Jul
2021

Two walks in June

Two walks in June a step in the right direction

I’m amazed how many people have asked how the walking is going during lockdown!. Two walks in June outside of London felt like a bit of a break. I was getting out of my ‘comfort zone’; or should I say, uncomfortable zone. The first walk was in  Cambridge,  my second was from Seaford to East Dean. In truth I had more than two walks in June, but only two out of London. I’m always walking in London. Pretty much every day I walk in London.

It has been a while since I have ventured out on my own and apart from visiting Cambridge Cathedral about 20 years ago, I had no connection to the place. My budget was zilch, I managed to purchase a train ticket and walked out of the station towards the Botanical Gardens, then somehow navigated my way to Paradise Gardens.

I had dowloaded instructions from the Saturday Walkers Website. They were overly complicated at times but I persisted and found the River Cam at least…

The walks PDF version,  available from The Saturday walkers Website.https://www.walkingclub.org.uk

 

Saturday walkers have hundreds of free walks available.

They are useful if you don’t know a place, as all of the walks, have been well worked out and tested.  I only used the instructions for a brief reference. There was too much information and bits of history written in between the instructions. I wanted to see some countryside, that was all.  We were still in partial lockdown at this point and I didn’t feel like hanging out too much, I somehow managed to walk around 8 miles and visited a very expensive but beautiful orchard for a tea and scone!! https://www.theorchardteagarden.co.uk

I think further down the line, I would like to spend a night nearby and explore the fens a bit further out.

Free roaming cows on route to Grantchester Cambridge along the River Cam.

It was lovely to see the cows roaming freely, eating the leaves from the trees.

 

it is taking a long time for me to finish reading a book called The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamand Young, a Sunday times best seller. I only read it when on a train travelling to go out on rambles/walks. Those journeys have been lacking in the last year and the journeys too short. My interest in these creatures has become more curious. I still approach with care but I feel more confident in standing near them. Occasionally I write a book review for Good Reads, and Iwill add to my recommended reads. Reads about walking/roaming. 

I’m in the process of creating a book review page to go on Facebook -so will link that next time.

 

It wasn’t an especially warm day, in fact it was on the chilly side, yet plenty were swimming & sunbathing by the river.

 

Seaford nature reserve you know I love you

 

Misty Blue, sea and hazy sky, leaves me walking without a sigh, the bliss of solitude..

Weeds outlining the cliff top by the sea. I had missed this place. A perfect day for a walk as the temperature was cool and the atmosphere was misty

 

The cloud lifted slightly for a wee glimpse into a possible future…

Down by the creek I go, looking for my soul and my long lost friends..

I see something YELLOW..

Purple flowers wild on Seaford Reserve.

 

I know this Fishermans cottage is not for sale but I think I could live there.

like the Wild West down here.

A bouquet of wild flowers

It’s wild, it’s hazy, it’s moody, and no one is around.. Just as we like it.

 

The day ended at The Tiger Inn where a couple of cool drinks  was a welcome treat. sitting outside at the village Green.

Keep on keeping on.

 

 

 

Jun
2021

A weekend in the North East

I covered a lot of ground during my weekend in the North East.

HOLY ISLAND has been on my mind for a long time. I’m not sure why. I have been revisiting the North East my home land! for the last 10 years or more and during  my many weekends in the North East I never quite got that far.  It is far up as Berwick and Berwick isn’t that far from Scotland. I often think about spending a bit longer in the north East so I can visit all of my favourite places on the coast and that’s before I even consider spending some time up in Scotland.

Eventually I got to the Island thanks to a friend offering to drive up there. I will revisit another time and spend a lot more time roaming about which is my ultimate goal in life.

nature doing what it does well, ‘being there’. HOLY ISLAND

 

Holy Island/lindisfarne is something of an enigma. It can only be visited at certain times of the day, due to the tides coming in flooding the island.

https://holy-island.uk/visitor-information/

 

TAKEN BY JULIE WALKER -THE DEER PUT IN A BRIEF APPEARANCE..


THE KINGDOM OF NORTHUMBERLAND the mist hangs heavy over the land. We didn’t get to see much of Lindisfarne castle due to the fog hanging over.

PRYAMID USED IN THE PAST AS A LIGHTHOUSE FOR SAILORS.

Sand Dunes at Holy Island- I can imagine some of the scenes from the fantastic series The last Kingdom being played out here.

 

https://aelarsen.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/the-last-kingdom-the-background/

The last kingdom .. Going back a bit..

I LOVE DRIFT WOOD

 

 

We also visited the town of Bamburgh which was mega busy; that was even before Harrison Ford made it into town. He was all over the media, seen cycling around Newcastle. The film crew were shooting a film at Bamburgh castle. The Castle is worth a visit it is magnificent & situated right on the coast. Next time I visit I will make sure I visit. For a quick preview look at the link below.

https://www.bamburghcastle.com/

I  have spent many a weekend in the North East and each time it is a new experience.

This time it was a Bank Holiday weekend, each day I walked about 8 miles .Arriving Thursday I then headed to Newcastle upon Tyne quayside for a walk along the river to The Ousbourn valley.

We sat outside The Cluney in the sun sipping an alcohol free beer. It hosts two music venues and is situated in a valley along the River Ousbourn.

Many a good night has been had at this venue. saw such bands as Wire, the Rezillos and many more.

Further tales from the North east  can be read, in my post  written in 2018, Escaping the heatwave, the link is below.  It really should have been called Defining the North!  Venturing into Art and politics and trying to stay cool.

Escaping the heatwave

 

walking along The Ouseburn Valley . A rural retreat.

 

Newcastle Upon Tyne the cooperative Building.

Not everyone knows how magnificent some of the architecture is in Newcastle city centre. The arcade below has the best music shop in the world selling all musical instruments. Back in the 70s I used to go and listen to records in their listening booths.

As the sun shined brightly on Newcastle and the crowds were out, it made it difficult to do my ‘Vlog’  as intended.I had bought a harness type thing to put my iPhone in and unfortunately that didn’t quite work to plan.

Red swing bridge and Tyne Bridge behind it . Walking away from the centre.

 

A QUIET AFTERNOON WALK IN WYLAM

The bridge was originally built for the Scotswood, Newburn and Wylam Railway, to connect the North Wylam Loop with the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway.

 

The sun returned the mist and fog lifted and all was well in Wylam

Time ran away and as I headed back to Newcastle there was just enough time to get back and  go back out to have a meal with an old friend. The city centre was crazy. It being a Bank Holiday, the restrictions  had lifted and The ‘toon’ was in full blown party mode. However we managed to find a quiet mexican restaurant and had a fab meal without any dramas.

Next post I attempt a circular walk in Cambridge and head back to my favourite ramble along the Seven sisters.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP ON KEEPING ON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May
2021

Farewell merry month of May

The weather in May has been somewhat mixed. Only recently we had showers of sleet.

Usually walking in May is one of the better months. I took THE 37 bus to Putney at the beginning of May and had a wee amble along the river. I got off at £ast Putney underground station; turning right onto the high street. The weather on this particular day in May wasn’t too bad. It was a bit windy but the sun was out at least.

Not so much a merry month but at least it’s May & Lockdown has now been eased somehow 

  There are three stations in Putney and a disused Network rail platform at East Putney. In use at present there is: East Putney Underground station on Upper Richmond Road then Putney station on the high street as well as Putney Bridge Underground station, the latter which takes you out at a really nice entrance near the river and the station I know best.

 

Once I got off the high street it wasn’t long before I was down by the river, one of my favourite places to be, but I have to say it folks – I’m not sure how many days like this in London will be around.

While ambling along the river.I came across a sign near the brewery at Mortlake, where it highlighted an ongoing campaign.  The area is under threat from corporate companies. To be able to amble along the river away from crowds is a true joy. Once it gets overdeveloped that won’t be possible. Even if you don’t know the area it’s worth taking a look at the plans and voicing your opinion if you have one.

https://www.mbcg.org.uk/what-you-can-do/

If the Major of London sells off these sites to Singapore investors, that is the end of  river walks., One of the few free pleasures in life.

Walk further up the Thames and you will be virtually knocked over by joggers. We don’t need more people living on the river…

Thames flooding

walking along the Thames without any bother from Business men!

 

Thames near Mortlake

somewhat flooded along The Thames Path

 

Putney

The tide is high at Putney

River Thames

walking along the river Putney

 

The launch of Great British Railway

Apparently the railways are ‘going back’ to being a public sector body. I’M NOT sure exactly what it means but I agree it needs an overhaul.

Over the years travelling on trains to get out for for walks; I have found that I have sort of got used to the split ticketing and crossing from one trainline -company to another. They ‘ are talking about having a fare system similar to the oyster pay as you go which is music to my ears.. lets connect and jump on and off the railways!!

May where spring pushes through the ground.

BRIGHT & CHEERFUL

BRIGHT & DANDY

 


A wee preview of what’s coming up.

Next post will be about my recent BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND VISITING Holy Island.. A night along the Tyne.. and much much more. At time of post I am returning on the great LNER railway to Kings Cross London.

 

My best walks in 2020

 

Apr
2021

April is the cruellest month

April is the CruelleSt month is something I quote often in April.

One minute sunshine the next snow.  Until now I didn’t know the line came from a poem, The Waste Land written by T.S Eliot. The poet is speaking of death and in particular the death of winter and the emerging life- of spring; not quite ready, but we are enticed from our slumbers,.

Then it freezes again. April is the cruellest month, I agree. I venture out anyway. Life is for living and I need some time out.

I’m barely here but I’m here!

Wimbledon Common, the start of the walk.

 

We are nearly ready to spring into life…

 

Usually the month of April conjures up many thoughts of new beginnings.

We associate the month of April with a time of new starts, it is spring, plants push threw the soil; new born lambs are born and easter symbolises rebirth, The clocks go forward, the days are lighter, there is so much hope but it can also be extremely cold and as has happens it snows..

 

April 12th is an official Government date that lifts us out of our Lockdown ‘provisionally’ Go forth with caution!.  

The month of April, is a mixture of the dark and the light, a day out in Seaford was the first journey I thought about but then remembered that despite the restrictions lifting; the bars and cafes are outside only. It can wait..

Walking from Wimbledon Common to Richmond park then down to the River Thames just before Barnes was an easy walk. It’s the first time I have done it and it was enjoyable but I was ready to go home after 10 miles. If we weren’t in this crazy lock down coming out phase ,I might have carried on to Hammersmith and sat by the river.

Blue sky Blue lake , peace in Richmond Park.

 

After crossing an awful busy road, a quick walk down Ship lane with a brewery to the right, and  five minutes later at the Thames.

Rowing along the Thames..

 

Barnes Bridge  over the beach on Thames April 21

 

Looking back at other April walks

Places to visit in April The Grayson perry/Essex walks is definately on the cards again

I can’t believe my post last April 2019 was so full of hope. I visited Bristol, Essex and Margate in one month, which is pretty good going. If you want to read about Grayson Perry’s house follow this link.https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/may/10/grayson-perry-a-house-for-essex-stonking-shrine  A walk from Manningtree to the house GP designed it’s a good day out with plenty of variety of scenery.

Time out in London

SOUTHWARK/BERMONDSEY LOOKING OUT T LONDON.

 

I had some bits of business to do and was out and about in Bermondsey. Afterwards I walked down to the river. I realised it was ST Georges day, as groups of mainly men congregated, celebrating out in the pubs.

I’ve not seen so many people outside he pubs. It is after all April, and spring; lockdown has eased the rules.  A drink outside the pub is ok.

For the first time I could really see the impact of overbuilding down by the river and how big a working class community lives side by side with overdevelopment.

Bermondsey street London Bridge is smart but it’s time to leave it now and let it be. It must get suffocating in the summer as there’s little green space.  On this particular day, a persistent chill blew alongside the emerging sun.

Rotherhithe a mystery solved.

Is it art or functional?

 

I found what I was looking for

After a quick walk to Rotherhithe to see if I could find out more information about a photograph previously taken and could not identify .I arrived outside The Brunel museum off Railway street.

I was about to ask a woman working there when I noticed the sign underneath it! Explaining what the object was.!

I felt satisfied that I now could name the object in my photograph. My day  could now be ticked off as having achieved something!

The overground train station is 1 minute away from Railway Street in Rotherhithe. It got me to Pimlico in no time at all.

It was lovely to find a quite open space in the sun. The Tate Gallery was closed; as was their small garden at the front of the building. An available bench just beside the Tate Gallery was a sun trap. I sat there for 15 minutes waiting for  a friend.

TATE CLOSED GATES APRIL 21

 

We eventually had our first drink ‘outside of a pub’ sitting in the shade , the prices had gone up, but still it was worth it just to feel some sort of normality.

Until next time Keep on Keeping on.

 

 

 

 

Mar
2021

London in Lockdown

 

Writing about London in Lockdown has been a challenge.

Hopefully this will be the last post about London in Lockdown. Not managing to get out for many walks up the river, and being restricted  has been uninspiring; London in Lockdown, is London with it’s heart cut out. London is a place of constant movement with thousands of events going on simultaneously. Writing about my five mile radius is somewhat boring. I want London to get back to normal but as well need to Get out to explore and discover new walks, 

After attending a funeral recently where I  stayed over night in another part of London,  the next day a very short walk along the river was welcome.

Walking along the river from Greenwich North on a suitably wintery morning.

 

They really are combining the Urban with wildlife down here. A place you can see wild birds and Barclays Bank in loving harmony!

 I have been living with a SE24 postcode longer that I care to remember. I’m never sure if I live in Brixton or Herne Hill!

Brockwell park is our very own Central Park that borders on Brixton & draws round to Tulse Hill  going round to the Norwood entrance then sweeps down to Herne Hill. The park has become extremely important over the last few months. For those of you who don’t know Brixton or Herne Hill. I feel compelled to explain how close they are to each other. I mentioned in the last post a visitor from Ireland was quite impressed with the area. Then thought, can I  truly consider myself living in brixton with a SE24 post code!  I really am on the border, which has been said of my general persona; so perhaps I’m in the right place!!

In fact if I walk five minutes up the road from my place, to Brockwell Park at the top of Effra Parade; leading onto Brixton Water Lane (South Brixton/Tulse Hill)  If I turn right out of my house in less than a 10 minute walk  I’m in Brixton Central. Turn left and there is Herne Hill station in 10 minutes. 

https://brockwellparkcommunitypartners.org.uk/visit-the-park/

I found a neat little map of Brockwell Park Community Partners It’s worth a look at what’s on offer, should you ever want to visit. The Lido and tennis courts .As well as the  sheer scope and size of it  is well worth it.

My mother used to write letters to me and always addressed it as Brixton /Herne Hill, London England.

That is about right. Although for many years I lived in SW9 which is proper brixton that was back in the squatting days.  In Brixton Central you will find the: markets, clubs, bars, cinema, crowds and all of that. I took the picture below as I wanted to get a snapshot before the builders painted over it.

BRADYS SW9….
Home of the brave. You could come out of Brixton Underground, stroll in 2 minutes, through an arcade and straight into the saloon bar. The Wild West never died here.. I’m glad to see the developers so far have kept the original Bradys aka The Railway sign in tact. It really had it’s moments, a mainly Irish bar with frequent live music lively nights were had by all.

Herne Hill, the new Hampstead

This has a lot going for it. Years ago nobody went there! Now it’s buzzing.

I nearly forgot to mention the poets roads in Herne Hill

Off Railton Road, running up to Brockwell Park, we have residential roads named after poets: MiltonRoad, Shakespeare,Spencer &Chaucer Road. This is most definitely Herne Hill residential at it’s finest.

St James Park

My second favourite park in London. I had an opticians appointment and as it was in Victoria London, I took the opportunity to meet up with a friend for a walk across the park. ( no kissing or cuddling took place! we maintained our distance)

LUSH GREEN PLANTS IN ST JAMES PARK VICTORIA LONDON 12/3/ 21

ducks, swans st james park

A freezing cold day in March. St James Park, down among the ducks & Swans

DUCKS ALWAYS UP FOR A FEED IN ST JAMES PARK

 

BENDY TREE AMONG THE DAFFODILS.

  In 2015 I wrote Out and about in London a simple day of pleasure        click here to read.

Many of my blogs have been about days out in London, but I do want a change 

but I’m not sure where to start. Lockdown is becoming normal and I feel almost scared to start planning.

RIP Eileen Deeks, who enjoyed life to the full & is famous for saying life is for living.

It’s likely most will agree, I’m sure, it is time to start living a little!