On the Icknield Way – Dullingham to Kennet

I hiked this stage of the Icknield Way in November 2014.

I was joined on the walk by Smithy the Cairn Terrier.  We caught the early train to Cambridge and from there hopped on the train to Dullingham.

Smithy on the train to Dullingham

Smithy on the train to Dullingham

We arrived at Dullingham station for 8am. It was rather misty but it’s such a joy to be out walking at this time, I’m always happiest hiking early in the morning, the earlier the better.

We quickly found the path and began heading north in the direction of Moulton, in Suffolk where we’d be stopping for lunch.

Icknield Way signpost

Icknield Way signpost

This was Smithy’s second hike of over ten miles.  He spent most of the time at full stretch on the lead, pulling me along.  He’d stop every now and again and give me a quizzical look, as if he were expecting to be led back home by now.  He couldn’t believe his luck, non-stop walkies and Scooby-snacks galore, dog heaven!

Smithy on the way

“C’mon, what’s keeping you?”

We arrived at Moulton for lunch.

Lunch at Moulton

Lunch at Moulton

Moulton is a lovely ancient village that pre-dates the 1086 Domesday book and was the star attraction of the walk.

Smithy at St Peter's Church, Moulton

Smithy at St Peter’s Church, Moulton

Saint Peter’s church looked stunning in the autumn afternoon and we lingered for a while in the churchyard.

St Peter's church

St Peter’s church

But all to soon Smithy caught the scent of a pheasant/rabbit/squirrel and was tugging me along the Way again.

We both began to tire on the second half of the hike.  The fields felt muddier, the wind had picked up, my boots were leaking and rain was threatening.

We were glad to arrive at Kennett station and catch the train back to Cambridge, where I had a cuppa tea and Smithy ate a Scooby snack.

A tired dog at Cambridge station

A tired dog at Cambridge station

We arrived home tired but happy. Smithy hit the sofa and didn’t leave it until the following morning.  15 miles on his little legs, a tired but happy dog.

Oh, and the Icknield Way? A joy.

In praise of wild camping : Mary Edith Durham in Albania

Albanian man (1813)

Albanian man (1813)

Mary Edith Durham ( 1863-1944) was a British traveller  and author who spent 20 years exploring the Balkans during the early part of the 20th century.

The main body of her work, and her lifelong passion, was focused on Albania, about which she wrote a series of books.

She is still highly thought of in Albania. In 2004, Albanian President Alfred Moisiu described her as:

“one of the most distinguished personalities of the Albanian world during the last century”

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Notes from a Punk Rock Memoir : The Southall Kids are Innocent

Poster for the gig

Southall 1979

23 April 1979,  local Asian youth and anti-fascists demonstrate against a meeting held by the far-right National Front in Southall, a suburb of west London.

The demonstration is attacked  by the notorious Special Patrol Group who use horses, batons and vans against the crowd. 350 people were arrested, and many were injured. Tragically, Blair Peach a  teacher, was killed by the police. No officers were ever charged for their actions.

The Southall Kids are Innocent was a benefit gig organised by Rock Against Racism (RAR) to raise money for those arrested at the demonstration.

The gig

The Rainbow

The Rainbow, back in day.

The gig was held over a weekend in July at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, north London, it was one of the first concerts I ever attended.

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