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!


5th February 2019

It appears that we are living in one of history’s more turbulent epochs and such is the drama that I have avoided reading very much history until now. The cause has been as much about the fear of reliving what is unnerving about our current times as the allure of other interests. However, I have relented and started on books that have awaited my attention for far too long.

Completing Tim Robinson’s Aran Island duology and his Connemara trilogy made me more open to Diarmaid Ferriter’s On the Edge, a modern history of Ireland’s offshore islands that was published towards the end of last year. When that proved eminently readable, I then started on the same author’s The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000 and that will keep me going for a while before finishing two more from other authors would complete the same backlog.

History remains a subject to which I am more than partial with Christopher Clarke’s The Sleepwalkers, Norman Davies’ Vanished Kingdoms and Robert Kee’s The Green Flag all acting as staging posts on an ever continuing expansion of perspective. More may follow if I ever decide to look further into the stories of various other countries that I have explored in recent years and Switzerland comes to mind here.

That is not to say that other titles will not be perused during this run of historical reading but they are likely to lighten the mix. In any event, there is a pile of unread magazines that also needs reducing so that should help my idea collection to grow. At this time of year, it usually is opportune to think ahead to what excursions may be possible and North American ones are tempting options for this coming summer. What happens in reality still remains another matter though.

While it can be pleasant to allow your imagination to take flight, political and financial realities do help to ensure restraint. The acquisition of a new lens for my Canon EOS 5 Mark II and the rebuild of a five year old desktop PC involved such an investment that I am not so willing to expend too much more at the moment. Nevertheless, the new lens needs more testing so that adds incentive for an outing should more sunshine come our way. It is fine to dream but modest excursions do much for any overburdened spirit.

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