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Archive for the ‘seaside towns of Britain’ Category

I’ll say it right up front…I live in a stunning part of the world. The town itself is a bit of a rats ass and some days I despair at the human race, but the seashore….now that’s another story.

I set off quite early this morning to join my family for tea and buns and spend a few minutes with my BooBee before he went to school. I’m not sure it was such a good idea coz then he didn’t want to go πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

The other reason for such an early visit is that my daughter, who is a photographer and videographer had arranged for me to be ‘interviewed’. She’s working on a project to record the grandparents life stories for posterity and so that future generations can know who we were.

It’s such a good idea. My Mum died when she was 52, I was just on 29 years old at the time, the oldest of her 4 daughters, the youngest just 13. Although we spoke a lot and she told us stories about her life, now that I’m older I have so many questions, that will never be answered.

My daughter is keen for us to leave a record of our lives, and so today we started what will be the first of I guess 6 interviews…1 for each decade.

The questions she asked were simple, but good and some of them really generated a lot of emotion… occasionally surprising even me. It took just on 2 hours and then I walked to Broadstairs to get my vaccine card laminated and some photos printed.

It was a sublime day…blues skies, fluffy white clouds, sunny but with a stiff breeze and warm. I was overdressed for a long walk.

Ramsgate beach looking towards Broadstairs
Looking back from Dumpton Gap

The tide was still high when I left at just on 1pm, but receding. This meant I had to take the high road and walk across the clifftop to Broadstairs, but coming back I pushed the boundaries a little and walked along the beach to see how far I could get – I’m delighted to say that I managed to walk just about all the way back from Broadstairs to Ramsgate with just one tiny diversion to avoid some still high waves.

A new bench has been added on the cliffs near Dumpton Gap – a sad little memorial
Broadstairs Beach
Raided by the Vikings
Viking Bay
Milky white from the chalk
Which country am I in??
The tide was receding, so I pushed through from Dumpton Gap
Looking back from the promenade at Ramsgate
A fishing boat returns to harbour trailing a swarm of seagulls

The walk was so beautiful and for all the world I could have been in the Caribbean. It took me just over 2 hours there and back and approximately 12kms.

I had a brief stop off at home for a cup of tea, and then I went to fetch my BooBee from the childminder and take him to the park. He rode the whole say up high on my shoulders, sat ever so still and chattered away about the day’s events.

Daddy met us at the park and took him home after some running about. I picked a few dandelions that had gone to seed and I showed him how to blow them so the ‘fairies’ could fly away. πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° what a joy.

Now I’m preparing for tomorrow’s walk from Faversham to Sittingbourne along the Saxon Shore Way. I can’t pin the distance down and the sites I read had different distances….9 miles or 17 miles…take your pick??? so I’m just going to go and see how far I get. I’ve checked for railway stations in case I need to cut my walk short, and I’m hoping the tide isn’t too high along The Swale, or if the tide is high, that the pathway isn’t affected. If it is, I could have a repeat of my last walk along The Swale, albeit a different reason.

I was clean when I left home πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The weather forecast is good…hoorah.

I guess I’ll find out tomorrow πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

Oh, and I also started writing up another stage of my Thames Path walk…I’m getting there.

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I had to go for my 2nd covid-19 inoculation today, so to give the parentals a break, and especially Mummy who is beyond tired but needs to work on her business, I asked if I could take the Jam with me to Deal….so straight after his gymnastics class, Mummy rushed us to the station. We cut it awfully close to the time and had to run like crazy through the station, down in the lift, raced along the tunnel where Granny yelled at someone at the top of the stairs to tell them to hold the train….up in the lift, onto the platform and onto the train…..10:25:10 – the train was due to leave at 10:25 and they held it for us LOL Thankfully I had bought the ticket in the morning or we would never had made it.

And we were on our way to Deal. He was ever so excited and talked non-stop about the beach and the castle.

Snacking on the train
Snacking on the train

When we got there I went for my jab first and he came in with me and watched them stick the needle in while I gritted my teeth and tried not to flinch LOL…..actually it was pretty painless, just a small pinch. But he got a sticker afterwards and when we got home later, the first thing he did was tell Mummy and Daddy all about ‘Anny having an injection, and that he got a sticker. His memory of events is amazing.

After the jab we walked to the seafront and stopped off on the beach. I think he was surprised that it was all stones. I think he was expecting sand like we have at home. But he loves stones and proceeded to collect as many as he could. My fault of course because I’m always picking stuff up on the beach and taking it home…like sea-glass and bits of wood for our future projects.

granny and jamies adventure to Deal
half of Deal beach in the bottom of the pram

Once the bottom of the pram was suitably filled with stones, we walked to the castle, but unfortunately it was still closed. We were both disappointed. I guess we have to wait till May?

We stopped off for lunch which he enjoyed, and of course we had some seagulls hovering around, so he shouted “go away that one seagull”….and eventually it did….flew off and we never saw it again. πŸ™‚

From there we took a stroll along the ECP towards Walmer. He ran along with wild abandon, and then got tired and insisted he wanted to ride on my shoulders. So there I was, pushing the pram with one hand and hanging onto his leg with the other. It was terribly windy and walking into the wind wasn’t much fun.

But then I spied a wooden boat on the beach so we went to have a look and that kept him occupied for a while. Of course he unpacked all the stones, which I then had to pack back again.

Afterwards I took some photos then we strolled some more but the wind was so fierce it was knocking him off his feet and I couldn’t keep up with him running helter skelter, the pram going off with the wind, and his bag taking wings and flying off. So I made an executive decision, popped him back in his pram and we headed back towards the pier.

He got really excited when he saw the sculpture of the fisherman and the ‘big fish’ Anny!!! so we stopped to have a look at that. He spotted some people sitting on a bench with Costa cups in their hands and immediately ran over to a free bench and said “hot chocolate Anny” – hahahaha branding works!! How could I refuse.

But first we had a run along the pier, but not on the level like normal people, oh no, he wanted to run along the benches that line the pier; so there I was, holding his hand with one hand and running while pushing the pram with the other, which he thought was hilarious. Oh boy, the wind was so strong I could barely cope, so once again…into the pram and we strolled into the town centre for the hot chocolate. He was pretty much ready to go home by then and kept saying “Mamie home….Mummy Daddy home” – which is his signal to go home.

So we did. Took the earlier train and thanks very much Jamie, he delivered a massive poop!! As we got to the station he said “Mamie poop!” Nice one!!! He hadn’t pooped for the last 2 days, and voila….he saved it for me! So there we were, on the train, changing his nappy. Thankfully he lay still or we could have had a disaster LOL And just as well the carriage was empty on our side….I’m not sure the other passengers would have coped hahahaha.

All too soon we were back in Ramsgate and on our way home. When we got there, Daddy had just got back from his driving lesson, and the Jam wanted to go to the park, so off we went.

He loves the park with all that lovely space to run around….swings, and the slide, the climbing frame, the climbing wall and the obstacle course. I taught him how to slide forwards…and smooossh face-plant LOL I refrained from walking along the chains this time LOL so he did the balancing and jumping and then home for bath and dinner. Thankfully Daddy carried him this time.

face-plant!!! LOL have to give him credit for picking up and carrying on…

I just got a whatsapp photo of him fast asleep….tired out after his big adventure.

Sunday I’m taking him to London to Spitalfields to see the bronze elephant sculptures; Herd of Hope – a family ofΒ 21 life-sized bronze elephantsΒ embarking on the journey of a lifetime as they migrate across London. Leading the herd is our matriarch, symbolic of the mother and family each of the infant elephants, in the care of the Sheldrick Trust, lost when they became orphaned. She represents our Keepers, our team and you, our wider family who help to give these elephants a second chance at life. Read more about the Sheldrick Trust and the Herd of Hope

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Hello!!! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ yes I’m still alive….and walking. What’s new?? 😁😁

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately, my only excuse is that I have been working and walking and enjoying time with my grandson.

I had a super couple of weeks in Devon recently where I got to visit 5 new places, revisit 1 and do a lot of walking and exploring, and added another section of the English Coast Path to my collection.

I got back home last week and as is usual I’ve spent as much time as possible taking my grandson to the beach and the park.

And yes, I started my Thames Path adventure πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

although I can’t walk the whole route as I originally planned, I’ve completed 2 sections; Erith to Greenwich

Cutty Sark, Greenwich

And Greenwich to Battersea Park. Super awesome. Tomorrow I’ll be walking Stage 3 from Battersea Park to Richmond and on Friday, Stage 4, Richmond to Hampton Court. The 5th and final stage for now, I’ll be walking on Saturday from Hampton Court to Staines. The rest of the walk? Who knows??

Not the route I’m following, but the river certainly is long 😁😁

As a result I’ve only managed 1 sunset walk at home and a couple of other sunsets I saw from the train on my way home from London. Sunrises = 0. The sun gets out of bed too early for me in summer πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

Seen from the train at Rochester station

So my blog has sadly been neglected. That’s not to say I haven’t been writing….I have quite a few posts sitting in drafts waiting to be completed, but I need to edit the photos that go with them.

I’ll get there.

Meanwhile, after taking my grandson to his 2nd gymnastics class yesterday I finally opened my computer again to update my budgets and plan my savings strategy for the next few years. Gosh I really do wish I had enough money to give me more time to do all the walks I’d like to do.

I completed the Giza Pyramids Conqueror Challenge while still in Stoke Gabriel so I should be seeing the medal in the mail soon.

I’ve started the Ring Road, Iceland challenge although that’s a long term challenge that I’ll flip in and out of over the next few months.

I’ve been dithering about which challenge to allocate the Thames Path walk ….Mt. Kilimanjaro (97.1kms) or The Cabot Trail (299.4kms)?? πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

The Cabot Trail would have been perfect if I’d been able to walk the whole Thames Path route in one go and I’m reluctant to break it up…and Mt. Kilimanjaro will be completed in 4 days….or maybe 5 depending on my final tally on Saturday. See my quandary??

So anyway, now that I’ve blathered on for the last 10 minutes…here’s the promised sunset πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŒ…

Interesting to note that the position of the sun set has changed in the last few weeks
Sunset Pegwell Bay
Hello πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ
And my favourite boat in the harbour

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Just popping in quickly to share a photo from this morning’s sunrise.

I’m currently in South Devon, started a new booking today, but travelled here on Monday and spent 2 nights and a day in Paignton, with a visit to Torquay and Brixham and a walk along the South West Coast Path (more on that to come).

Meanwhile I went down to the seafront at 6am to watch the sunrise and I was not disappointed

You can just see the 2 cruise ships to the middle and far right

I’ll write soon about the trip….

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I arrived home last night, after a 4.5 hour journey, from a week’s booking in Salisbury. As much as what I really enjoyed exploring the city, and learning more of the history and her green spaces, it was wonderful to be back home.

You cannot underestimate the sheer joy of coming ‘home’ to your own place. It may not be much, but it’s got my stuff in it, and I’m home.

My own duvet…magic

After I’d dropped my bags off, I grabbed my walking poles and immediately set off for a sunset walk to the harbour

Absolutely stunning
A Royal harbour
Can you see the moon?
The sun setting in front of me

and then along the lower promenade

The snow moon rising behind me

before climbing up to the clifftop and a walk to Pegwell Bay.

View of Pegwell Bay from the bottom of the cliffs
From halfway up the path to the top of the cliffs

It was quite dark already by the time I reached the hotel, so I stopped there for a few photos and then walked back along the clifftop.

View from Pegwell Bay hotel
A bit of fun with the moon and the hands and molecules sculpture
One lone boat still has its Christmas lights on

A magical walk with no pressure to get back within 2 hours, and 9.9 kms added to my 2021 Conqueror virtual challenge.

I’m going to start the Ring Road Iceland virtual challenge on Monday 1st March. I’m so looking forward to the postcards, should be amazing. My daughter and I had a fantastic 4 day trip to Iceland in 2014, so I’m really keen to see the information that comes with the postcards.

The Sun Voyager (Icelandic: Sólfar); a sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason

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When I got back from my Throwley booking earlier this month, I decided to take a walk along the beach to get some kms in since I’d completed the Alps to Ocean challenge and started climbing Mt. Everest πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯ΆπŸ₯ΆπŸ—»πŸ—» (also completed while in Salisbury).

BUT!!! To my horror I found that most of the beach has been stripped away by the storm. As far as the eye can see, used to be beach…its now mostly stones and rocks and the sand has been stripped right down to the chalk bedrock. I genuinely could not believe my eyes. I can see just beneath the waves there’s still some beach, but not sure how far it extends.

The beach where I used to take my grandson to play is now just a rocky morass.

To give you an idea of the power of the sea, this great big chunk of very degraded concrete was washed up and dumped onto the beach almost halfway up towards the Royal Pavilion
Quite awesome to see the pure chalk bottom though…just think….this is billions of sea creatures solidified into chalk from millions of years ago.

Unreal, the power of nature. I’m saddened too because it’s one of my favourite places to walk. But a local said the wind and sea will likely blow it all back when the winds blow from another direction. Meanwhile…πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜” no beach walkingπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ for me atm, I’ll have to try catch it when the tide is out.

Meanwhile, I shall have to head southward and visit Pegwell Bay again.

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I had to concede defeat today and had my first Covid vaccine jab. I’m not happy about it, but when you start hearing things like “have you had a test recently, or when will you be having your innoculation?” from prospective clients et al, along with talk of vaccine passports, you know the writing is on the wall. We are but a commodity.

So I just said, to hell with it  and booked an appointment. So many people are still totally ignorant of Covid and its transmission. Having the vaccine is not going to stop me from inadvertently passing it on to someone else in the event I come into contact with it. Its seems that some folk think it’s a magic wand, and once you have the jab you’re safe. You’re not. You’re just less likely to get really ill, and even then it’s no guarantee. Even the scientists are not wholly in agreement about the efficacy and what it means. Ugh. Anyway, it’s done. I can’t afford to not work.

The process itself was painless in all respects, and the system was smooth and flowed easily. Because of previous negative responses to a flu vaccine, I stayed institu for 25 minutes after the jab, just to make sure I didn’t just keel over and die πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ and then I was away…the staff were friendly and well organised and I was impressed with the efficiency of it all. I still, 9 hours later have had no ill-effects. In case you’re wondering, I had the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

The good thing that came out of it is that I had an unexpected trip to Deal. After the jab, I set off for a walk to Walmer Castle. Its amazing how close the 2 castles are to each other…25 minutes brisk walk. But first I had a most delicious curried vegetable pie from Al’s Bakery on the High Street…totally recommended. If I’d known it would be so yummy, I’d have bought 2.

A quick walk along the pier as well, then back on the train…which remarkably, considering the delays caused by the land slip near Folkestone, arrived at Deal and stopped at exactly 14:32 (I was watching the clock) – even a Swiss train would be hard put to match that!! πŸ˜‰

It’s a very long pier

Oh, and see that arrow pointing to the land in the distance in the next image… that’s the White Cliffs of Dover and last year I walked from Walmer to Dover via the cliffs…awesome walk and really beautiful

Deal Castle
Walmer Castle

Deal is an incredibly historic town with some amazing old houses

Carter House

Although it was wet, cold and blustery, I really enjoyed my walk and as usual could have just kept going….as soon as lockdown lifts, that’s exactly what I’m going to do…

I love these cycle path signs….tempted to follow them one day πŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈ

I love this little square

And of course, you can’t visit a seaside town and not stop to look at the boats

A pretty fishing boat

And finally, one of my favourite signs

The Acorn – symbol of the National Trails – England Coastal Path

And today’s walk added another 8kms to my Mt. Everest virtual challenge and takes me to nearly half way through the challenge πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Both Deal and Walmer are mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book :

Deal was a settlement in Domesday Book, listed as Addelam, in the hundred ofΒ CorniloΒ and the county ofΒ Kent. It had a recorded population of 31 households in 1086, putting it in the largest 40% of settlements recorded in Domesday, and is listed under 5 owners in Domesday Book.

Julius CaesarΒ reputedly landedΒ on the beach at Walmer in 55 BC and 54 BC. It is only one possible landing place, proposed judging from the distances given in his account of the landings in hisΒ Gallic Wars.Β However, recent archaeological research and digs have found that he landed at Pegwell Bay. Walmer is probably the settlement Wealemere listed in the Domesday Book.

As I mentioned….loads of history, and both castles are well worth a visit

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I have essentially been homeless for nearly 18 months now, staying in b&bs and guest houses between bookings since September 2019, with the occasional sleepover on my daughter’s couch.

My belongings have been in storage for much of that time. Some of the many boxes filled with stuff I’ve accumulated since I arrived in the UK and much of it brought over from South Africa in 2016 after I obtained my British citizenship.
Settling under the weight of my belongings has been tough. Walking the Camino taught me about just how little we really need to get by, but real life is not a Camino and so I find it hard to give up on ‘stuff’.

But on Monday I moved into a new place which I shall call home for the next 6 months at least. ‘Move in’ is a bit of a stretch of course since atm its just me and my suitcase 😝😝😝 Due to the snow I’ve been unable to get to the storage unit anyway even though I want to, and was supposed to on Monday afternoon.

So meanwhile I’ve had to borrow teabags, blankets and a pillow from my daughter, and a blanket, water-bottle, heater and kettle from the landlord, who also kindly bought me some milk last night when went out to Waitrose. I already have my own tea mug to hand that I take to bookings because I loathe using the client’s mugs…some of which are just manky.

Today I’m having a pj day and staying in bed till after midday…I think I deserve it after 5 weeks of getting up at 6.45 every day 😝😝😝πŸ₯±πŸ₯±πŸ₯± although I suspect my stomach may well get me out sooner….

But, since the ‘new place’ is essentially just a big room in a shared house, with separate, shared facilities, I will only be bringing over the essentials like my backpack and some extra clothes and my groceries plus bedlinen of course, and a towel. Its going to be so good to have some of my travel books as well…just to make it look homely. Of course pride of place goes to a framed photo of my grandson that travels around the country with me. That it always next to my bedside so that he’s the first thing I see each day πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

But the best of all is that once I’ve got all the stuff I want, to make life a bit more pleasant, I can just leave it all here when I leave for my next booking, and not have to stress about getting to the storage unit to leave or collect anything.

Its been really stressful and quite expensive having to look for a place to stay between bookings, but this place is a very reasonable rent and as I say, quite spacious. I’ve viewed so many rooms in the last 18 months and they’re all very small and expensive. My heartfelt thanks to my son-in-law who spotted the advert and alerted me to view.

So here it is…unadorned with my belongings as yet, except for a few odds and ends…the desk sold the place really…somewhere I can set up my computer – most important!!

There’s a little, unused, fireplace behind where I’m standing which I’ll fill with something decorative, and 2 small cupboards with hanging space and shelves.

So in all, and in comparison to what millions of other people around the world have to live in….its a palace…. albeit a feking cold palace atm πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯ΆπŸ₯Ά even with the heater on, its cold, which is why I’m having a pj day…with a hotwater-bottle under my feet. Roll on summer 😁😁

Welcome home Cindy πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

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I recently (December 2020) walked from Ramsgate to Margate, and Herne Bay to Whitstable. Yes, I know, crazy. 😁😁 but it was a fantastic walk.

So passing through Margate, I saw these amazing paintings on the walls near the Tate.

I love how topical street art can be whereas some of it is just plain weird.

Very topical

And further up the coast

Herne Bay
Swalecliffe

One of the best things about walking, are the discoveries you make.

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One of the benefits and downfalls of being hooked up to the matrix is that you know where you’ve been, but ‘they‘ know where you are at all times, especially if you have your gps switched on, on your ever so ‘smart’ phone. Or have the various walking apps like mapmywalk turned on.πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜―

Personally I think our phones have been sneakily hooked up to all those big brother cameras dotted around every street corner, in every city, town and village….its creepy.

Its also quite useful for when your memory starts fading and you think “where was I?” Imagine how useful it would be if you’re one day considered to be a suspect of ‘foul play’!! If the arresting officer asks you “where were you at 1.30pm on Saturday 13th December 10 years ago. Wtaf!! They actually expect me to remember πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€” But, if you had Google you could protest your innocence and say “Uh uh, Officer, I wasn’t there….here look at mapmywalk, that’ll tell you exactly where I was”. Of course that wouldn’t be useful if in fact you did commit a foul deed, and were as guilty as sin!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€­ then you’d want to lose that app pdq πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

But, be that as it may, one of the benefits is that from time to time Google photos sends me a notification to remind me of where I was either 2 years ago or three!! A bit like Facebook memories, which I don’t use. I’m not a fan of Facebook 🀫🀫🀫

So anywayyyy, yesterday I got a pop up to say “this is where you were”

2 years ago : Broadstairs looking towards Stone Bay
2 years ago: Heading towards Margate
3 years ago: Margate harbour

How cool is that!!

Seems I walk this route quite frequently 😁😁 Lucky me, it is a gorgeous section of the English coast.

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