Walking in the World

Tag Archives: Rayleigh

Behind the Scenes

We were out early Tuesday morning, before any sunlight made its way into the churchyard in Rayleigh. Cold, but appropriately wintry. Despite the chill, it was nice to take a bit of a detour so we could walk through the familiar old churchyard. For the first time this year, I was really aware of the light that morning. By the time I woke up, the sky was already beginning to lighten. The earth is stirring… as am I.

We’ve accomplished a long-time dream this week and launched the Labyrinthos Blog – a site specifically focused on the incredible labyrinth-themed information, photos and archive items that that cross our desks here in Labyrinthos HQ. We’ve been working long hours in our back-to-back desk chairs, clicking on our keyboards, cursing at our frustrations, but generally enjoying the experience of seeing some plans come together. In addition to my work on the Labyrinthos Blog website, Jeff is giving the official Labyrinthos website a complete overhaul, which is, of course, a painstakingly tedious task. It feels vitally important to be bringing our online presence into line with modern technology. We have so many wonderful things in our tiny little office that we want to share!

I have finally gotten some clarity on how my three websites/blogs can work together. Up to now, I have subscribed to a my-blog-my-rules philosophy, and have put authentic expression above clarity for my readers- a writing style that has been incredibly rewarding for me, but perhaps a little confusing to search engines and some readers. In my head, however, I’ve been been playing with new ideas for organizing and presenting my eclectic interests and passions – and I finally have a plan! Walking in the World will continue to showcase daily (quotidien) life, discussing whatever I find as I explore the world around me. Sometimes that will be my local community, the stuff of the Backyard Pilgrim, and other times it will give you an inside look at the amazing places we go as part of our labyrinth work. Eclectic, spontaneous, spiritual in an earthy and grounded sort of way. Footprints, pilgrimages, and hand-knitted socks. I want to show you my ‘Quotiediens’ as well as my ‘Cathedral Moments,’ and introduce you to the amazing people I meet along the way. I’m not even going to try to post every day, but I promise you some good stories, told from the heart and hopefully some good companionship.

My other website, Ariadne’s Thread, has been patiently waiting in the background for the past two years while I’ve focused on Walking in the World, but Ariadne’s stirring restlessly now, and I’m sensing a major change for that blog. I’m not going to give away the surprise, but watch this space in the coming weeks!

All three blogs/sites will have different email notification lists, so please have a good browse and sign up for the posts that you want to receive. Naturally I hope you’ll opt for all three – of course I do! But whatever you choose, thanks for joining me on the Path.

09 Feb 2017

A Taste of Italy


We couldn’t resist. The Italian Food Market came back to Rayleigh yesterday, and we wanted to soak up the feast of food, accents, and conviviality. We’ll be back in Italy in a few weeks, so we saw this as an appetizer, a little sampling to whet our appetites for the real thing.

A calzone for Jeff’s lunch, some salami and olives for our pre-pizza nibbling, and some longing glances at the torrone and pastries… Maybe I should move to Italy…

20 Nov 2016

Shop Local!


We love our local shops and try to support them whenever we can. One of our seasonal traditions is to go to Rayleigh to pick up a Christmasy box of Essex apples to share over the holidays.


And while we were there, we also stopped in at Byford’s for a handmade pork and stuffing pie for Jeff:


It was Market Day today, so we wandered through, picking up gluten-free pigs-in- blankets from the Giggly Pig (that’s a first, yippee!)


and a locally made, perfect gingerbread man for me.


We shall feast well!

23 Dec 2015

Christmas Coffee



We made a little holiday pilgrimage to Squires in Rayleigh this afternoon. Squires is a delightful little coffee and tea shop on the High Street that serves more interesting brews than anywhere else in the area, and does it in a delightful old building that absolutely begs you to come in for a bit of old-fashioned indulgence. (This is one link that really is worth clicking and reading!)


I’m a purist when it comes to my coffee — no lattes and capuccinos for me. I like it strong, black, and aromatic. And I don’t drink it after noon, or I’ll be up all night! So, we didn’t linger this afternoon, and instead bagged our beans and will be enjoying our special Colombian blend when we wake up Christmas morning…

14 Dec 2015

Italy in Essex


I’ve been excited to go to the Italian Market on Rayleigh High Street. Expecting a crowd, we got there right at 9:00, which was the advertised start time, only to find a grand total of two stands, both of which were just beginning to be set up. We parked and walked and waited, and…. it was worth our while! Cheese

The vendors were chatty and they really knew their wares. In Italy the laws around gluten-free foods are quite strict, which makes it a very safe place for me to eat. There is no grey area — if a restaurant says they can serve me, then I am assured that there will be a separate station with separate utensils for preparing my food. The Italian Market was just as enlightened, and I got some very special treats — which is especially nice as I’ve been missing my Italian friends lately. We so loved our time in Italy last February, and this market stirred my memory and my heart.


Any guesses what we’re having for dinner tonight?


Ok,ok… there was also the most amazing torrone stand. Every imaginable flavour, all gluten free. Spoiled for choice, I finally decided on the tiramisu….. but unfortunately we demolished it long before we got around to taking photos.

17 Oct 2015

Puzzling Rayleigh’s Monkeys


We were back in Rayleigh for an appointment this morning, and we dutifully walked the High Street for a bit of shopping and browsing. As always, we stopped to admire the huge Monkey Puzzle Tree at the junction of Bellingham Lane and London Hill. (We actually took these photos last week when the weather was nicer — today was drizzly and bleak, and not a day for good photographs.)

Araucaria araucana is native to a small area in Chile and Argentina, but grows well here in England. It can grow as high as 50 feet, and produces large spiny cones containing many edible seeds.Sir Edward Menzies first brought them here in 1795, and they have been popular with gardeners ever since. Their unusual nickname comes from an observation by Charles Austin that “it would puzzle a monkey to climb that” and they have been called Monkey Puzzle Trees ever since.



15 Oct 2015

Welcome to Rayleigh


Coming from a part of the world where public transport is nearly non-existent, I marvel at what we have here in Britain. We live between two different train lines, either of which can deliver us to central London in less than an hour. Today the train into Rayleigh carried two very special passengers, Carol and Kelly Maurer from Delaware. They’ve been exploring London for the past week, and are staying with us for the last few days of their holiday. I’m loving this opportunity to send time with people from my tribe, am loving this chance to introduce them to my world.


18 Aug 2015

Holy Ground

Rayleigh ChurchAnother splendid morning that begged us to enjoy a bit of exploration as we ran our usual errands. Holy Trinity Church stands at the top of the High Street in Rayleigh, watching over the town as it has for centuries. There has been a church on this site since Saxon times, and the tower you see here dates to the 15th century. My imagination goes into overdrive at the thought of the people who have come to this holy ground through the ages, celebrating births and marriages, mourning deaths, and marking the progress of the liturgical year, year after year. I stand in the shadows and wonder about their stories…

I, too, have seen this church accompany us through the seasons. Remember this post from last winter?

10 Aug 2015

Summer Morning


Southern England is quite beautiful at the moment, with sunny days, deep blue skies, and glorious flowers. As we had to do a few errands in Rayleigh early this morning, I took advantage of being out and about and went for a stroll along the High Street. This abundant display is outside the Crown pub, on the corner of Crown Hill.


And while I was admiring the flowers, Jeff was scoping out the goods at Byford’s… I think those pork pies were calling his name! (He now admits that one of them followed him home!)


07 Aug 2015

Almost al Fresco


England is not known for being a sidewalk culture, but when the weather is nice, we open our windows and get as close to the outdoors as we can, even in the middle of our towns and cities. Perhaps we appreciate the sunshine all the more because of the many grey days we endure throughout the year…

Add a gentle stroll and a gluten-free pizza to the fresh air and sunshine and you have the makings of a nearly perfect afternoon!

21 Apr 2015

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