Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA


Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA
Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA

Call me faint-hearted, but I am not very comfortable about walking on my own in lonely areas; I'm too aware of personal safety issues to feel relaxed about it.  This is one of the reasons why I have been missing our group walks, and why I enjoy walking in London so much - you are never far away from other human beings. 

So as I was going to do my first long unaccompanied walk since the beginning of lockdown, I decided to use a pleasantly populated route that takes me from Plumstead Common and via the Capital Ring and Clissold Park to Highbury Fields. In my enthusiasm to return to old haunts I temporarily overlooked the fact that I would have to risk taking public transport back from the finish unless I was up for a 20-mile return journey on foot .As I didn't fancy either option I settled for three 7-mile circuits of my Greenwich Tops walk instead. Oh dear. It was definitely a case of be careful what you wish for. I wanted people, and I got people, sprawled across the footpaths and waddling four-abreast along the walkways. 

The sensible part of my brain was trying to tell me that of course people who had been confined for weeks, who maybe didn't have gardens, who had had to keep small children and teenagers happy in trying circumstances, would have seized the opportunity on a blissfully sunny day to pile into one of London's beauty spots. The grumpy part was responding, But why the hell must it be mine? 

I had expected living through a pandemic might make me feel frustrated and anxious at times, but I never imagined it would turn me into a female Victor Meldrew.

 

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On the topic of being grumpy, I have also started  to envy alpacas. If I don't have my hair done every six weeks I start to look like Cavewoman (so you can picture what it's like now). They get sheared once a year and that's it. Yet they never look anything less than soigne. 

 

alpaca pic vy gavin

PHOTO Gavin Fuller  

 

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I suspect most of us are longing for a change of scenery, and a walk that doesn't have to begin and end at your own front door. The photo below was taken by a journalist friend, Clive Davis, who lives in Cookham. I have lovely memories of walking this part of the Thames Path and it's a place I'm determined to return to at the earliest opportunity. 

 

clive davis cookham pic

Thames Path, Cookham

 

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While worried that this might fall into the category of Stating The Obvious, London Group member Steve Garnsey wants to share his impressions of a family walk in Friday Street last Sunday.'One thing which struck me was how overgrown field-edge and some enclosed paths were, more than you'd reasonably expect given how dry it's been in recent weeks. After all, just two spells of sustained rain can create a 'jungle' in some parts of the countryside this warm time of the year.

'Also, as Friday Street is a popular walking area it's reasonable to assume nettles, thistles, brambles etc would have been trampled down or beaten back (even cut back in some cases) by walkers. I suspect that's not happened this year because groups of walkers/runners have not been out in droves this year, so stinging nettles etc have not naturally been stepped upon as much as usual. 

While many members will realise all that themselves, maybe it's worth mentioning to anyone about to venture deep into the countryside for the first time after the lockdown to bear in mind they may encounter more foliage than usual.' 

 

bola fallen tree epsom

More foliage than usual - Bola encountered this fallen tree during her 22-mile Epsom Circular at the weekend

 

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And finally...

It's that chap again. In last week's Jabber I invited suitable captions for this dystopian image:

 

weird thing on walk

 

 

Marita Sanders: 'What's that mate?     Yeah ~ I think it's that way ~ just giving you the heads' up.' . . 

Colin Saunders: 'Sorry to trouble you sir, but are you any good with untying knots?”

Gordon Parker: The Covid closes all the Caminos

 

In an impressive display of scholarship, Susanne Waldschmidt has actually identified where it originated: 'Half of it is a painting by the French artist Gustave Courbet of himself off on a walk.  The other half is probably what you see in the later stages of a 100.'

 

If you want to see the full painting, click on Gustave Courbet out walking

London LDWA - http://www.ldwa.org.uk/London