Thursday, 20 September 2018

Counting Steps For #Fitness - Road Testing The Best Step Trackers #Walking #StepCount

DC Editor Adam writes…

Thursday is most often my biggest walking day of the week. So every Thursday for the next few weeks I'll be looking at Step Counter Apps here on The Daily Constitutional.

I was a bit annoyed when the update on my phone rendered a few of my favourite apps obsolete - the very definition of a first world problem, I suppose. 

The one I relied on most was the iSteps app – a really straightforward step counter. It had very few bells and whistles, add-ons or extras and no in-app purchases - it just worked really well and was very simple.

In replacing it I wanted a like-for-like replacement - i.e something simple – and Stepz fits the bill.

Stepz in Review

The dashboard is clean…

You can also choose to view your stats as a list

And there is an option to turn off the ads – £1.99. 

Extra-handy if you work in a place with lots of stairs is the facility to view your step-climbing stats.

You can set your target to any amount of steps you wish from a minimum of 3,000 rising in 500's right up to 60,000 (careful now!). 

Does it all sound a bit basic? A little rudimentary? Well that's because it is - and that, for me, is its appeal. A great, entry-level step tracker, nice and simple. 

It's the ideal tracker if you want to monitor a whole day's progress - not so good if you want to track individual, shorter walks and retain the stats for reference, as the app is either on-or-off. This is a bit of functionality I greatly miss now that iSteps no longer works. On the upside, the two days of road-testing, it didn't seem to be too hard on my battery, whereas the old iSteps was an exceptionally thirsty app.

I regularly use a FitBit and I've become a little addicted to WalkMeter – and I'll come back to both of those apps here at a later date.

Keep In Touch…


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

#Halloween Is Just Around The Corner

DC Editor Adam writes…

With Halloween on the way, I have been dipping into the completely excellent Penguin Guide To the Superstitions of Britain & Ireland. It's addictive stuff!

I've got a Ghosts of the Old City Tour coming up on Saturday 13th October, and so I flipped through to the entry about "unlucky 13"…

Written records of Friday – that's any and every Friday – being considered the unluckiest day of the week have been around for much longer than the notion that Friday 13th is the unluckiest day of all.

The superstition that 13 is the unlucky number stirs great passions when its origins are discussed. 

Written records of the superstition go back only as far as the 19th century, but the popular belief is that it dates back to the number who sat down to the Last Supper (including Judas Iscariot). In the disputed origins of why Friday 13th is considered to be unlucky, some contend that the superstition begins with the Knights Templar.  On Friday 13th 1307, scores of French Knights Templar were arrested on the order of King Phillip V of France and subsequently tortured into confessions of heresy.  Execution duly followed.

Traveling show folk were reluctant to open fairs on Friday and some domestic servants believed that starting a new situation on a Friday would bring bad luck.

There are particular superstitions around the cutting of hair and nails. This one suggests that not only is Friday no good for nail cutting, but that a haircut on Sunday will bring ill fortune…

Friday cut and Sunday shorn
Better never have been born

Here in London, at the Savoy Grill, no table is ever set for 13 diners. Parties of 13 are treated to the company of Kaspar, the Savoy’s three-foot high alabaster cat – he is given a full place setting to stave off bad luck.

My Public Scheduled Tours for the London Walks company in October 2018

Tours costs £10 per person, £8 for students & seniors - pay on the night or book now by clicking the street sign icons below…

Ghosts of the Old City – 7.30pm St Paul's tube

Tuesdays 2nd, 9th & 30th

Saturdays 6th, 13th & 27th

Ghosts of the Old City with London Walks - meet at St Paul's Tube 7.30pm

Rock'n'Roll Pub Walk with LIVE Music – 7pm Tottenham Court Road tube (exit 1)

Wednesdays 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st October

Book here…

Rock'n'Roll London – 2:00pm Tottenham Court Road tube (exit 1)

Fridays 5th & 12th October 2018

Book here…

The Unknown East End – 2:00pm Whitechapel tube

Sunday 7th & 28th October 2018

Hidden London – 11:00am Monument tube (Fish Street Hill exit)

Monday 8th & Friday 12th October 2018

Old Kensington – 2:00pm High Street Kensington tube

Thursdays 11th, 18th & 25th October 2018

A Village in Piccadilly – 2:30pm Piccadilly Circus Tube (by Eros)

Monday 15th October October 2018

Keep In Touch…


Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Protective Gloves For the Executioner

DC Editor Adam writes… 

I'm out and about tonight leading the Ghosts of the old City walk at 7.30pm from St Paul's tube.

Of all my London walking tours, it's the tour that generates the least questions from the walkers – I suppose one either believes or one doesn't.

The exception, of course, is when I have a group of kids.

Most memorable of all was the question from an earnest Year 3 primary school pupil.

Upon presenting the gory details of hanging, drawing and quartering to the most horribly delighted group of seven-year-olds I have ever seen, one little girl put up her hand asked the following question:

"Did the executioner wear protective gloves?"

Best. Question. EVER,

Ghosts of the Old City – Tuesdays 7.30pm St Paul's tube…

Tuesday 18th Ghosts of the Old City with London Walks - meet at St Paul's Tube 7.30pm

Keep In Touch…


Monday, 17 September 2018

The Monday Photoblog… Primrose Hill

DC Editor Adam Scott writes…

Monday is ALMOST mute here on The Daily Constitutional. We always launch the week with a few London photos, grouped on a theme or neighbourhood.

Primrose Hill
as summer turns to autumn 2018…

The view

The madding crowd enjoying the view… it's a popular spot

(Not very) far from the madding crowd – a few yards away a Londoner lost in a good book… "The Hundred And One Dalmatians" by Dodie Smith, perhaps? It's set nearby.

Shots 2 and 3 were taken with a Canon 500D using the EFS 18-55mm lens. Shots 1, 4 and 5 taken with an iPhone6.

Come and join me on a tour. You can book for ALL my public, scheduled London Walks Tours in September via my online shop Pay-A-Tour. Click the button below for the full schedule…

The Monday Photoblog will return next week. In the meantime, if you'd like to share a London photo with us, please do! Perhaps you joined Karen or Adam on a tour and snapped a a great shot. Drop us a line.

Keep In Touch…


Sunday, 16 September 2018

My London Week

DC Editor Adam writes…

Well, that was fun!

Yesterday was the first outing of my new walking tour Pow! A Cartoon & Comic Book Tour of London. Prep for the tour has taken up most of this week. And what a lot of back-breaking hard work it's been…

Along the route of the tour we dropped in on the terrific exhibition of caricature work at the Charing Cross Library NOT The National Portrait Gallery

A warm welcome was had and we all enjoyed the show. It is curated by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation and it runs until next Saturday 22nd September.

Find the Charing Cross Library here (the show is downstairs in the basement)…

Thanks to everyone who joined me on the tour! I'll have details of how to book a special one-hour edition of the tour for kids coming soon.

In the meantime, here's the promo video for "Pow! A Cartoon & Comic Book Tour Of London"

Spotted along the route of my Rock'n'Roll London tour last Friday in a Denmark Street shop window – a tribute to the 27 Club in Pop Figures…

… vinyl dolls of Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, musicians who died at the age of 27. In bad taste? Only a little.

I am already the proud owner of the Jimi Hendrix pop figure – my daughter bought him for me on Father's Day. Here he is perched beside my desk…

I liked this sign on the route of the same tour, at Sounds of the Universe record shop in Soho…

Elsewhere in London this week Autumn began to hatch in earnest…

… so that makes it official, as summer was dismantled down by City Hall just last week…

Ah well. Autumn is perfect walking weather

My biggest walking day of the week was last Thursday – a "dress rehearsal" for my Cartoon tour followed by a London Walks tour in Kensington then a big stride out to Tower Hill followed by a Jack the Ripper tour. Here are the stats…

The weather for the week ahead looks great for walking…

…hope to see you out there on one of my tours. here's my schedule for the week ahead, click the street signs to book via my online shop Pay-A-Tour…

Monday 17th Hidden London with London Walks - meet at Monument tube (Fish Street Hill exit) 11am

Tuesday 18th Ghosts of the Old City with London Walks - meet at St Paul's Tube 7.30pm

Wednesday 19th Rock'n'Roll Pub Tour with + Music From Your Guide - meet at Tottenham Court Road tube 7pm

Thursday 20th Jack the Ripper with London Walks - meet at Tower Hill tube (by the tram) 7.30pm

Friday 21st Hidden London with London Walks - meet at Monument tube (Fish Street Hill exit) 11am

Saturday 22nd Ghosts of the Old City with London Walks - meet at St Paul's Tube 7.30pm

Keep In Touch…