Sep
2018

September, coastal walks

SEPTEMBER is my favourite month as we try to capture the last of the remaining summer.

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.

 

 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 coast line, 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  on The Grand Central Train to Sunderland, it can work out cheaper going to Sunderland instead of Newcastle and then just taking the metro for a few quid. We got to the hotel  on the Wednesday evening 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 up on 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 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 amminution 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 everywhere.

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 paraphnellia 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.

We had one more for the road at the end of ocean road, and eventually found some room for a sandwich back at the hotel

 

On The Friday 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.

shadow on wall

 

We considered walking to St Marys Lighthouse but as we were going out into Newcastle later in the evening, decided against it. WE kept it simple,& had an amble around Tynemouth before heading backto 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

Coming up in October my new walking group and the Bedlam Walk. Watch this space for further details.

I can’t explain my feet Ad Hoc Walking Group

London, GB
51 Members

Anyone who wants to get to know the real london and enjoys walking. Travellers, Tourists,

Check out this Meetup Group →

Aug
2018

What to give, up, When to give up & What’s worth fighting for

 

LOOKING BACK AT June 2018 SEEMS LIKE A LIFETIME AWAY

Last month I was walking along the cliff tops in Northumberland and had not processed this film, until a couple of weeks later in Islington. A lot has happened since then. Looking at these pictures makes me feel very happy. I wish I was there now.

Northumberland, Craster coastline

Stunning scenery in Northumberland  

waves crashing on cliffs

Blue sea -rugged cliffs, June 2018 Northumberland

Old friends (eh not so much of the old,!) go back a long way…  from Newcastle & South Shields enjoying the sunshine

 

handsome wild sheep

Looking at me!

 

Politics/Unite, Angel /Islington & Farringdon London

https://unitetheunion.org

On a recent UNITE REP course situated between Angel and Farringdon, I found this little spot by the Canal to sit in at lunchtime. No matter what I’m doing or where I am, I always find hidden spots. The Unite Course was intense for a whole week, so finding a bit of space was heaven.

Although I haven’t had the time to go on any organised walks lately, I’m still walking a lot.

Just walking from My house to Herne Hill and Farringdon to the Unite Office, situated somewhere between The Angel  Tube & Farringdon mainline station. ‘Popping’ up to Upper Street Islington for lunch and back to Farringdon at the end of the day clocked up about 5 miles a day. As well as walking at the weekend from Victoria to Blackfriars to the TATE MODERN ended up walking 8 miles . 

five minutes from Angel Station

                                                                            Islington Canal

Dave a Unite Rep told me this story

“I love my walk to work. It’s about 7 kilometers and takes just over an hour  (I allow 1 hour 10 minutes ). The first part of the trail is through the quiet back roads, then through a park, then, a local area city centre  (Woolwich ) where I can jump on a bus if running late, then to work. It’s the highlight of my day. I take a bag of peanuts to feed the squirrels in the park. I get my best ideas when walking, and quite often fire off messages on the move. I arrive at work with my mind fully charged with oxygen and ideas that have already been started.”

 

 

a chair a bridge an old boat and a cancal

Away from the main street was this little spot

 

As a Unite Rep Dave deals with drivers on a daily basis; who are dealing with poor health due to the job demands and lack of health care from the privately owned companies. It is a dog eat dog world & all he/we can do is fight for our rights for better working conditions. Helping ourselves is the first step towards freedom. Keeping on walking and getting the exercise as well as just seeing different places makes a whole load of difference to a mind that is filled with politics of one kind or another; be it office politics or general politics. There is no end to it all.

Continue reading

Jul
2018

Another Green World

Everything’s gone Green

I managed to escape a bit of the heatwave.

Spending time in Newcastle,  South Shields& Northumberland.

The heat there was more durable due to a breeze from the Tyne or the sea.

Fewer buildings & people does help but the heat was still intense. The green shots were taken along the rugged coastline Smugglers Bay, just passed South Shields.

Not quite sure why they came out like that but consider it an art installation moment. Art is anything you want it to be.! A vision!  I’m looking forward to the 250th RA summer exhibition next month,

The Cluny, one of my favourite music venues situated in the  Ouse Valley, tucked in at the edge of Newcastle City Centre, away from the Bars and usual clubs.

www.thecluny.com

I just managed to make the gig on time, due to my train from London being one a half hour late. (the heat wave!)

It was an acoustic evening, so therefore seated. The opening act Fred Abong sang his own quirky very short songs but flowed well. Headlining was Kristen Hersh who I can only describe as understated perfection! It’s all about the synergy twisting the words to fit the rhythm.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI8SWd7iYWI

Northumberland

I visited Alnwick where my tour guide (old flatmate) led me through  Hulne Park

two women painting in Hulme Park

A painters paradise, lush green trees, with a gentle running river flowing by

 

Hardly a soul about we walked for about 6 miles before lunch in Alnwick Centre.

The following day we did a circular walk around  Craster, my favourite area. Last time I had visited it was pouring with rain, whereas this visit at the end of June, it was hot enough to swim.  I discovered that behind the castle a five-minute walk to the beach was in sight, sandy beaches for miles.

I had some spare film left over from NYC & decided to use it up, as yet the film is not developed, so my Craster pictures will be developed later. Only took one with the I PHONE.Gateway to the sea View from outside pub at Craster. A beautiful day, I could have stayed there all day.

Newcastle upon Tyne

Meeting up with an old friend and visiting the Baltic on a hot summers day was a highlight for me. We loved this picture of our shadows.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE AT SUNSET

The Baltic

We came across a project from 2018 called Ceremony

Presented as a large-scale film installation. It follows the artist’s search for a decommissioned 1970’s statue of German philosopher Friedrich Engels. As the film tracks the statue’s journey from one side of Europe to the other on a flat-bed truck, it starts showing the bewildered faces of the older generation some not understanding why they have to remove it. It shifts from one sense of history to another. In parallel, it cuts to stories of Collins’ collaborators in Manchester, including a young dancer who struggles to make ends meets, a factory worker who had to go back to work straight after a stroke.

The statue ends its journey in the centre of Manchester, among the towering new glass and steel buildings that act as alternative monuments to corporate wealth an aspiration for some by no means all.  What would Engels think now?

IDEA OF NORTH 11 May-30 SEPTEMBER

Also showing was series of displays and projects, questioning What is the North, to quote Paul Morley in his book The North, “the North that is written is a hallucination as much as it is a history, a non-fiction dream of what might have been rather than a documented expression of the definite” 

Always a lot to think about in the Baltic.

 

There is always so much going on in this vibrant city on the Tyne, I also visited The Laing Gallery to an exhibition called The Enchanted Garden

Installation video

https://laingartgallery.org.uk

As always my blog is posted every month .

No pre-planned walks at present, but who knows what will come up, Next post end of August.

Jun
2018

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe

A new advertising campaign from Transport For London

It has been launched to raise awareness of air pollution issues in the capital and the new Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is due to come into effect in April 2019. It features a choir of children singing the famous Hollies hit, All I need is the air that I breathe. A great song in its day I have had it on my I Pod for some years; takes me back, reminds me of better days. (in some ways.!)

The pollution in inner cities is rife. As a cyclist who works in the inner city, I get blasts of fumes in my face on a regular basis. I get sore throats and headaches as part of the parcel. Getting out of the inner cities & London as often as possible is essential.

Hastings to Rye

Walking to Rye from Hastings recently I clocked up 17.1 miles which is equal to 39,340 steps and 85 floors, a long walk! I can’t pretend it was easy as it was only my second attempt of leading this walk and left most of the decisions to Martin who was co-leading.

The mist at the beginning of the walk didn’t help by throwing us into corners and then having to backtrack. We got there in the end. I think after much thought I prefer the walk to start at Rye and finish at Hastings.  Might try to master that before the summer ends.

sheep relaxing

Happy sheep among the daisies, sitting outside Cambor Castle

 

We walked in the mist all the way through Hastings Country Park by the time we got to the military canal leading to Rye it had cleared up nicely.

 

Winchelsea ButteRfly on a Buttercup

Picture of a Winchelsea Butterfly landed on a buttercup, courtesy of Chelin Miller who also blogs http://www.chelinmiller.com

 

 

Not a very nice walk to The Lovely Gallery!

Last Sunday more to do with the trains not working than any real desire to walk, we trudged uphill on an urban walk from Brixton to Sydenham High street; the walk was about 6 miles. For some reason, I decided to let the map on my I Phone dictate the way; whereas usually when walking to Penge East I would at least walk to Crystal Palace  & down through the park. We missed a couple of turnings so it was a bit of a bore.

We were rewarded for our efforts, as we visited The Lovely Gallery. It was great that the artist gave a talk about his work and as it was the last day there, we were presented with wine to help us appreciate the exhibition. It takes time to adjust the eyes from an Urban sprawl to see beyond everyday reality.! Got there in the end.

Followed by homemade scones with jam and strawberries, lovingly baked by the gallery owner, we had an off the cuff great day out. Worth a visit if you are in the area

The  Lovely gallery

Down to Earth

Down to Earth -Martin Fidler displaying his latest collection http://www.martinfidler.com

 

Canterbury Trails-Kent Linear Walk

From door to door, the walk added up to 16.5 miles, 24,230 steps and climbed 25 floors.  We ambled alongside The Great Stour river through Blean woods to the University of Kent Campus descending into the city centre for a few beers in the City of Canterbury. A whole day of Sunshine!

Sheep flat out in Cantebury

Came across herds of sheep flat-out.

PIC OF TIRED HOT SHEEP

SHEEP FLAT OUT

looking down towards Cantebury

Heading inland to Canterbury

 

The Canterbury walk, although long was nowhere as strenuous as the Hastings to Rye, or the Seaford to Eastbourne I led recently. I must be a glutten for punishment as I’m determined now to go back and get the  RYE TO HASTINGS ROUTE under my belt.

I prefer having the option to stop at Winchelsea & have a sit down near the beach at  Petts Level before ending up in Hastings, it just works better. Additionally, Hastings is a bit more lively than Rye so to end up at Hastings you know you have a load of pubs and possibly a bit of live music to look forward to at the end of the long walk.

I just need to work out if there’s a way of cutting out the Country Park perhaps going around, I have done variations on this route following other leaders so it’s worth a try.

I’m currently up in Newcastle Upon Tyne my hometown visiting The Cluny in Ouseburn Valley and getting out and about up the coast. I will regale you with More tales about that next post, as always at the end of the month every month. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May
2018

Walking With The Beast

Where are you going?

sun coming down at Eastbourne

Nearly There?

 

I have been writing about Walks and things discovered along the way for some years now. It’s an infinite subject.

Are you Walking away from someone or something? Or towards an event; walking for charity? on a Demo, a stroll in the park, walking for health, walking with the Beast? I love my little 25-minute lunchtime walk, it can take the edge off as I leave my desk, log out of my computer and phone, I walk up Camberwell Grove to smell the roses!

Walking with The Beast can relate to that suffocating feeling like an Incubus nightmare when the depression smothers you and you can’t think straight anymore. Taking that long needed walk can release the beast in all it’s might throw it around a bit, wrestle with it and hopefully beat it.

Back in the eighties, I was in love with a band called The Gun Club and sadly the singer died prematurely of a stroke in his early 30’s. The song Walking With The Beast was one of theirs. I diverse somewhat but it pays good heed to accept life’s’ imperfections and striving too hard to be good can be equally as damaging. Walk a bit with the beast sometime and discover it’s nothing to be scared of.!

My planned walk from Seaford to Eastbourne

The previous day it had rained all day, and I had been thinking about joining up with Unite they were holding a demonstration in Central London. I decided to give it a miss on this occasion. Have a bit of a wind down from work and prepare for my big walk.

 

Blue Skies Open Heath, wild flowers

Blue skies open space

Fortunately, the sun came out in the afternoon which made for a very pleasant day walking. We covered the actual Seven Sisters in an hour and got to Eastbourne for 5 pm. We had walked 15 miles by the end of the day.

picture of walkers at Beachy Head

walking from Seaford to Eastbourne

Somewhere Inbetween!

 It is always a pleasure to find things off the cuff. I had attended The Hub weekly Meet up for bloggers in Euston & afterwards, took a short walk to The Wellcome Institution. 

I have been popping in there for some years now. You never know what you will find. I rarely plan a visit there.

Sire  

Strange picture of Bull with sperm straws on his back!

Strange Beast indeed!

 

A series of large photographic portraits of bulls taken at an Irish stud farm Dovea Genetics.  The sculptures represent different characteristics that are being bred into cattle such as being hornless, being able to withstand changes in climate. The colourful straws are semen straws! Somewhat complex content. See Link Below for full details.

https://wellcomecollection.org/installations/WryoVx8AAAjk9Xg

 If that wasn’t strange enough I then walked into a room following my ears/

Under -A Video Installation

There were 2 video projections named Under exploring the 3 elements which measure free diving:  time, distance and depth. Each of the Under films was entirely shot and performed on a single breath of air in the Red Sea.

Coming Up

Tomorrow I lead the walk Hastings to Rye see my Up & Coming walk page for further details.