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Archive for the ‘around the UK’ Category

I’ve started reading the book my daughter gave me for Christmas; ‘Walking Home – Clare Balding.’

In the very early pages Clare talks about how she was taught to ‘walk mindfully’; to feel her feet hitting the ground, to hear the birds or background sounds, to feel the wind on her face. So today on my daily perambulation, instead of rehashing the same self-talk that goes over and over around my head (mostly coz its unresolved), today I practised mindful walking….

I felt how my feet scrunched on the beach, I observed how my poles felt as they supported me over the rocks or sank in the sand, I really listened to the seagulls, felt how the wind ruffled my hair and sneaked down my collar (I forgot my scarf at the b&b๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿคจ), and in particular I listened to the songs of the sea…it changed my whole mindset. I felt uplifted,  invigorated and tingled from the cold icy air, and barely noticed that I was soaked from the softly falling rain. What a difference.

My issues are still unresolved, but I can breathe…and I got in 10.26 kms by the time of the real downpour, which spoilt my plan to sit on the bench in Broadstairs to eat my croissants… instead I ran for the bus (the driver kindly waited for me ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ) and took the quick way back.

It was dark when I left the b&b, the streets were quite deserted and I only saw 4 people enroute. I got to the harbour just before 7am.

Town centre at 06:55
Still and quiet at 7am

It had started raining but I barely noticed it until looking at the lights shining on the rain.

Oh…its raining ๐Ÿ˜„

By then I was quite wet, so I sat under the shelter at the Royal Victoria Pavilion and watched the sky lighten…

A blue sky
My view from under the pavilion

Debating a return to the b&b to dry out, instead, as soon as the rain eased off, I meandered down to the waters edge and collected some more sea glass – found some lovely pieces.

Sea glass and pottery pieces

Then turning my head north for Broadstairs watching the sunrise while I listened to the seagulls and the incoming tide I walked…..as I walked the colours of the sky changed and depending on which way I was facing, was either that early morning cold blue or the golden colours of the sun cracking through the clouds…

Passing through Broadstairs I phoned ahead to order my almond croissants from The Old Bakehouse and stopped to photograph the boats in the little harbour – I never tire of seeing them

Pretty wee boats in the harbour

A few dog walkers and early morning strollers passed me by and suddenly, or so it seemed, I reached my turning point at Stone Bay.

A good place as any to turn around

How far I’ve come….

Looking back across Stone Bay

One last photo of Viking Bay

Viking Bay, Broadstairs

Having phoned ahead earlier, The Old Bakehouse kept 2 almond croissants aside for me ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ. As I left, the rain I’d seen crossing the channel reached our shores and the heavens opened…๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง

There comes the rain…

I drank my coffee, then made my way quickly up the High Street towards the bus stop. Suddenly down the road…the bus approached. I ran – fast!! The driver (bless his heart) waited for me. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Then it was back to the b&b for tea.

Brilliant walk: 10.26kms. And thus ends my holiday/Christmas/New Year break. Back to work tomorrow and limited time to walk for the next 2 weeks. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค” I’m hoping the area I’ll be working in has some interesting walks. Meanwhile, I’ve reached 20% of the Alps to Ocean NZ virtual challenge and got my 3rd postcard of the route.

I’ve started uploading the Mt. Fuji postcards and information and will post those asap and then I’ll get the Alps to Ocean postcards uploaded and share those too. The organisers have done an outstanding job of creating the postcards and the relevant information. It’s totally impressive

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Thank you all for reading my random posts, your ๐Ÿ‘s and comments, I appreciate them all.

May this new year bring you fun, laughter, joy, peace and everything good

Stay healthy and safe…..wherever in the world you are ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ—บ๐Ÿงญ

๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐Ÿงง2๏ธโƒฃ0๏ธโƒฃ2๏ธโƒฃ1๏ธโƒฃ

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Well, would you just look at that!! Just over 24 hours to go (UK time) and we say goodbye to 2020. I can hardly believe it.

Not that the new year, 2021 is going to start off very well at all with now 8 in 10 people in the UK going into tier 4 and virtual lockdown. Although 2020 didn’t do too well at all, 2021 is not going to get off to a very good start.

To say I’m peeved at our useless government would be an understatement because tomorrow brings the double whammy of the final twist of the Brexit knife and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to really give this year a bad name. And do I believe our feckless PM when he spouts out his nonsense about having got a good deal?? No. I do not.

Meanwhile I, like millions of others, am trying desperately to keep my head and not fall into the pit of despair at the way life seems to be spiralling out of control. To that end I’m not watching the news nor reading the papers and still off Facebook. I am however spending quality time with my family and walking….walking and walking. I’m also grateful to still have work.

Although I only started in April, having the Conqueror virtual challenges has been a bit of a life saver really because keeping up with my targets gets me out, and the walking, which I love, keeps me sane.

I’m nearly at the end of the 2020 challenge and yesterday I completed the Mt. Fuji challenge after a fantastic walk from Margate to Herne Bay 22.18 kms. Although it was bloody freezing, I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and was not only surprised at how quickly I walked the distance, but also at how easy it was.

I’ve long wanted to walk from Broadstairs to Reculver after visiting the Roman site a few years ago, so it was absolutely thrilling to finally make the journey, albeit only from Margate. Except for one very short section, there is a promenade/footpath and the sea the whole way. The final section to Herne Bay was a breeze…literally and figuratively. I nearly froze ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ it was so darn cold – at one stage I was sucking my thumb just to get some warmth back into it.

Fortunately the cafeteria at Reculver was open so I stopped for 15 minutes to rest my feet and warm up with a hot chocolate and a yummy caramel fudge brownie…delicious.

Herne Bay is a fascinating place with so much history, not all of it good. But they do have some fantastic fish and chips shops….๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ I have to give a shout out to Gary of EKS Office Equipment in Herne Bay for not only agreeing to charge my phone (for free) but also allowed me to sit in a corner of the showroom to eat my chips while I waited. It was very much appreciated.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the walk, despite the cold, the saddest sight was the vast amount of plastic pollution that quite literally lined the whole 22kms….I could have filled 50 black bags and still not cleared it all. Its terribly painful to see all that pollution.

So as the year comes to an end, I have one final day of walking to do to finish my 2020 km challenge. Its been a most satisfying pastime and I must thank my daughter for introducing me to the Conqueror Virtual Challenges….thanks to that I have improved my fitness levels, walked extensively in areas I would likely have not except for wanting to meet the challenge of the challenges ๐Ÿ˜‰ and I’ve inadvertently accumulated way more medals than I had planned. Its been a fairly expensive hobby, but so much fun.

I’ve started on the Alps to Ocean, NZ challenge and hopefully tomorrow I’ll complete another decent distance as my final walk for 2020.

Other than that, I have finally found a suitable place to rent. Went to look at a room last night….and as Goldilocks said “it’s just right ” and I’m saying “It’ll do Pooh” ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ It’s not a huge room, but it’s on the top floor, its spacious, it has cupboards, and a bed, and a skylight for summer nights, and a desk for my books and computer and MOST importantly, the landlord said Jamie can visit. So HOORAH!!! after 18months I’ll have a place to go ‘home’ to. I’m feeling quite emotional. It means I can get my clothes out of storage, and my books and Jamie’s toys and my amazing South African mattress. I can brighten it up with my own bed linen and pictures and bits and bobs.

Today we had a photoshoot done. The fab photographer of @createdwithlightphotography on Instagram did the shoot for me with my gorgeous grandson. We had lots of fun and then had hot chocolate to warm up, because of course it was freezing on the beach. โ˜ƒ๏ธโ˜ƒ๏ธโ˜ƒ๏ธโ˜ƒ๏ธ

Me and my boobee ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

Tomorrow, weather depending I’ll walk from Ramsgate to Margate one last time before I tackle the next section of my own challenge….to walk the whole of the English coast within next 5 years.

Cheers folks, thanks for reading along with me. In case I don’t get to write a post tomorrow, although I probably will, I wish you all a VERY safe, healthy and wonderful New Year.

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I’ve been invited to participate in the 2020 Travel Challenge by fellow travellers and Camino pilgrims http://wetanddustyroads.com Thank you ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I’m honoured to be nominated and will do my very best to live up to the challenge!!

June

Theย Travel Challengeย involves posting oneย favoriteย travel picture for each day. Thatโ€™s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations, without any explanation. If you take up this challenge, then you also need to nominate someone each day.

Today, on my first day of the challenge, Iย  nominate https://journey-junkies.com

You can post any of your favorite pictures from 2020โ€ฆenjoy and happy travels!!

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Iโ€™ve always liked Andrewโ€™s videos and how he tells a story. This video is part of a series of 8 and the rest of the series can be found on YouTube. This video also features 2 Irish pilgrims. I wonder what the future holds for Andrew. His Camino journey isnโ€™t over. Like what you see? [โ€ฆ]

Weekend Watch #77 โ€“ A Christmas Gift from Beyond the Way

And following right behind my last shared post is this….

Having walked the Portuguese Camino in 2017, I’m always drawn to other people’s stories and experiences, and there is one for every pilgrim who walks a Camino, regardless of which one it is.

This post also brings me to a brief conversation I had with my daughter yesterday after seeing the images of the flooding and damage caused by our current storm; Bertha.

Being an imperfect human, I complain from time to time about my dissatisfaction with my difficulties at work, how it’s so mentally draining, about not having my own home…a place I can return to instead of the next b&b or guesthouse.

And then you read or hear about events that overtake the lives of others, and you realise that there is always someone else worse off…a mother trying to shelter her children and find food after a devastating earthquake, families losing their homes and belongings during a flood.

I try to remind myself that despite the difficulties and frustrations of my life, that is just what they are…and they’re neither life threatening or devastating.

And I am reminded just how fortunate I am and have been.

Have you walked the Camino in Spain? Or any pilgrimage in another country….

caminoย sustantivo, path, road; journey; way.

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The Church of Saint Lawrence, Eyam, Derbyshire This is the last Sunday of 2020โ€ฆ.. no matter where you live in this world, it has been a strange and dangerous year.  We have all experienced restrictions and carried worries for ourselves, friends and family.  With that very much in mind I thought it appropriate to revisit [โ€ฆ]

Silent Sundayโ€ฆโ€ฆ.The Last Sunday of 2020

This is a poignant and topical blog and brings us to the last Sunday of 2020 (as mentioned in this blog about another plague nearly 400 years ago). Nothing gory, just a brief overview of a village that made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of mankind.

It links in with our current situation and to the Queen’s speech on Christmas day, where she spoke about the many sacrifices of people around the country and indeed the world for the good of mankind.

I’m sure there are thousands of stories around the world of people who stepped up and went the extra mile in their countries during this pandemic. Imagine if we could pull them all together and create a book for future generations to read.

I hope you enjoy the read, its brief but sufficient. And Eyam is definitely on my list of places to visit.

Have a good day folks, and I hope you’re not being negatively affected by Storm Bertha.

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Just thrilled to have finished the Great Ocean Road, Australia virtual challenge yesterday….exactly 5 weeks & 5 days ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

And just because I can….I signed up for another 3 and the 2021 challenge. ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช so some serious walking coming up next year.

My goal for 2021 is 2600kms

I’m planning on walking these as part of my 2021 challenge…along with The Ring Road of Iceland, Alps to Ocean New Zealand and the Cabot Trail in Canada.

First though, I must finish off my 2020 challenge…Getting started on the Mt. Fuji (74kms) challenge this morning I set off just on 7am and headed to the cliffs. Hardly saw a soul…it was quiet and peaceful, not a breath of air. I didn’t get a spectacular sunrise, but it was soft and pretty and I had a super walk and my total for today is 15.76kms.

The harbour is so pretty, especially now with the Christmas lights decorating many of them.

The wind came up on my way back as storm Bella started making herself felt.

With only 63.4 kms to go, I’m really excited to be reaching the end of the 2020 challenge.

Why not join me https://www.theconqueror.events/r/CE1474

I finished off the walk with fresh croissants from the CoOp ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ and a cup of tea with the family and then a much enjoyed sleep, but not often done. My daughter and I had a quiet walk to the cliffs and back before supper as well, after which I spent the late afternoon and evening with my beloved family and just enjoyed being with my grandson. He is ever so cute, a real little munchkin, so full of beans, and boy can he be demanding…when he says “G’anny sit down!!!” – I sit ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ usually on the floor which is not good for the old bones ๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿป๐Ÿฆด๐Ÿฆด๐Ÿฆด๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

I hope you are all well and had a lovely 2 days. If you didn’t get to see family and friends, I truly hope that 2021 will see you all reunited.

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Winter solstice could not have come at a better time.

We’re on our way to spring

Whilst the date of winter solstice has been the same for aeons, synonymous with hope and renewal, this year it followed hot on the heels of a date that will hopefully be forgotten in the mists of time, for yesterday we went into Tier 4 lockdown in parts of the UK.

Spring always reminds me of the 1970s Eurovision song; ‘All kinds of everything’ – snowdrops and daffodils, butterflies and bees…all kinds of everything, reminds me of you…

The first to appear are the snowdrops, those pretty little fairy lanterns that lend a cheer to the hard grey ground, and bring a smile to our faces

snowdrops

And then the sun begins to shine again as the daffodils with their bright yellow faces sprout with wild abandon

daffodils

from then on its one after the other as more and more spring flowers appear; bluebells

Bluebells

hyacinths, primroses and then one of my favourite flowers…tulips

a profusion of colours – tulips

But don’t be fooled….for March can bring on a bite of snow

snow in March

But as we roll into April….perhaps a visit to Paris is on the cards ๐Ÿ™‚

Bring it on….

Happy Winter Solstice

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I’ve been invited to participate in theย 2020 Travel Challengeย by fellow travellers and Camino pilgrims http://wetanddustyroads.com Thank you ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I’m honoured to be nominated and will do my very best to live up to the challenge!!

May

The Travel Challenge involves posting one favorite travel picture for each day. Thatโ€™s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations, without any explanation. If you take up this challenge, then you also need to nominate someone each day.

Today, on the 5th day of the challenge, Iย  nominate https://ericotrips.wordpress.com

You’re under no obligation to accept, but if you do…..

You can post any of your favorite pictures from 2020โ€ฆenjoy and happy travels!!

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I’ve been invited to participate in the 2020 Travel Challenge by fellow travellers and Camino pilgrims http://wetanddustyroads.com Thank you ๐Ÿฅฐ

I’m honoured to be nominated and will do my very best to live up to the challenge!!

February

The Travel Challenge involves posting one favorite travel picture for each day. Thatโ€™s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations, without any explanation. If you take up this challenge, then you also need to nominate someone each day.

Today, on the 2nd day of the challenge, I  nominate http://theatozoftravel.com

You’re under no obligation to accept the nomination, but if you do…you can post any of your favorite pictures from 2020โ€ฆenjoy and happy travels!!

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