Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday outings

Over the past few months I've have had some good Sunday outings.
These started with a walk Ian and I often do in winter, but it was the first time I remember doing it in summer.
Hemington and Lockington are a couple of villages in Leicestershire a short drive from home. There is a circular walk across the fields in what for this area is hilly country. As we passed near the clay pigeon shooting, we found this Chinese lantern impaled on a signpost at a stile. At the top of the hill there had been recent ploughing.
Looking back down to the valley of the River Trent, it is hard to realise that there are large towns hidden in front of us. Walking back into Hemington we see a village complete with a traditional phone box and a thatched roof.
And then on the way home, the cooling towers at the power station remind us where we are.

A week later, and Ian and I had a weekend away in West Sussex before I attended the  ACJconference at West Dean College.  We stayed at a great B&B in Midhurst, and took a walk in the South Downs on the Sunday morning. This involved a real hill.Somehow the path doesn't look as steep in this picture. Up by the hedgerow near the woods we found clues for someones treasure hunt.Later on we visited the  Weald and Downland open air museum which was having a rare breeds day. Too many wonderful sheep, alpacas, pigs, cattle etc. to see in a great setting. Later on in the day we walked along a lane to look for traces of a disused railway, and on the way back encountered some cows returning from the milking parlour. We tried to look unconcerned as approximately 150 of these large beasts strolled past us unaccompanied.

A week on, and I took off down to London to meet up with Jeyda who was visiting from Toronto. She had been staying at Angel for a few weeks, and I had a few trips in mind. It turned out that she hadn't been to Spitalfields and Brick Lane. After meeting up with her, I took advantage of a quick visit to Loop in its new shop. Then we took the tube to Moorgate before walking eastwards.At the corner of Tenter Ground and Brune Street
is this magnificent 1902 soup kitchen, set up for the Jewish poor. 
We walked via the revamped Spitalfields market to Brick Lane itself, via Christ Church and Fournier Street with its Georgian housing.

Brick Lane is reached at the Jamme Masjid, a building with an interesting history as a place of worship. Here is the recently erected minaret, a beautiful stainless steel column that has aroused some controversy.
Turning north up Brick Lane there there are many curry houses lining the street.
The atmosphere on a Sunday afternoon is of one enormous multicultural party. The streets are lined with individual vendors and stalls selling all manner of things.
We stopped briefly to chat with an Argentinean selling hats, and wished that we'd had some cash and the appetite to try out the many ethnic fast food stalls.
This vibrant colour is on the corner of Sclater Street

In one of the turnings off Brick Lane we looked at the exterior of the "Fashion Street market",  built in Moorish style in 1905.Here we saw the stands for the new cycle scheme promoted by Boris Johnson.

Starting back, we walked through Petticoat Lane market which was closing for the day. This is a street market I used to haunt as a teenager in the '60s, looking for cheap clothing.  Now there are many stores selling African textiles.
We turned back towards the City of London, and sought out the "Gherkin" which had been visible for most of our walk. By the time we got there we were a little footsore, and after looking at the nearby medieval St. Helens church and the thoroughly modern Lloyds building we walked to Bank to take the tube.

Yesterday Ian and I had an evening trip to Derby to see "Mother" at Quad. On reaching the station to come home the train was waiting at the platform showing this destination!
Needless to say, it did deliver us home.

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