Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

A few nights ago ITV aired “Britain‚Äôs Favourite Walks: Top 100”, as voted for by more than 8,000 walking enthusiasts. If seeing these walks didn’t convince you that the UK is a most stunning country with every kind of landscape and terrain you could wish for or imagine…then you weren’t watching ūüėČ

I had initially tuned in to BBC1 to watch Winterwatch so only changed channels part of the way through; wow, what fantastic walks and the scenery is astounding and breath-taking. Watching snippets of all these fantastic places made me want to set off immediately with Pepe and Gemini and just walk….never mind walk 1000 miles, I could quite easily just walk forever.

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

To my delight, after gasping with envy and drooling my way through the last 50 or so walks, after the programme ended I clicked through to one of the links provided on twitter and was astonished and delighted to note that #100 featured The Stacks near Margate….after closer investigation, I found that not only is this a walk I’ve done dozens of times, but the day before the show aired I had in fact walked from Broadstairs to Ramsgate and onto Cliffs End a couple of days before and I had walked from Broadstairs to Margate just the day before ūüôā¬†http://theoutdoorguide.co.uk/britains-favourite-walks/ramsgate-to-margate-kent/

My first question is how did I miss them filming this? And why didn’t they just ask me? LOL I could have told them all about this walk…one of my favourites!!

I frequently use both those routes for my Camino practice walks, they’re manageable distances and the scenery is absolutely stunning; it never gets boring.

Starting off from Broadstairs Harbour, I either turn right and walk to Ramsgate and Cliffsend or left and walk to Margate.

broadstairs, viking bay, isle of thanet, english coast, seaside towns of britain

a winter’s sunrise – Viking Bay, Isle of Thanet

On a good day and if the tide is out, there is nothing better than striding along the beach from Viking Bay, past Louisa Bay, Dumpton Gap and onto Ramgate Royal Harbour. If the tide is in then I walk along the concrete promenade from Viking Bay to Dumpton Gap, then up to the cliff tops and walk through King George VI Memorial Park then down the steps leading to the promenade, past the Ramsgate Tunnels and onto Ramsgate Harbour.

100 walks uk, walk 1000 miles, broadstairs to ramsgate, dumpton gap, isle of thanet

Dumpton Gap – clifftop walk when the tide is in

Sometimes I walk further onto Cliffsend where you can see the Hugin Viking Ship and from there it’s a short walk down to Pegwell Bay.

100 walks, rileys ramsgate, walk 1000 miles, 100 walks uk, not just a granny, walk uk, broadstairs to ramsgate, england coast path

Ramsgate to Cliffsend and Pegwell Bay

100 walks, rileys ramsgate, walk 1000 miles, 100 walks uk, not just a granny, walk uk, broadstairs to ramsgate, england coast path

The Hugin Viking Ship, Cliffsend

If I’m planning a walk to Cliffsend and Pegwell Bay, then I usually stop off at Rileys in Ramsgate first for a hot chocolate with lashings of cream and marshmallows for sustenance.

rileys ramsgate, walk 1000 miles, 100 walks uk, not just a granny, walk uk,

Hot Chocolate with cream and marshmallows at Riley’s

If I decide to walk to Margate there are two options:

a) if the tide is out, from Viking Bay I walk along the beach to the far end of Stone Bay, up the steps to Stone Road, turn right and walk along the North Foreland Road to North Foreland Lighthouse, past the fields of crops to Joss Bay where I again descend to the beach and round the cliffs to Kingsgate Bay (you can walk along the beach but this particular area is very rocky and I don’t enjoy walking across this section). On the top of the cliffs at Kingsgate Bay is the Captain Digby Pub where I always stop for a pot of tea on the terrace. From there I head back down to the beach and walk through or around the Kingsbay Sea Arch and past the Stacks to Botany Bay, Palm Bay, Walpole Bay, and so to Margate Bay. Always be aware of the tidal times….the tides come in very fast along these stretches.

100 walks, rileys ramsgate, walk 1000 miles, 100 walks uk, not just a granny, walk uk, broadstairs to ramsgate, england coast path

Broadstairs to Margate

b) if the tide is in I walk along the promenade from Viking Bay to Stone Bay, up the steps to the cliff tops turn right and walk along the North Foreland Road to North Foreland Lighthouse, past the fields of crops to Joss Bay and instead of descending to the beach I follow the pedestrian path next to the golf course, then cross over the road where it ends and follow the road past the Kingsgate Castle complex and along the cliff top to the Captain Digby Pub, then follow the path across the cliff top alongside the golf course, past the folly ‘Fort Kings Bay’ to Botany Bay, and staying on the cliff tops I follow the pedestrian path past¬†Botany Bay, Palm Bay, Walpole Bay, and so to Margate Bay. The views are fantastic and on a clear day up until Joss Bay you can right across the English Channel to Belgium, and once you round the corner and head north you can see across estuary of the River Thames to Essex. Once your’e in Margate you can see as far as Reculver, and if you time it right, you can see some of the most magnificent sunsets.

100 walks, rileys ramsgate, walk 1000 miles, 100 walks uk, not just a granny, walk uk, broadstairs to ramsgate, england coast path

Sunset at Margate

If you happen to walk along the beach as you near Margate, there is the Antony Gormley sculpture ‘Another Time’ which is located on the chalk bed of the shoreline in front of the Turner Contemporary. The sculpture invites the observer to “reflect upon the fundamental experience of being human, of inhabiting a human body… To bear witness to what it is like to be alive and alone in space and time”

100 walks, rileys ramsgate, walk 1000 miles, 100 walks uk, not just a granny, walk uk, broadstairs to ramsgate, england coast path

the Antony Gormley sculpture ‘Another Time’ which is located on the chalk bed of the shoreline in front of the Turner Contemporary. The sculpture invites the observer to “reflect upon the fundamental experience of being human, of inhabiting a human body… To bear witness to what it is like to be alive and alone in space and time”

Those are two of my favourite walks on the Isle of Thanet.

I’ve also walked to Sandwich during my Camino 2017 training

my camino; the journey so far

28.06.2016 Broadstairs to Sandwich

and completed the Way of St Augustine in July 2017

The Isle of Thanet and the Wantsum Channel.

The Isle of Thanet and the Wantsum Channel.

I travel quite comprehensively around the UK and make the most of my travels to walk in new areas…..follow me on instagram for images from around the UK.

For more about Britain’s favourite walks¬†http://theoutdoorguide.co.uk/britains-favourite-walks/ramsgate-to-margate-kent/

and as they say on their website:¬†Remember to prepare properly before heading out on any type of walk or outdoor activity. Tell people where you are going and what time you are expected back. As Wainwright says¬†‚ÄúThere‚Äôs no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing‚ÄĚ.

 

Read Full Post »

One of the hardest aspects of my job is when the client has a pet that I get to love while looking after them.

I don’t often get to look after pets, and I very seldom form an attachment to them for obvious reasons.

But this wee cat, Charlie, has stolen my heart. He’s such a sassy little boy, and despite the fact that he bites and scratches, I love him to bits….he’s so cheeky and such a clever little fella. I don’t mind the biting and scratching because he’s still a toddler, although I do discourage him. “no Charlie!! Gently now!”

I absolutely love it in the morning when I go down to the kitchen to make my tea. As my slippers hit the linoleum floor I can hear him drop from his bed onto the floor in the room above, hear his feet padding hastily across the room, and down the stairs… Chirruping away “good morning good morning”. Of course what he’s really saying is “yayyyyyyyy food!!”

I pick him up for a cuddle and a love. He lies draped across my shoulder and with my head against his body so I can listen to the rumble of him purring, we stand quietly for a few minutes, then I get bitten and it’s time for ‘food please’.

Those are such precious moments in my day.

But as always, good things come to an end. I finished my assignment today, and as much as I’d love to take him home with me, it’s time to say goodbye. He curled himself up in suitcase last night and oh, how wonderful it would be to take him home with me.

I may never see him again, although I did tell my client he has to bequeath Charlie to me. ūüôā

My heart aches with the probability that I won’t see him again. But, all being well, I’m scheduled to return in July.. So hopefully I’ll see him again.

In the meantime I’ll have to content myself with Elsie, my daughter’s cat who hisses and growls at me when I return home… “who tf are you?” LOL I do love her though, even if she is so rude.

Ahhh Elsie, such a short memory

Read Full Post »

As mentioned in an earlier post I’ve been planning my summer pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury, prior to flying to Spain for the Camino Ingl√©s. One of the best aspects of planning a pilgrimage is the research. I’ve uncovered so many wonderful places to see and visit; castles, Roman villas, ancient churches, Domesday villages. I’ll be walking along two ancient routes; St Swithun’s Way and the North Downs Way that combine to make The Pilgrim’s Way.

pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, walking the pilgrims way, pilgrimage to canterbury, domeday vbook villages, long distance walks in england, national trail england,

I’m sure to see a few of these along the Pilgrim’s Way

pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, walking the pilgrims way, pilgrimage to canterbury, domeday vbook villages, long distance walks in england, national trail england,

The chalk landscape along the Pilgrim’s Way in Surrey – North Downs

The Pilgrim’s Way, an ancient trackway, is an historical route followed by medieval and modern pilgrims from Winchester in Hampshire to the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent.

From medieval cathedral to medieval cathedral, winding its way through the English counties of Hampshire, Surrey and Kent, the track takes the pilgrim along both Roman and modern roads, through ancient towns and cities, taking in historical castles and ancient churches, Roman villas, past numerous ‚Äėtumulus‚Äô, through fields and forests, over chalk hills that offer picturesque vistas of the English countryside, alongside and over flowing rivers.

pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, walking the pilgrims way, pilgrimage to canterbury, domeday vbook villages, long distance walks in england, national trail england,

along the Pilgrim’s Way

With an archaeological age of between 600-450 BC dated by finds along the route, the course has been dictated by natural geological contours and causeways, and is now a culmination of various routes followed over the aeons from as far back as the Stone Age. Although I doubt the stone age dudes were on a pilgrimage!

The names of the towns, villages and cities roll off the tongue like a lesson in history; Winchester, Abbots Worthy, Martyr Worthy, Itchen Abbas, Bishops Sutton, Four Marks, Holybourne, Upper Froyle, Lower Froyle, Farnham, Seale, Puttenham, Guildford, Shere, Oxted, Limpsfield, Otford, Kemsing, Trottisford, Detling, Thurnham, Lenham, Boughton Lees, Old Wives Lees, Chilham and then hoorah…Canterbury.

pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, walking the pilgrims way, pilgrimage to canterbury, domeday vbook villages, long distance walks in england, national trail england,

Limpsfield – Domesday Book village

The chalk landscape along the Pilgrim's Way in Surrey - North Downs

Tatsfield – Domesday Book village

Along the way I’ll pass places like Avington Park, Jane Austen’s house, Farnham Castle, Guildford Castle, the Silent Pool, Kit’s Coty House, the White Horse Stones and the Black Prince’s Well before reaching the historical walled city of Canterbury and thus to my ultimate destination; Canterbury Cathedral.

pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, walking the pilgrims way, pilgrimage to canterbury, domeday vbook villages, long distance walks in england, national trail england,

The Silent Pool

It’s been really tricky trying to work out the most conducive distance between towns. I really don’t want to walk more than 20kms a day. Besides the distances, I have to consider whether or not I’ll find suitable accommodation. I’m seriously considering taking my sleeping bag along just in case there are some days I am without something suitable….I can always sleep on a church porch! Although there are a lot of venues listed on the Pilgrim’s Way UK website, many of them are in the region of ¬£100+p.n. which frankly is ludicrous and I’m certainly not prepared to pay that much.¬†Unlike the European Camino routes that have hostels or albergues in virtually every hamlet, village or town, the accommodation along the Pilgrim’s Way is sketchy to say the least. I’m sure there are loads of places to stay, but as mentioned earlier, the prices are exorbitant.

the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, the pilgrims way uk, walking the pilgrims way, walking the camino, pilgrimage to canterburym

 

I’ve ordered the guide book; ‘The Pilgrim’s Way To Canterbury from Winchester and London’ by Leigh Hatts, recommended on their site. I’m hoping it will be at home waiting for me when I return this weekend ūüôā Can’t wait to start digging into it. (*update! It’s arrived!! Happy dance.)

I’ve spent hours on their site reviewing the map, calculating distances, checking ‘places to see along the way’, reviewing the churches…I’m only looking at the churches that actually provide a pilgrim’s passport stamp. If I have time and happen across any others that look interesting, of course I’ll pop in, but I won’t be going out of my way.

 

When reviewing the map on their website I noticed I’ll be walking sections of the Pilgrim’s Way that I’ve walked in the past, so it will be quite exciting to walk those again.

I’m trying to decide what I should pack in Pepe (my rucksack). I’ll be leaving for Spain 2 days after I reach Canterbury, so won’t have much time to repack….I’m going to keep it as light as possible and of course I won’t be taking my flip flops LOL According to the weather website, the best months to travel in England are¬†May,¬†June, September and¬†October. These months generally have the most pleasant temperatures and less rain.¬†July¬†and¬†August¬†are the warmest months, but are also the wettest…. which is not what I want to read!!!! Does this mean I’ll need my rain poncho? I hope my shoes can handle the mud LOL

pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, walking the pilgrims way, pilgrimage to canterbury, domeday vbook villages, long distance walks in england, national trail england,

my walking poles will definitely be helping me along the Pilgrim’s Way

Thankfully I don’t have to buy the rucksack, shoes, walking poles and all the paraphernalia that I had to buy in 2016/17 for my Portuguese Camino. So hopefully it will be a lot less costly than that trip. However, I’ve been investigating the prices and boy, it’s not cheap to fly to Spain anymore. No surprise there I guess.

There’s quite a lot to be considered when planning these walks. I’m not one of those people that can just sling on a rucksack, head out and start walking….I like to plan things. If I decide to do something impulsive along the way, then that’s fine. But I like to know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. So atm I’m researching, listing, checking venues, and deciding on dates et al.¬† Anyway, I just enjoy creating spreadsheets, and to the truth of that, my daughter would testify. LOL

pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, walking the pilgrims way, pilgrimage to canterbury, domeday vbook villages, long distance walks in england, national trail england,

The Pilgrim’s Way Lenham – Domesday Book village

Onwards…….along The Pilgrim’s Way

 

 

Read Full Post »

The weather in north east Wales has been pretty grim recently; much of what you’d expect mid-winter really…..but still hard to deal with LOL We’ve been pelted with rain, sleet, hail and even snow on the crest of the Berwyn’s. The problem with the rain is that it’s a bit like the April showers you get in Ireland…it showers down, clears, you get excited and think okay I can get out now, and by the time you put your shoes on, it starts raining again. I’ve given up and decided just to get on with planning my September pilgrimages. and writing this blog.

Even though I haven’t been out much, I have managed to slip in a couple of walks, one of which caught me out; the skies had cleared, bright blue so I quickly put my shoes on, grabbed my poles and set off. Whilst stopped at the post office for envelopes it started to rain again URGH!! So cutting the walk short, instead I popped into St Nicholas Church; always worth a visit.

st nicholas church montgomery, welsh countryside, war memorial montgomery, places to see in wales,

St Nicholas Church, Montgomery, Powys, Wales from October 2017

A Grade 1 listed 13th century (circa 1227) Norman Church with additions from the 15th and 19th centuries, the church contains an example of a pre-reformation rood screen brought from Chirbury Priory together with the rood-loft and the stalls with their misericords after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

st nicholas church montgomery, welsh countryside, war memorial montgomery, places to see in wales,

Pre-reformation Rood screen St Nicholas Church, Montgomery, Powys, Wales

Within the church is the ornate tomb of Richard Herbert (d. 1593). Herbert was the lord of Montgomery Castle, and father of the poet and cleric George Herbert. Also buried here is Richard, 2nd Baron of Chirbury, who died in 1655, the last of the Herbert family to live at the castle. The tomb is rather extravagant as they mostly were and the effigies are ornate and quite lifelike, the features of the encumbents clearly detailed.

st nicholas church montgomery, welsh countryside, war memorial montgomery, places to see in wales,

Memorial tomb of Richard Herbert and wife at St Nicholas Church, Montgomery, Powys, Wales

At the foot of the tomb are the effigies of 2 knights. Quite marvellous. I haven’t been able to find much information about these effigies.

st nicholas church montgomery, welsh countryside, war memorial montgomery, places to see in wales,

Knight effigies in St Nicholas Church, Montgomery, Powys, Wales

The stained glass windows are absolutely beautiful. I love visiting old churches, they contain ever so much history.

The 2nd walk I manage to get in without getting too wet was just before the new band of weather hit us. I was intent on reaching the castle but on impulse I decided to walk up to the War Memorial on Town Hill that I had been urged to go and see…apparently the views from there are stupendous.

welsh countryside, war memorial montgomery, places to see in wales,

half way up; fabulous views across the Welsh countryside looking east towards Shropshire

So turning off the road I slipped through the kissing gate just before the castle entrance and headed up the steep incline , steps provided by knotted tree roots and stones. Thankfully this was before the rain, but even so the ground was muddy and mucky and my shoes squelched noisily as I plodded uphill. I finally reached the road (muddy track) that takes you right to the top of the hill…elevation 1050 feet above sea-level, as I discovered when I got there. I walked and walked for ages, not having realised just how far it was from the road….funny how folks don’t tend to tell you those kind of details….”Oh, it’s just up the hill from the castle”. Hmmm. As I climbed and climbed two ladies jogged past…I was astounded…the slope was very steep and the ground totally squelchy. How do they not slip and fall. I just take my eye off the ground for a second and I’m over. As always I was ever so grateful for my walking poles. The description on the website I located says:

  • Going: Medium difficulty. Climbs steeply to a high local hilltop. Slippy in damp conditions.

Noooo kidding!!!! After 15 minutes of climbing, by which stage I was beginning to get out of breath, I finally saw the monument.

welsh countryside, war memorial montgomery, places to see in wales,

War Memorial Montgomery, Powys, Wales and an ordnance survey triangulation station

It’s enormous and wayyyyy bigger than I anticipated. But finally I was there, and the views were as spectacular as I had been told. There’s a viewpoint stone with a disc on the top and directional markings showing where and how far places are from that point. It reminded me of the marker I saw on the Malverns I climbed …oh gosh…..ages ago.

welsh countryside, war memorial montgomery, places to see in wales,

War Memorial Montgomery, Powys, Wales and distance marker – 1050 feet above sea-level

Although the weather was overcast and cloudy I could still see for miles and miles. The distant mountain peaks various shades of blue and grey, as they disappeared into the distance, the hovering clouds tinged pink by the setting sun.

welsh countryside, war memorial montgomery, places to see in wales,

fabulous views across the Welsh countryside looking west

From down the valley I could hear sheep bleating and the occasional roar of a car rushing by on the Kerry Road. Thankfully I didn’t meet any cows. It was fairly breezy and with scant vegetation or trees to break the flow of wind it got quite blustery, but not so much that it spoilt my visit. The crest of the hill is bereft of much else besides a massive expanse of grass and a couple of small stands of wind-blown trees.

The memorial is quite enormous and I wonder why they felt the need to plant it so high up. I’m sure it must be visible from miles away. The neighbour across the road very kindly showed me a newspaper cutting of the unveiling on 23.04.23….it’s been up there for 95 years,can you imagine that!!! Weirdly my birth day and month (but not year…. DUH!!)

War Memorial Montgomery, Powys, Wales, welsh countryside, war memorial montgomery, places to see in wales,

War Memorial Montgomery, Powys, Wales,

Apparently it’s made of Portland stone and was transported to Montgomery by train and then taken up to the crest by horse cart. My heart aches for the poor horses…that stone is big and heavy. It’s also quite weird to look at the photo and realise that all the people in the image are dead by now. We are all so transient and yet these memorials we raise are still there and last way longer than we do. You have to be dead to be remembered.

There are not many more trees now than then. In all I walked 4.09 kms/2.56¬† miles with an elevation gain of 139 meters…

I look forward to the weather clearing a bit before I leave next week…I’d like to walk another section of Offa’s Dyke and possibly walk as far as the river – which I still haven’t seen.

For more about Montgomery’s War Memorial, I located this website which offers further information on how to get there and what you can see.

 

Read Full Post »

I was chatting to my daughter yesterday and remarked that I had been particularly blessed this year. Usually when you get to the end of the year you kinda feel like there is more that could/should be done before the year ends (well I do), and the last few days of December are spent cramming in just a few more activities. But this year I can truly say that I have had a year jam-packed with adventures, and for that, I am truly grateful.

inspirational quotes

Die with memories, not dreams

So to that end I decided to list my 2017 adventures, and was astounded at how much I had actually done, and how many places I have actually been to besides all my Camino 2017 practice walks that took me to some fantastic places. So this is my final blog for 31 Days of Gratitude РDay 31 Р2017 in review.

January

New Year’s Day swim 01.01.2017 Broadstairs Beach, Isle of Thanet, Kent

New Year's Day, Broadstairs

New Year’s Day, Broadstairs

Wedding Dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping…so much fun

Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England

visit the isle of wight

A visit to the isle of Wight

Places I went while I was there; Nettlestone (1086 Domesday Book village),20170116_144130-01 Bembridge Windmilll, Brading Roman Villa, Carisbrooke Castle, Cowes, Ryde, rode on a Hover craft, The Needles and Quarr Abbey.

And Osborne House


Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick Park, London

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

February
Oxted, Surrey – the Greenwich Meridian runs through the town

Oxted

A closer look at Oxted

Limpsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

Down House – home of Charles Darwin

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Tatsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

tatsfield surrey

South East England’s highest village; Tatsfield. Ref wikipedia: “In¬†Anglo-Saxon England, Tatsfield lay within¬†Tandridge¬†hundred. In 1086 it was held by Anschitill (Ansketel) de Ros from the¬†Bishop of Bayeux. Its Domesday assets were: ? hide. It had 2¬†ploughs. It rendered 60 shillings (¬£3) to its¬†feudal¬†overlords per year.”

Tandridge & Crowhurst, Surrey

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Dublin, Ireland

 

Trim Castle & Trim, Ireland

March
City of Winchester, Hampshire, England

Winchester

Winchester

Torquay, seaside resort – Devon

torquay

Torquay

April

Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Poggibonsi, Sienna, Lucca РItaly

 

May

Newcastle, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

 

Dark Hedges – Game of Thrones, N. Ireland

the dark hedges northern ireland

The Dark Hedges – scenes for Game of Thrones were shot in this area

Sevenoaks, Kent, England

 

June
Tonbridge, Kent, England

Ironbridge, Shropshire, England – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lenham, Kent, England

Lenham

Lenham

July
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route – Southwark to Canterbury

Battle of Britain Airshow, Headcorn

St Augustine’s Way – Ramsgate to Canterbury

August
Arundel, and Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England

Bromham, Houghton House with my lovely friends Lynne & Tim and Elstow (birthplace of John Bunyan) – Bedfordshire, England

Bronham, Houghton House, Elstow

Bromham, Houghton House, Elstow

Zip Line with Zip World in London with my daughter

September
Walked the Caminho Portuguese – Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain 240 kms – Both UNESCO World Heritage sites

Coimbra, Portugal – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

October
Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

November
Caernarfon Castle, Wales – site where Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway Line Train ride; Caenarfon to Portmadogg through Snowdonia

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Porthmadogg, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Portmadogg, Wales

Climbed Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd Рhighest mountain in Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Montgomery, Powys, Wales –¬†The Treaty of¬†Montgomery¬†was signed 29 September 1267 in¬†Montgomeryshire. By this treaty King Henry III of¬†England¬†acknowledged Llywelyn ap Gruffudd as Prince of Wales.

Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery, Wales

December
Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Christmas in Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent

xmas 2017

Christmas 2017 with my delightful family

And in total, between 01.01.2017 & 31.12.2017 I have walked well over 1100 miles.

What an extraordinary year; 2017.IMG_20171231_100927_404

p.s. Days 14-30 Days of Gratitude will follow shortly….I eventually ran out of time ūüėČ

Read Full Post »

I saw this update on a friend’s Facebook profile a few days ago.¬† At this time of year it’s a timeous reminder that, as many people celebrate Christmas and the birth of Christ, he grew up to say that we should love all mankind, not just those we deem worthy. This is her post: “I was just reading a comment on a thread where people seeking refugee were referred to as a burden on the host countries welcoming them.
There is such a fundamental issue here with how we perceive and define people who are in so many ways just like you or I. This issue holds us back as societies and is detrimental to those seeking refuge within our borders. If we see people as burdens and handle them as such, we not only take away their dignity, but we don’t see their potential or industriousness and empower them to reach it, to the betterment of the whole of society.
These are human beings. One of them is my partner. Some are his family or our friends.

What the hell is wrong with this world – we have such a sense of privilege and entitlement. It’s nothing more than geographical lottery that we were born in countries which aren’t currently torn apart by war or famine. We have no right to deny that right to peace and safety to those who weren’t so lucky in the geographical lottery.
What right do we dare to think we have to consider others as a burden, when it is nothing more than luck… geographical lottery… which means that we are not seeking refuge within their shores at this time? We are all human. It’s about time we remembered it and started treating one another with more kindness and humility. God knows our world needs it. God knows we all need it.”

Let us remember that Jesus too was a refugee. That he was born in a stable with lowly cattle in attendance. He wasn’t born in a fancy palace to wealthy white European parents. He preached love of mankind. He didn’t say you had to be a Christian to be loved, in fact he was an Aramic¬† Jew and not a Christian. His disciples and followers are known as Christians and shared his beliefs and philosophy around the world, he didn’t say only preach to those people living in nice houses, with lots of money.

Refugees fall under the category of humankind, of humanity. Refugees are people. Not a burden. Hopefully at this time of year, in a ‘Christian’ country, we can remember that.

Let us be grateful for what we have, and that we are not refugees being considered a burden.

Read Full Post »

31 Days of Gratitude – this has been an interesting exercise so far. When I started this theme I thought for sure I’d be focusing on the material rather than the intangible….but it seems my mind had other ideas.

I started off with my creature comforts; then to my job, from there I swung over to another creature comfort, and then I hit the material stuff…and from there it’s gone in the direction of love, experiences and the intangible. So far I’ve been grateful for indoor heating, my job, being able to cook, my laptop, learning how to invest, parental love, walking the Camino, experiencing snow, the love of pets, experiencing enchantment, having opportunities, being able to read….

Today I find myself leaning towards being grateful for awareness. It’s a scary old world with all the new technology we are exposed to; mobile phones, the internet, AI developments, gestural interfaces and now crypto-currencies. Although the latter is not new, in comparison to the others it’s still wet behind the ears, as am I. Since joining up and buying Bitcon my mind (and nerves) have gone through a range of emotions the like of which I’ve never experienced before. This is the only time in my life that a graph has held such a fascination. I need one of those screens like they had in that film with Tom Cruise; the Minority report. LOL

Besides being aware of all the new technology, we have to be aware of the ‘dark web’ so to speak; the scams, and hacks, and viruses that abound along with all that’s marvellous about all these new aspects of life. Daily we read about a new bank scam, or a major hacking attack, or fraudsters making off with millions of dollars. The sheer number of scams that abound today are bewildering and frightening. You have to be super aware. In order to protect your internet browsing you have to pay out large sums of money to keep your equipment safe. You can no longer be polite to someone on the phone who calls purporting to be from your bank (or receiving an email). Someone I’m close to was recently scammed by a very slick operator who managed to deceive her into thinking she was actually dealing with her bank. He had all the right protocols, the right questions and details that only the bank should have known about…..and she was scammed out of ¬£13k+. Thankfully due to a total cock-up by the relevant bank they had to reimburse her all the money, but a great number of other people were scammed in the same way and they haven’t been refunded.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/08/scam-victims-fail-take-reasonable-care-will-not-get-penny-ofcompensation/

Being aware and keeping abreast of news for anything to do with the internet or the latest scam is vital if we are to be safe in our adventures on the web.

Which brings me to a current bug-bear of mine…..plastic. I’ve become very much aware of the devastating effect plastic is having on our lives. Having access to the internet is brilliant at being able to keep up to date with what is happening with raising awareness of this pernicious product. I joined the Plastic Pollution Coalition facebook page last year and have kept myself aware of the latest news; both good and bad. If you watched Blue Planet 2 a couple of nights ago you cannot fail to see how devastating an effect our lifestyle is having on the world’s oceans and our future.

We, as humans, are already eating plastic in our fish. Those microscopic bits of plastic are going to be our undoing.

Although programmes like Blue Planet 2 and organisations like the Plastic Pollution Coalition are doing a terrific job in raising awareness, it is not enough. We have to educate ourselves. We have to become more aware of why so much plastic is ending up in the oceans and what we can do about it.

Disposable plastics are made to last forever. A plastic water bottle takes 450 years to break down. Where does it break down to?Boomerange Alliance - Plastic Doesn't Go Away resizedScreen Shot 2017-06-20 at 1 It goes into the oceans. It’s killing the sea-life that the health of our oceans depend upon…..and finally it is going to kill us.

plastic pollution. raising awareness, blue planet 2, plastic pollution, no straw november, raising awareness

Shared via @nomoresingleplastic #nomoreplastic #breakfreefromplastic #plasticpollutes #marinelitter It’s frightening the amount of single use plastic that we humans use that ends up in the ocean and rivers. What are your thoughts on single use plastic? And what do you do to avoid it? It’s incredibly difficult to find foodstuffs that don’t come in plastic.

plastic pollution. raising awareness, blue planet 2, plastic pollution, no straw november, raising awareness

I’m grateful for these types of organisations and programmes that are bringing the plastic pollution battle to the forefront of our awareness and especially to those companies/organisations that are actually doing something about it.

plastic pollution. raising awareness, blue planet 2, plastic pollution, no straw november, raising awareness

Edible Six Pack Rings

If only our Governments weren’t so fixated on making money, then they would do something rather more drastic about firstly raising awareness of the huge problem we face and secondly, actually doing something about it.

The most important thing to do now, is to ban the use of disposable¬†plastics unconditionally. By doing this,¬†the huge disposable¬†market will disappear. But Governments are slow to act…..this has been a problem for well over 2 decades now and still they are acting sluggishly about actually doing something drastic to curb the growing problem. Organisations are hugely responsible for the production of single-use plastic; bottled water, fizzy drinks (no huge brand names are mentioned here….think!!), plastic straws (Over 500,000,000 plastic¬†straws¬†are used each day in the United States), plastic cups, plastic cutlery, plastic plates, plastic wrapping, plastic toothpicks, plastic ties, balloons, plastic toys (usually cheap rubbish from China that breaks within a day or so anyway), bubble wrap, plastic bags, plastic carrier bags, plastic milk bottles etc etc etc.

Once I became aware of the huge problem, I started looking at where I could cut plastic out of my ‘diet’. The first thing to go were bottles of water. Then I signed a pledge to never use straws again (last year), I joined the #nostrawNovember campaign,

I stopped buying take-away coffees, and take-away food that comes in polystyrene containers.  It is essential to me that I keep myself aware of these issues and hopefully share my findings with others in order to raise their awareness. The internet is brilliant for research and for raising awareness of the issues we face. Platforms like google, twitter, facebook, instagram and pinterest are excellent sources of information and for raising our awareness of the issues and some of the solutions.

Today I am grateful for awareness. I’m grateful for the technology that allows us to raise our own awareness of the issues that we face in the world today, and the awareness of others.

I’m also grateful to people like this wee lass who at the age of 9 is super aware of the problems that plastic products impose and is not only raising awareness of the issues but actually doing something about it¬†http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/nine-year-old-wants-to-end-plastic-pollution/

Be aware http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/42309891/six-simple-ways-to-cut-back-on-plastic

#nomoresingleplastic #nomoreplastic #breakfreefromplastic #plasticpollutes #marinelitter

31 Days of Gratitude – Day 12

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

robbo worldtraveller

Because I am a traveller I can look down on the birds and up at the fishes. I collect moments and can venture back in time to lost worlds. I seize life and simultaneously escape it at will. Because I am a traveller I envy no man at home.

FiftyFourandAHalf

More than just another wiseass

Ger's Camino Blog - Camino de Santiago

Making sense of my Camino Francés

Paw Prints Weekly

The student newspaper of Glen a. wilson high school

Something Crypto

Adventures in cryptocurrency and other money stuff.

Another Station, Another Mile

The merry misadventures of living, studying and travelling abroad.

Jill's Scene

A small town take on the big, wide world

Alan walks to Santiago de Compostela

A pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port in south west France to Santiago de Compostela on the north west cost of Spain

Badgers Bonkers Walks

South West Coast Path and other adventures