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Posts Tagged ‘walking’

Since I’d already explored the greater part of Shepton Mallet in the previous 2 days, yesterday I decided to follow the public footpaths – it took me on quite an adventure.

Public Footpaths
A bathtub in a field….where else? 😝😝
I saw some amazing farm houses
And the stunning Kilver Court complex

I eventually ended up on the Fosseway before heading back into town to see the Christmas lights. Some of the windows look so pretty.

Perfect for a cold dark winter night

I sent the pic of the owl to my daughter to show my grandson – apparently he responded with “oooooooo” πŸ¦‰πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

The High Street

There’s a delightful cafe in the High Street called Madhatter’s – I love the decor. Next time I go past, if the cafe is open I may just treat myself.

Madhatter’s

So, despite having pretty much covered the whole town on the first day, I’m still managing to create some news routes…it’ll be interesting when I finish here on 12th, to look at all my excursions on mapmywalk and see just exactly where I’ve been.

Looking back….
Sometimes I think the farmers just make it difficult for their enjoyment πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ I did however manage to get over that

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When Danny Boyle incorporated those famous words; our green and pleasant land into the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, he must have been talking about the hills of the South Downs….

“The aerial photograph reveals a pretty maypole, water mill, orchard and pasture inhabited by 70 grazing sheep. A village cricket green, orchard and farmers’ cottage complete the entrancing scene”. Extract from Daily Mail.

The only thing missing from my walk today was ‘a pretty maypole’ and I saw a windmill rather than a watermill.

I decided to spread my wings today and cross the downs to the little hamlet of Kingston. It looked close on the map, and unusually for me I didn’t do a distance calculation…. decided to just go.

It was a LOT further than I expected, but it was fabulous. The downs really are just beautiful and the green fields literally spread from horizon to horizon….as far as the eye can see.

I whizzed on down the now familiar route of Rotten Row past the non-existent Winterbourne Stream, left into Bell Lane and hung a right at the Swan Inn, and right again onto Juggs Lane.

Juggs Lane

A real country lane, narrow and lined with grass verges and trees, and hedgerows. I passed the occasional house nestled amongst the trees, and driveways leading to hidden houses, and soon crossed the motorway farrr below. The views across the valley to the east were spectacular and in the distance I could see the white cliffs above Cliffe, the Lewes Golf Course and the chalk downs where I walked last week.

I walked across those white cliffs last week

Autumn is truly here now and showing her fabulous colours. The road crossing the bridge and up the hill was of course metalled, my least favourite surface for walking. A group of cyclists whirled by, a mix of old and young – the youngest probably about 5 years old….a brilliant road for learning to ride safely.

Autumn, my favourite season

But soon I left that behind as the road became a sandy track beneath a tunnel of trees….the wind was howling through the tunnel like a freight train, the branches creaking and cracking with the strain. Passing a couple of orchards and definitely a few cottages one of which had horses and free range chickens.

Absolutely fantastic. It felt just wild!!

The path went on for quite some way and then through a gate and onto the rolling green fields….a green and pleasant land…..

I was completely on my own and the sense of freedom and wildness as the wind tried to sweep me off my feet was exhilarating. I can quite see why Julie Andrews ran and ran singing “the hills are alive…” and all that. But this girl doesn’t run (unless her life is at stake 🀣🀣🀣) so I just thought about it. And I definitely wouldn’t give up the day job to sing….

Mind you, I pretty much flew across the field with the assistance of the wind and soon realized that I had possibly miscalculated the distance relative to my free time of 2 hours….that field went on and on and on. And the wind howled like a dervish

Howling like a dervish πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸ‘

To my excitement I spied a windmill (not a watermill but good enough) in the distance, the arms stationary without sails, but I could just imagine how fast they’d be whirling with the force of the wind.

A windmill πŸ˜€

I finally reached a farm gate and checking my app saw that I was near the road that leads into Kingston. Within 5 minutes of walking I was there. A quick visit to the 13th century ‘St Pancras Church of Kingston near Lewes’. Beautiful little church but again closed. I wish himself Archbishop whatshisname would pass on some of the wealth hidden in the vaults of his church and send some money to these parishes so they can afford to open up these amazing little churches and have them cleaned according to Covid-19 standards after visitors.

St Pancras Church of Kingston

By now 1 hour and 10 minutes of my break had passed so a dash of speed was needed. Finding the ‘finger’ post (really? That’s what they’re called?!) opposite the pub as directed by a local, I was soon wending my way along a ‘twitten’!! Yes, that’s exactly what he called it, and yayyy me, I knew what he meant πŸ˜‰ Its so weird hearing locals talk about the twittens. I’ve travelled extensively in England and the UK as a whole, and I’ve literally never heard the word before, but I shall never forget it, and may just introduce it to some other areas of the country – twitten sounds so much more romantic than ‘lane’. Not to be rude about lanes or anything but….

A twitten in Kingston

Said local man suggested it should take me no more that 30 minutes to get back to Lewes and he was spot on.

After leaving the twitten behind me I crossed an enormous field and in the distance I could see the grazing sheep and cows…thankfully in the distance..

Then through a very smelly and muddy farmyard. I think it takes a certain type of person to cope with muddy yards. It would drive me crazy and I’d be constantly trying to clean it up πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

From there I crossed a narrow road and onto a cycle path. Hoorah for cycle paths. This one took me nearly all the way into Lewes but at the cricket field I turned off the cycle path and onto a far prettier and more pleasant bridle path.

The bridal path

Suddenly I was on familiar territory having walked this way a couple of times now and soon passed the Priory and then left into Southover High Street, past Anne of Cleves House and the stunning Manor House

Manor House

Then right at the Swan Inn, right into Rotten Row, and left into the High Street.

Swan Inn, Lewes

8.94kms, and 1:59:16 – I arrived back at work with 44 seconds to spare πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ total number of steps 13365 : elevation 111 meters….enjoyment; immeasurable.

Another fantastic walk done and dusted. I love seeing different parts of the country and always try to visit somewhere other than where I’m working. I’ve explored Lewes thoroughly now and beyond an outstanding visit to the castle (Saturday hopefully) and my still unaccomplished walk downstream of the river and the walk along the disused railway track, I think I’ve seen pretty much all of Lewes and then some.

But I still have 9 days here so I forsee a few more interesting explorations in my future

Mapmywalk
A short compilation

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Typical innit

At a time when we could all be out and about enjoying the glorious weather, we’re on lockdown πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺβŒπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I can hear the birds πŸ˜ƒπŸ•ŠπŸ•ŠπŸ¦

For me, in my job, its business as usual. This is my life…confined to the house for 22 hours a day, 2-4 weeks at a time, with a few outing exceptions like hospital visits or the doctor or a bit of shopping. I don’t mind so much in winter when its cold and rainy, but it’s a mental (and emotional) challenge in spring, summer and autumn. 🌸🌼🍁

But, I am making the most of my break and getting out while the going is good and making the most of my allowable time off and out ….adhering to work and government guidelines. Thankfully this position is not like many others I’ve had in the past where I’m not allowed to leave the house at all for 2 weeks at a time due to the nature of the client’s condition and requirements.

Make the most of your time out allowance and enjoy the fabulous weather….the air is clearer, I can hear the birds, there’s less pollution, I can see the stars at night, and nature is drawing breath….

Clear skies 🌝🌝

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I decided to follow the #walk1000miles challenge again this year, particularly because I didn’t do much walking last year and because I really want to complete the Pilgrim’s Way.

With the weather what it is, it was very tempting to just snuggle under the covers and sleep during my break again, especially coz I am still so tired, but I resisted the temptation and set off yesterday for my 1st walk of 2020. I didn’t go far mind and only did 2.0375 miles….. so only 997.9625 to go πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚….and then I went back to the house and had a 45 minute snooze.

I was reminded once again that East Peckham has absolutely nothing to distinguish it (that I could see), besides being a Domesday Book village, and my walk did nothing to change my opinion. Although to be fair, there is a Hop House I could see, a few older cottages and the church, so I guess that’s something. But I do wonder why people actually choose to live in some of these places. Besides that its quiet, there is just nothing, and it’s miles from anywhere …..just why?

Something to ponder, but not to know.

I’m delighted that my daughter has decided to do some more walking this year as well and she’s joined the Facebook page. She also wants to focus more on her photography business this year, it will be an opportunity for her to get going again.

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Gosh, how time does fly. It’s been 4.5 months since I last wrote a blog (about toilet paper?? LOL) and so much has happened in the interim I hardly know where to start.

Blogging is one of those things that I need my computer for, and since said computer is, in today’s world, classified as ancient, it takes ages to boot up and by then I’ve lost time & interest. But I recently, with the help of my sister in Cape Town via whatsapp, had an online session and we managed to clear some space which has made it marginally quicker, and so I thought it’s about time I got back to blogging.

I’ve also in the interim logged out of both twitter and facebook….I’m so sick of the rubbish on twitter (I miss the days when you could have a decent ongoing conversation with someone without the bots interfering and sticking their noses in with their vile rhetoric). I logged off facebook recently after a very emotional situation because I needed to separate myself from the emotion and facebook is a thorn in my side anyway (for various reasons). I do miss comment/chatting to my friends though – do we ever talk in real life anymore?

So since I was off both twitter and facebook, both of which voraciously consume your time, I started reading through and clearing out my email inboxes, both of which had in excess of 3,000 unread and unfiled emails. It took a good few hours I can tell you, over a period of about a week, but oh the satisfaction once it was done. It’s amazing how we can even accumulate clutter online. While doing that I also unsubscribed from hundreds of charity emails, petitioning emails and sales advertising emails and now my inboxes are more manageable. I also file the emails I need to keep into their relevant folders immediately after reading them. Now I have about 10 emails pending attention and few starred emails that I need to keep open for various reasons.

So instead of wasting time scrolling through twitter and facebook, I started reading wordpress blogs again, followed a few bloggers whose posts I enjoyed and started proper reading again….and talking of reading, I’ve also started reading books again…..marvellous. The latest book I borrowed from the B&B hostess where I recently stayed… The Secret Dossier of a Knight Templar of the Sangreal. I’ve been interested in the history of the Knights Templar for ages and the book is absolutely fascinating; I’m learning so much.Β  There are quite a few famous places linked to the Knights Templar along the French Camino Route through northern Spain and I hope to visit those when I do the walk. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few places in the UK with links to the knights…..so interesting.

Of course the main event of the year, and the reason for my tardiness and lack of blogging, was the birth, in January, of my first grandchild One year ago; best news ever, a much desired and much wanted, precious little boy. Life as they say, changed forever. I read a blog today by debs-world that really struck a chord, and on that note I decided to get back to writing so that I can share more about this special little boy and his development. I have dozens of drafts written, but with one thing and another, I never got to actually post them ….. and he is a week away from 10 months old!! The absolute joy of my life. I never knew you could love another human so much.

Besides that I am once again homeless and that has been the cause of so much trauma I cannot tell you. Much as it was heart-rending to leave what has been my home since June this year and for a few years prior to that (just different houses in different towns), it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and although it nearly broke me in two, it was an absolute necessity for my own sanity.Β  But it’s tough not having a home. I’ve had to once again put all my belongings into storage and that in itself brings a multitude of complications. Every time I want to file documents or get a change of clothes or access my toiletries or whatever it might be that I need or don’t want to carry around, I have to traipse to the storage unit and keep their opening hours in mind. No easy access. It all requires careful planning….and frankly it’s just fucking boring. CΓ©st la vie. However, you can really appreciate the difficulties that people who end up on the streets have. I’m still one of the lucky ones…I have a job (that provides me with a home for two weeks at a stretch) and can pay for storage and a B&B when needed inbetween jobs.

I haven’t done any walking this year either which has added 6 kgs to my weight (gahhhh). Unfortunately my love of food has not abated LOL. And anyway I opted to spend time with the bub rather than go walking. an easy choice really.

I wrote a blog a few months back about the X52 pledge I made and I’m pleased to say that I have stuck to it. Of course I have needed to buy new underwear and socks (I wear through mine a fast pace) and desperately needed a new pair of trainers, which are my daily wear anyway, but fortunately those items are considered necessities and not a luxury.

Besides travelling to various parts of the country for work, I haven’t done much travelling this year either. I was reluctant to stray too far from my delicious grandson, opting instead to spend as much time as possible with him. Sadly now that I no longer live with them, my time with him is going to be cut down to a visit maybe twice a month. It bloody sucks and I miss him so much it hurts. But there it is. I rail against this situation to no avail…..hopefully in time I will get my emotions under control and not feel like I want to scream and jump into the abyss. I am after all just his Granny and not his mother and he does have other grandparents. It is lovely though when I do visit…he gets so excited to see me and giggles uncontrollably. I fear that our bond will eventually wear thin though since he won’t see much of me …and yes I am feeling bereft and very very sad. It’s hard not to when I’ve been such an integral part of his life from before he was born. Having gone right through my daughter’s pregnancy and labour, witnessing him take his first breaths, and then being very closely tied in with his subsequent daily care, looking after him most nights for the first 6 months, leaving was such a wrench…..I confess I am still reeling from the loss. It’s been a horrible 12 days just thinking about it. Still I’m grateful that he’s not in another country and I will get to see him at least twice a month. And I have our Christmas Butlins break to look forward to when I’ll be spending 4 whole days with him….shared with the paternal grandparents of course.

I’m still very active on instagram and love looking through the many wonderful images that get shared, saving links to places I still want to visit and walks I want to do. Gosh there are so many I’ve lost count. Instagram has to be the best travel brochure ever. I’m saving up to buy a campervan so that when my gorgeous grandson is older, I can take him on a multitude of adventures. I hope to eventually buy a motor-home so that I have a permanent residence.

So that’s just a quick catch up and summary of the last few months….I shall now start finalising and posting the articles about the wonderful life of Jamie, my divine grandson…..

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My journey started today at precisely 13:33 when I left the house in Oxted with Pepe (my backpack) settled firmly on my shoulders. I made my way to the station and boarded a 7000 horse-powered beast heading for London.

Arriving at London Bridge within 33 minutes I set off on shanks pony to visit Southwark Cathedral where I would collect my Pilgrim’s Passport

 and view the Chaucer window.

 I obtained my 1st pilgrim’s stamp πŸ˜€ and bought a small booklet featuring Chaucer’s story; The Wife of Bath πŸ˜‰ who was one of the pilgrims featured in The Canterbury Tales. While I was walking around inside the cathedral a young lady wished me Buen Camino which made me cry. I was already feeling so emotional and overwhelmed at the journey ahead, so her greeting just tipped the balance. She had seen the scallop shell secured to Pepe. 😊😊 I was delighted.

 On the way I walked through Borough Market

and passed The Sentinel

before stopping to look at London Bridge and the Thames; “There are two things scarce matched in the Universe The Sun in Heaven and The Thames on Earth“.

Then once again using shanks pony I walked along the banks of the River Thames to my weekend lodging stopping briefly to see a favourite sculpture; The Navigators – seemed apt since I’ll be navigating my route to Canterbury.

After a few hours of sleep

 I walked back along the river upstream to Bermondsey beach to watch the sunset.

Then heading back downstream to Thameside, the intention was to have supper at The Mayflower Pub but it was so full and too noisy,

 so instead I returned to the hostel for tea and hot-cross buns, along the way passing another of my favourite London sculptures; The Sunbeam Weekly and the Pilgrim’s Pocket.

In all a brilliant start to my #Southwark to Canterbury walk #inthefootstepsofChaucer

Distance walked 8.70 kms / 5.44 miles. 16,823 steps. Temperature: wayyy too hot!!!  πŸŒžπŸŒžπŸŒžπŸŒ‘ 

In case you were wondering, I’ve named my backpack Pepe in honour of my Mom. When I was a wee girl my Mother took me to see a film after my Grandmother’s funeral. In the film was a donkey called Pepe. Since I feel a bit like a donkey with my 7+kg load on my back and I’ll be using ‘shanks pony’ for 60+ miles, I thought the backpack deserved something more dignified than just being referred to as ‘the backpack’ πŸ˜‰ Yes I know…too much time to think 🀣🀣🀣

Southwark Cathedral, the oldest Gothic Church in London is absolutely fascinating. There’s been a place of worship on this site since AD606 when it was a convent. A fantastic place to start my journey.

Famous people asdociated with the cathedral include: Chaucer, his friend John Gower, Shakespeare, Fletcher and Dickens amongst others.

Gower’s memorial; John Gower, Poet Laureate to Richard II and Henry IV.

William Shakespeare memorial.

Some of the memorials are very colourful and the stained glass windows are amazing. Definitely worth a visit.

I’ll be posting photos of my journey on instagram @notjustagranny 

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