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Had a wonderful day in Canterbury today with the boo 💙👶🏻🥰 travelled to Canterbury by train with Mummy who had a dentist appointment.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Mummy and Jamie reading the newspaper

Then Jamie and I set off on an adventure… first walking through the ancient Pilgrim’s West Gate,

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Jamie at the West Gate, Canterbury

stopped for a quick hello to Geoffrey Chaucer,

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Geoffrey Chaucer

then to the cathedral to see the Christmas tree and nativity scene.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

The Nativity scene at Canterbury Cathedral

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Jamie loved the Christmas tree

We stopped to say hello to the horse on the way out.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

The wooden horse

And then we strolled along the Roman city walls

Granny and Jamie's adventures

The Roman City Walls

before joining Mummy for tea and pancakes. Afterwards we walked back to the cathedral gate for a quick photo

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Canterbury Cathedral

then onto the train and home.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

On the train

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Fast asleep

I got in a good 5kms walking today…added to my 1000 miles target for 2020.

We left Mummy in Canterbury coz I gifted her 3 days while I babysit Jamie, and treated her to a 2 night stay at The Falstaff Hotel so she can have a rest, unwind and do some business planning for 2020. Looking forward to seeing @lemonfeatherphotography and @businessstoriesphotography go from strength to strength this year.

Once we got home, I had a cup of tea, Jamie had a snooze

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Asleep in his cot

and then we played all afternoon till Daddy got home.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Its so much fun unpacking the socks

Then it was bathtime

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Bathtime

and after a lot of milk, Jamie finally settled for the night.

In all a wonderful day. Rerun tomorrow without the trip to Canterbury. He really is the best company. We had so much fun. I got down on the floor with him to play and he got so excited he bit my eye 😂😂😂😂🤪🤪 crazy kid.

Its really wonderful to see him looking so well again and especially as he seems to be back to full strength with his feeding…hoorah.

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Okay so this post is a bit out of date LOL. I really didn’t get to do much blogging once baby arrived. However, since I am no longer living at ‘home’ I’m working my way through my drafts and updating as I go…..so this particular evening dates back to 23.01.2019….10 months ago LOL…blimey talk about slow….anyhow

At Cadogan Hall for the ‘Evening with Levison Wood’ in aid of Tusk Org. Looking forward to hearing more about the adventures of @levison.wood #WalkingtheNile & #Arabia – disappointing to discover that the books are presigned and there’s no ‘book signing’ at the event as such, as I understood it would be. 😂 😂 I brought both mine with. 😏😏Ah well. Still, I’m sure the event will be interesting. (update: Mr Wood graciously agreed to sign my books after the event, which I thought was super cool) Actually its quite weird to be in #London again, haven’t been for what feels like ages. The last time I was at Cadogan Hall was for the Scarlet and Gold Military Band event a few years ago. Time just flies

A most enjoyable Evening with Levison Wood at Cadogan Hall listening to tales of derring do and adventure. Loved watching the snippets of film and hearing anecdotes of people and places while travelling around Arabia, as well as his work with Tusk. Its shocking how many beautiful animals are being slaughtered for the greed of a few. 💔💔 After my initial disappointment apropos the book signing, after the show, I decided that I would ask once again if it was at all possible for Mr Wood to autograph my books… One of the Tusk ladies asked on my behalf and I’m delighted to say that he very graciously agreed to sign them for me, albeit a bit hush hush. 😊😊 I shall treasure these books and one day I will read them to my little cherub Jamie and hopefully awaken a sense of adventure and world travel in his soul.

walking the nile levison wood, books to read, book recommendations

such an interesting albeit scary book at times. a very good read

Travel travel travel… It really does change your perspective and perception of other people’s lives, values and beliefs. I wish more people could/would travel and adventure in other countries, I’m pretty certain the world would be a better place. Meanwhile, I’m back on Granny duty while Mummy and Daddy catch up on sleep, and as I write I have a wee baby boy cuddled up in my arms. I’ve been singing him a lullaby and he’s fast asleep. He’s already changing and I’m pretty sure he’s put on a bit of weight 😂 😂 😂 ergo my arm is getting tired from holding him up. I’ll have to do some weight lifting to keep up. 🤗🤗👶🏻💙💕 Thanks again to @levison.wood for a most enjoyable evening and for signing my books 📚

Said goodbye to my Mountain Warehouse backpack tonight. I bought it nearly 2 years ago intending to use it for the #Camino2017 pilgrimage from Porto to #SantiagodeCompostela but bought the #Osprey Tempest instead, which was much lighter, and therefore never used this one. I tried to sell it since I paid nearly a day’s pay for it 🤔😯 but no success. I was going to donate it to a local charity shop but the thought of someone who could afford to pay a decent price for a backpack, buying it for next to nothing, I decided instead to donate it to Centrepoint, the homeless people’s charity. They assured me it will go to a person who would get the best use of it. I’m well happy with that 😊 I’ve sent it onto its next journey with god-speed and good-luck.

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I haven’t updated my bio on my various social media sites for a few months/years so this morning while drinking my tea I thought I’d give it a go.

Of course we are limited in the number of characters we can use, but in summary, on instagram, this is what I wrote.

‘Granny to Jamie 19.01 💕💙 Firewalker. Long-distance walker. Amateur photographer. Pro-remain. Anti-plastic Activist. Litter Picker. Vegetarian/Vegan’

In my head I can picture myself from those words, although it’s only a small synopsis of who I am and what my interests are/things I’ve done. I wonder what conclusions a stranger would make of the description?

I was saying to my (wonderful) daughter just a few days ago, whilst going out of my mind with boredom at work, that I need to sit down and draw up a new list of the things I’ve done and my achievements in life, as a reminder that I’ve had a rich, varied and full life (especially the last 18 years) for those days when I feel trapped by my need to earn money to pay the bills.

There’s this personal development mantra that gets bandied about the Internet that comes to mind…. “If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life” – at first glance it seems quite benign and holds out hope, but what does it actually mean? I mostly love my job, on the whole I get enormous satisfaction from it, but hey ho….I ‘work’ every day I’m in each assignment. Does that mean I don’t ‘love’ the job enough. I also don’t earn very much which requires me to work more to pay the bills to have a marginally decent living standard….not extravagant by any means and I do without a lot in order to get by.

So, who am I? Do I love my job?

I know what I’d love to be doing (see, there’s that word again). Perhaps I should change it to ‘what I would prefer to be doing….

Spending more time with my grandson 🤗 👶🏻 ❣️ 👵🏻

grandchildren, being a granny

my wonderful, heavenly, delightful, precious little grandson.

Travelling 🚶🗺️⏳

porto to santiago, padron to santiago, osprey tempest 40 mystic magenta, walking the camino, nordic walking poles.

my trusty companions; Pepe (backpack) and Gemini (Nordic walking poles) – 10.166 km to Santiago

Taking photos

photography, mobile phone photography, travel

I’m absolutely loving my walks for the #walk1000miles 2017 challenge. It certainly gets me out of bed and out the house, making sure I don’t lag behind. I love walking anyway so it’s no hardship, and what fun it is to see different scenes while I’m out. It also gives me the opportunity to get fit for my Camino. The #mapmywalk app is perfect for my needs.#walking #walkbritain #exploreengland #englishcoast #VikingBay #StoneBay #Kingsgate #isleofthanet #traveldiaries #Camino2017 #cindystravels #viewsofengland

and campaigning against plastic, especially single use plastic.img_20190505_200251163268184.jpg

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I’m going to have to start getting up earlier in the morning if I want to catch the sunrise 🌅 Got to the promenade at just before 8am but the sun was already above the horizon albeit behind the clouds.

The weather is amazing once again, its so mild out. And we’re still waiting to say #Peanutisontheway❣️ 👶🏻 💙 This lad is surely taking his own sweet time…. although actually it’s exactly 40 weeks tomorrow, so perhaps will arrive he is ready and not when the NHS say he should arrive.

I went to see the film ‘Wildlife’ last night. Its an incredibly weird film and the jury is out on whether or not I actually enjoyed it… I didn’t. 🤔🙄

It was such a mild evening I decided to take a short walk along the beach… What a blessing to live so near to the sea.

I could hear the crashing of the waves behind the harbour wall so walked over to see what I could ‘sea’… Which wasn’t much, but I could hear it and that sound is like music to my ears.

Afterwards my daughter (the very pregnant soon to be Mummy), her hubby and I took a slow midnight stroll along the promenade in the hope it might encourage baby to start his journey…

The evening air, albeit only 2 degrees out, was perfectly still with a 3/4 moon and a canopy of ✨ crispy clear and really mild.

This morning, although I was tempted to stay in bed, I made the effort to get out to capture the sunrise. I really want to be sure to have a photo for Peanut’s book…on the day that he is born. I hope that’s soon 😀👶🏻💙❣️

Meanwhile I’ve started reading Simon Reeve’s book Step by Step. He’s my favourite travel presenter and I’ve watched all his travel documentaries which are a real eye-opener. By page 33 I’ve concluded he was a naughty little shit 😂 😂 😂 which explains the ever present twinkle in his eye and the quirky smile.  I also discovered quite weirdly that his Dad’s name was Alan which is my middle name. His Mum’s name is Cindy 🤔🤔 and his brothers’s name is James (my grandson’s name). Totally weird.

Meanwhile I shall get back to the book I’m compiling for said grandson and hold thumbs that soon I can say with absolute certainty that Peanut is on the way 😀😀😀👶🏻💙❣️

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This morning I finished reading the book; Arabia, A Journey Through the Heart of the Middle East by Levison Wood – curled up in bed, snug and warm with a cup of tea (me that is , not the author haha), I settled in to finish the last 100 pages of this incredible story….and from that, you can deduce that I did not go walking today…it’s cold and grey out and I’m still shattered after all the stress and trauma of yesterday’s morning visit to the labour ward…more about that in a separate article.

book reviews, book recommendations, walking the nile levison wood, arabia levison wood, travel adventures

Viking Bay, Broadstairs after lunch

As with Walking the Nile I am left feeling just a little bit bereft at reaching the end of this particular journey. Even if the book had been a massive tome of 900 pages or more, I would still be feeling sad that I’d read the last page…. this time even the acknowledgements had to be pored over – their names all bear witness! Of the many characters met along the way, their personalities briefly revealed, the one I liked the most is Nada. My kind of fiesty lady. Whereas the name of Khaled al-Assad left me in tears. I remember reading about this amazing man at the time…over 3 years ago already 😦 My heart aches for him and his family. My heart aches for us.

I feel as if there is a story waiting to be told for each country visited. Delving deeper into the lives of people met, the places they live and the fabric of their lives. Imagine what a collection that would make on the bookshelf!! I feel as if I would like to meet each and every one of them – even the bat-shit crazy ones, linger over a meal and learn more about who they are and where they live. After all, regardless of location, race, colour, creed, religion, beliefs or values, at the end of the day we are ALL just people living our lives with hopes and dreams.

I am left both inspired and saddened by this journey through Arabia – A Journey Through the Heart of the Middle East. I have learned SO much and it infuriates me that we in the West are fed so much misinformation. It FRUSTRATES and angers me that there are so many factions, and frictions, old betrayals and new. That we, the UK, have even had a part to play in this over the centuries is both heart-breaking and sickening. I’m not going to delve into my political thoughts and feelings, since it’s not appropriate for this particular article, suffice to say that my eyes are just a little more open and I can’t imagine the conflicting emotions the author must have felt at certain times considering his background.

I am inspired to learn more about the adventurer TE Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia), who travelled those paths before Levison. To learn more about the Victorian explorer Richard Burton and Wilfred Thesiger, and to visit some of the places mentioned in the book; Jericho, Bethlehem and Damascus  in particular, as well as the many, many wondrous and ancient places he visited, to stand on top of those mountains and see the verdant valleys below in Lebanon and to spend a few days in the desert with a Bedouin tribe. Petra has always been high on my list of places I want to go…..

The Middle East seems to be a real contrast of expectations and reality, and there is so much more waiting to be discovered just below the surface. I was left bemused, terrified and exalted at various points along the way. I also cried at times….tears of despair and joy – the event in Bethlehem in particular brought me to tears…in a good way. The risks the author took in order to follow through with his journey and to reach his destination were extraordinary. The people who helped him along the way, sometimes at great risk to their own personal safety are extraordinary. Where there is a will, there is indeed a way. And how lucky are we, the reader, that they all did take those risks.

This particular book; Arabia, is not your usual travel journey that paints a pretty picture of places explored. No, it’s gritty and harsh and at times you are left feeling devastated at the destruction of a people and a place…and I’m talking in particular of Syria and Palestine. (p.s. if you have myopic views about the situation in either of these two countries please do NOT feel the need to express them in the comments).

If you have read this far, then I can highly recommend both these books; Arabia and Walking the Nile. So what’s next? Well I guess I am going to have to track down Walking the Himalayas….no pun intended LOL and Walking the Americas and make a plan to watch the Channel 4 documentaries.

Unfortunately for them, the charity shops won’t be seeing either of these books, Arabia or Walking the Nile from me LOL. Instead I shall treasure them and encourage my grandson to read them when he is ready; hopefully to inspire him to travel the world. I will most certainly be delving into them again….hopefully at a slower pace next time. As with all journeys, I’m sad it’s over.

I am left with the words of the John Lennon song in my mind; IMAGINE – all the people living life in peace….

I can highly recommend this book as a damn good read; Arabia; A Journey Through the Heart of the Middle East and while you’re at it….why not read Walking the Nile. Author: Levison Wood.book reviews, book recommendations, walking the nile levison wood, arabia levison wood, travel adventures

Meanwhile back at Planet Thanet, I have the book I’m writing for my grandson to complete. He’s due within the next 2 weeks and I’d like to complete it before he arrives. The Incredible Journey of James Alexander McKenzie-Hoult aka Jamie aka Peanut 🙂 I am SO looking forward to saying for real….. #Peanutisontheway

And I have An Evening with Levison Wood to look forward to next week…my tickets have been purchased and I’m ‘praying’ that Peanut doesn’t decide to arrive on that day…..before would be good and after just as well. LOL We’re focusing on the 18th…..

Alhamdulillah and RIP Khaled al-Assad may you truly have found peace, I’m sure you will never be forgotten.

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Today marks one of Peanut’s ‘due dates’…..and nope, he has not arrived. Not sure how I feel about that! On one hand I’m pleased because he will arrive when he is good and ready and not because the NHS are still working on calculations that were first established in 1744 (?) I mean seriously…..we’re now in the 21st century, we’ve put a man on the moon (apparently), we’ve sent rockets into space countless times, we sent astronauts into space to live on a space station; the International Space Station that circumnavigates the planet on a daily basis, we have invented phones that can do just about anything you want it to except eat for you, and yet the NHS are still working on a calculation made by a Dutch doctor in 1744. If you could see me now, I’d be rolling my eyes!! LOL

On the other hand I am impatient….after 34 weeks of excitement at the thought of becoming a Granny, I am now waiting impatiently. However, either way and whichever day, by at least the 19th he should be here. 🙂

Meanwhile I am making the most of every day to get out and walk. I want to be sure to have a photo of the sunrise on the day he is born…I hope it’s a spectacular one and not grey like today!! I’m making a book; The Incredible Journey of James Alexander aka Jamie aka Peanut and would really love the photo to be of a stunning sunrise!! 🙂

I left rather late just after 9.15, opting to linger a bit longer in bed with a cup of tea after peeking out the window and seeing the grey clouds. It is definitely getting colder and today my hands were red by the time I got back. I also didn’t venture very far since I am the nominated driver for when my daughter does go into labour and I do not want to panic about getting back from a walk if I’m miles away. I’ll get back to the long walks once baby is here.

Grey and grizzly as it may be, the view from the clifftop across Viking Bay is still beautiful.

walk 1000 miles, walks along the coastal path england, walks on the isle of thanet, map my walk

tis a grey day on the Isle of Thanet

I didn’t get to walk along the beach since the tide was well and truly in by the time I got going so I walked along the promenade to Louisa Bay and walked down to the concrete path along the sea wall and made my way to Dumpton Gap again.

walk 1000 miles, walks along the coastal path england, walks on the isle of thanet, map my walk

the tide is in – looking back towards Viking Bay

walk 1000 miles, walks along the coastal path england, walks on the isle of thanet, map my walk

the tide is in – Dumpton Gap : looking south along the coast towards Ramsgate

There were a couple of labrador dogs running about and investigating; they are such happy animals with their wagging tails. I should have taken a photo, they were that cute. But instead I just photographed the seas and then headed back home.

walk 1000 miles, walks along the coastal path england, walks on the isle of thanet, map my walk

the tide is in at Dumpton Gap, no chance of getting through there today

walk 1000 miles, walks along the coastal path england, walks on the isle of thanet, map my walk

the tide is in at Dumpton Gap and soon my footprints will be washed away

It was a bit windy today too and the seas were rough and wild. I had planned to head down to the harbour later on to photograph the waves, but with one thing and another, I never quite made it that far.

After a breakfast of croissants from the Old Bake House

the old bake house broadstairs, walk 1000 miles, walking the isle of thanet

The Old Bake House on the corner of Serene Place and the High Street is where I buy our croissants; the most delicious you can imagine, always fresh, never burned with a delicious spongy interior. My favourite are the almond fillings. Bradstow House, the building on the corner of Serene Place and the High Street, is early 18th century and was originally constructed as a single house but is now a house and the Old Bake House and cafe. The shop front that you can see was constructed in the 19th century.

and a cup of hot steaming tea, I strolled along to Toffs and Tarts Hairdresser in Albion Road and had my hair cut. I finally found a hairdresser who knows how to feather cut hair using a razor! Hoorah. It feels so much lighter now and he did a really good job.

Day 5/365 and today I walked 3.79 kms and 5713 steps and we are 5 days closer to Peanut’s arrival 🙂 Soon I hope to be taking him on my daily perambulations to Ramsgate!

walk 1000 miles, map my walk, walks on the isle of thanet

Viking bay to Dumpton Gap

 

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Had a fantastic walk this morning. I set off much earlier than usual today….even before the sun rose above the horizon!!

walk 1000 miles, coastal walks of england, walks on the isle of thanet, broadstairs to ramsgate, walking for health

Viking Bay at 07:46 on the 4th January 2019

There’s a distinct difference in temperature between yesterday and today… I almost needed gloves 🧤

The tide was still out but on it’s way in, so I walked down to the harbour and set off across the beach at Viking Bay and chased the incoming tide to Ramsgate.

The colours of the clouds and the sea were absolutely stunning as always and I stopped often to take photos….when do I not?

walk 1000 miles, coastal walks of england, walks on the isle of thanet, broadstairs to ramsgate, walking for health

Viking Bay at 07:53 on the 4th January 2019 – a different perspective from the clifftop to the beach

And occasionally I get photo-bombed LOL

walk 1000 miles, coastal walks of england, walks on the isle of thanet, broadstairs to ramsgate, walking for health

photo-bombed by a mad dog

When I got to Dumpton Gap, I realised that the tide had made considerable progress and if I was to reach the Ramsgate walkway which I could see in the distance I needed to get a move on. The sun was now peeping through the clouds and in the distance across the waves I could see one of the Coast Guard boats that regularly patrol this section of the channel

map my walk, walk 1000 miles, coastal walks of england, isle of thanet, ramsgate to broadstairs

sunrise on the Isle of Thanet and the Coast Guard patrol

It’s a fair distance from Dumpton Gap to Ramsgate and I  covered it very quickly without stopping to take any photos!! It’s quite exhilarating to race the tide…. lapping at my feet and making me take detours across the rocks to avoid the waves that were rushing closer and closer, and getting my feet wet. LOL

walk 1000 miles, coastal walks of england, walks on the isle of thanet, broadstairs to ramsgate, walking for health

reaching Ramsgate before the tide came in: Dumpton Gap in the distance

Once on the concrete walkway at Ramsgate, I again stopped briefly to look more closely at the chalk cliffs which I find totally fascinating. In particular the layers of flint stones are so amazing. I popped across to wikipedia to find out more: “Certain types of flint, such as that from the south coast of England, contain trapped fossilised marine flora. Pieces of coral and vegetation have been found preserved like amber inside the flint. Thin slices of the stone often reveal this effect.”

chalk cliffs in ramsgate, walk 1000 miles, coastal walks of england, walks on the isle of thanet, broadstairs to ramsgate, walking for health

the chalk cliffs interspersed with flint stones

Besides history, geography and geology are two of my favourite interests. Flint is commonly used in buildings along the coast and Broadstairs can boast a great number of houses, chapels, walls and this seaside pub; The Tartar Frigate, built with flint.

chalk cliffs kent, the tartar frigate pub broadstairs, walks of england, coastal walks of england

The historic Tartar Frigate is one of the only 18th century flint restaurants in Kent.

It’s incredible to think that they mostly contain fossils of sea creatures, insects and vegetation that is millions of years old.

viking bay broadstairs, walk 1000 miles, coastal walks of england, walks on the isle of thanet, broadstairs to ramsgate, walking for health

back to Broadstairs just before 9am and still the sun lingers behind the clouds

And of course the section where I’m standing for this amazing view, is right on top of the chalk cliffs…now tamed by man, and hollowed out with a network of smugglers tunnels!!

chalk cliffs kent, the tartar frigate pub broadstairs, walks of england, coastal walks of england

a network of smugglers tunnels wind their way below ground in Broadstairs

Day 4/365 In total I got in a decent 6.32kms & 9554 steps from Broadstairs to Ramsgate

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it’s a lovely stretch of coastline

 

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