Friday, 29 December 2017

The Daily Constitutional Editor's Diary 2017 January: Big Walks, Chips, Birthdays, Bowie, The V&A & #UrbanGeology

At the end of 2017, The Daily Constitutional's editor Adam looks back at his walking & blogging London year…




As regular Daily Constitutionalists and London Walkers will know, I like a big walk. I particularly like to start the year with a big ol' stride out and 2017 was no different…






Two days later I was out-and-about on The Triple – that's a day when I lead THREE London Walks tours. I couldn't do it EVERY day but I look forward to the odd Triple now-and-then…






The benefit of all this walking? Well I can eat more at Poppies in old Compton Street o'course!

Here's a shot from January 2017 on a freezing cold Friday when the guys at Poppies took pity on us and gave us all chips to heat us up!






I had a most enjoyable afternoon on the 30th January on my Village In Piccadilly walk with a lovely bunch of folk from Kentish Town, Oxford, Gatwick, Epsom, Australia, California, Canada, Wimbledon and Brixton.

London Walker Nancy joined me from South London with her partner Mike, and half-an-hour into the walk, she passed me the following note…





I'm particularly fond of the line "I hope it's ok to ask for this!" - of course! I was once asked to participate in a marriage proposal on a London Walk (!) so this one was easy!


And so, after a short preamble explaining the situation to the rest of the group, on a greying London afternoon at Piccadilly, we all surprised Mike by singing "Happy Birthday".

I must add, the gusto with which the London Walkers threw themselves into the singing was most impressive. Well done all!

Well done to Nancy for making the request and Happy Birthday to Mike!



On Saturday 28th January I joined a happy band of London Walkers – including no less than FIVE London Walks guides – for the Urban Geology tour with UCL Geologist Ruth Siddall.

For a walk of just under half-a-mile in distance, we covered an astonishing amount of ground, beginning at Monument 145 million years ago… taking our date from the Portland Stone that forms The Monument and many of the surrounding buildings.

From there it was off to Caithness in the Highlands of Scotland for some City of London paving stones, which, I'm sure you'll agree, look rather well (with the Monument reflected) after a sudden blast of moisture from the London sky…



The moisture, inevitably, took the form of hail stones




… and in my picture they are falling on Caithness and the Pennines simultaneously. This is the only walking tour where it pays to look DOWN.

My daughter Isobella joined me - this is our third Urban Geology walk together and even on the third time around, the time travelling involved makes our heads spin. Here's Isobella catching a snap of stone native to the American Midwest from some 2,700 million years ago…




Here's David (one of the five London Walks guides in attendance) snapping Ruth in fossil-spotting action…



Keep an eye out for the Urban Geology Walks. I certainly will be – they are one of my favourite things.


Also in January I went to the V&A to see 
You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 - 1970 where I spotted this record player in amongst the exhibits…




The picture is of my own FULLY WORKING version of the machine. Does anything make one feel more of an old fart than seen one's own stuff in a museum?!



The first Rock'n'Roll London Walk of 2017 fell on what would have been David Bowie's 70th birthday. I dedicated the walk to the great man and a loyal band of fans turned up in the rain. We laid flowers at Heddon Street in tribute…



A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



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