Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Into 2013…

1st January 2013

2012 was a slower year for this place than others but there still are things to say. Outstanding trip reports await writing and there are other things to be sharing too so there should be no stopping yet. The one longer walk a month ethic (there may be more sometimes, of course) will remain for me even if December saw a trip to Tatton Park was the most that I got to doing; those Christmas preparations had their part to play in this, naturally. Even the Christmas and New Year period saw less than it usually might have done for a variety of reasons.

Today, I am nursing a heavy cold so that has put paid to any greater ambitions that I may have had for New Year’s Day of 2013. Weather has had its part to play too with all those deluges that have been tormenting others far more than me. Let’s hope that the promised dry spell of weather materialises and allows everywhere to dry out a little. Once this cold is behind me, I even might get out for that longer walk of the month too.

Apart from the cold, there is one other thing that limits grand designs like my trip to the Western Isles in 2008. My parents are older and my father’s health is far from what it was so it will need close watching and more thinking about his care than he himself is willing to do. Walks still will be needed to clear minds from time to time so they won’t stop. The de-stressing action of simply putting one foot before another is one helps and there is the time for thinking too. When I changed job in 2010, both of these really helped and my hope is that they’ll continue to do so.

That’s not to say that there won’t be brighter interludes too. After all, it is amazing how bright lighting of wonderful countryside and the peace of the natural world can soothe and delight a weary soul. When I was watching episodes of BBC Scotland’s Adventure Show highlighting the Scottish National Trail on the iPlayer. The first of these really struck a resonance with me because of how many of the places featured were among those that I have passed on my Scottish forays. Places such as Kirk Yetholm, the Eildon Hills, the Three Brethern, the Pentland Hills, Edinburgh and its Water of Leith walkway, the southern reaches of the West Highland Way, the Rob Roy Way, Aberfoyle and Aberfeldy. It felt as if I had shadowed much of the route on my various comings and goings. It was hard to say the same for much of the countryside crossed in the second part though I have had a taste of what Glen Tilt has to offer last June. The threatened Monadh Liath hardly have seen any invasion from myself and those north-western Scottish fastnesses have lain beyond my attention so far.

There has been a chance to catch up with unread issues of TGO too. Older ones from before the big redesign were among these and I was reminded how more portable these used to be. Of course, Android digital editions fulfil this need so I suppose that I need to look at that app though there is something a little more special about holding a paper magazine in your hand in these ever digital days. also, I am catching up with those delayed trip reports too and they are reminders of ambiences experienced then that may be revisited in the flesh again not far into the future. Macclesfield’s nearby hill country has its share of these to offer so it could come into its own when short departures from the cares of modern life are needed, and other similar spots are not too far away either so who knows where I could be hiking?

2013 may feel more uncertain for me than other years but I got through 2010 and that was bumpy in its own respects. For me, it looks as if it will be a matter of inching a way through the year. Of course, at start of any year, it impossible to know where things will sit at its end and so it is with this one. Obstacles get overcome and life goes forward in its adventurous manner. Over the Christmas period, I read an opinion piece from Cameron McNeish in TGO bemoaning adventure holidays and their misplaced concepts of planning and organisation. Life’s not like that so that mindset sounds hubristic to me, and especially so now.

While my 2013 is beginning in a wistful state of mind, my hope is that yours will be good to you. May twelve months hence have us recalling happy surprises that have come upon us along the way too; I am recalling 2012’s in my own mind right now as this blog goes into its eighth calendar year (the actual birthday is at the start of May). Life’s adventure continues…

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