Category Archives: things to do

Eclipsnic Tonight from 9pm!

Blackheath Eclipsnic Lunar Eclipse Picnic tonight 9pm
Come and wonder at the pink moon tonight on Blackheath! From 9pm the Flamsteed amateur astronomy society will be holding a lunar eclipse picnic (wonderfully dubbed the “Eclipsnic”), at the location shown above, which isn’t a million miles away from the Blackheath Tea Hut. Anyone can come along, it’s free, but I guess warm clothes and a pair of binoculars would be a plus. It’s a great idea. More info on their site.

See the previous post about this here.

5 Comments

Filed under astronomy, blackheath, events, things to do

Black Vanilla Easter Egg Hunt tomorrow

Black Vanilla Easter Egg Hunt
Black Vanilla (the new-ish ice cream gelataria shop in the village) is having an easter egg hunt tomorrow. You can see the posters in their window, and the full range of posters are also on Lost In Style’s blog (the people who designed Black Vanilla’s branding).

There’s nothing on Black Vanilla’s website about the egg hunt, but it was mentioned on their twitter account a couple of days back.

It starts at 9am, and from the look of the designer’s site, a series of little tags will be hidden around the village. Then we get to hunt for them, and bring them to the shop in return for free goodies, such as:

  • 1st prize – a huge easter egg
  • 2nd prize – large tub of gelato
  • 3rd prize – medium tub of gelato
  • 4th prize – bambino gelato cone

It says there’s a maximum of 5 tags per winner, so presumably there will be quite a few dotted around.

(PS: Back from hols…)

Leave a comment

Filed under blackheath, events, food, things to do

Running in Blackheath

Running man in Blackheath Car Park
For the last eight weeks, I’ve been running round the heath. As someone who has always hated exercise, I’m amazed that I’ve kept it up this long. But I’ve discovered the secret – as long as I can turn running into a geeky activity, aided by various gadgets, I can enjoy it!

To start with, I bought an app called Couch to 5k for the iPhone. This is a brilliantly simple idea. It allows you to listen to your own music, and promises that each run will take about 30 minutes. Crucially it also only requires that you use it three times a week. In fact, it warns against doing more exercise than this! The secret to the app is you don’t need to think about your progress – you put on your headphones, listen to your favourite music or podcast, and follow the instructions. Every so often the music dips down, and a voice says “Run now” or “Walk now”. The intervals between running and walking are perfectly spaced, so that your first few weeks are gentle – truly I think that anyone who isn’t actually unwell could begin to run using this app. The first weeks consist of running for a minute, followed by walking for 2 or 3 minutes. Really easy. And as the runs go by, these intervals are gradually altered. I’m now running for 28 minutes without stopping.

This may not sound like much – I’m sure that if I had really tried on the first day, I could have run for 25 minutes continuously – but I would have given up after a few runs.

After 2 weeks, I started to get some pain in my legs. I was convinced that I’d done myself a terrible injury, and that I wasn’t cut out for running. But a bit of research showed that this was caused by shinsplints, because I was wearing my usual crappy trainers. So I bought some fancy new trainers. At £85, these are the most expensive trainers I’ve ever purchased, but they still cost less than two months at a gym.

The running shop I bought them from was truly amazing. They put you on a treadmill, and film you running. Then they give you some other shoes, and film you running with those. Then some really ingenious software syncs up the two videos, side by side, plays them back in slow motion, and compares the angle between your foot and your leg, to see if the shoes are helping you to run without damaging yourself.

The shinsplints went away within a week.

Then I started to get annoyed by the nasty white in-ear headphones that come with the iPhone. They fall out of your ears when you try to run. So I got these Sony MDR-AS30 headphones. They cost about £15, sound better than the white earbuds, and crucially never fall out of your ears. If you wear them for more than about an hour, they can get uncomfortable, but unless I double my running time, there’s not much chance of that happening.

And that’s the complete cost to my running. £100.
Squirrel in Blackheath by Flickr user waldopepper

  • Things I’ve noticed about running in Blackheath:
  • Seeing Blackheath & Greenwich park lit up by the morning sun – it’s something I never used to see.
  • Chasing the squirrels down to the Observatory, and back again.
  • Seeing the beautiful Observatory, and the view across London in the first light, completely deserted.
  • The people who clean up the litter on the heath in the mornings. Usually just one guy in a little buggy.
  • The Greenwich council van cleaning the roads up to the observatory. Really noisy, must cost a fortune to run – guess it’s cheaper to burn petrol than to employ more people with a broom.

I can’t help feeling sorry for groups of people on the heath (like you know who), knowing that they are spending hundreds of pounds a season to be shouted at by an ex-army instructor, when they could have bought an iPod, an app, and some headphones, and a more pleasant experience!
Squirrel photo by Flickr user waldopepper.

5 Comments

Filed under blackheath, things to do

The age of Steam returns to Blackheath (fleetingly)


A steam train is set to chug through Blackheath on Sunday morning. More info on 853blog, and IanVisits. (Video shows the 2009 appearance by YouTube user Vickyanand)

1 Comment

Filed under blackheath, events, things to do, transport

News Shopper sinks to new low

Saw this, spotted by @mudlarklives in News Shopper Page 15:
News Shopper Star Letter

Wrote this to Webster’s Pen Shop:

Just wondering if your business is pleased to be associated with this bigoted rubbish: http://twitpic.com/2iesl1

Please let me know if your company believes that homosexuals “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator.”…

4 Comments

Filed under things to do

Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival 2010 on Saturday!


Here are a few tips from the locals, to all the people who will be descending upon Blackheath over the weekend, for the Bike and Kite Festival.

Take an umbrella. If it rains, you’ll need it, and if it’s sunny there’s next to no shade on the heath, so you can hide under it when you get too hot. The pubs will be packed, so best to come with supplies. (Nicholas, the off license in the village does a very nice dry cider).

Take a bike. Don’t drive – there’s almost no parking in Blackheath at the best of times, and over the weekend it will be even worse than usual. Plus, if you take your bike, there’s usually a free Bike Doctor at the festival who will check your tyres, gears, brakes, etc.

Take a kite! Just don’t take a good one! Loads of people will be flying them, and there’s a good chance you’ll get tangled up (happened to me last year)…

There are usually a few really good plant stalls, if you feel like stocking up. Other stalls include advice from the council about recycling, bike & kite sales etc.

Make sure you know what to look out for! There’s an expert’s guide to the kite performers here at The Kite Society.

Finally, if you know anything about Kite Aerial Photography, bring your rig, so that you can improve on my hopeless effort!

Below are links to my pages from the event for the last two years:

2009:

http://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/blackheath-bike-and-kite-festival-2009-today/

http://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/more-photos-from-the-bike-and-kite-festival-2009/
http://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/the-flying-cat/

2008:
http://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/photos-from-the-bike-and-kite-festival/

1 Comment

Filed under blackheath, events, things to do

Mini funfair on the heath

Mini funfair on Blackheath
UPDATE: This is an old post – for info about the funfair at the end of August 2010, go here!

There’s a fun fair on the Heath! It’s only a small one, and they’re still setting up as I write this, but it looks like a nice manageable size, not like some of the massive sprawling fairs over on the Greenwich end of the Heath. Definitely aimed at younger kids, there’s a mini helter-skelter, a merry go round, lots of inflatables, a bungee trampoline, a big wheel, as well as dodgems (as used by non-specific Royalty, see photo below) and other arcade-type attractions along the back row of the fair for adults/older kids.

It’s open from 12-9pm today, and 2-8pm on Sunday.

Mini funfair on Blackheath

Here’s a Google map showing a GPS trace around the perimeter, and a few rides nearby:

(PS: Thanks to Mrs Bugle for looking after the blog during my trip away!)

3 Comments

Filed under events, things to do