Jan
2017

Return to Godalming please?!

 Guildford to Godalming

A doddle in comparison to planning it! A breeze in fact, less than it’s printed 6.5 mile description.  Last weekend in between planning for a job interview I decided I was going to do this walk, & buy the ticket in advance as you do.

I needed a walk, I needed some fresh air, no question about that. I checked in the South Bank newsletter for details of the next up and coming walk.

Breaking Ice

The newsletter & on-line South Bank Website said to  buy a return to Godalming and get the 9.30am getting off at Guildford  meeting at 10.15am on the 21st of January.

I’m raring to go. I get onto Train-tracker.  I type in London Waterloo to Godalming return 9.30am. I’m looking but there isn’t a 9.30 train! to Godalming. I called one of the leaders. Yes she tells me, the train is at 9.30am, she is looking at the website and she can see it, she sends me the link. I tell her I’m looking at it too and there is no 9.30am train from Waterloo to Godalming. Something vital is missing in this conversation,but neither of us have a clue what.!

Several emails, phone calls and double checking hours later.  She says she will look into it. I eventually think to put in london to Guildford on Train- Tracker, as no one else has suggested that and lo and behold!- the 9.30am train is there… but it isn’t stopping at Godalming.

‘Going for a walk’

There is a lot more to it than you think.

I now know to buy a return to GUILDFORD. But where is Godalming? The following day, the second leader called me; apparently coming down from the highlands of Scotland to get a phone signal to contact me. Obviously I had no idea that she was in The Highlands. I would not have phoned her to bother her. she seemed somewhat vexed with me when I met her.!

God damn it where the hell is Godamling anyway? It must be on the GUILDFORD LINE. Well it is but the 9.30am train from Waterloo isn’t going there, BUT  a train at 9am is going to Godalming, another at 10am and so on every hour.

I can’t  buy a return from Waterloo at 9.30am to Godalming that stops at Guildford.  Fact.

I have to buy a return to Guildford and a single ticket form Godalming to  Guildford. For those of you still reading, (tell me about it!) please check this out!

How to pronounce Godalming!

Elocution lesson  of the day folks.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eoh53gOFDXk

So where is Godalming?

Guildford to Godalming

 

Well as you can see it’s a walk along the river just under a 2 hour walk. In hindsight perhaps I should have looked it up. The way I look at it though, is the Leaders are organising it, I’m just following. My job is to buy the ticket and join in! I am accredited walk leader but I simply don’t know the Surrey area.

It was a short but sweet walk.

We watched a swan take off in full flight along this river, a magnificent sight ; for a split second I thought about taking a snap shot but it happened so unexpectedly I let it go.

Sweet Bridge en route to Godalming!

 

It was over far too quickly and I left the group at Farncombe as a bunch of the group wanted to have lunch at midday. The rest sat by the river to eat a packed lunch.I decided to split & I carried on to Godalming.  It was only about 25 minutes further to go. The inevitable engineering works, slowed down the journey. I didn’t care, I was going home, and thinking about the Lewes walk the following weekend. I have since found out that the Lewes walk has been cancelled due to engineering works.

Will get a new walk worked out for February. There’s a lot of socialising going on that month, but I will fit it in somewhere.

Guildford Swan Lake

 

Dec
2016

Building Bridges/Burning Bridges?

H A P P Y  N E W  Y E A R  2 0 1 7

My blogs are changing all the time some are full of stories- others are brief and to the point. Well- It’s the end of the year, and as tempting as it is to do a re-run/replay, I think the verdict is still out.  What direction I’m taking? Who knows.

Life may appear to be steady, but in reality is far from it. A big change is well overdue. I have plans in motion and circumstances will change, but unlikely to be at the strike of Midnight on New Years Eve. Oh, if only Cinderella!

I have been writing this blog since 2011 and those of you who know me may understand, that I have a lot of creative ideas I want to explore. Having made a start with various studies and projects, it is a  matter of keeping at it & finding the enthusiasm to carry on. Walking is a big help, it’s a great way to think, unwind and get out in the fresh air.

There are still hundreds of new walks to be discovered and further adventures to be had in 2017. I will be sending out a little Newsletter to some old friends, new acquaintances and others inviting you all to subscribe/comment on my blog. Plans to create a new website in 2017 with different types of writing is on the cards, so let’s see how it all pans out.

In the meantime,  here are a couple of walks done in December.

 

Continue reading

Nov
2016

The Lake District

The Lake District Autumn 2016

cnv00024

Taking the train from London Euston I had a quiet carriage front facing seat, which was a good start. The train was heading to Glasgow & was packed. As the train took off I reminded myself that I must go to Glasgow for a weekend. I have been meaning to go to the yearly Celtic Festival hosted there every January; the live broadcast of various gigs on Radio 3 every year, is as  close as I’ve got to it.

cnv00023 I think I would like to keep going.  Just keep moving on -from one place to the next. Continue reading

Oct
2016

New Ventures

 

Navigating a 8 mile walk somewhere around Berwick Sussex & The Devils Punch Bowl

In my previous blog, I mentioned I was going to try & learn some new walks. True to my words, I went off armed with some printed instructions & headed towards Berwick Station East Sussex to meet a walking ‘buddy’

Getting to know Berwick in Sussex

Arriving at Victoria early was fine, but I missed my connection from Brighton to Berwick. I had a vague memory of the area. My first walk with the South Bank Ramblers covered this area. Consequently I was late & the pouring rain looked set to continue for the rest of the day. Luckily there was a café/pub right next to the station at Berwick, so we could have a coffee & plan what to do.

Like a lot of new ventures you have to try more than once to make it a success.

My walking companion had a good grasp of reading a map so I happily let her take the lead. I had taken the initiative to organise the walk, but the rain and me being late meant we had to cut it short. I was grateful to her having an ordnance survey map and being able to read it. Miraculously the rain stopped within five minutes of us starting the walk and then poured down again about five minutes before we finished.

Despite the fact we only clocked up just under five miles, we walked over dry hard fields, lumpy  ground and such. My legs the following day; ankles, feet &  calf’s in particular were painful. My feet are usually the problem and they were throbbing like mad having worn the boots from 8am to 8pm . I’m obviously going to have to wear them in.

Devils Punch Bowl and Gibbet Hill  10 mile Hike.

Into the trees

Into the trees

   Magic Mushrooms in Autumn         

MAGIC MUSHROOM

http://www.meetup.com/Explorer-UK/ Organise regular walking Day trips and weekends. You can book online.

I joined this MEET UP GROUP on line.

Tom will purchase your tickets and lead the walk. It’s a good way to get to know areas and meet people.  40 minutes outside of London from Waterloo we were in Haslemere. 

It was a perfect Autumn day for a ten-mile hike along the Greensand Way to The Devil’s Punch Bowl on the borders of the South Downs National Park.

MAGIC MUSHROOM

MAGIC MUSHROOM

Caterpillar.

Caterpillar at the Devils Punch Bowl, beautiful colours, so vibrant.

 

We enjoyed beautiful views across the Bowl’s natural amphitheatre before climbing out the other side to see even further from the second highest point in Surrey. Along the way  visiting the Sailor’s Stone and discover its gruesome history, before finishing the walk at a lovely pub a few minutes from the train station.

 

img_0069

By the by I like to get inspired through reading.

 

I finished reading Bill Bryson comical journal about travelling today in the UK, and felt inspired to keep on writing about my days out and walking adventures. 

Neil Roberston (my uncle) sent me this link regarding magic mushrooms!

The Magic Mushroom pics on your blog look like Fly I Agaric. For MM pics see: http://http://www.magic-mushrooms.net/gallery.html#.WBXvZxmnwj0

 

I knew they weren’t literally magic mushrooms that get you high,but they sort of look Magic. 

 

Avoir Farewell.

 

Aug
2016

Finding New Walks

Southern Railways

 

Disappointed that Southern Railways haven’t got their act together yet. Not sure what’s going on with them exactly, but I went onto their website and tried about 5 times to book a ticket to Bishopstone near Lewes, for a 12 mile walk.  If someone has hacked their website it’s not that surprising -but- please sort it out!  The ticket office at Herne Hill was closed on Saturday & usually get a good price ticket from them.  Buying from the ticket machine would cost about £26, but £17.50 on line. I gave up in the end, and opted out. I’m not happy about having missed a walk but will have to make up for it some other way.

I am planning some new walks, & have found another South Bank Walker who has agreed to try out some walks with me around the Lewes area. I have finally bought a new printer  & scanner which means I can scan & email the routes to her and we can get out in the Autumn. It is about time to start planning some new adventures. I have booked for  a week in the Lake District in Autumn. The last time I was near that area in Penrith was the Blue Moon Festival, and we all took some illegal substances, I can’t remember the details but it was either acid or magic mushrooms, and everything was either totally hilarious or really scary.! That was a long time ago. I do remember it being a very pretty area though and Keswick was/is a popular tourist , so it will good to revisit the area.

Revisiting  old places

I’m pleased to say that I revisited the Chelsea Physic Gardens recently, I had mentioned it when talking on the Robert Elms Show on BBC LONDON a couple of weeks ago. I bravely volunteered to present my ideal day out in London on the radio ( a regular feature on his Saturday show)  and the Physic Gardens was my first port of call.

Chelsea Physic Gardens

SIR HANS SLOANE originally from Northern Ireland

SIR HANS SLOANE originally from Northern Ireland founder of the Chelsea Physic Gardens.

 

I often walk to Chelsea as it’s not a bad walk from Brixton. I had family over last weekend & took them to visit.

The Garden has been running talks throughout the summer on the subject of scents. It was a coincidence that one of the women who came on my Seven Sisters Walk was there as a tour leader &  led a large group around the garden explaining the origins and different sections of plants from all over the world. It is hard to retain all the information about the history and use of plants for medicinal & other uses such as perfume and some cosmetics. So I can only recommend to try it for yourself.

http://www.chelseaphysicgardens.co.uk

 

Medicine Cabinet

Medicine Cabinet

Continue reading