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Absolutely gorgeous sunrise 🌅 again today but oh my gosh the wind is freezing. The tide was well out, albeit on its way back in.  Due to various maternity appointments we had today, and since I’m the nominated chauffeur, I didn’t get to walk all the way to Ramsgate and instead stopped at Dumpton Gap and then back.

sunrise on the isle of thanet, flood warnings for kent, amy johnson story herne bay

gorgeous sunrise. the calmness of the sea belies the stormy weather we had later that day

sunrise on the isle of thanet, flood warnings for kent, amy johnson story herne bay

Dumpton Gap

Apparently there was a flood warning with very high tides for the east coast from Whitstable to Margate.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to actually see the tide coz we were bouncing between hospitals and other appointments and only got home at 7.55pm after leaving at 10.20am 🙄🙄😉

But we did see some of the effects while in Herne Bay where we saw very rough seas whipped up by a freezing wind. We were there for a meeting with the La Leche League lady who was advising my daughter on breastfeeding and various other related issues. So very interesting. I wish I had known about all of this when I had my baby back in 1980. They are so much more progressive and so much has changed and yet the simple basics remain the same. The young lady that we met with is an absolute delight and incredibly knowledgeable. I came away with loads of literature.

We decided to stop off there for lunch and I spotted a fab little statue of Amy Johnson. I was totally surprised to see the statue there since I had not seen it on a previous visit a couple of years ago. It seems there is in fact a conspiracy theory attached – read more about the death of Amy Johnson off Herne Bay

sunrise on the isle of thanet, flood warnings for kent, amy johnson story herne bay

Amy Johnson bronze statue in Herne Bay – unfortunately the sun was behind so her face is in shadow

Amy Johnson bronze statue in Herne Bay

The Amy Johnson bronze in Herne Bay

You wouldn’t believe just how cold it was walking along that promenade; a frenzied wind whipped my hair about and froze my bones!!

After lunch we drove to Deal where my daughter had an ’emergency’ scan. We’re still not quite sure what the ’emergency’ was or why the scan had been ordered and apparently neither did anyone in the labour ward, which is where we drove to next and spent another couple of hours. I guess someone thought it was a good idea!!

I am ever so grateful that I took this time off to spend with my daughter. As it turns out she has been really ill with a nasty cold and subsequent hacking cough and would not have been able to drive herself to all these appointments, and since her husband doesn’t have a drivers license, he wouldn’t have been able to drive her either. I actually came under a lot of flak from my sister about wanting to spend this time with my daughter and was given a very sharp, irritated and frankly aggressive retort of “Why? She can cope!” when I made the mistake of mentioning to her back in May of 2018 that I was planning on taking 3 months off over January, February and March to help out with the new baby.

As it turns out, baby hasn’t yet arrived but my daughter is ill and I’ve been on hand to help out…cooking, loading the dishwasher, cleaning house, keeping the laundry up to date, shopping for odds and ends, frequent trips to the pharmacy for medication, and driving her to appointments. Isn’t that what Mothers are for? To help out!! I’ve no doubt they would have made alternative arrangements if I hadn’t been here, but how much more stressful it would have been having to rely on other people to drive them around.

Today’s walk : 5.94 kms / 9.352 steps

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Viking Bay to Dumpton Gap

Well nothing boring about life in our household. Besides the fact that we are waiting with bated breath for the baby to arrive, we had waters break last night, but they were not Mummy’s. LOL

My daughter and I were in her bedroom folding laundry and my son-in-law was in the bath. Suddenly we heard him yell something intelligible, ran to the bathroom to find out what was going on and heard the gushing of water (fortunately he was dressed by then). Initially we were like “oh it’s raining” but on opening the bathroom window we realised …nope not rain, the sound was coming from inside the bathroom. My son-in-law turned the basin tap on and the sound disappeared, turned it off again and the water gushed…but from where?

We all traipsed downstairs and to our horror water was gushing through the ceiling and into the kitchen. At that point we realised a pipe had clearly burst under the bath and as we started to look for where to turn the water off the lights blew LOL Darkness descended.

Pitch black and the 3 of us running around looking for our phones for a torch. After much confusion phones were found, a neighbour’s help secured, the electrics turned off, towels galore lined the cupboard edges, buckets under the water spouts and finally we located the stop-cock which was ironically just outside the garden gate. We also with the neighbours help located the interior tap and turned the water off. It turns out the tap is in my bedroom in the basement and I went to bed with visions of the water gushing out during the night all over my bed!!! Horrors!

Once the water flow had been stemmed to a trickle I set about mopping the pool of water in the kitchen and my daughter remarked that when she said she wanted a ‘water-birth’ this is not quite what she had in mind. I retorted that “yes, your waters broke, but not the ones you wanted”… more hilarity followed and before the ink had dried on her facebook update people were replicating the ‘waters broke’ theme.

Meanwhile once the excitement died down, the estate agent contacted and an emergency plumber sent out to determine the source of the damage and check the water was truly turned off, we settled down with bottles and jugs and kettle filled to see us through till the morrow….just in case. My daughter and I took a midnight stroll to the local hotel to use the loo LOL

Once life had settled down we watched a bit of TV and then we all retired to bed. Still no Peanut but a LOT of water. The Universe sure has a sense of humour.

On a side note, it was surprisingly warm outside when we walked to the hotel and I didn’t even need my jacket. This winter has been really weird, far too mild and a tad worrying. However I have been reliably informed that there is an Arctic Blast heading our way. I must dig out those gloves…..pronto.

We all survived the night, the floors have dried out, the water has stopped gushing, the plumber has been and replaced the culprit, the water supply is back on and the towels are being washed as I type, the waterboard folk have been to check why the valve on the stopcock is not working properly and the lino in the kitchen and the cupboards have survived the onslaught. The bathroom lino hasn’t fared so well. And my nerves are fraught.

It’s stressful enough that my daughter is so ill right on her term dates without the palaver of a burst water pipe. We had already spent a few hours at the Maternity Ward late yesterday afternoon to check that baby was ok as he wasn’t moving as much as normal and with all the coughing my daughter’s belly was very painful and her whole body aching from the strain. They hooked her up to the heart monitor and thankfully Peanut’s heart is beating strong and loud and in other good news, it appears he may well have turned from the breech position and be head down. They’ve ordered a scan for later this week to check.

If he has turned and is head down, then that means she may well be able to insist on having the water birth she wants…only it will not be from a burst water pipe on the floor of the kitchen.

Oh and we still don’t have lights as the electrics in the kitchen are still wet but thankfully we do have the electric sockets, so after 17 years in the UK we are now using side lamps for light…. just like the Brits hahahaha.  The electrician is expected at 3pm.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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

 

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

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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

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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

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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

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

it’s a lovely stretch of coastline

 

After having to cut my pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury short due to an injury, I went home to rest & recuperate. However, I still had a booking in Canterbury that needed to be picked up. Unfortunately I couldn’t cancel the booking since I had already moved it once from 2017 to 2018….

But, staying in Canterbury is no hardship, so even though I was disappointed at not being able to arrive as a completing pilgrim, I still had my booking at the Falstaff to look forward to.

So on the afternoon of the 4th September, my daughter and I took the train to Canterbury. I checked in at the Falstaff and although it was disappointing to not be sleeping in a room in the older, more historic part of the hotel, to my delight I had the most amazing room you could imagine. It was huge!!!

the falstaff inn canterbury, walking the pilgrims way, the pilgrims way from winchester to canterbury

my room at The Falstaff Inn, Canterbury – can I just move in and stay?

My daughter and I immediately made ourselves comfortable on the bed LOL

We had tea and chatted about life, my short pilgrimage, Canterbury and the baby.

To my absolute joy, the baby was very active that day and for the first time I got to feel my grandchild kicking away. I could enjoy that every day!!! 🙂 It’s such an extraordinary feeling. I’m so excited to be a Granny.

After resting for a while we walked into the centre of the city and went shopping. We found a fantastic baby carrier and I bought a lovely little puzzle for the baby. I love puzzles, baby’s Daddy loves puzzles , so I guess this little bambino will be learning how to build puzzles as soon as old enough to be able to puzzle them out.

I also bought a baby grow 🙂 too cute

We had a lovely afternoon meandering about the city…it’s so beautiful, then popped in at our favourite eatery….Eleto Chocolate Café for pancakes and tea.

pancakes

this is one of the most heavenly pancakes I have ever tasted. clearly we do this fairly often LOL taken on another trip to Canterbury

After that I walked my daughter back to the station where we said our goodbyes…I felt sad at leaving her coz she was meant to have not only walked the last day of my pilgrimage with me, but was to stay the night in Canterbury. However, with her being pregnant and all, our plans changed.

I strolled back into the city centre, photographing things I have photographed many times before LOL….I can never resist. The cathedral grounds were open now and I walked around just enjoying the sheer beauty of such an extraordinary building. I hope to return sooner rather than later after completing my walk along The Pilgrim’s Way.

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As soon as it was too dark for photos. it was back to the room…time for a long hot shower, tea and biscuits and into bed to watch tv.

I had a wonderful sleep – The bed was so comfy I could have stayed there for a week. Bliss. After a lovely cup of tea and a lazy morning, I went down for breakfast and then packed up to leave……homeward bound.

And so ended my first attempt at walking The Pilgrim’s Way. I hope/plan to finish the walk in April 2019, but I am quite keen to actually just walk the whole length again from Winchester…..insanity!!! Have I forgotten Boxhill already???

In case you missed the start of my pilgrimage from Winchester to …….Oxted (as it turned out) – my journey started here:

Revisiting the City of Winchester

Exploring Southampton

Day 1 – Winchester to Alresford

Day 2 – Alresford to Four Marks

Day 3 – Alton to Farnham

Day 4 – Farnham to Guildford

Day 5 – Exploring Guildford

Day 6 – Guildford to Shere & Tanners Hatch

Day 7 – Tanners Hatch to Merstham

Day 8 – Merstham to Oxted

Day 9 – My journey endeth – Homeward bound

 

Today I set off much earlier that the 2 previous days and had the joy and privilege of watching the sun rise. Sunrise was at 07:59 and I reached the promenade at 08:03. It is such a pleasure to be taking winter walks along this section of the Kentish coast, the views truly are just stunning and I enjoy it anew each and every time. When the time comes it is going to be very hard to leave this area….

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Viking Bay…….what a glorious view

Still very overcast and cloudy the colours of the sun against the cloudscape were breathtaking. The sea was almost, but not quite like pond today, the colour of mercury and because I was a lot earlier the tide was right in and I had to walk most of the way along the clifftops. I got as far as the Ramsgate Tunnels and then turned back for home. This section of the east coast is so beautiful and I feel so lucky to live here.

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a beautiful sunrise on the Isle of Thanet

walk 1000 miles, walks along the english coast, walks in england, english channel , sunrise

stunning light on the sea

walk 1000 miles, walks along the english coast, walks in england, english channel , sunrise

Ramsgate, Isle of Thanet

As usual most of the people out at this time of day were walking their dogs and I got to say hello to any number of happy little fellows, one of which was a gorgeous Labrador puppy…I got lots of wet nose kisses and muddy paw hugs from him. So cute I wanted to take him home with me LOL

I spent the rest of the day helping my daughter to sort out her laundry cupboard and part of her office. She’s so heavily pregnant now that any sort of exertion is just too much for her. Besides which she’s picked up a nasty cold that is making her so tired with the coughing and stuffy nose. She was at an event a few days ago and one of the women there had a heavy cold and had the audacity to say “Oh I get colds but I don’t pass them on”… Fuck. I do wish people would be more considerate and stay at home when they are ill. All they do is pass on their nasty germs to those who are more vulnerable and less able to cope with a cold. My daughter is banning anyone from visiting the baby if they have even so much as a sniffle.

Day 3/365 – Broadstairs to Ramsgate : 8.33 kms, 12823 steps

walk 1000 miles, walks along the english coast, coastal walks of england, the isle of thanet, long distance walks uk

Broadstairs to Ramsgate Steps

Walk 1000 miles

Getting off to a good start yesterday, today I left it a little late to start my walk so only got as far as Dumpton Gap before I headed back home. The weather has been so mild it’s almost difficult to believe its mid-winter. However there was a storm brewing across the channel and the sea was a completely different animal today with wild waves smashing up against the harbour wall and sending spray in every direction including over the gathering observers! It’s fascinating to see how these waves attract more and more people, it seems we cant resist a bit of wildness in our lives.

walk 1000 miles, english coast, isle of thanet, walks in england, winter waves at high tide, broadstairs harbour

super waves

As usual I was unable to resist and so before I set off for Dumpton Gap, I walked down to the harbour to watch and film the wave action. That sounds when the water hits the wall is so thrilling….a loud wwhump that sends shivers through the ground and up your spine.

walk 1000 miles, english coast, isle of thanet, walks in england, winter waves at high tide, broadstairs harbour

stormy weather

I spent ages just watching and filming, getting wet by a rouge wave that crept up from behind and splashed me with icy water. Not the first time and probably won’t be the last!

walk 1000 miles, english coast, isle of thanet, walks in england, winter waves at high tide, broadstairs harbour

waves smashing against the harbour wall

A brisk walk across the beach towards Louisa Bay and as the tide was coming in I had to walk along the concrete walkway rather than continue along the beach. I love this wild kind of weather, it’s so exhilarating and vibrant and energetic…make me feel so alive!

I find the chalk cliffs along the coastline to be endlessly fascinating. It’s incredible to think that these cliffs were once beneath the seas and formed from the skeletal remains of minute planktonic green algae that lived floating in the upper levels of the ocean. It’s sad to realise how quickly they are disintegrating and wearing away from sea erosion. The lumps of chalk left behind have hardened into rocks forming an alien landscape.

walk 1000 miles, english coast, isle of thanet, walks in england, winter waves at high tide, broadstairs harbour

chalk cliffs on the Isle of Thanet

walk 1000 miles, english coast, isle of thanet, walks in england, winter waves at high tide, broadstairs harbour

Dumpton Gap – the rocks from the worn away chalk cliffs look like an alien landscape

Coming back the clouds had moved on and the sky was a vibrant blue with puffy clouds here and there.

walk 1000 miles, english coast, isle of thanet, walks in england, winter waves at high tide, broadstairs harbour

reflections at Dumpton Gap, Isle of Thanet

walk 1000 miles, english coast, isle of thanet, walks in england, winter waves at high tide, broadstairs harbour

beautiful Broadstairs, a sight that always lifts my spirits

Once I got home, my daughter and I sat on the couch chatting about the baby and the different options she has now been left with since baby is presenting as breech. Little blighter….oh well. We’ll see.

Besides walking, I’ve been finishing off some of the little cardigans and matinee jackets I’ve been knitting for my grandson. His arrival is now well and truly imminent and we are waiting with bated breath for him to start his incredible journey, the first of many.

knitting for babies, hand knitted clothes for babies, baby layette, matinee jacket

a cardigan for Peanut

I’ve also been reading the 2nd of the books I bought for myself for Xmas: ‘Arabia’ – Levison Wood. It’s really hard going. Not from the reading aspect because he is a very descriptive author and it’s so interesting, but rather it’s the appalling history of the area and the terrible horrors perpetrated against the Syrians that I’m finding so hard to contemplate. I won’t go into too much detail here because I want to write a proper review, suffice to say it’s mind-numbing and shocking stuff.

Day 2 /365 – Broadstairs to Dumpton Gap : 4.68 kms, 8008 steps

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Viking bay to Dumpton Gap

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