Jobseeker!

Finally, after several months of looking, I’ve finally found a job which is due to start in the next few days.

Its been quite an interesting experience – I’ve had a few little jobs to tied me over, working as a concierge for a large art fair, doing some basic accounting work and even working in Borough Market making toasted cheese sandwiches!

Having been on the other side of fence (I was a recruiter for a number of years) and now having dealt with recruiters as a candidate, I now know what a huge shower the vast majority of the industry is – thankfully for myself, I did do the basics right and made several friends with people I’ve worked with in the past.

Anyway, been listening to this for the last few months – enjoy!

Cycling Trip with Camping

Being thoroughly enthused by the Tour de France I’ve been jumping on my bike at every opportunity and heading out on fairly decent bike rides – mostly exploring London, taking in the sights – something I usually miss whilst commuting and having found myself with a few days to spare I decided to load up the bike and head off. My plan being to follow the river east riding the Thames Path, out towards the Dartford Crossing with my aim being to find somewhere to wild camp at the far end.

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Travelling light – I was carrying 2 litres of water, a jungle bivvy, roll mat and sleeping bag I set off mid-afternoon from Lewisham in SE London and was very quickly at my start point – the Trafalgar Public House, right on the River Thames in Greenwich where I grabbed a photo of my bike next Nelson who was looking north across the river at Canary Wharf.

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I do love this ride out of London and its interesting seeing the contrast between north and south – on the north side is Canary Wharf and south is mainly derelict buildings, ship breaking yards and large aggregate industries.

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Before long, the O2 Centre came into view…

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The whole area is being redeveloped, certainly all round the O2 Centre, its one big building site. After a short while the Thames Barrier came into view. The Thames Barrier became operational in 1982 – I do like to see this structure as my father who sadly died earlier this year fitted the lightning protection to it and I remember the stories he use to tell me all those years ago.

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I couldn’t resist this next photo, a well placed bike against a nice piece of graff – almost looks like the guy is about to jump on the bike…

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I carried on riding, heading further east before stopping in Erith for refreshments. Having loaded up at the local supermarket my thoughts started turning to where I might sleep tonight. Looking at the map on my phone I spotted a couple of likely stops over near Bexley Village. Leaving Erith I rode along several trails, chatted to some fisherman all of whom were having quite a good day. I also stopped to eat some blackberries! Before too long, I was peddling through the village of Bexley heading towards the spot I’d found – on arrival I was very impressed, it was a great little spot so set up camp and settled in for the night.

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I had a great ride and night out under the stars though next time I’ll remember to bring my mosquito repellent!!

Hole in the Box

Box Freestone Mine is located on the outskirts of Box village, just off junction 17 of the M4. Again like so many of our trips, this one was conceived in the pub with emails going out the very next day. Several weeks later here we were, getting ready to enter these vast underground tunnels.

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This limestone quarry has been mined since Roman times though this came to halt during the very early 70s. Now its visited by intrepid explorers and the curious – buying maps from the local pub, the very good Quarrymans Arms (who looked after us once we’d finished our adventures) and is also the place where you can pick up the key to gain access to the mines.

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The tunnels are vast and if I remember correctly, are broken up in to three distinct areas Northern, Southern and one other area which I can’t remember!

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We had a great time, the mine is very impressive – there were discarded tools, old wooden cranes, graffiti going back to when the mines were mined and areas of tunnel that were collapsed.

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We were underground for a good few hours before finishing up at a place called the Cathedral, natural light teeming in from the hole above – its only whilst you have someone stood there that you get a sense of how large this space is.

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We exited the mine into someones garden (a seriously impressive garden it was too) and headed straight to the pub – not more than 100m from where we came above ground.

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A great session in the pub was the perfect end to the day with most of us opting for the very quaffable mole beer!

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Turning Right

Having had a great evening with friends in the Somerset Village of Box, I set off bright and early the following day to return home to London. Twenty minutes in and already the electronic signs on the M4 were saying ‘Severe Delays’ at the next junction…

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Not being in any great rush to get back to London I opted to turn off the M4 and pretty much ‘follow the sun’ back to London – not looking at the map, just following my instincts and the road ahead. What should’ve been a couple of hours journey time ended up being about five hours – a thoroughly awesome five hours, which lifted my spirits greatly – it was much-needed and made me wonder more about sometimes just doing something with no end goal and seeing happens.

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I actually ended up in the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, spending a couple of hours enjoying the early morning sunshine amongst (I’ve since found out) the largest stone circle in the whole of Europe. It was really special and having been known to hug trees in the past, couldn’t resist touching these ancient monuments and wondering about all that has gone before these great monuments.

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Not being much of a religious person, I ended up visiting the church in Avebury, taking pictures of the church and its gravestones very near this monument built by our ancient ancestors.

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This morning really brought home how amazing we all are and how lucky we all are to have these reminders of previous lives. It also made me think of a walk I’d done with the boys a couple of years back – Op Rafter, where we also came across an ancient stone circle…

The Longest Walk 1.0 – Epic Walk

Saw this really great time-lapse video on Twitter this morning and it really resonates with me – I love the idea of just heading in a direction, keep walking – one foot in front of the other.

That and finally being able to grow a great beard!

Back in 2011 I was fortunate in that I was able to go on a world-wide trip, taking in many continents and experiencing many rich cultures. Seeing the above time-lapse made me think about a time when I was in Noida, Delhi taking photos of pilgrims on their own epic walk…

I really do fancy going on an epic walk somewhere.

An Englishman, an Indian and a Chicken, board a train…

Memories of train travel, India…

CraSh Williams' Blog

…almost the start to a great joke!

I had to get back to Delhi – I had my ticket to leave Varanasi, sometime around 1pm Sunday. India has a huge train network, probably the biggest rail network in the World – it’s certainly India’s largest employer. When it works, it’s fantastic and certainly a great way to see the country though when it goes tits-up, it really does!

Booking tickets is fairly straight forward if you’ve an Indian credit card or family member who can book you a ticket online. Otherwise it means joining the queue at the station and waiting in line. Not speaking the language there’s an almost 100% chance you’ll get something wrong which will see you starting the whole process over again.

They also have something called the ‘waiting list’ where you buy a ticket though you’re not assigned any seat – the idea being that…

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