Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA

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

Some news, hopefully good. We might be able to get in a brief spell of group walking before the portcullis comes down again. At LDWA London's recent committee meeting it was agreed that it would be a great idea if we could hold some walks during December and January (restrictions permitting, of course) and rediscover the wonders of talking to other people and finding pubs open. 

As the majority of our walking areas are in Tier 2, we are assuming we will be able to get going again near the end of this week - with the same guidelines as before regarding the limits of participants. So in anticipation of getting the go ahead to hold walks again, Marie is seeking any volunteers who would be happy to lead during December and early January. Fingers crossed and let's see what the next few days bring.




Huge congratulations to Strider editor Graham Smith for managing to produce such a great magazine in these challenging circumstances. My December issue arrived last week and it was a packed with lively and interesting stuff. Graham was, of course, the editor of a regional Kent paper for many years, so he's a proper newspaperman, and it shows in the way the magazine is so professionally produced. Best of all, there was plenty about what London Group have been doing, with a first person piece by Jerome Ripp about all the walks he has led, and Colin Saunders contributing a lovely 'Focus on...' column in Group Chat. It was great to have a permanent, printed reminder of out 25th Anniversary celebrations in the form of Gavin Fuller's photo of us all raising our glasses - well, paper cups - of Prosecco in St. James's Park. What a long time ago that seems.

One of the best things about London Group is that it's so cosmopolitan, drawing members of all ages from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. But what we've been experiencing since the virus took hold at the start of the year and plunged us into a series of lockdowns and convoluted tier systems is common to us all - uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness, worry about anything and everything: jobs, finances, health, the well-being of family and friends. Yesterday, 29th November, marked the start of Advent. The poem below is by the former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. I haven't seen my grandson since April and it absolutely made me weep.



One last silvered leaf fails to fall

from its tree. A hard year's winter

has frozen your voice.


You would still rejoice

if you could sing, in your listening church - where candles thrill to their endings, light's brave lovers - gold carols

this dark Advent; the hurt heart hearkening.


Lo! He comes with clouds descending.


But there is the descant moon

over our scarred world, its cold pure breve,

and you will sing to your child

on Christmas Eve.




Back to December Strider. Graham Smith had asked for some photos to accompany Focus On... London. In the end there wasn't room to include this one. It's from a walk, led by Ron Williamson, that took place almost a year ago this week, and shows off London walking at its best, so I'm giving it an encore.


tarmac walkers go ron

Tarmac Walkers Go Upmarket: in the Japanese Garden, Holland Park

PHOTO Pete Colley



And since we're on the topic of walking in London. here's a couple of photos that encapsulate the incidental joys of walking in our capital city. These are from a late November 2017 walk which - I hope memory serves me right - was led by Chris Hedley. The morning section took in Walthamstow, Clapton and Hoxton, where lunch was provided by an artisan bread shop. And we came across these interesting sights:


cat on walthamstow walk

What interesting things they grow in Walthamstow window boxes. 



street art in hackney

High quality street art in Clapton




Last week's Jabber featured a photo of Bobby Moore's birthplace in Waverley Gardens, prompting Joelle Paul to offer the following intriguing information:


'I lived in Waverley Garden in 1975..... my son was born there too (well, in the hospital next to the old  West Ham football grounds). I remember Bobby  Moore s parents walking past my house.'


Joelle is recovering from some kind of flu at the moment and is feeling pretty washed out but hopes she'll be able to get walking with the group again in due course. All the best, Joelle, and let's hope you'll be back on your feet as soon as possible.


Our resident West Ham fan Dave Williams also emailed his appreciation of the Waverley Gardens photo. He's planning to make a pilgrimage to this national hero's birthplace next April, when it would have been Bobby's 80th birthday. Last week saw the death of another football icon who went before his time: Diego Maradona. To which end, Dave emailed this fantastic bit of trivia: 

'Did you know that Spurs were top on the day Maradona was born & also top on the day he died!'


Well, as a Spurs fan, I can safely say that being top of the table (however briefly - we've got Arsenal this coming weekend) - goes some way towards redeeming this horrendous year.

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