London Day

Spent the night at our own personal Travelodge in Farringdon, and the rest of the day wandering around London, starting off up one of our usual alleys, past Filthy Mcnastysand these beautiful dusky pink roses in a florists.
We then veered off and passed Finsbury Town Hall – with its huge clock and ornate canopy.

We found an alleyway leading to a park – so went and sat down for a while and people watched – especially one man who was carrying on an animated conversation on his mobile complete with extravagant hand signals. Of course the minute I got the camera out he stopped!
The park itself had some mighty strange features and a skew whiff building.

It was the playground opposite that was really worrying though – do they impale naughty children on the spikes?
We walked on through Clerkenwell and past the Yo Sushi acadamy – why the leg?!
We walked on up Hatton Gardens – didn’t take any photographs of the bling in case anyone thought we were planning a robbery.

>Did find this pair though.
By now we were feeling hungry so started south – through Plumtree Court which looked as if it was centuries since a plum tree had grown there.
Met these two hunky chaps –

but carried on by, past St Pauls with Queen Anne stood outside wearing a rather fetching hat.
The Millenium bridge was really crowded – one man was making a killing selling baby kiteswhilst another was just lounging round adding to the beauty of the scene.

Through the Tate gallery – speechless! The engine room was full of metal bunkbeds. For some reason.
It was titled thus: Yeah,yeah, whatever.
The river was the highest that I have ever seen it – almost up to the walkways.
We were going to eat at Livebait – and got as far as sitting down and being handed the menus when luckily I asked if they still took the Tesco vouchers – evidently not.
We left and went to a lovely Greek place up the road which was about half the price.
After dinner Phil went to Evans cycles and lusted after bikes, and I went along to ‘I knit’and lusted after knitting stuff – I cracked and bought one of Elizabeth Zimmermans books – but the shop itself was a bit of a let down. Maybe shouldn’t judge it on one visit but the man behind the counter seemed off hand and unfriendly.Got the train back from Cannon Street and the lovely Jake gave us a lift back from the station.

Strange, mixed up day

Today was the funeral of Harriet’s Mother. I caught the train over to Reading with rather scant directions to the crematorium that I had downloaded from the internet – but no map – with the result that I got completely lost and ended up at a cemetery on the wrong side of town. Managed to find the river and walked back to the station alongside that, looked at directions again and eventually found myself in the right place with plenty of time to spare.
It was strange – as I knew lots of people there, but had never met Rosie herself. The girls had created a beautiful remembrance of her – and they sang a song together which was heartbreaking – I just wanted to get up and hug them both.
Afterwards there was a wake at a pub with singing and dancing – stayed for a couple of hours but had already arranged a night out in London with Phil to see Space Ritual – so had to leave to get the train.
Met Phil in Oxford Street and we went for a drink before going into the 100 Club – the band were brilliant – just enough Hawkwind to remind you of Nik Turner at his best but lots of down to earth rock as well.

On the way out – a reminder of my Birthday Treat!

North Downs Way – part two

We set out too late really for this walk – Phil and I had been out with people from his cycling club the night before and Jill and Karl had been out carousing – so none of us felt like an early start.
We drove to Dorking and then got the train to Guildford to walk back. We got sandwiches in M&S which was a good thing as there was nowhere to stop inbetween Guildford and Dorking.
We picked up the path just outside Guildford, after passing this fantastic bank of snowdrops. It soon carried on into woodland – rising steeply upwards to the ridge.

At the top was this lovely little church – and the views were fantastic.

More photos from the walk. (Being lazy here and catching up after a month!)

This is Karl realising how shallow Jill and I are as we argue how much better a red setter is than a boxer dog because it looks prettier.

Jill demonstrating the first steps of the little known dance of the Book and Branch Gavotte.

How can a walk be self guided if there are purple arrows telling you where to go?

We came across these prehistoric swimming pools. Or deer pits. Or something – any ideas anyone?
There were fierce looking cows – and this strange structure –
-possibly a cow nest?
Then the sun started going down.
and down

and down

Until it got dark -and there were owls and strange rustlings in the wood.

Then it got too dark to read the map – so we headed for the nearest road. This was possibly the wrong thing to do – as it had no foot path and we had to half run half walk down the hill, throwing ourselves into the hedge or up the bank everytime a car came past. We made it back to the station OK though – there was a train on the opposite platform and the guard saw us crossing under and held it for us – how often would that happen if you really wanted to catch the train?!

Slipping and a sliding

Jake and I went for a walk to Yalding – very very muddy.
We couldn’t find the map for Maidstone and Jake assured me that we couldn’t possibly get lost – well – only a little bit!
We got there anyway – had lunch at the Anchor – very friendly Landlord but the pub smelt of fat (If I had been driving or if there had been another pub further on I would have been out of there!) and the sandwich was not very good.
Watched the lock being repaired for a while, and then slithered back along the river bank.
Here are photos!