Ray tests the depth of the River Crouch
Ray's Breakfast blog
If you want to find out more about the things Ray Clark and his Breakfast show team get up to, both at BBC Essex and behind the scenes, then read Ray's breakfast blog.
The Ray Clark Breakfast Show team here at BBC Essex have decided that we need a breakfast blog, so that you can see what we do both on the radio, behind the scenes and the adventures we have away from BBC Essex.
The second full week of 2008 - hope the rest of the year slows down a bit!
It's a strange time of year; no great adventures yet, apart from a trip to Dunwich to look at the waves and eat fish and chips - the problem being that the fish and chip hut's closed until March 1st! Still if you want decent fish and chips then surely Essex must be the beat place to go.
Ray's listeners come from far and wide
Following the 12 mile walk and the 10 mile bike ride in the first week of the year, the idea being to get really fit for the new year, I suffered with severe man flu - but just a gentle bike ride earlier this week could lead to further exploration of our county 'on me bike'.
It's been quite mild in our county so far this year, but even on the coldest of days it gets nowhere near as chilly as Nepal. Ray Clark Breakfast Show listener 'Stormin' Norman' has been there - with his BBC Essex mug; it's so cold his water bottle exploded - nasty!
Two weeks worth of clues now!
The direction that the ice stops = West Bergholt
Attached to a car that hoots = Stapleford Tawney
Start the New Year with a brisk walk....
Everyone's telling us that we must exercise more, get out and get fit, is the order of the day.
The infamous gate of toot
So, together with my mate Rod, I went for a short stroll along what must be the most remote and inaccessible part of the coastline, not just in Essex, but perhaps the whole country - Bradwell-on-Sea to Burnham-on-Crouch (both with hyphens). The walk from St Peters Chapel to the Corinthian yacht club in Burnham is about 12 miles.
Armed with waterproofs, a warm hat, flask of tea and sandwiches, the walk took around six hours from the mouth of the River Blackwater to the mouth of the Crouch and inland to Burnham.
There is plenty of 'nothingness' to look at, but also some really unusual sights: The amazing saltings and mud flats that stretch, in places, for miles - at other points the saltings are frighteningly small and offer very little protection from the North Sea.
Ray gets arty with his camera!
There were signs from the recent very high tides that the water came alarmingly close to the top of the seawalls with seaweed in many places actually on top of the wall.
Looking out into the distance and there was a huge container ship leaving the Thames but having to steam quite far out to avoid the sandbanks before turning south - perhaps for China
Lunch was taken at Holliwell point, where the sea wall was strengthened in the 70's and again in the 80's. Midway along this section is a gate, I guess to stop anyone driving along the wall, but it's become a 'depository' for all kinds of flotsam.
Raymond keeps a look-out for any advancing foes
Further towards Burnham and an unusual relic from the war, a sort of double deck pill box, apparently this was a control tower ready to trigger the mines strung across the mouth of the Crouch in the event of an invasion.
It's a great walk and if you fancy a little solitude it might be the route for you... and if, or when, my feet stop aching I'd like to go round a high tide with a strong NE wind blowing.
Three, Two, One - Go!
Happy New Year!! The first Ray Clark breakfast show blog of 2008, and I suppose mention must be made of the Mad Maldon Mud Race. Thousands visited Maldon Prom for the annual event, which raises thousands for Essex charities.
181 runners, including Stuart Woodward - ace production man for the Ray Clark Breakfast Show - waited patiently for the race to begin as the crowds looked on.
Stuart prepares for the final onslaught
For the past few years I've been the compere at the event - the job entails trying to liberate cash from spectators and keeping everyone informed about the event.
Obviously they choose me because I've got my finger on the pulse - and always know exactly what's going on - so, you can imagine my surprise as I attempted to get more than 6,000 people to indulge in a Mexican wave, only to turn around to see the runners taking to the mud. All I said was 3 - 2 -1 Go!
Obviously not my mistake, or the 6,000-plus spectators, so it must have been the runners who got it wrong.
Just three clues for this short week:
Sparkling fish at home = Brightlingsea (Bright/Ling/Sea)
And finally.... the clue that you might have heard over the Christmas holiday: 'Nit wits have to pay' = Twitty Fee (yes, there is such a place and its just outside Danbury).
last updated: 18/01/2008 at 16:37