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!

Thought collection

28th September 2018

To me, writing is a little like sculpting in that it takes a while to craft a report, article, blog entry or other piece. There is creation in action and there often is a first draft that gets taken asunder and reassembled. After all, that has happened what you are reading now and much of what you find on this website.

There have times during the last few years when I felt sufficiently bereft of energy that even writing trip reports was something for which I had no enthusiasm. After all, photos need selection and editing and details need to be extracted from faded memories. Some of this can be blamed by the amount of time that I have allowed to elapse before writing up an outing.

It is easy to blame the passage of one or two years with all that they bring but I think that trip reports need to be more than what can be a route description that might be found on a platform such as Viewranger or Mountain Views. Sights and circumstances help bring a narrative to life but it still takes a little writing time for the words and ideas to come together.

Some ensure this by keeping a journal throughout the time that inspires later writing. Though I am not one of those, I have got myself a notebook where I can jot phrases whenever a valuable thought passes through my mind. Too often, it is the ones that I wish to retain are the very ones that leave me with hardly a trace and the unwanted ones scarcely want to depart at all. Such is the paradoxical way in which my brain works and mine may not be so unique if the growing collection of mindfulness books are any indication.

The notebook may be an A5 sized Moleskine item but it is not destined for the kind of use that prolific author John McPhee apparently made of his. Such will be the terseness of the phrases in mine that there will be little need to add my name and address should I lose the thing and need it returned. That also means that the reward section of that page is surplus to requirements and I am not sure that the notebook will travel with me in any case.

It is true that blogs collect thoughts but these are processed, edited and curated before any reader gets to view them. Raw material is needed and various photos with accompanying photos help but something read in a book or magazine could be equally worthy of retention. Then, there are those thoughts that arise when a mind to left to wander. Now that there is somewhere to keep these from being lost, who knows what might come of them? Only time will answer that question.

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