2021 and nearly the end of. I admit I am lousy at keeping the blog alive these days for a number of reasons. Latterly its been a lack of stuff to report especially on the outdoorsy things but also due to health and job stuff. Currently isolating at home suffering from the big C (not that C the newer C) and a cheeky little kidney infection to boot. Never rains but it pours…
So in 2021 I have been doing a lot more walking but sadly no camping but I live in hope. Maybe 2022….just maybe. Cycling has reduced somewhat even though working from home. Age also has a bearing on things as the ‘cant be bothered’ element comes into play. Mainly though arthritis and various other chronic conditions have hampered me but I live in hope
If nothing else at least I have posted this year so that has cheered me up a bit
So, I find myself writing another post almost exactly 6 months since the last one with the intervening time taken up by that pesky virus thingy. 6 months has flown by and of course its been wrapped up in the hubbub of changes brought about by lockdown, a new job and adjusting to a new working norm. Having spent the last 6months working from home, and I am thankful for having a job that allows that, its easy to let certain things drift. Having said that, on average I have managed to walk around 5 miles a day purely because the weather has been so good, the pooches appreciate it and I am not losing 3 hours a day to the commute. Cycling also is up, especially since the lockdown measures eased and now clocking up an average of 200miles a week at present. Still cant shift the extra pounds I’ve put on mind……
In regards to the great outdoors, ie camping in particular, am hoping to take the opportunity of a some holiday this month to get out for a night with the dogs in the Brecon Beacons. Not very exotic, not far flung and relatively easy. I have looked at my reduced kit pile which was trimmed when I stopped going out on a regular basis and it just about suffices for my needs. The mat is possibly the one thing I might need to re-examine from the perspective of taking 2 dogs with me. The good news is that the pooches will act as 2 mini-radiators during the night so keeping warm shouldn’t be an issue! I might take 2 basic evazote mats to cover the entire footprint of the inner tent rather than any inflatable options. Trimming scissors at the ready. Havent decided where in the Beacons yet and will have to be reasonably careful as Barney is getting on (8) and isnt quite as sprightly as he used to be. Saffron is part spaniel and of course part nutter and powered by duracell batteries it seems
All this time at home has allowed me to do more things that I enjoy but rather than snatch at opportunities, I can plan and do things in a measured and planned way. Ok, so spontaneity is great but there is a time and a place for that…..
Well, that’s the update. Feels weird to be writing again and of course it’s not overly important to me if no-one reads this or cares overly at the contents. I am writing for me primarily and of course keeping the blog fire burning just that little bit longer….
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…. 🙂