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Archive for the ‘It's my life’ Category

So tonight my client decided we should watch the film ‘Psycho’. Thanks very much. The freezer is in the garage across the yard in a very dark dark areaโ€ฆI had to put the ice-cream backโ€ฆI went quickly before watching the movieโ€ฆ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿฅบ otherwise the ice-cream would be cream by morning.

30 minutes later and…..

Thank the lord he’s gone to bed!! So Norman is back in his box and I don’t have to watch itโ€ฆ
I did however go outside to see the stars once my client was in bedโ€ฆ.oh my goshโ€ฆI haven’t seen that many stars in years. The area where I’m working is very isolated with a scattering of houses some distance from us, so its very very dark and incredibly quiet. The sky is crystal clear tonight after 3 nights of fog and the stars are just stunning. Lucky me.

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My latest assignment has not taken me too far afield this time and I find myself in the depths of Kent. Not too far from where I’m located are villages familiar to me; Charing for instance….I stayed there on my pilgrimage to Canterbury in September. ๐Ÿ™‚ so that’s been a fun discovery. I am of course familiar with Faversham having stayed there in 2017 during my Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales walk from Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral, as well as which I finished my latest stretch of the English coast there last Saturday – from Whitstable to Faversham. The Sun Inn; 14th century inn, was the perfect place to stay and I’d love to stay there again sometime.

the sun inn faversham
The Sun Inn, Faversham – 14th century inn with the best room and bath ever

However, the house where I’m working is toooo far from Faversham for me to do any proper exploring, but I have a few country roads I can follow and so far I’ve had 2 good days to get out and about. Of the 5.5 days I’ve been here so far, 1,5 produced rain and 2 produced fog…so I’ve only managed 2 proper walks since arriving on Monday 4th. The sun looks like its burning through the fog so hopefully tomorrow will be a good day for walking.

foggy day in kent
a foggy day in Kent

In the meantime the two walks have unveiled some gems as far as churches are concerned and some amazing houses…..some of which date back to the 15th century. In fact the house I’m working in was built in 1435!!! It’s pretty awesome with some fabulous beams and a huge fireplace. The floors are really wonky and sink in the middle and without heating, its VERY cold!!! I’ll let the photos do the talking

country walking
the long and winding road…..
first world war throwley airfield
Throwley Airfield 1917-1919
the old school house
The Old School 1873-1935
houses at Throwley Forstal

Although I haven’t been able to get out that much, I have walked far and wide, clocking up 16.3 kms over 2 days. Its something of a challenge to find different routes when you’re limited to long stretches of road and a 2 hour break. If I had longer, I’d walk to Faversham for sure. It’s only 5 miles away but would take 1hour 35 minutes to walk there and no time to return before my 2 hours is up!!

I have though seen 2 beautiful sunsets and enjoyed the lengthening shadows of the graveyard. Hopefully tomorrow will bring fine weather so I can get out again…

p.s. there may be a problem with the photo galleries…..if there is I will fix them later…..they look fine via my computer, but on my phone there seems to be an issue….sorry for that.

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Following on from my recent walk from Margate to Whitstable via Reculver, researching the Roman fort uncovered the information that Reculver too had been mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ Roculf: Archbishop of Canterbury. Church, mill, 5 salthouses, fishery.

To say I was delighted would be an understatement. Updating my Project 101 page brought the tally to the grand total of 150!! Hoorah. https://notjustagranny.co.uk/project-101/project-101-domesday-book-towns-villages/

By no means a huge number, and considering that 13,418 (settlements) : cities, towns, villages and hamlets are mentioned….150 is not that many, but it’s way more than most have visited.

It’s still astounding to discover that many English people who have grown up in the country, have no idea of its existence.

1086 is only one of the most significant dates in English history following on from the 1066 Battle of Hastings, and yet…..

My original intention was to visit 101, but it seems that my travels and my job will take me to many more than I anticipated.

I’ve wanted to walk to Reculver from Broadstairs ever since we first visited the place some years ago, but never seemed to find the time, it also did not seem doable. But now with my crazy decision to walk the entire English coast over the next 5 years, it became doable ….๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ and in comparison to the distances I’ve since covered on my various walks, it was easy peasy

When I set off from Margate last week I could see the ruins of the church farrrrr away in the mists of time and remember thinking ” oh gosh, it’s so far, will I be able to do it ?” But it was easier than expected, and voila

St. Mary’s Church, Reculver

St Mary’s Church, Reculver, was founded in the 7th century as either a minster or a monastery on the site of a Roman fort at Reculver, which was then at the north-eastern extremity of Kent in south-eastern England. In 669, the site of the fort was given for this purpose by King Ecgberht of Kent to a priest named Bassa, beginning a connection with Kentish kings that led to King Eadberht II of Kent being buried there in the 760s, and the church becoming very wealthy by the beginning of the 9th century. Ref wikipedia

Will this too be eaten by the ever encroaching sea
A Roman fort, now long gone
The remains of the Roman wall, and where the fort once stood

It’s a fascinating place and I’m certainly going to follow up on more of the history and I feel another visit is warranted. I noticed on my way to Reculver that there is a walk along the River Wantsum; which once cut off the Isle of Thanet from the mainland.

The River Wantsum

I ๐Ÿ”ฎ another walk in the future ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„ except it will not be in winter!! And I’m not walking across any mudflats….more of that later ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

Can you see my folly?

More about Project 101 https://notjustagranny.co.uk/project-101/

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I started a new assignment today and the house…well cottage actually is a 15th century abode.

It’s got a massive fire place, wonky floors that slope down in the middle, low door frames and tricky stairs.

The ceilings are held up by fantastic wooden beams older than methusela, and the walls are held together by more fantastic wooden beams.

There’s a working well in the garden and we’re so remote that I can hear and see absolutely nothing….makes a change from the b&b I was staying at the last 12 days.

The food freezer is in the garage and I have to use a torch to navigate.

As luck would have it the heating has failed in a few of the radiators and its absolutely freezing in some rooms of the house.

My room is upstairs and all I have between my head and the sky is a thin sloping roof through which I can hear scuttling…I’m guessing its mice. Now and then I hear the thud of a bird landing…

The room is lovely and I have a small sitting room nook with a tv which is a luxury, but the mattress is probably older than Noah’s ark ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ and sinks in the middle. I’m guessing my back is not going to be too happy.

The client has lived in the house for 50+ years and I can’t even imagine what that must be like. The longest I’ve ever lived in one place is 3.5 years.

So tonight our feckless PM put the country into lockdown again and of course it’s the fault of everyone/everything except himself for not listening and acting on the advice of the sciences.

I read in the papers that

“…..even takeaway services are shuttered in an attempt to beat the new Covid variant.

More than 550,000 business will be forced to close in England as of tomorrow, according to real estate adviser Altus Group, which includes 401,690 non-essential shops, 64,537 pubs or restaurants, 20,703 personal care facilities and 7,051 gyms or leisure centres”.

This is going to absolutely devastate commerce. Who knows what sort of country we’re going to be left with after this.

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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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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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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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1. I get paid tomorrow – my last income til 2021 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ I’ll try to not spend it all in one go ๐Ÿค‘๐Ÿค‘๐Ÿค‘

2. Which means I have less than 24 hours โณโณ till I finish working for 12 days. ๐Ÿ—“

3. I get to see my family in 36 hours ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

4. Conqueror Virtual Challenges release their next 3 challenges tomorrow. ๐Ÿฅ‡๐Ÿฅˆ๐Ÿฅ‰ so lots of virtual international ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

4. We’re one day closer to spring ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿต๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’

5. There’s less than 225 hours left of 2020 ๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ†๐Ÿงง

6. By tomorrow I’ll be 4 months away from my pension ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ท๐Ÿ’ท๐Ÿ’ท if the bloody government doesn’t renege on me and move the ๐Ÿฅ…

And yes, from this post you can deduce that I’m bored ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ with absolutely nothing useful or intelligent to write about ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿคจ and all I really want to do is ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด after a torrid ๐ŸŒƒ

Sorry ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh and the weather is cr@p so I can’t even get out for a ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜’

P.s. I had to add the gif….๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿคญ our poor beleaguered ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿป I bet she wishes she could just say fekit I’m not doing a speech this year….๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคซ

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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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