Skip to main content

The great outdoors

There’s nothing quite like a good old fashioned walk. The type of activity that might be suggested on Christmas Day, when everything is shut and there are no other options. Layers of clothes that you wouldn’t wear on the high street. Stuffing your feet into wellies and accepting blisters in favour of warm, dry toes. Kids groaning and dragging their feet because they’d rather be in front of the TV; adults trying to shift hangovers by gulping fresh air (and dragging their feet).

But my favourite part about walking with friends and family is the chat. If you know the people you’re walking with well enough that silence isn’t considered awkward, you get around to talking about all the interesting stuff. Patterns in the clouds. Idle week-day-dreams that won’t be contained. Politics rears its head, and it is blissfully ignored; it doesn't matter out here.

There’s nothing I love more than a sky that touches only treetops. It drips at the edges of my vision into landscapes of amethyst heather and razor-tipped gorse. We talk about books we’d write if only we had the time. Dreams are all possible when we’re walking. Spare time is something we understand; if only we could use it more wisely.

Then there’s coming home. Stripping off mud covered socks. Putting the kettle on. Milky hot chocolate rewards for anyone under 18 and coffee for weary adults. No matter how much time we spend asleep, the day is always a few hours too short.

Oh Brother Where Art Thou. Lord of the Rings. Moonrise Kingdom. The Name of the Wind. Stranger Things. Whatever your particular brand of fantasy there is always hindsight and clarity to be found just by walking in the woods.


Popular posts from this blog

October – Red, Yellow and Blue?

September passed in a blur and here we are, almost at the end of October. This might be a quieter period for me (although looking at the calendar I have no free weekends until mid-November) and I want to spend more time writing. October is one of my favourite months. Yes, I know, how Instagram of me – but I’m an early bird and a photographer, so Autumn morning light just can’t be beaten. Conkers littering pathways, scarves you can get lost in and wearing boots every. single. day. Flame red leaves. Mustard yellow jumpers. But the blue – the blue is subtler. It arrives in the evening with the early dusk, just as you’re sitting down to eat. It stretches out on your lap while watching TV. It perches on the sink, waiting while you brush your teeth. It’s there first thing in the morning, in the 6am darkness. The first few seconds of your new day, your fresh start. It feels like an old friend arriving at the door, but I never know how to entertain it. A fami

Emerging for Spring

I’ve been taking a little break from my blog and social media in general, deliberately trying not to post anything over Christmas and New Year. Sometimes I like the challenge of keeping my own website updated; other times it feels like a chore. I’m lucky that this remains a hobby, and I intend to keep it that way. I wrote the title of this post a couple of weeks ago, after the first round of snow hit Southampton. The general consensus of snowed-under Britain was that you should stay indoors, something I was glad to do. This weekend we had planned to tame the garden, but the weather had other ideas. So here I am, inside again, finding odd little things to do. We’ve had the opportunity to catch up with a backlog of house chores that have been begging for completion since Christmas. Last weekend we rearranged the furniture in J’s bedroom so he had a bit more space. I’ve cleared the junk out of the downstairs toilet (it’s now usable again for the first time i

Top 3 books of 2016

Ah reading. It’s one of those things we all say we wish we had more time to do, but like any good habit sometimes you just gotta stick at it while it’s boring until it becomes fun. Or, in the case of books, if you’re struggling to read it put it down. It’s probably not interesting you. I challenged myself to read 10 new books last year. I wanted to find a way to fit reading into my daily schedule again, so I decided to commit to put my phone away on my commute and use the bus journey to read instead. I can’t read in bed because being in bed makes me tired, and I manage an average of about 2.5 pages before my eyelids begin to droop. My general rule is if it’s time usually spent looking at my phone, I could be reading instead. At breakfast, instead of scrolling through Instagram, pick up a book. Read in the evenings instead of sticking the TV on and ignoring it (better still, turn the TV off). Stop pretending I’m going to tidy the house and curl up with a boo