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Monday, 23 July 2012

Danbury Tea shop walk 22.07.2012

Endomondo Walking Workout: was out walking 5.77 miles in 2h:26m:14s using Endomondo.

Click on Link to see the Danbury Teashop Walk.

What a fantastic Walk! A challenging and varying terrain, and in spite of the change in our weather luck, there was plenty of mud to negotiate and big water puddles that we almost needed a boat to cross!  At one point we were literally walking on water! Well its was Sunday and the God of sunshine certainly smiled down on us so we felt that we could do anything at all!  Well worth the effort not least because of the most fantastic Tea Shop on the Green that awaited our ravenous belly's and dry mouths. It was one of those walks when you feel absolutely fantastic once your sitting down after it with a big pile of delicious food and a cuppa. Watch out for this one next time it really shouldn't be missed!

Hope to see you soon

Sue X

Saturday, 14 July 2012[10151094023189881]

The Teashop on the Green at Danbury

A little pre walk taster. You can check out the map for our Teashop walk next Sunday on the link below. It is a week earlier than scheduled in the newsletter for reasons I will explain when I see you.[10151094023189881]

This will be our most challenging walk yet, but I know you will love it. Wear mud and waterproof boots, especially if the rain keeps up. Also pack a pair of waterproof trousers and a bottle of water in your rucksack.

We also checked out the Tea shop before we set off which is the real deal with seriously LARGE PORTIONS! :-)) A well deserved treat to look forward to at the end of the walk, unless you would prefer a beer of course?

Hope to see you all there.


Monday, 28 May 2012

The Langdon Hills Leggies Diary: Come Rain or Shine...

The Langdon Hills Leggies Diary: Come Rain or Shine...: May 2012 " Sweet May hath come to love us, flowers Tree, their blossoms don;And through the blue heavens above us the very clouds mov...

Come Rain or Shine...

May 2012

"Sweet May hath come to love us, flowers Tree, their blossoms don;And through the blue heavens above us the very clouds move on." Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs.

'bout time n'all the flippin' clouds moved on!  I thought for a mo that spring was going to bypass us  altogether.

Rachel, Mandy Laura & Sue brave the rain
to see the sunrise (or not) to the sound 

of the Morris Dancers bells.
In spite of a few minor drenchings we have had some terrific walks and early morning adventures that for those of us there,  would not have missed for the world. Like when on the1st May a few of us arranged to meet up and see the sunrise at 5:00am.  The rain was battering my window at 4:15 am and every single bit of me wanted to roll over and snuggle back down under the duvet.
As daylight began to emerge  a blanket of clouds obscured the sun and the dawn chorus was literally drowned out by the rain that fell in sheets upon us. We did not let that deter is whatsoever and we took hold of our batons and danced a  merry Morris jig, all that was missing was the men in white coats! Thankfully we were not take away and live to tell the tale. Can I persuade anyone to join us next year?

The Alternative Olympic Legacy 
I am persisting with my aim of giving away 1000 free tasters this year. I have now reached 123 that leaves me with 877 to do. If you have any ideas or know of any events I can attach myself too do let me know. I really want to achieve this and I am happy to turn up and pitch up a stall to hand out leaflets & give tasters. I have also expanded my offer to giving Free Pilate's Tasters and Free consultations for the Health Programme I run at Pitsea Leisure Centre. You can check the times for these on my website. I am currently having some flyer's and posters printed which should be ready this week. If you would like some to hand out just let me know. You can also send people to my website where anyone can register for any of the tasters or consultations.

My Alternative Olympic Legacy numbers were given a great and well needed boost this week when the Athena and Harlequin Ranger took part in  a free taster. This was followed by hot chocolate and smores around a camp fire. If you've never had a smores before then here's the recipe... it's  a must try if you want to hit a sugar rush like no other!

Athena Rangers & Harlequin Ranger
get into the Nordic Walking Swing 
Smores Recipe

Chocolate Digestive biscuits
Mini Marshmallows
wooden skewers
Skewer half a dozen 9or more) marshmallows
and hold over a hot fire for 3 seconds
Sandwich skewer between two chocolate digestives and slide out skewer leaving marshmallows between chocolate biscuits.

Eating recommendations for maximum  enjoyment of sugar rush

  1. Take a big bite and let it dissolve in mouth.
  2. Take large swig of hot chocolate to wash it down.
  3. Repeat above steps 1 & 2 as many times as you wish until marshmallows and chocolate biscuits have all gone.
Don't expect to go to sleep to early after that, but hey what a treat!

Graduation time ....
Welcome to our four new graduates, Tim and Wendy Morris, Zoe Edney and Julie Webber who have completed their Nordic Walking Technique Course. Tim and Wendy couldn't wait to get started and have been taking part in extra curricular activity by  joining us on couple of walks including the Bluebell and Wild Orchid walks taken by the Langdon Hills rangers. Watch out for other events offered by them, I will include the walks in my schedule. It can be really interesting to walk with the Rangers, they have a lot of knowledge about the area and it adds another dimension to our walks. Looking forward to seeing Julie and Zoe soon.

Wilting, weary & still smiling after an adventurous Coal House Fort Walk
( Doesn't Glyn look fabulous in Gillians Hat!)
How lovely to end May with a heatwave. Although we do need to replace the waterproofs &  wellies with sunscreen and hats to protect ourselves! Drink lots of water too. If you could see me now you would tell me to follow my own advice. As I write this I look down on my fried arms and can feel the heat coming of my burnt shoulders, the scars of our adventurous walk at Coal House Fort on Sunday. My map reading skills let me down and after a beautiful leg stretcher along the sea wall we ended up it the middle of a quarry that seemed to go on forever. It felt like a desert as there was no sea breeze to relieve the heat of the sun, it went on forever and there seemed no way out. Our energy depleted, exhausted with the heat and running out of water,  when to my immense relief we saw other human and animal life. Proof that it is  possible to survive amongst the rubble in this forsaken place.   A hurly burly security  guard (who didn't have many clothes on) and his ferocious dog ( looked like a little Jack Russell who was as wide as he was long!) was purposefully marching towards us. We were informed we were on private property and at first I thought he was going to force us back from whence we came. The only alternative was to climb over a gate that in our current state looked like a mountain to climb. To my further relief he softened, (I think Val fluttering her eye lashes at him did the trick - he was rather bronzed too,  and had a lean and mean look about him), instead he escorted us back to the main road and unlocked the gate. Phew only  few minutes back to the Fort where we all collapsed with an ice cream! It was one of those walks when you can smile about it afterwards, we're a hardy bunch us Langdon Leggies! 

Until our next adventure ...keep cool with a hat, use sunscreen and keep drinking the gin... er...I mean water!

Wishing you a Happy Summer 

Sue X

Monday, 14 May 2012

April 2012?

Oh..and what happened to April? I've somehow lost a month! My guess is it probably drowned! April 2012 was the coldest April since 1989,  the dullest since 1998 and the wettest since 2000. There has been only three Wetter Aprils in 285 years of records in England, Wales and across the UK as a whole. It as been the wettest April for at least a century . The Leggies did however make the most of the few 'windows of opportunity ' when the rain did stop, or we carried on regardless when it didn't!

While the paths were slowly turning into mud baths and new springs and tiny waterfalls appeared at Hockley Wood, we did get to see the bluebells at their best on several occasions, and also  the very first Wild Orchid that  had nudged it's  way to the surface in Lincewood.  
We had seven graduates this. Welcome to Val, Nichola, Michelle, Paul, Donna, Alan and Marion, we  look forward to seeing then all on our walks, I hope they don't get put off by the rain they are not quite as addicted as us old regulars!

Walk of the month
For me  this has to go to the Sunday Morning Bluebell Walk which also happened to coincide with the introduction of the Sunday Stroller at 9:15 before the Leg stretcher at 10:15. It was great to see so many turn out for both walks and I will be making both a regular feature on a Sunday if the demand is there.

The Alternative Olympic Legacy 'Free Activity Taster' (FAT Taster !) Update 
In spite of the rain 7 people tried Nordic Walking for the very first time and all are taking part in the  Nordic Walking techniques course in May, YEY! 

I am also giving Free Tasters and Consultations for Pilates  and Exercise Referral From now on  I am also  going to include these Free sessions in my monthly totals as both are encouraging people to try an activity that may lead to a more active and healthy lifestyle!

That brings my total FREE TASTERS too 99. This breaks down to 87 Nordic Walking Tasters, 7 Pilate's Back to Basics and 5 Exercise Referrals.Giving me a total of 901 to do. 

Please refer all your friends and family to and get them to register for their FREE TASTER SESSION. You never know it could change their life. It's also a great way for people to build confidence and see if it is something they would enjoy.

Keeeeeep walking and talking about the FREE TASTER's!

See you all soon SH 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

March 2012 - All's Right with the World

March 2012
The Leggies in Motion
Miles walked this month 33.6
Total Calories Burned 3270

The Alternative Olympic Legacy
No of Free Tasters Given 31
No of Free Tasters Remaining 924

I LOVE this month!! Well it is my birthday on the 1st and to celebrate I had a little jolly into London
with a dash of shopping thrown in too! (as good for  my well being as a Nordic walk in my book. New dress, new shoes... birthday girlie heaven!) We also took in a show, a spontaneous decision made when we saw the title 'In Basildon! And yes it was about Basildon, or a family in Basildon,Wat Tyler got a mention too! It was a quirky theatre and very apt for a show that you could naturally assume a bit dull, which was not as it happens, an interesting play and experience, and I'm always up for that!

 At this time of year there is even more time to cram even more interesting experiences as the days   get longer and the evenings lighter! It feels such a hopeful month to me, with nature waking up all around us;  I am out and about so much I can observe it in micro detail. it's the first time I've had the time and the awareness to really appreciate my surroundings, and it is something not to be missed! It can't fail to make you HAPPY! And of course the cherry on top is when the clocks go forward and even more daylight tacks on to the end of the day. Here comes the spring ... dootendoodoo....

My BIG THANKS for the support of  Langdon Leggie superstar Teresa Birch this month who organised a Free Taster Session for her colleagues at American Express  in Woodham Ferris, giving a lovely boost to my Legacy targets which hit a record 31 this month. A few more of these and I will get there! Any ideas anyone?

Walk of the Month
The Langdon Leggies at Weald Country Park
To welcome the spring some of us ventured out a bit and explored Weald Country Park,  with thanks going to Glyn Bedson who provided lifts for some of us,  making it an eco friendly expedition too! This lovely park  made up of 550 acres of mixed woodland and grassland plus two lakes and a number of ponds, (although some of these had dried up as a result of the drought), is worth a visit, the deer paddock is a thrill for children and adults
 alike and some of the views are simply stunning due to very considerate and artistic tree planting. The cafe provided a well needed cuppa after , and my Lavender shortbread delighted a few palettes as
well, even if I say so myself!

Spring is nature's way of saying "Let's Party"Robin Williams


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

February 2012 -There's No Stopping Us!

                                                                                                                              February 2012

The Leggies in Motion 
One Tree Hill -  Langdon Hills

Accumulative miles walked 463
Total Calories Burned 463
Total kcals burned 4504

The Alternative Olympic Legacy 

Number of Free tasters given 16
Number of Free tasters remaining 955

February came, the snow came, the snow went again, and then it felt like spring, my thermals were on and off and then on again, it was all such a busy blur!  Walking in the snow! Langdon Hills had a good 4 - 6 inches ' in places, and negotiating the slopes that had been turned into sledging runs was seriously taking you life in your hands, and in my case ending up on my backside a couple of embarrassing times! It did not however put off my hardy Nordic Walking Technique Course participants with Rachel Kemp, Mick &  Maureen Saunders   and Pauline Fielder who all  graduated this month in spite of their slippery intro, and they are now Nordic Walking pro's, with some Nordic Ice & Snow walking skills under their belt too! Out of the five of us I was the only one to fall over, ' teacher... teach thyself!'

Seriously,  well done to them and it's great to have them joining our group walks in March.

The snow did put a little bit of a kybosh on the number of Free Tasters I could do this month although I am happy with the way I am chipping into my target. I am now looking for some big events to attach myself too as that's where I can get bigger groups and spread the Nordic Walking Word.  A BIG THANK YOU to Rachel who  linked me up with the organisers of the Scout and Guide  International Jamboree that is held in Chelmsford during August. There will be up to 10,000 visitors to the event and I will there 3 evenings, my poles are gonna be smokin'!  

(NB.  I am looking for any volunteers who would be up for a fun couple of hours helping me to give Free tasters at this event,  speak to me if you would like more details about dates etc).

Walk of the Month.
This is a place that is really growing on me and fast becoming a favourite, Wat Tyler County Park. The council is doing a lot of work to make it an interesting and educational place to visit. The walk around the park is mostly flat, which actually makes a nice change as we can stride out a bit and easily walk the parameter taking in The Explosives Trail that features  information panels that explore the history of  the park.  There is a World War 11 Trail, A Sculpture Trail and more recently added, a sensory education area, still a work in progress and fascinating to see the developments each month. I am hoping to organise a guided heritage tour for us all in the next couple of months, maybe finish off with a picnic in the designated area by the thatched cottages. There is also a lovely cafe in the Visitors Centre that has great views over the park, especially if you can nab a window seat . Keep an out for this walk on the monthly schedule. SH

The silvery banks carve a shimmer & sparkle across the wharf at
Wat Tyler Country Park

"When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body.  I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out". 
 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

January 2012
   The Leggies in Motion

   Accumulative Miles Walked 40.3
   Total Calories Burned 4020

   The Alternative Olympic Legacy

   Number of Free Tasters Given 29
   Number of Free Tasters Remaining 971

January for me used to me a month to just get through. After the Christmas build up and festive jollies everything suddenly feels empty, vacant and very flat. Nordic Walking has completely changed that for me and I now see this month as well as the winter season  through different eyes. The absence of leaves on the trees offer us previously hidden views and natures barrenness reveals paths yet unexplored.

There is also nothing quite like a challenging goal to lift the spirits and galvanise action, as I have found with my Alternative Olympic Legacy and my pledge to give 1000 FREE TASTERS by the end of 2012. I'm off to a good start with 29 and still counting. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step so far that's 29 done!

Walk of the Month
Living in Landon Hills we are spoilt for choice, there is not much that can compare both in beauty and variety. However, I think the GOLD award this month has to go to Hadleigh Country Park and the Olympic Cycle Track, it was a quite a bit special.

After a somewhat  bumpy start with the discovery that there are two car parks we all eventually found each other and started our walk from an entrance on St Mary's Rd. We followed the natural and well trodden path along the top of Benfleet Downs taking in the  vast views over the boatyard and Benfleet Creek. It was the crispest and brightest of January mornings and the high winter sun dazzled as it reflected off the water. The chill of the  days freshness was soon a memory as the sun warmed our cheeks and the  occasionally soggy terrain  raised our heart rates as we cautiously negotiated the slippery slopes ! We adopted a trekking style for this purpose praying we would remain upright! Not a problem for the Leggies, intrepid and on a mission to find the Olympic Cycle Track.

 "Where the hell is it " I  wondered silently, secretly worried that I wouldn't find it  and my promises too the Leggies  of a 'pre Olympic nose' would be dashed.  We continued up a steep slope and my prayers for a 'sign'  were answered when a very helpful cyclist came along. In spite of having to get off his bike to tell us directions halfway up a hill he remained super friendly and pointed us in the right direction. It wasn't long before the detectives among us started spotting tyre tracks and other 'cycle clues' that indicated we were getting close.

 As if on cue. and as we stood peering into a deep groove in the ground that revealed the tell tale signs of tyre tracks on an incredibly steep incline,( it would probably be easier to cycle up an escalator!) a determined cyclist was edging his way up.  For the Leggies, in that moment, this was OUR Olympics and we clapped and cheered as he made his way past us. As our eyes followed him up his destination just happened to be the closet you could get to the Olympic cycle track. We had made it! 
Impressed with the way the track had been carved naturally out of the side of the hill, as we headed back we appreciated how the landscape has been left unspoiled. After crossing the marsh and railway track we walked along side Benfleet Creek towards the boatyard.  A good mile of level ground for an easy leg stretcher, the sun now even warm on our face and a sense of mission accomplished!

NB. The picture that frames this biog is the Hill where the Cycle Track is located: South of the Salvation Army farmland and East of Hadleigh Castle.
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