Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA

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

It has been what we old Fleet Street hacks call a slow news week and after racking my brains for an opening topic for Jabber I was rescued by a call from a journalist friend. Ysenda was writing an article for The Oldie magazine about family words and expressions, e.g. a special name for the loo. Did our family have any? I was happy to oblige, because our household has several arcane examples, .

For instance, my husband has a collection of newspaper headlines, some funny, some inadvertently naughty, and some just weird. One of the latter is this 1950s-vintage headline from the London Evening News: MR BULGANIN WANT ME,' SHE CRIED. Now when someone in our family says, 'Anyone want Bulganin?' it means, 'Did anyone phone while I was out?'

A family unit is a closed world, and to people outside it such expressions are inexplicable. It struck me that in the same sort of way a non-walking person might be mystified by some of the names we give to social walks. A random consultation of recent Striders  provided several gems: 'I'm Dreaming of a White (Nancy) Christmas' - that's Staffordshire. Norfolk & Suffolk offered  'Return of the Wolsey Waddle'. The winter programme of East Lancashire, a group always good for a few walk titles out of left field,  featured 'A walk around the leek enclosure' and 'Mines?? A Pint' .London Group tends to avoid the fancy stuff these days, although the (sadly cancelled) 'Alliteration H' definitely whets the curiosity. 

While we're on the subject of walks programmes, here's a confession. In my two spells as Strider editor, the worst job of all was having to cut them all down so everything could be crammed into the tight space allotted. One group (no names, no pack drill) would submit descriptions of three walks practically the length of War and Peace. In the days before everyone had websites, London Group was impossible to shorten because every walk description contained vital railway timetables. How I cursed them. But genuinely, wielding the scythe on some of these enthusiastically-compiled programmes used to fill me with remorse, which meant I was also terribly grateful to Marches and Isle of Wight for their brevity.

But now I don't have to wield the axe any more, I really enjoy reading Strider's group social walks section. The current set-up means that our walks are announced by bulk email with just the bare details. To have social walking back in its current form is lovely, but I can't wait to have those esoteric names back again.   




Group news!


It's interesting to hear how other groups are getting on during this odd summer. It seems our good friends and  neighbours Essex & Herts haven't taken the brave step of starting social walks yet. For good reason, according to our Essex & Herts correspondent Jackie Burnett: 


'With such a large area and membership it's going to be hard to come up with a system that is fair to everyone who wants to take part in walks. We'll get there eventually. However, there are a fair number of walking buddy bubbles about at the moment, so hopefully all our active members are still getting to do some social walking.

With no social walks or challenge events on the calendar, a number of E&H members have enjoyed taking part in the various LDWA virtual challenges over the last few months. However, one of our members deserves a special mention. Not only did Richard Haynes walk a real 100 miles over the weekend of the virtual Y 100 Sir Fynwy, he devised his own Pick and Mix Walk to replace BBN's cancelled event. With three loops from his house totalling 26 miles, in his own words, ' to add to the realism I even had to time myself out attempting the last loop. I blame slow service at the checkpoint'.

Being the adventurous type, he was last heard of heading off to attempt the San Serriffe Coast Path for the July LDWA Chairman's Challenge.



barry arnold house pic


Missing checkpoints? Build your own, as Richard Haynes did for his own Pick'N'Mix





Stansted Stagger


Since we're on the topic of Essex & Herts, here's a request. The next Stansted Stagger will be its 20th Anniversary, so I'm doing a piece about it for Strider. Kent Group's Keith Warman - who has done every Stagger so far - has kindly supplied me with lots of stats, and I've a copy of Brenda Ryan's  informative and amusing article about the event which she wrote for E & H's special 40th Anniversary Edition Newsletter. Now I'm looking for personal memories, anecdotes and photos. If you have anything on those lines to contribute to a celebration of this smashing event, please fire away!





Life imitating art


Last week's Jabber featured boats and rivers, to which end our resident art expert Susanne Waldschmidt writes: 


Now, firstly a correction. Anyone who has walked the Camino de Santiago and been soaked to the skin in Galicia with good Atlantic rain would NEVER say, 'it looks a bit too green for pain.'

So I did a big of googling and found a little bit about that painting. Expected the setting to be North-West Spain and was surprised that it was near Sevilla though in early spring.

The scene is set on a riverbank - a feature both recurrent and typical in Emilio Sanchez Perrier's landscapes. On this occasion he chose to depict the open spaces of the Seville countryside, with a winding stream that is a tributary of a larger river, perhaps the Guadaira as it flows through the Gandul plains from Arahal.


The accompanying photo was of a boat moored in a location which I guessed slightly wildly was the New River. Jackie Burnett was able to put me right. She took the photo on The Spurs Way, a walk I led a couple of years back, and the location is somewhere along the River Lea. I wonder if the boat's still there.

Anyway, here are two more photos on the Life Imitating Art theme. The first, obviously pretty ancient, is of the Thames at low tide beneath what's now the Thames Path as it threads alongside Greenwich.  The second is one I took around the same spot in 2018. The people taking advantage of the beach might not be much different, but the scene on the opposite bank has changed quite a lot over 70-odd years!



greenwich beach old photo




greenwich beach new photo





nigel heys walk egham

A peaceful lunch break near Windsor Castle and Writ in Water at Runnymede, during Nigel Heys's walk from Cooper's Hill near Egham


And finally...


That nice bit of real estate Nigel and co. are lunching in front of is the perfect lead-in to a sport of Property Porn. 



barry arnold house pic

Above: Barry Arnold snapped this fabulous property in Ockley, Surrey, on a walk he took last week with Gavin and Ian.  Below: I passed this amazing edifice - it seems wrong to call it a mere shed - on the Thames Path at Greenwich when I was recce-ing the 2018 Midsummer Challenge



shack on thames path




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