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Showing posts from February, 2013

Beach Huts, Southwold, Suffolk

Safely back from my annual visit to Rotterdam, my parents invited me to spend a few days with them in a small holiday cottage in Southwold, Suffolk. Give or take driving through Newmarket a few years back when studying at Anglia Ruskin University, I'd never really seen much of the county.
Southwold itself is a beautiful seaside resort which happens to be the home of Adnams, a well known brewery, which means that for a small place there are a healthy number of pubs - suddenly Dad's choice of location made sense.
On the early afternoon of Wednesday 20th February I took a walk to the Harbour Inn to meet my parents for lunch. The pub was just under two miles away from Grace Cottage, where we were staying. This gave me the opportunity to take some pictures of the sea.
On our way towards the see we also spotted Georgie Glen from Waterloo Road humming happily to herself on the High Street.
Southwold is lovely, photogenic and friendly in the iciness of February, so one can only imagi…

London to Brighton: Part Three - Countryside nr. Gatwick to Brighton Pier

Heading up Turners Hill
If we were in Uganda, with the sun at the angle it was by around 10am, we would be baking to a crisp. As it was, at 10am, we were crossing the county border into West Sussex and despite the sun beating down on us, it was still pretty cold. 
After a brief flirtation with an A road, we started a three mile decent towards the foot of Turner’s Hill. With the others tailing off into the distance slightly, I tried to build up some decent momentum with which to attack the climb.
The hill is a category 5 climb, but seemed very different to Marlpit Hill earlier on in the day. Maybe it was the fact that the blood was circulating more freely around my body now, but I seemed to make reasonably light work of the half-mile climb. Before I knew it, I was at the village green at the top of the hill and the ‘half-way jitters’ had not even had chance to appear. Maybe I am getting better at climbing.
Page followed up the hill about three minutes behind, with Jonesy around five mi…

King's Cross Station, London

You might not think that a railway station would make the most interesting photographic subject, but I can safely say they can. The new departures concourse at King's Cross railway station in London has been completed for nearly a year now, but I very rarely have any reason to be in the area and so this interesting work of architecture had slipped from my mind.
On Saturday 9th February I happened to appear from the Victoria Line straight into the new concourse - more by accident than design. I had seen pictures of it on BBC London News on the opening night, but standing beneath this flow of illuminated ironwork I was awestruck by its beauty. 
Indeed, it is described by Keiran Long as "like some kind of reverse waterfall, a white steel grid that swoops up from the ground and cascades over your head towards 16 perimeter columns in a flurry of 1,200 solid and 1,012 glass triangular panels."
The picture was taken using an iPhone 5, before being cropped and ran through a filt…

London to Brighton: Part Two - Wallington to Smallfield Road, nr. Gatwick

Marlpit Hill and a Lady Feeding Ducks

After exiting Wallington and needing to stretch my legs, I decided to head off a little into the distance, before a long decent down to Coulsdon Station. Page zipped along closely behind, with Jonesy beginning to recover from his initial dip in energy.
Just through the viaduct carrying the A23 and the old Southern Railway mainline to Brighton we faced our first major hurdle. It came in the form of Marlpit Hill, a category 5 climb up a silent suburban street. A major challenge that, once overcome, would mean we had finally escaped the clutches of London and would be out in open country. Feeling confident, I set off, once more slightly ahead of the other two. Page, complaining about his gear ratios – he rides a motorbike so knows a little about this technical stuff – decided to hang back a little as he didn’t think he’d be able to go as fast up the hill. Jonesy, still a little befuddled by the gears on a road bike when compared to an MTB held furthe…

London to Brighton: Part One - The Mall to Wallington

Best Laid Schemes...

I have been bitten by the road cycling bug. It is as simple as that. I bought a £600 Specialized Allez 2013 road bike shortly after the Olympics with four simple cycling goals: get fitter, get faster, go longer and stay alive.
The decision to ride my bike from London to Brighton on 19th January arose as a result of needing to lead by example. With my students struggling with inspiration and motivation to start their fundraising projects for this year’s trip to Uganda, I figured I would show them how it was done.
My idea was simple: set up a fundraising page on BT MyDonate supporting All Our Children (UK), say that I am going to ride from The Mall, outside Buckingham Palace, and ride, via the countryside, to Brighton on the south coast, with a fundraising target of £100 for the event.
Before I knew it, I had amassed £300 of sponsorship and had some riding support in the form of two old school mates from my time at Aylesford School, Warwick, namely Simon Page and Ch…