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!

Beginning a tenth year

5th May 2015

It was after the Mayday bank holiday weekend in 2006 that this blog began and, though the actual tenth anniversary is around twelve months away, a lot has happened in those nine years.These have included life changes too with a change of job (and employer) nearly five years ago subsequently being eclipsed by the loss of my mother over two years ago and my father’s taking leave of this world earlier in the year. Life can fee like a roller coaster ride at times.

2013 became all about dealing with the rawness of not having my mother around any more and my father’s no longer being there has left me feeling a bit lost when it comes to my ongoing relationship with the country of my birth and upbringing, Ireland. This is something that happens a lot of people to set down roots away from their homeland though my father’s need management for a while yet and I still have family on the other side of the Irish Sea.

What perhaps feels a bit stranger is how little an effect this has had on circumstances in the country that I call home. For one thing, where I live most of the time has become more important and it may look to my work colleagues that little has changed but the need to find my feet again in a changed life continues. Events like the ones that I have encountered make you think about where you are going in life and there may be need for a work sabbatical yet if an annual leave allowance is not enough for putting my father’s affairs in order.

After my father’s funeral, my mind filled with dreams of exploring the likes of the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the Alps or the Pyrenees but they have been tamed for a while. The initial feeling of release has been tempered by things needing doing in Ireland and having to rest after two years of keeping an eye on a bereaved parent in a nursing home became more of a priority; it is amazing how something like that can take so much out of you.

Having not had any sort of longer break since January I was gagging for the Easter weekend because I really was in need of a bit of “me” time. That the weather came good around was a bonus though it did little to rouse me to travel away from home. Macclesfield has plenty of local walking opportunities anyway so I was left short of those. Holy Saturday saw me walk to the recycling centre with electronic equipment for disposal and I made a longer walk of it by taking in Danes Moss Nature Reserve and a section of the Macclesfield Canal. Easter Sunday allowed a visit to Tegg’s Nose Country Park while Easter Monday saw me walking from Walker Barn to Forest Chapel before I continued to the top of Shutlingsloe. A spot of stravaiging then followed before I settled into returning home via Langley. Tuesday of Easter was another day off from work for me so I headed to Tatton Park for the afternoon. To complete the set, another trot along the Saddle of Kerridge would be in order and that has yet to happen this year.

The end of April saw me cross over to Ireland for a spot of sorting so it was the Mayday bank holiday weekend that was left to allow for further recuperation. Unlike the Easter weekend, this has not been as much of a walking one. The weather has been mixed and I have been distracted by home computing matters. Aside from putting a computer to rights, I also got to setting up a website dedicated to my late father’s history writings. He set to trying to use a PC for the first time in his eighties and wanted me to teach him one Christmas after such a busy working  year that it was a break away from such things that I really needed. Disharmony sadly was the result and my other was left wishing that no one had put the computing idea into his head, especially when his ability to learn was not what it once was and he never was that technically minded anyway. As it happened, it was my mother who operated video (and DVD) players in their house.

An interest in history is something that I share with my father so I am happy to put his essays online, albeit with a good amount of editing to prepare them for a wider audience. The whole archive is not online yet and I am treating it like any website that I have: adding a little over time and tweaking things as I go along. That is how I have done this one and is how I plan to keep things.

Belatedly, I finished off the trip reports for all my walking outings in 2013 so those for 2014 are next on my to do list. This year has yet to see me embarking on similar escapades but I am thinking of having longer summer holiday this year so that may help. Between this and that, 2009 was the last summer escape that was not an elongated weekend such as what happened in 2013 and again in 2014. There was a week off in 2011 but I stayed at home then because I more needed the rest before starting out with a new client at work. If 2015 allowed an opportunity like my exploring the Western Isles in 2008, who knows how much writing could appear on here after something like that.

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