Tag Archives: winter

New Year’s Day Walk

It was good to get out for a long walk this morning after the festivities of New Year’s Eve. The sun shone and I grabbed my camera, heading out to the Bedelands in Burgess Hill, West Sussex near my home. It was early and aside from a few early bird dog walkers, I had the forest and fields pretty much to myself.

 

 

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Frosty Morning

I did a lot of moving around last year — three different flats in North London, West London and Sussex, two weeks in Canada, six weeks in Morocco, a week in France… don’t get me wrong, I LOVE moving around. I’m a Sagittarian after all. But some of my good habits went out the window with this peripatetic life  — especially my morning jog. Now, I’m not a runner — I am a very slow jogger. I’d be an annoying jogging partner to anyone who wants to feel the burn. But jogging at a tortoise’s pace, rather than a hare’s is okay by me. It makes me feel good. I listen to the birds, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the sun — or wind — or, most likely  in England, rain — on my face.

Now that I’ve settled, for the time being at least, in a pretty rented flat in Sussex, with a park just outside the backyard, and with the dawning of the new year, I figured it was high time to dig out those “good shoes” of my blog title and stretch my legs around the park. So far, so good. For the past week I’ve been working my way up to 10 times around the park (up to 7 now) without stopping. And I’ve been reminded of the perks of being out early on a frosty winter morning.

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Good morning, sunshine! And a Happy New Year to you too.

 

London Skies

The clouds hung like smoke over the Thames this morning, pressing the sky’s ceiling onto London’s skyscrapers…

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…and landmarks.  Tower Bridge…

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…and the Tower of London.

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An hour later I emerged from my meeting and patches of blue were starting to push through the clouds…

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…painting the glass skyscrapers.

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Dusk at Sandgate

We drove to Sandgate on the Kent coast to catch the last of the day before heading out to dinner at a pub in the Kent countryside. We had the pebble beach to ourselves and watched the distant rain front slowly approach as we wandered along the beach.

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There was a lone jogger, getting in a quick run before the rain hit…

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…and I was briefly distracted by the colours and textures of the pebbles…

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…but the luminous blue sky and the song of the water lapping against the beach drew me back to the sea.

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Boxing Day in Sussex

After days of rain, the sun came out and the sky over southern England was blue. A fresh breeze rippled through the woods and fields, and we felt the call to head out into the rolling hills of the Sussex countryside for lunch at the Jolly Sportsman Pub http://www.thejollysportsman.com/ in East Chiltington. We headed down country lanes, through fields turned golden with the midday sunshine, past the red telephone box at the end of the lane (seemingly in the middle of nowhere), and turned into the drive of the pub, parking up next to the horse pasture. It’s innocuous, hidden behind a Sussex hedge… the kind of place you wouldn’t know was there, unless you knew it was there. No sign. No fanfare. A gem of a place. We couldn’t have chosen a better place to spend Boxing Day lunch.

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We settled down in the sun-filled conservatory and chose from a menu full of very tempting things…

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…and I chose the game and goose terrine with pear chutney…

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…followed by roast guinea fowl.

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…accompanied by fresh and apply La Croix Gratoit Picpoul de Pinet wine and great companionship in Tootsie, Wineguy and Hankenstein.

After lunch we headed out to the Devil’s Dyke in the South Downs for a walk in the waning afternoon sun. We had views from Brighton and the English Channel on one side to Surrey on the other.

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Kite flyers and walkers were out enjoying the fresh winter and walking off their Christmas dinners.

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The sun began its descent, streaking the sky with fingers of pink and gold…

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…and we headed back, stopping into the Devil’s Dyke Pub for a cup of steaming hot chocolate before heading home.

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