Julie's Jabber - The goodbye to 2020 edition


Julie's Jabber - The goodbye to 2020 edition
Julie's Jabber - The goodbye to 2020 edition

 

happy new year image

 

 

Well, we're about to say goodbye to 2020. It won't be much missed. Little did we know what lay ahead when we opened the curtains on the brave new dawn of January1st. It didn't occur to me that the Stansted Stagger, which I walked with Keith Warman and Julian Pursey on January 5th, would be my only event of the year. At least it was a lovely occasion. As usual, we caught up with a lot of old friends and thoroughly enjoyed the Essex & Herts hospitality. I took the photo below at the Wendens Ambo checkpoint. 

 

keith and julian on stagger

Good times with my friends Keith Warman and Julian Pursey on the Stansted Stagger

 

January also saw Ron Williamson's now traditional Essex-based walk to the North Sea. It started at Benfleet and ended with a tour along the esplanade to finish at Shoeburyness, where Gavin took this spectacular photo:

 

 

wolf moon shoeburyness

Wolf moon rising above Shoeburyness
PHOTO Gavin Fuller

 

After that, everything went a bit bleak. As the full impact of the pandemic sank in, social walks and challenge events began to be cancelled. In April, we mourned the death of our greatest walker, Ann Sayer, record-holder, trailblazer, co-founder of London Group and all-round good egg. Gail Elrick wrote a fine obituary for her in Strider and I had the honour of speaking up for her on Radio Four's Last Words. 

The hard work put in by organiser Jean and Susanne and her route-finding team in preparation for the Capital Challenge had to be written off, as, later, were Chris's efforts to put on the Founders Challenge. The good news was that whatever the trials and tribulations of the year, London Group not only held together but prospered. The committee put in huge efforts to hold the tent up and special thanks go to Marie and her team of leaders for ensuring we had an opportunity to get out on some social walks when restrictions were relaxed for a while. We managed to celebrate our 25th anniversary in great style, and another highlight was Colin's fine piece about our group in August Strider. Speaking of whom, Colin's updated The Capital Ring found its way into my Christmas stocking. It's always good to have a target, and my walking plans for the first few weeks of 2021 are now sorted.

 

capital ring guide

 

 

So let's welcome 2021 on an optimistic note. Our vaccinations are coming: fingers crossed that that moment won't be too far away. Hopefully we'll all stay healthy (and sane) in the meantime and that the long months of restrictions and solitude will come to an end. Wishing everyone the happiest New Year possible!

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