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mapmywalk, the pilgrims way, walking the pilgrims way, long distance walks england, backpacking, women walking soloSunday 26th August 2018 Day 6 – Guildford to Tanners Hatch : 9.73 kms / 21155 steps    elevation 216

after a fairly good night’s sleep I started off fairly early after a solid breakfast. Walking along the main road, I was wishing it wasn’t Sunday so I could take the bus back to St Catherine’s village LOL

I reached Ye Olde Ship Inn fairly quickly. First stop was St Catherine’s Chapel;

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St Catherine’s Chapel, Guildford

built around 1317 as a chapel of ease for St Nicholas Church in Guildford, the building was abandoned during the reformation. A lovely little kitty visited me for a chat while I was exploring. The views from the hill were amazing.

Trotting back the first of MANY a downhill over the day, I walked along Ferry Lane passing some super houses towards the River Wey where I discovered this lovely little poem alongside the stream.

I crossed the bridge over the river and walked through a really beautiful nature reserve.

I reached a large green; Shalford Park and following the guide crossed the road and into one of the very few references to the Pilgrims Way I saw along the whole way. Not all roads are pretty.

Passing a pretty cottage that looks like it has the best location ever,

walking the pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, long distance walks england, women walking solo

my ideal location

I followed the sandy lane and soon entered Chantry Wood….now this is more like it. Dappled sunlight shone through the leafy trees, with a breath-taking view across the fields. I stopped for a short while for food etc and watched the world go by…everyone and their uncle cycled past! Weird.

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Chantry Wood, the Pilgrim’s Way

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fantastic views across Surrey

Just after I pulled my backpack on and started walking again, it started to rain and that’s where my troubles began…the ground is very rutted and very sandy in some areas, and walking in the rain along slippy gravel roads was no fun at all, albeit very beautiful. I had by now lost one of the feet off Gemini (my walking poles) and was walking with only one pole, so it was quite tricky to keep my balance. Beside that I couldn’t walk with a pole and carry a guide book in my hand at the same time LOL

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The Pilgrim’s Way

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The Pilgrim’s Way – many feet have passed this way…

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my ideal environment, along the Pilgrim’s Way – flat!!!

I eventually reached St Martha’s Hill about an hour and half after leaving St Catherine’s Chapel and set about climbing and climbing and climbing. Jeepers….I knew from the guide that it was a hill, but holy moly, it’s one thing seeing a hill on a map to actually climbing it with a heavy backpack in the rain. But twas sooo well worth the effort for the views.

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Sometimes called Martyr’s Hill after Thomas Becket, the hill rises 570 feet above sea level giving a view of 7 counties…on a clear day. Today was NOT a clear day, but the view was still amazing. The church; Church of St Martha on the Hill, dating from about 1100, is the church the old man that I met had mentioned the day before near Seale.

The church stands at 573 feet above sea-level and the views are extraordinary. It’s traditionally believed that the original name of the hill was Saints and Martyrs Hill, the martyr being St Thomas of Canterbury.  It is the only church in Surrey to be right on the Pilgrims’ Way.  I stepped through the door to explore and managed a few minutes visit before the morning service began. The Verger kindly signed my pilgrim’s passport and showed me around, pointing out a few of the more significant features. There’s a stained glass window featuring St Thomas Becket.

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I left the church and set off downhill as per the guide. It was raining quite solidly by now and the ground was very wet and slippery. I went down down down and down some more…hanging onto the roots of trees and anything else I could get my hands onto, I slipped and slid down a very steep and most unpleasant pathway; almost vertical. A few people passed me going up..possibly to the church. As I walked I kept referring to the guide for the landmarks, but wasn’t seeing them. I was becoming a tad concerned that I may well be going the wrong way. Suddenly and without any warning I slipped and fell….really hard, onto my bottom. It took the wind out of my sails. I decided to check my walking app and yes, I was definitely not going in the right direction….now, in pain, and slipping on the wet sand, I had to climb back up this blasted hill. It turns out I had been heading downhill towards Chilworth Manor….which was not my destination. urgh.

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going the wrong way… downhill

Finally I got myself back up, reached the crest of the hill and tried to decipher the instructions in the guide, and after much head scratching I realised where I had gone wrong. “Walk through the churchyard and on the far side follow the sandy path which soon veers slightly to the right to go downhill”. Which is what I had done in the first place. What he doesn’t say is that the correct side is directly behind the church (going east) and not to the side (going south). While doing my research on the history of the church, I noticed this information: (The knoll is crossed east-to-west by the Pilgrims’ Way, which is otherwise on the North Downs.) Now THAT would have been useful information in the guide!!!

church of st martha on the hill surrey, the north downs way, pilgrims way guildford, river wey, walking the pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, long distance walks england, women walking solo

leaving St Martha on the Hill church through the EAST gate, not the south LOL

I was totally unimpressed and in quite a lot of pain by now.  But I pulled up my big girl panties and made my way down what was a very sandy path, but a lot less steep and somewhat easier to navigate. the writer may want to rethink his description for this section (amongst others). I now saw the landmarks mentioned in the guide…hoorah! I was on the right track, albeit still very steep and very slippery and it was still raining. I was getting more and more wet, despite the rain poncho, and wasn’t very happy.

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although I’m on the right track, this was almost as bad as the wrong track..slippery and wet

The promised landmarks were now visible and accounted for….

I trudged on but somehow I was totally off course and ended up walking along the very busy A25 motorway, with cars rushing past. I managed to criss-cross the duel carriageway according to where it was safe to walk, and eventually I reached The Silent Pool just on 12.40. Beyond arriving at The Silent Pool I really had no idea which way I was meant to go. I had packed the guide away because it was getting soaked in the rain and besides which I couldn’t see through my misted up glasses.

the silent pool surrey, walking the pilgrims way, the pilgrims way winchester to canterbury, long distance walks england, women walking solo

The Silent Pool…..a really beautiful place….and it’s still raining

My planned accommodation for the night was YHA Tanners Hatch on Ranmore Common which was well off the Pilgrim’s Way route. Since I had no idea where I was in relation to the YHA, was soaking wet and totally dispirited and totally so not in the mood for any further walking, I made the difficult decision to quit for the day. However, being a Sunday, none of the taxis would come out for less than £20, so since I did have to continue on to Shere…only another 2 miles they said, I continued walking. 😦

My instagram post revealed just how dispirited I was feeling : “The Dabbling Duck, Shere: Well I’ve had to concede defeat and quit for today. Its been raining since 10.15, I’m soaked to the skin, I can’t see out my glasses to read the guide book, which is a moot point since the book is so wet I cant see the words. 😢😢😢 I’ve stopped in a village called Shere which is roughly halfway, having lunch of lovely hot tomato soup and a pot of tea. I’ve organised a cab to pick me up and take me to my accommodation for tonight. The paths are treacherous and slippery or just puddles of water and I’ve already had a fall walking THE WRONG way down a virtually vertical path down St Martha’s Hill, nothing damaged except my dignity. Except I then had to climb back up again, at which point I surveyed the landscape more thoroughly and found the right way. One of those slightly obscure instructions again. By the bottom of the hill I abandoned the guide book and put my glasses in my pouch and followed my nose, finally arriving by luck at Silent Pool. From there they guided me to Shere where my walking for today must end. From here its on to my accommodation for tonight, a hot shower and bed. I believe tomorrow will be better weather. Hmm 🙄🙄🙄😜😜 So onwards.

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The Dabbling Duck; a hot bowl of red pepper soup and rustic bread. delicious

Shere…oh my gosh…what a stunning village. Despite the rain, I was enchanted by the architecture. One of those villages that you wish you could live in; Shere is your quintessential English village with picturesque ancient houses, quaint beyond words. It’s featured in Bridget Jones’s Diary amongst other films. I am definitely going to visit again. Delighted to discover that Shere is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book 🙂

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By now, being wet and very cold and as mentioned before (LOL), I had to sit in a tiny corner of the restaurant to avoid dripping water all over the place. I was absolutely not in the mood for walking. So I gave up and arranged for a cab to take me the final distance to the YHA. I enjoyed the soup at the Dabbling Duck and the tea warmed me up. It was a very good idea to have a meal since there was nothing at the YHA and I didn’t have any food on me besides dried pasta (which I had for breakfast the next day).

My final instagram post for the day – Tanners Hatch: Just about the time that I was starting to despair, after having walked another 4 kms in the rain (after my cab dropped me at the post code but not the location  which is seriously remote and off the grid 🙄) I popped in at a farm for directions. I could see the YHA on my Google maps but not how to get there. 😢😢 Anyways eventually I found the place after stumbling about and almost caving in to despair, and after checking in, I have a bed for the night, a dry towel, dry clothes and a cup of lovely hot herbal tea. Atm I’m sitting in the lounge of the hostel and knitting the 2nd bootee of a pair while chatting to the other occupants.

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bootees for Peanut – I’m hoping these bootees will encourage my grandchild to be adventurous

There’s a marvellous fire burning brightly in the grate and its lovely and cosy. I’m almost dry and nearly warm 😊😊 So glad I decided to use my contingency fund towards a cab and get here earlier, I would never have found this place in the dark.😖😖 So this is me, signing out till tomorrow.

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our YHA host; Dave got a lovely hot raoring fire going…just the ticket

The area around the YHA is stunning, trees everywhere you look and so many shades of green. Although it was very wet, it was so beautiful I wished I could stay a few days. I’ll definitely have to go back.

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tucked away amongst the trees; YHA Tanners Hatch

After chatting to the other hostelers over tea and the delicious warmth of the fire, I said goodnight and went to bed at about 9pm. Oh gosh I was soooo tired. Too many hills, too much rain, too cold and too hungry. Oh well….onwards LOL

For more about the history of St Martha’s Church http://www.parishofchilworth.org.uk/history/st-marthas/full-history/

In case you missed Day 5 of my walk along The Pilgrim’s Way – click here

A short video of the walk; scenes of the route

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Lest We Forgetsilent soldiers, silent silhouettes, world war one, blood swept lands and seas of red, centenary, lest we forget,

As part of the many events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, a number of Silent Silhouettes were installed in different parts of the country.

I first saw these ghostly figures in London at St Pancras station one day as I was in transit from work to home.

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Silent Silhouettes

I saw a few more as I was walking The Pilgrim’s Way in August.

Puttenham –

silent soldiers, silent silhouettes, world war one centenary, lest we forget,

Silent Silhouette – Puttenham

Chaldon

silent soldiers, silent silhouettes, world war one centenary, lest we forget,

Silent Silhouette – Chaldon

Limpsfield

silent soldiers, silent silhouettes, world war one centenary, lest we forget,

Silent Silhouettes – Limpsfield

A poignant and fitting reminder of the huge sacrifice that was made by ordinary people; people who believed in freedom and King and country….and who can forget the extraordinary Poppy installation at the Tower of London in 2014, as people from around the country came together to plant over 803,000 ceramic poppies in a breath-taking vista; Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

silent soldiers, silent silhouettes, world war one, blood swept lands and seas of red, centenary, lest we forget,

Planting the final Poppy at the Tower of London 11.11.2014

Currently on at the Tower of London is the amazing ‘Deepening Shadows’ ritual; an evolving installation with the Tower moat gradually illuminated by individual flames. A powerful symbol of remembrance.

I’m planning on attending the Remembrance Sunday service on Whitehall at the Cenotaph this Sunday 11.11.2018 as we mark 100 years since Armistice Day in 1918…a day that officially, albeit not actually, brought The Great War to an end…the war to end all wars…..

except it didn’t and hasn’t.

 

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I was in London last week and decided to make a visit to the Imperial War Museum to see the Weeping Window…..a cascade of several thousand ceramic poppies created in 2014 for the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London.

Once the installation was uninstalled most of the poppies were sold off to the public and some went on tour around the country to various landmarks.

14-18 NOW is bringing the two sculptures Wave and Weeping Window to audiences across the UK as part of the Poppies Tour. The sculptures are free to view.

Sadly the tour is just about over but click here to see the various places they were installed between 2014 and now
https://www.wherearethepoppiesnow.org.uk/poppy-tour/

Seeing the poppies once again was so poignant and brought back memories of the day I helped to plant some of them at the Tower of London’s moat back in 2014, as well as the finale on November 11th when, during a very moving ceremony, they planted the final poppy after roll-call.

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Tower of London poppies

tower of london, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, tower poppies, poppies tour, 100th anniversary armistice, world war one

Tower of London poppies (taken when I still did 3 days in London)

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Redworld war one armistice, tower poppies, blood swept lands and seas of red, poppies tour, 100th anniversary of armistice, imperial war museum weeping window, tower of london poppies

world war one armistice, tower poppies, blood swept lands and seas of red, poppies tour, 100th anniversary of armistice, imperial war museum weeping window, tower of london poppies

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London 11.11.2014

The Weeping Window installation will be at the Imperial War Museum until the 18th November 2018

https://www.1418now.org.uk/commissions/poppies-weeping-window-iwm-london/

Nearest tube station: Lambeth North on the Bakerloo line

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Day 3

Well what a day it was. The 3rd of 4 days of the Doula Course and turned out to be completely different to what I was anticipating or expecting. It was an emotional roller-coaster. I’d been surrounded by some amazing women and although it was an extraordinary day, I was emotionally shattered….in a good way. I was been surprised by some of the things people have said about me, how they see things I thought were well hidden. The exercises we did, that made us dig really deep and although in a safe space, it’s left us feeling very vulnerable…but safe.

Interestingly some of the women have said how doing this course has made them realise how unprepared they are for working in this field, and how they feel that perhaps its not for them, yet its left me feeling more empowered and ready to go (so to speak).

We also did some role playing (which I’ve always hated, and avoided at all costs), but weirdly I found it really easy to slip into another persona and surprised the group (apparently). It was actually good fun, and the prognosis is that I may appear to be all sweetness and light (uhmm really??) 😂 😂 but that I’m really good at shocking them with my ability to be someone else. Actually our group practically ended up on the floor with laughter (very inappropriate laughter) at some of the stuff that came out of my mouth 😂 😂 I actually threatened to send one client to hospital in an ambulance on a stretcher… In context of course. But it was hilarious. We were laughing so much that the facilitator came to find out what was going on and none of us could speak for laughing. They’re a brilliant group and its been truly enlightening. I love learning new stuff and exploring preconceptions and how our beliefs and values are shaped by society, expectations, outside influences and family dynamics. All good. But boy am I tired 😴 😴 😴 ready to sleep now. I didn’t even have the energy to watch Strictly Come Dancing. 🤔🤔🤔

In case you missed the original blog There’s more to dying than meets the eye

 

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This is a very timely and useful article. It definitely pertains to me in that climate change and the effect that plastic is having on the oceans has  been causing extreme anxiety, especially since I learned that my daughter is expecting a baby…her first child; my first grandchild. Since her and her husband announced the baby’s pending arrival, my stress levels have gone up quite a lot #understatement

I’m doing as much as I can to negate my impact on the climate, but as they say in the article, individually we can only do so much. But if our governments are not taking responsibility or massive action then that in itself will cause more stress, and I can well imagine the scientists must be under extreme stress. Just the very fact that the UK government has allowed fracking to go ahead tells us the story of their interest in their citizens and community. Of course we know that they’re going to make money off it, and not necessarily for the public purse… #justsaying

There are people who will continue to deny it…. “It’s the people who don’t seem bothered by environmental crisis who need therapy the most, to figure out why they are so numb and in denial,’ he tells us.”

The article suggests joining local community based groups who are also environmental activists in order to keep sane. I have already joined a number of community groups on instagram and Facebook and its encouraging to see how much they are doing, it keeps me focused, as well as which I do what I can. But quite honestly, it does keep me awake at night 🌃

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/18/climate-change-is-causing-ecoanxiety-and-damaging-our-mental-health-what-can-we-do-8047167/?ito=cbshare

Actions I already take

Converting to veganism – an ongoing process and I do fall down occasionally when it comes to dairy products, although I have now finally converted to soya milk in my tea. 🙂

Saying no to plastic straws – I took a pledge nearly 2 years ago to never again use a plastic straw and I haven’t. Someone at a local coffee shop put a plastic straw in an avocado drink I was having and as my daughter said to the waitron “take it away before she goes into meltdown”. LOL

Saying no to plastic water bottles – I stopped this a long time ago. It’s bloody ridiculous to sell us water in plastic bottles that take thousands of litres to produce. We have tap water. We live in a 1st word country. We don’t draw water from an infected well. fck!! This is the one thing above all else that irks me the most.

Saying no to plastic bags – yup. makes sense. It’s seriously ironic that 3rd world countries like Rwanda, Kenya and Botswana as well as others have banned them. As usual the UK and USA and EU are WAY BEHIND.

Buying products in glass where available, even if its more expensive.

Buying products in cardboard where possible.

Not buying for fashion, but rather as I need it. Have you seen Stacey Dooley’s documentaries about the fashion industry?

Conserving water 💦 and being mindful of my usage.

Changes made by others due to my persistent requests:

Our local milkshake bar changed from plastic straws to biodegradable.

Our local chip shop changed from polystyrene boxes to compostable.

As individuals there is so much we can do, without experiencing overwhelm. I love the #2minutecleanup campaign on instagram

I share the devastating images of dead seabirds and other sea creatures from @balloonsblow in facebook

I am constantly alert as to what more I can do to make a difference and reduce my carbon footprint, and mindful of what I buy and why I buy it.

I try and set an example by modifying my behaviour

I try to share information for others to be aware of the catastrophic effects our throw-away plastic lifestyle is having on the planet.

I realise that we can’t live a life completely without plastic in the immediate future, but we can drastically reduce our consumption of the product by avoiding it wherever possible. – I used the word consumption, because as you know, microscopic plastic fibres are now in our water supply and our food chain….even in salt.

Regards going vegan, I get mocked by family members who feel comfortable with sending me what they see as humorous images of what is tantamount to cruelty to animals. Friends come up with the old bullshit of vegetables having feelings too and how they feel pain. That is throwback to when people who were going vegan were regarded as nutters or veganism was considered a fad. Its not. Try watching ‘What The Health’ on Netflix then come talk to me again.

The biggest impact you can have on saving this planet for future generations is to cut back on plastic, stop buying bottled water and if you can’t become vegan, at least try being vegetarian or flexitarian.

 

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I am currently attending a course on becoming an End of Life Doula. It fits in with my job and is something I have been interested in for quite a few years. It has been a very interesting journey so far. As part of our homework for the 2nd part of the course this weekend, we had to complete a few exercises relative to what we learned/experienced at the first weekend, so the first place I started was at http://kristiewest.com/aboutkristiewest/

Kristie is a long-standing friend of mine and I have always admired her approach to life and death. We actually met at an event where her path in life changed course, and took her on the journey that was to lead her to where she is now, and to specialising in her field of expertise. I’d like to share this with you because I fully believe that what she shares can have a profound affect on how we view or approach death and grief.

The course I’m doing has so far been very interesting and surprisingly the first section didn’t actually deal with death at all, but rather about our, the participants, beliefs and values. The exercises we did all revolved around us, the potential Doula and about how we think of death and relate to people.

We delved into subjects like confidentiality, communication skills, about our attitudes, ethics and most importantly about our listening skills. We spoke abut the types of listening and then we had to share a story from our lives to one of the group while they practised effective listening as another person observed how they ‘listened’. We explored our ideas and again beliefs on a range of subjects from euthanasia, keeping secrets, involving family, about a dying person’s last wishes, rituals about the role we would take and what we would find acceptable in that role or not.

I’m looking forward to the this weekend where we participate in another 2 days of training.

 

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Our local coffee machine at the station; Andy of the Red Bean Machine has gone ‘green’ 👏👏👏👏💚💚♻️♻️♻️♻️♻️ He’s now using fully biodegradable cups and lids made from starch, making them compostable. I’m well impressed at these small independent coffee shops/vans making a difference NOW and not PHASING it out by whatever date the large corporations and our governments come up with as a pathetic excuse to try impress us. THIS is impressive, time ⌚ for the big coffee chains to step up and BE THE CHANGE we want to see. There is no longer any excuse, alternatives to PLASTIC are available @starbucks @costacoffee @caffenero @pretamangeruk etc etc #bansingleuseplastic #nomoresingleuseplastic #nomoreplastic #bethechange #saveourplanet 🌏🌎🌍 #saveouroceans🌊 #saveourwildlife #stepup #BeLikeAndy #beaplanethero

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