miss the walking tour. It was getting dark and raining.  That’s winter for you.

 

OLD TREE BENDING INTO POND

OLD TREE FALLING INTO POND WATERLOW PARK

PICTURE OF WINTER TREES

WINTER TREES IN WATERLOW PARK HIGHGATE

 

 

Until next time

Keep at it, whatever it is. I’m feeling a little excited about February. This is a rare occurrence admittedly but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m half way to my target to raise funds for War Child, see below for details.

 

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Julie-Connelly1

 

 

 

 

 

Dec
2018

Walking the walk

 

I have been walking the walk for a long time now. & instinctively know when I’ve walked roughly 4-5 miles.

I can certainly feel it when the short walk becomes 7 miles. It comes from practice. A lot of my walks are across town, such as: Victoria to Chelsea, Brixton to South Bank, Vauxhall to Blackfriars. Especially in the summer, I tend to walk about a lot. I have now started jogging around Brockwell Park in preparation for a new venture. Walking the walk and talking the talk, is basically just doing it. You don’t need a clock to tell the time and you don’t need an I PHONE to monitor your every move.

Mulling over the quagmire in my mind! Complicated,! Difficult, Complex, Murky,a Mare’s Nest,! 

Quaqmire is a new word I have found and I like its various meanings.  Walking to Dulwich village recently, with a few predicaments to mull over, I strolled from Kestrel Avenue Herne Hill to Half Moon lane and walked to Dulwich Village, then took a little dive into Belview park. I had a brief look around the grounds surrounding the Picture House Gallery. It’s grand in there and very expensive. I didn’t have the cash or the inclination to go into the Gallery. So carried on mulling things over, a nice gentle stroll back to Brixton.

 

BELVIEW PARK POND

REFLECTIONS OF TREE IN POND BELVIEW PARK

WINTER SUN AT DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY CHAPEL

 

The previous week I was, in & around town, where  I came across a couple of markets in the Victoria/Belgravia area, I wasn’t buying anything – just passing the time while on the way to get my eyes tested, in Victoria.

MURAL OF FRIDA MEXIAN ARTIST IN POP UP MARKET

MURAL OF ARTIST FRIDA (MEXICAN ARTIST) IN POP UP XMAS MARKET BELGRAVIA

 

It is the artist’s nature to demand freedom & to express their inner world; the conflicts, chaos, beauty, and pain. Frida was an exceptionally dynamic and original artist who seems to be increasingly popular, I read a biography about Frida Kahlo many years ago, and felt inspired by her gift for life, despite her many setbacks.

 

 Walking for Charity

It has been on my mind for a  long time, and I eventually got round to paying the registration fee and setting up a fundraising page to raise funds for War Child. I hope some of my readers will help spur me on and donate to help me reach the £550 target. Any small amount will help. It is a weekend walk along the Jurassic Coastal Path in Dorset. After discussing it with one of the organisers, I realized I needed to get on this pretty quickly. Although May is a long way, I need to get fit and raise funds. I have started running around Brockwell Park and intend to get fit.

Winter solstice 2018

 

On December 21/12/2018 I had taken the day off.  What a windy but beautiful still day in other ways. I always love walking about pre-Christmas, anticipation in the air, and busy with shoppers. It had been a while since I have been into the West End, and I walked from Green Park to Charing Cross, then down to St James Park over to Victoria and on to Chelsea, then finished at Victoria to take the train back to Herne Hill, and walk home.

While ‘chained to my chair’ at work during a rare quiet period, I came across this article; a subject close to my heart. It really resonated with me. Thinking about leaving the city and just moving on.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/dec/06/home-is-a-state-of-mind-you-dont-need-walls

It inspires me, particularly as I start to think about fundraising for War Child. This year there have been many setbacks, disappointments, and stupid accidents. I can only go forward, there is no way back, and what’s lost is gone. 

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Julie-Connelly1

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019

Got a list of walks to do with the South Bank Ramblers this winter season. I’m looking forward to getting out there. 

 

MAY THE ROAD RISE WITH YOU

 

 

 

Nov
2018

‘Bedlam’

The word ‘Bedlam’, meaning uproar and confusion, is derived from the hospital’s nickname.

Although the hospital became a modern psychiatric facility. Historically it was representative of the worst excesses of asylums in the era of lunacy reform. We came to Bethlem Royal Hospital to find out more. We found little evidence of ‘Bedlam’ in the hospital ground.

Further into the tour, in the museum of the mind, there was much to discover. Firstly we enjoyed a tour around the grounds.

Walking through the grounds of Bethlem Royal Hospital.

Into the grounds

walking through the grounds fallen leaves and serenity.

 

A Guided Tour

I’m sure we have all used the term ‘bedlam’ and not really understood its’ origins.

Originally the hospital was near Bishopsgate just outside the walls of the City of London, then it moved outside of Moorfields in the 17th century.  It moved to St George’s Fields in Southwark in the 19th century. The final destination involved moving to  Monks Orchard in West Wickham in 1930.  

The lakes that used to be a feature of the grounds have now been covered up.

It is essential that the patient’s safety is put first. Patients on medication may well wander off.  It seems a pity, that they can’t find a way to keep the lakes in a secure way.

Lakes have since been covered up, yet still... winter landscape of The Royal Bethlem Hospital Grounds.

The Vast grounds at Bethlem Hospital 

 

Medicine and Nature

A place where diverse nature exists; plants such as; Dog Rose, & St John’s Wort (said to be useful in aiding depression). Beetles such as Grasshopper, Green Shield Bug, can be found as well as rare Butterflies.

 

Getting to Monks Orchard Road

 The nearest train station is Eden Park and to get to Monks Orchard Road where Bethlem Hospital is located, is only a ten-minute walk. Further information below.

https://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/travel-information/more-travel-help/station-information/stations/eden-park

 

Bedlam!

In the main entrance of the building in the foyer, you can see the two statues, Melancholy and Mania. The two sides of depression. One is introverted the other is angry and aggressive.

Calius Gabriel Cibber iconic statue

‘Raving mania’ tied in chains to keep him under control.
Caius Gabriel Bibber

statue named 'Melancholy Madness'

Photo of the iconic statue named ‘Melancholy

 

Museum of the Mind

The museum showcases many collections in its permanent and temporary exhibition galleries.

They also hold a collection of art including works by Louis Wain.  I have always loved his crazy cats’ drawings. It was interesting to learn he had been a resident at this institute. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Wain

Alongside the permanent displays, the museum has a dedicated temporary exhibition space. It offers a changing and thought-provoking seasonal programme.

There are plenty of artifacts and interactive media displays to get engaged with. 

 

The museum shows the patients’ journey from madness to cure. There has always been an argument about how to deal with patients experiencing mania or suicidal tendencies.

The layout of the Space allows you to reflect on those cures or restraints and lets you decide for yourself. 

For further information check out The Museum of the Mind’s website, go on to the link below. I recommend the tour and tickets are only £5 for both the tour of the gardens and the museum.

https://museumofthemind.org.uk/

 

To book tickets for the Bethlem Hosptial tour online go onto    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk

 

States of Mind Another blog where I investigate the states of mind exhibition at the wellbeing museum, I discover more interesting facts.

Until next time keep on, keeping on.

 

Oct
2018

Revisiting Camden

Revisiting Camden, & finding new places.

I say I have been Revisiting Camden, as it’s a place I used to frequent a lot. As well in the early ’90s, I  studied at North London University in Kentish Town as a mature student. I used to go to a lot of gigs there. Going back there and getting the idea to lead a walk in the area felt exciting. I was also going there to writers meet up group. (sadly not there any longer.)

 

picture of me taking a picture

I drink, therefore I am, a pun on JPS I think therefore I am, self-reflection in a window.

After Revisiting Camden, I started revisiting the Chelsea library again!. 

I  love Chelsea  I used to work there in Old Church Street. The Kings Road, however, is still pretentious. Researching though is an enjoyable process, researching and reading up on the history of Camden.  A haven for Artists, Writers, Musicians, Historians. Fascinating & somewhat mysterious historical characters, such as Walter Sickert,  one of the founder members of the Camden Artist group. I’m re-reading Patricia Cornwell’s Case Closed, where she sets out to prove that Walter Sickert was, in fact, JACK THE RIPPER. The case is in fact not closed as further evidence has been discovered. 

It has been said that Sickert’s landlady at 6 Mornington crescent believed The Ripper had lived in one of her rooms. this certainly had an effect on Sickert’s imagination who painted Jack the Rippers room and is featured today in Manchester Art Gallery. 

https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/jack-the-rippers-bedroom-206026

Camden got let off lightly during the blitz.

It seems only Camden Tube Station got slightly hit. The rest is intact. Part of its charm is the beautiful listed buildings, edging onto Regents Park. Camden Theatre at Mornington Crescent built-in 1900 is still standing, now named Koko, it was rescued by the BBC in the 1940s, virtually desolate in the early 1970s then resurrected as The Music Machine named after an LA Psychedelic rock band, making way for the new wave punk generation.  Then it became Camden Palace, now Koko.

walking past Spiritual Bar

A girl walks past The Spiritual Bar

Literary Camden

There is no end to writers who have lived and worked in Camden, from WB Yeats to Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Beryl Bainbridge, the original fantasy writer George McDonald, and many more.  I kept coming across plaques and had to rein the guided tour in somehow. What was starting off as a rock n roll walk was going to turn into a literary walk? Although I can’t do it all in one walk, there is so much scope for future walks.

 

 

PIC OF TOWN CRIER IN FULL OUTFIT

OLD FASHIONED TOWN CRIER

 

 It never fails to surprise me how popular Camden Market is. People are happy to be crammed in and queue up for the ever-increasing food stalls in the market.

I prefer to get there early to actually be able to look at the stores and look at the new designs and products. I had gone off Camden some years ago but must say it has so much life and energy there, it feels good to be back in North London.

 

BOOTS N SHOES

BOOTS N SHOES

 

From Literary Camden to ELTHAM WRITERS

I have been busily involved with The Eltham Readers group, my interview with Bernardine Evaristo author of Mr. Loverman can be found in the SEnine Magazine.  (see page 29 on the link below)

https://indd.adobe.com/view/7cec421a-b0b4-4310-9b6e-1cb5b5df888e

 

Last Saturday of November I will be joining the’ Bedlam Walk. A historical tour set in the grounds of the Bethlem Royal Hospital.

 

 

 

 

Sep
2018

Coastal walks

SEPTEMBER a grand month for coastal walks.

I did two Coastal walks this month. You can usually find me heading towards the coast in September. I feel it’s the last of the summer wine before the nights start drawing in. My first coastal walk this September was Littlehampton

 Staring with a day out walking from Littlehampton to Worthing. Taking a train from Victoria we wanted to venture out to the coast using my 1/3 travel ticket before it expires in October

We walked from LITTLEHAMPTON to WORTHING. 

It was great to get out in the fresh air and away from London.  Starting from leaving the house to returning, the whole day walk was about 12 miles. This was an easy but long walk. We admired some of the houses along the coastline, considering what type of house we might like to live in if money wasn’t an issue!

A linear walk along the coast.

coastal picture sea, sky, space

Big sky open space, just what the doc ordered.

 

The little Haven South Shields

Staying at the Little Haven at South Shields we were fortunate with the weather, as well as being upgraded to the Marco Polo Penthouse Suite.

Travelling up from London on The Grand Central Train to Sunderland, it can work out cheaper going to instead of Newcastle and then just taking the metro for a few quid. We got to the hotel in time for  a shower and went out in the evening for a quick drink in The Harbour Lights. All the better for the recently installed full length windows ensuring a great view.

http://www.harbourlightspub.co.uk/index 

After a swift half, we headed down to the famous Ocean road for a meal. We sampled one of the many Indian restaurants, Zeer Cuisine. It was beautifully decorated and the service was fabulous. I sampled a vegan menu, with a selection of various dishes.  A very relaxing evening to set us up for the following day’s walk.

http://www.zeeracuisine.com

The following day we walked to Seaburn from South Shields.

There was hardly a soul in sight, only a few cyclists and dog walkers.

We were fortunate with the fantastic weather & beautiful blue sky’s all day.

Catching the bus back to South Shields we took a bus to the Market Place and checked out the Ferry Timetable. Then walked up to the Ocean Road.

After a delicious fish and chips from the famous Coleman’s fish and chip restaurant. A popular place where it is written upon the board which boat the fish came in!. https://colmansfishandchips.co.uk  After the feast, we needed a couple of hours to rest in the Penthouse.! We were startled by a loud horn, and this beautiful ship cruised by.

We were back up with a spring in our steps. A brief shower followed the cruise liner, as we watched it heading into a big black cloud. Looking out from our balcony overlooking the sea, it was an artists dream to see the ever-changing cloud formations

The brief downpour of rain only made the air feel fresher as we ventured back out to sample a few pubs.

A sight for sore eyes! cruising past the hotel

Going going gone….

There is a rich history in this part of town with the docks, river and sea.  

Starting at The Lawe Top in the Harbour lights pub, we first stopped at the two cannons (which according to Newcastle Chronicle are replicas captured from the Russians during the Crimean War, as the originals were melted for ammunition during World War 11.

We walked up and down a lot of stairs on this trip. There are many old steep staircases along & around the Lawe Top. Eventually, two staircases down we were at the Quayside which was unrecognisable to me. As is everywhere near a river, renovations and new buildings made the area somewhat a new area to the one I knew.

We tried a half a beer in the Allum House pub situated next to the ferry. Then ventured over to The Steamboat situated by the Tyne close to the Customs house Arts centre. 

It served hand pulled beers in a cozy lit atmospheric bar; saturated with paraphernalia ranging from Lobster pots to scarves and flags. It was a great pub with a fantastic jukebox, we could have stayed longer but had run out of cash and they weren’t accepting cards. We found a few places that only accepted cash in the area.

 

shadow on wall

 

We took the ferry to North Shields to discover a lot of new restaurants had opened up and we enjoyed a lovely walk along the promenade to Tynemouth.

We considered walking to St Mary’s Lighthouse but as we were going out into Newcastle later in the evening, we decided against it. Instead, we had an amble around Tynemouth before heading back to North Shields for our lunch returning on the ferry to the flea market at South Shields

Last but not least, as always it’s great to be back in my home town Newcastle and go out to a restaurant down near the river and visit the Tyne Bar & Baltic. Then back to Sunderland to catch a train back to Kings Cross. I could have done with one more day in Newcastle. Maybe next time

More tales from the coast below.

Berwick to Seaford on a Blue Moon weekend