Dec
2021

A DAY OUT IN FAVERSHAM

A VERY COLD DAY OUT IN FAVERSHAM

You never can tell what the weather in the UK will be like. If you want to plan a day out on public transport you need to book ahead . I had randomly chosen the 17th of December to visit Faversham again. Not aware it was under the auspiciously named, cold full moon,

https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/and cold it was. Shiver me timbers! Please feel free to play while you read..

Being near Christmas I was keen to browse the shops and markets. A long walk was not on the cards.

I have passed through Faversham so many times on the way to Whitstable. Despite the cold it was a good day out. Faversham is well worth a visit and the return journey was better on the way back. Some shopping, lunch and a few beers helped to get into something resembling ‘the Christmas mood.’ I have only been out shopping and for xmas lunches a couple of times but I have noticed the crowds are not so big this year. The market was still on but not as busy as it might be at the summer beer festival for example.

 

Some of the town houses in Faversham town centre were also artists windows/workshops

It wasn’t always easy to tell which houses were peoples living spaces, and which were shops/workshops with some  You can’t help prying through windows which could well be someones living space.! Or a studio.

A smart town house/artist studio in battleship grey.

 

A closer look inside, not open to the public today but some interesting bits & pieces on display

 

Many of the houses in Faversham date back to the 15th century

A door next to an old fashioned dispensary

An old fashioned dispensary.

 

I tried to resist the Apothecary shop

APOTHECARY  traditional shop in FAVERSHAM

The name taken from Apothercary an old fashioned type of chemist!! when I first moved to London I spent a lot of time in Neils Yard covent Gard which has a similar type of feel. All natural ingredients .

https://www.apothecashop.co.uk/

I had a quick peek inside and was immediately drawn to the Hemp CBD teabags  I picked up a quick guide to CBD (abbreviation of cannabidiol)everything you need to know by Dr Julie Moltke. For more on books take a look at GOODREADS.COM https://www.goodreads.com  other reads can be seen on my inspired reads page.Inspired Reads

CBD not to be confused with CBT although I have now had encounters with both!

I have been interested in trying CBD for ages and just not got round to it. Supposedly it is the cure for all ailments; especially those of the mind, such as depression and anxiety. Both of which I get in equal measures and I’m always looking for cures!! further wandering around and a peek at some other houses walking towards the Quayside.

There was a sign on the front of the building saying go round to the side!

Nothing much around the side so just another peer in the window. A few odd artifices such as a giraffe head, never know when you might want one!

Then a stroll down towards the waterfront on this extremely chilly day. to the right of the picture you see how pretty the small green town houses are.

It was too cold and misty to bother walking too far along the river and as well I had promised I would look around the market and actually buy something! I managed to get:  a pair of fingerless gloves, local honey, vegan cake some plants being sold off, and of course my CBT tea.

Historic Buildings of Kent

I always like a good sign, and not quite sure what the above sign signifies. 
Obviously Faversham has hundreds of listed historical buildings, so maybe this is some kind of award sign.

To end the day we sampled some of the local beers.

Inside the Creekers Tap Micro Pub Preston Street . Faversham is also famous for it’s brewery Shepherd Neam. THE Brewery has a reputation as being one of the oldest and best brewers in the Uk.

Brewery Tours do social distancing.

Unfortunately due to social distancing they were only letting 2 in at a time, so missed out on a tour. Another time I think it will be worth staying overnight, en-route to Whitstable, or start the walk at Whitstable to Faversham. Probably would do that in the summer. Until next time, keep on keeping on.

 

 

Happy New Year 2022

Coming up soon, Exploring Essex, Highgate Hills, more roaming the rivers

Keep on Keeping on.

 

 

Nov
2021

A DAY OUT IN ROCHESTER


Revisiting Rochester as part of my days out of London series. A day out in Rochester, is as good a place as any to start.

I have been wanting to write a series of days out from London for a while. For no apparent reason, I started at Rochester. Many years ago I remember going to a Charles Dickens Walk, another time, that I  visited I bought a black and white trilby hat, and that’s pretty much my memory of those two times.. My first visit was around August 2012, where they had a Dickens festival on.

Charles Dickens references are all over Rochester

Charles Dickens spent his early years from about 5yrs old to 10 being raised in Chatham. His family moved about a lot, as did the writer as he sought inspiration for his fiction. Charles Dickens chose to move back near where he was brought up and moved to Rochester in his older years ;as he loved the area. Dickens certainly moved  around, he also lived in Whitstable and several houses in London.

 The first port of call was the Cheese Room formally known as Mr Topes restaurant.

a place to eat and think and talk

THE CHEESE ROOM, BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER. GIN BEER TEA .. IT’S GOT IT ALL.

 

This was the last building mentioned in Charles Dickens writing

The plaque mentioned mr Topes a Charles dickens fictional character and this building was apparently one of the last buildings mentioned in his fiction.It is worth a visit. All that was needed was a warm drink and a pan au raison, We were let in on the basis no lingering would be taking place, as tables were fully booked for lunch. We had a lovely seat next to an open fire in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

ANOTHER REFERENCE TO DICKENS.

 

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD

You will find a reference to Dickens a lot in this glorious small city. Although this cafe was closed for refurbishment. I got the impression,  If you want to start a food business you could do well here. If I had the resources I would open a vegan cafe. On the menu would be some straightforward every day food. Such as: beans on toast, hummus & roast veg baps, vegan sausage baps , the usual salads and soups,

The next place to visit was the Cathederal

a view of an empty pew

SONGS OF PRAISE.

I love the layout and the ambience of a cathederal where the set is ready for a choir. It has been long time since I have heard a real live choir. No performances today .

Rochester Castle

There were  a fair amount of people going in and out and i didn’t go into the castle itself, but  will leave do that on another visit.  It’s £7.50 to visit including  a guided tour. Opening hours are: 10am- 4pm in the winter.

In the castle grounds, The workmen were preparing for the Dickens Christmas fair which will be on every weekend starting end of November.

Rochester Bridge looking from the grounds of the castle

 

Rochester Market.

Nothing much to report here. There were a few food stalls and as well the usual early xmas  stalls. I know how much people need money now and you can’t blame people for wanting to cash in on that . Although I think there are a lot more creatives out there hiding behind closed doors that have a lot more to offer, than glitter and reindeers..

 

CHARLES DICKEN, ROCHESTER

 

History of rochester as a haven for refugees.

 

Rochester is a small city with a big history

Six POOR TRAVLLERS  MUSEUM

 

I do recall visiting this interesting historical museum on one of my visits. Unfortunately it is presently closed until May 2022.. On my last visit it was impressive to imagine how life was as It has preserved the rooms in their original state. A safe haven for weary refugees. in the 16th & 17th century.

ROCHESTER hosts BRITAINS ONLY MUSEM OF HUGUENOT HISTORY.

Who were ThE Huguenots.? They were french refugees fleeing from French Catholic oppression. When you consider how busy and important the medway river would have been in those days, it would have been the port to the continent & the only mode of transportation, they French had fled over seas and were made welcome in Rochester.

Huguenot Museum – Discover your story

http://www.frenchhospital.org.uk/

The sister of Huguenot Museum The FRENCH HOSPITAl & all the Alm houses is the sister charity, build to house Huguenot refugee. Strange how I hadn’t noticed this on my last visit. Coincidentally, having just started listening to an audible book named The Hezbollah Hiking Club, written and narrated by Dom Joly (creator of trigger happy,)Joley mentions some of his family descending from the huguenots.

ANOTHER LOCAL HERO is Billy Childish

I love this mural, and by the way the Brexit is childish graffiti was not part of the original but I do think it’s stylishly done and makes a great statement/pun on the Billy Childish work. It was commissioned by Sam Collins in 2016 and this was the first time I had come across it. What Billy Childish thinks of this  mural and the ‘defacement’ graffiti is anyone’s guess.

Billy Childish for those who don’t know of him is an artist/musician & writer.

I did see one of his exhibitions in the historic Dockyards based in Chatham, At the time I was more interested in the history of the are at that time.  The dockyards are well worth a visit. I also saw one of his music shows a few years ago in Camden at the KOKO Club, formally known as The Music Machine. Billy Childish still lives in Chatam,

https://thedockyard.co.ukDockyards

AUSS/anglo Bar

My pledge to have a dry november in the run up to xmas hasn’t lasted. I have to say  I enjoyed a few Austrian beers and my time in this bar. As is often the case it’s always nice to have an afternoon/early evening drink after a long working week.

 

AUSSI /ANGLO AUTUMN GARDEN

 

 

Coming up next month

A day out in Faversham. As promised I’m going to just have a day in Faversham as opposed to walking from there to Whitstable. As well I will be joining a group walk on the 8th of December on a Murder and Mayhem Historical theme walk.

lots of xmas parties coming up and come January I will be looking to getting out a lot more in Kent as I team up with some walking groups.

 

Until then keep on Keeping on.

 

Oct
2021

FREEDOM PASS

I RECIEVED MY ‘FREEDOM PASS’

On the 27th September I awaited eagerly for the post person to deliver my 60+ Oyster card. The card is exclusive to Londoners; It offers, free travel on tubes,  buses , and trains  in London and approximately within a 25 mile radius of London. That was the best birthday gift this year. Freedom pass to who knows where.

where now with this new found freedom?

The world is your Oyster

 

Anywhere from zone 1-6 in London, as far as Dartford and out west to Reading. Many of the walks I do are outside of London,  the freedom pass can be used to get to to Zone 6, making the price of the train journey thereafter, more affordable. Ps this isn’t the actual freedom pass you get when you retire!

Walking from Faversham to Whitstable.

Recently I revisited Kent and did an amble along from Faversham to Whitstable the day after my b/day. A strangely quiet day; that is except for the attack of the green bugs!

I want to explore the town centre a bit more as it has a lot of quirky shops and.  historic buildings a well as the market place, and probably will do that for the xmas market.

To see any of my youtube shorts follow the link.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5sG13Fg6oewfbLBow2c3TQ?view_as=subscriber

A rare breed of sheep were huddled together , I couldn’t get close enough to get a great pic of them all, but managed to get this face in..

as well there were a breed of as long horned cows!!  Pic taken walking along the whitstable way

Rose chafer

After much research on line, the nearest description I could find or name of a green flying bug was a Rose Chafer. It may not be the at all but it was the closest resemblance I could come up with. More information needed.!

When in France recently another green bug making it’s presence known was most definitely known as a stink bug!

https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife-explorer/invertebrates/beetles/rose-chafer

Talking about freedom has anybody heard of this remarkable journey

The Walk is an international arts festival meets endurance event. Little Amal, a 3.5 metre-tall puppet, will walk across the European continent to shine a light on the stories of millions of young refugees. She will travel through 8 countries, welcomed by hundreds of cultural events in cities, towns and villages all along her route. 

http://www.walkwithamal.org

I’m planning a couple of walks with a group this coming November, depending on what i can manage to get out of the way at work I may even manage a mid week walk. Space & fresh air, needed soon.!!

 

The  10 mile circular walk in Hertfordshire I was planning has been cancelled so thinking cap back on. Perhaps time to refer to the three guide books on walks in kent.

Sep
2021

SEPTEMBER

 

 SEPTEMBER IN MONTCUQ

This  September is a potent month, I  have eventually managed to travel to see my mother who is now in a home a half hours drive from Montcuq. she is 80 and is in the late stage of alzheimers. I spend 6 days with her holding her hand and trying to give her some comfort as she visibly fades away. As well I turn 60 this september but don’t really feel like celebrating.

The lonely road ahead.

 

It’s a difficult time. In between visits, I go for short walks around the village and out of the village into the surrounding countryside.

I also visit the French / English Bookshop daily.

I take my lap top in there with the aim to  ‘sort out’ some writing, but I dont’ achieve much, That doesn’t really matter, it’s hot and I’m out of sorts. I buy a novel by Joyce Carol Oates called Breathe; which I hope will resonate with me. https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/authorpage/joyce-carol-oates.html 

I also get given a book by one of the local artists who lives in the village, It is called The death of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel; As well I also find a book in the house and start reading it;  the T’he story of Lucy Gault, by wIlliam Trevor.

FRONT ENTRANCE TO THE FRENCH/ENGLISH BOOKSHOP /CAFE/GALLERY

As my thoughts turn inwards, books start to seem special again to me.

I have sort of reached a point of intolerance to marketing/emails, online scams and general internet overload. retreating into other worlds is  especially appealing right now, in particular,  literature music and nature.

INSIDE THE GROUND FLOOR BOOK SHOP

SIDE ENTRANCE OF FRENCH/ENGLISH BOOKSHOP

SIGN FOR FRENCH /ENGLISH BOOKSHOP

BOOKSHOP SIDE ENTRANCE

ONE OF THE EMPTY ROADS I WALK ALONG WHEN IN MONTCUQ

WHICH WAY NOW? I DO A 3 MILE CIRCULAR WALK WHEN IN MONTCUQ THEN A STROLL ROUND VILLAGE LATER

I LOVE THIS POT, I WALK PAST IT ON MY CIRCULAR WALKS OUTSIDE OF MONTCUQ VILLAGE

 

BALES OF HAY, WALKING AROUND THE VILLAGE OF MONTCUQ

 

Animals and other friends

I always like to meet the local animals and have a quick chat they cheer me up.They can only be themselves and their lives are pretty basic they seem fairly content to me. One of the things I have noticed in the village is the amount of underfed semi feral cats around.

WHAT YOU LOOKING AT!!!

FERAL KITTEN OUT PROWLING..

NEW BORN CALF WITH IT’S MOTHER

THE ROAD TO WHO KNOWS WHERE.

 

I try a couple of different walks this time and decide to pop into the hostel for walkers which is just about a 10 minute walk outside the main village. Having known the previous owner, a friend of the family, it seemed to be ok to venture over there. My understanding was the new couple were English. They were a lovely French couple but their English was as bad as my French; so the conversation was short and sweet.

http://www.lesouleillou.com

The hostel  is popular among hikers who mainly pass through on walking  “The way!’,  otherwise known as a The Camino de Santiago’ Lots of hikers pass through the village daily, en route.  It is something I may do someday in memory of my mother.

Alzheimers is an awful disease and so little is known about it. Research is vital and I would try and do another fundraiser further on down the line.

https://santiagoways.com/en/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIpJDUo6mX8wIViLbtCh0xbA9qEAAYBCAAEgKjKfD_BwE

 

see my recommended reading page for more books about walks.

Writing about walking and things along the way.

Micro- adventures

Walking holidays are hugely popular in France but people especially of a working age are looking for random adventures. Reading an article in a local  newspaper for the English living in France, it explores the growing trend among Parisians, looking for different landscapes.

Coming up this weekend

walking from Faversham to whitstable.

I have done this walk before and it is precisely because I know and like it that I’m doing it again.

Until next time keep on keeping on.

 

 

 

Aug
2021

Margate

 

A day out in Margate with a few twists & turns

After a month of so many twists & turns, it is a wonder I hadn’t lost the plot completely. Lets put it this way, I was close to the edge. ( I will spare you the details!) Of course I needed a walk. I booked a return from BROMLEY SOUTH TO WESTGATE ON SEA, but ended up in Margate The plan was to walk from Westgate on Sea to Margate, but for some reason the train didn’t stop at Westgate- on Sea, I must double check the train timetables for next visit, some go to Westgate some don’t but I’m sure I booked for that particular train. Anyway I got out at Margate instead.

The first sight when coming out of Margate Train /station. Pretty it aint.

 

I planned to have lunch and then go the Turner Gallery. My favourite cafe told me, the two meals that I actually liked were both off the menu. A couple of doors down, there was a small coffee type place that did a vegan brunch which was nice enough; avocado with a bean type tomato dish. http://margatecoffeeshed.co.uk/

I am currently taking supplements and take one at lunch time as a routine, somehow it missed my mouth and dropped on the floor and rolled away, I have no idea where it went!! never to be seen again. Was this day going to improve any time soon? I did so need a half decent day out.

Let me get off my chest, it’s been a testing time.

Someone had come into work with cover 19.  I was told to go home in the middle of my working day and not come back until the 23/8 only to be texted at the weekend to be told to come in on Monday,  16/8. I returned half an hour early for work, on 16/8 and I was  told to go back home again until the 23rd.

A job I had applied for and had given up on, decided to offer me an interview on the date I had a planned trip. Having booked the train ticket in advance, I had to make a choice, the interview or a day out!  When I went on line, I realised I had booked the train ticket for the wrong day, anyway! So what the hell. !

Lunch done and dusted I wondered around Margate Shops wondering when my luck was going to change.

shops around Margate

Love Lane, I have mentioned Love walk many times so this is the partner street ‘perhaps.! Nice to call something Love Lane or Love Walk.

 

If you like local ales, ciders and wine you can’t go wrong here.

I booked a slot at The Turner Gallery, before my visit, but as I hadn’t walked from Westgate on Sea, was an hour early. They were fine about that. 

What a pleasant surprise- in all honesty I had totally forgotten which exhibition was on,  I hadn’t really cared -I just wanted to do something. The theme of one of her exhibits  was called The Disappointed Tourist. (which felt fairly fitting!) I didn’t take any pictures of that exhibit, but did take a couple from her other collection. Tiny miniature landscapes onto everyday places such as garbage cans and old mailboxes.

We live in a world that often feels as thought it is vanishing before our eyes. Places we love disappear. Places we have hoped to visit cease to exist. The forces of war, time, ideology, greed and natural disaster are constantly remaking places that we love but cannot control or save”- Ellen Harvy

 

https://www.disappointedtourist.org

 

miniature landscape paintings on everyday objects, in NYC around Williamsburg and Brooklyn.

After the exhibition I decided I might as well walk to Broadstairs, and took some pictures along the seafront.

 

It wasn’t till I got close up I knew who this was, at first I thought he looked like that Irish guy from a chat show, but it’s David Attenbourgh.

 

In your face a load of graffiti.. This is Margate.

 

Wild large yellow dandelions..

Brave swimmers. I wonder how cold it was.

 


As I walked merrily along the nature reserve and approached a main road, near Kingsgate Bay, I decided to shoot down into an off track route. I had mistaken it for a shortcut which was in reality, further en route. After walking alone for 15 minutes with no signs in sight,  I realised it was the wrong road. It was an awful feeling until,  I saw someone walking towards me who looked like a rambler.  Relived I stopped him to ask him about the route.

He explained the way I was going was the long way round, but I could get to Broadstairs that way. I was then stuck between walking back to Broadstairs along a lonely pathway the long way or with a complete stranger.

 

So down the long lonely track I trudged- in what seemed like for ever!.

The messenger,  had told me two things that stuck. Look for Reading Road on the left and donkeys on the right! No donkeys were in sight in any part of this journey! but eventually I  found Reading road. where there was signs of life and a woman answered my question about getting to Broadstairs, who directed me to the train station basically.

Before I arrived at the Railway Station, I did go all round the houses

Google announced me arriving at my destination. Feeling seriously pissed off, I backtracked to the main road near an industrial area and walked down some track adjoined to a kids play area and arrived at the back of the station. At this point I was beyond weary.

Resisting the lure of the many new craft type bars en route, I headed down to the sea front for some air. I got a fix of  energy from a delicious smoothie and granola bar.

https://www.namaka.co.uk/ 

 

UNTIL next time keep on keeping on

 

Writing about walking and things along the way.

see my good reads page for book recommendation.

Tell me about a book you have read that inspires you.

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