Just idly flicking through my blog and it appears my last entry was in 2018. I freely admit that blog entries are like hen’s teeth these days but I can’t seem to completely let go of keeping it ticking over and making the occasional entry. So….
Outdoorsy type stuff like walking and camping have been relegated to the shelves of infrequency and obscurity. I just don’t have the time to devote to pursuits such as these and find my eclectic outlook and interests keep me occupied and satiated. I do go walking but it tends to be rolling hillsides than craggy mountainsides and if I do the dogs and the wife come with me. More time is spent and devoted to cycling to satisfy that Vitamin D and mood boosting fix and again with my good lady wife 95% of the time. Family events and maintenance (yes I do mean it in the realest sense of the word!) fairly and squarely also occupy a chunk of my energy too. I have also rediscovered my love of books and research especially with regards to ancient and/or local history. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still buy and appreciate outdoor gear but it is more of an aesthetic satisfaction rather than a purely functional driven need. I must be getting old.
What I have bought and used recently include the marmite-like Marmot Precip jacket, Rab Nucleus Pull-on and Five-Ten Access Approach shoes. The jacket does exactly what it was bought for, keeping me dry although I admit it would probably not suffice for all day mountain walking. I like the relative lightness coupled with its robustness and a very decent hood. The Rab Nucleus is my go to top for light insulation and has worn really well ie it still looks pristine. The Access shoes were a ‘can’t leave’ sale item and on reflection I wouldnt buy them at full price and especially having worn them. They are reasonably comfy and reasonably grippy in the wet but arent waterproof, arent for long days walking and arent all that supportive. Still they were cheap 🙂
I cant think what the next bit of (non) walking kit will be, especially as Spring approaches, but a technical teeshirt does seem on the cards. It’ll be a whim purchase no doubt so I’ll wait and see. I would like to think I might get my zen back for (proper) hill walking and maybe, just maybe, I might venture out onto the hills in the summer if and when time allows.
So the last day of summer is here. Tie has really flown by since my last entry and we’ve managed to pack in a lot of stuff in the intervening time. Work continues to throw twists and turns at me. Reorganisations, more work, same money, same old same old 🙂 Saffron the pup has grown up somewhat and turned into a very springy 8 month old that refuses to listen unless it suits her and mercilessly teases Barney until he plays with her. We’ve spent a lot of time walking with the dogs but again a lack of camping is still evident. When Saffron is older I’ll take her and Barney out for a night in the Black Mountains but will probably wait until next year for this now. I would have liked to have done it this year but just havent been able to. At least the addition of another dog to the family has given us real impetus to do more walking in and around the area so I’m thankful for that. My daughter and son have done well in their exams from this year too with my eldest well on track for his final A levels next year and my youngest doing well in her ‘early’ GCSEs. Very pleased and very relived so just hoping for them both to do well again next year before their next challenges on the road to growing up and finding their way in the world.
Just as an aside I read a blog entry from Robin over at blogpackinglight about the potential death of blogging. I agree that to some extent blogging is less apparent (to me anyway) than the heyday of 5 to 10 years ago and probably for a good number of reasons. I myself dont write half as much as I used to which is down to time and inclination mostly. However, I do still see the value of blogging and look at it, if nothing else, as a permanent reminder or diary of what I’ve done (even if the past couple of years have been pretty threadbare). So on that note I will sign off again until the next entry and just to say I will still write when I feel like it rather than because I feel I ‘must’ if you see what I mean.
Just a quick pupdate. Saffron is doing well. She’s growing and starting to integrate with Barney so we are really pleased. Toilet training is also going well and outdoor walks arent too stressful. Having said that, we went out in the snow this morning and she was glad to get back. Both dogs are now cwtched up on the sofa and fast asleep 🙂
It had to happen. After months and months of pestering by our daughter we have finally caved in and got another dog. Introducing Saffron (Saffie or Saff on occasion) our CavaPoo puppy. She was born on the 9th December and we picked her up last weekend from Devon. She is a bundle of fur and already settled in although Barney is still a bit weary of this canine Tsunami. Hoping that this one will also enjoy the outdoors as much as Barney and when the time is right an overnight camp will definitely be on the cards (probably in the early autumn when she’s older). Well that’s about it for now and be prepared for a few more photos over the next few months. You have been warned…. 🙂
…with hopefully a few more posts than last year.
I have struggled to maintain the blog for various reasons and I dont want to do it just for doing it’s sake. I am not going to set a target, I am not going to fret, I will just pop in a few posts when there is something worthy to report in.
2017 was another tough year but thankfully over and looking on the up as 2018 is underway. I am still cycling but actually walking as well. I’ve even roped the other half into the walking lark and of course we share adventures with Barney the dog. I am planning a few camping trips when and where possible but not going to stress about timetables. Lets see how it goes. The cycling is still going so am fairly happy that I am managing to get out and get meaningful exercise on several fronts.
Possibly no French adventure this year but maybe a Scotland trip instead, all depends on time and opportunity. We tend to fit in things on the ad-hoc basis and last minute so we’ll see what happens. Work is crazy busy but when is it not? The kids are getting older and my eldest is doing his A-levels now so times are changing and I am moving into another age-band to boot. I dont feel older just slightly less sprightly and slightly more creaky!
I will also look to add pictures more during the course of this year and so rely less on long wordy ruminations. I dont mind if no-one reads this much as I have kind of realised these days that I write for myself first and for others second. An electronic diary so I can look back on it from time to time. Anyway, enough for now, lets just see when the next post is.
Ok, so what’s been happening? In the past year, a huge amount and not all good. I wont go into details but its been pretty harrowing on times and so I haven’t really found the time or the inclination to do much on this blog. Or indeed to get out much in terms of walking. In fact the last time I went proper walking was back in October last year. No camping for a wee while either, obviously.
I kind of feel a bit out of the loop in terms of whats new and happening in the ‘outdoor world’ although most of this tends to revolve around gear stuff! I plan to do a few walks later in the year or at least when I can. Having trimmed down my collection of kit, I think I have just enough stuff to enable me to get out but not the 4 seasons, alas.
Cycling is probably the only thing I have managed to keep going and even that has had to be shoe horned into parcels of time or opportunities that arise, rather than long planned and lengthy rides. I think I will try and get out sooner rather than later and strangely enough, when it rains or is misty/claggy, the pull to go walking always seems to be stronger. Anyhoo, thats enough for now and hopefully the next time I post I will have something of worth to report