It’s been a windy season so far, we’ve had trees down, power cuts, branch littered country lanes and yet still the sun shines, the air’s warm and the birds go about their daily seed-eating business.
It all seems typically British compared to what’s been going on around the rest of the world! I’ve given up the garden sweep. There is just a mass of crusty leaves and old rotting plums living in my garden borders and in between the blades of long ol’ grass. It will be soon time to give the rose trees one last prune, bring the potted Fuschias and Acers into the garage away from cold nights and I’ll need to pick the last of the baby salads.
October’s been a month of mixed emotions. I was in Scotland for the first week on the west coast, walking the West Highland Way.
Nights were spent camping by the loch sides, in fields, and between the highlands, trekking through woods, conquering steep hills, crossing waterfalls, scrambling, devouring lots of carbs, drinking in the beauty of the highlands, managing to stay dry mostly and being so thankful that my lifestyle allows me so much freedom.
You can imagine my terrible disappointment when I unbeknown to me, picked up glass in my foot on the eve of dipping my blistered feet into Loch Lomond, then walking 16 miles on it (only on one of the hardest days so I’m told) and then I had to make the decision to go home on day 4. The train ride was BEAUTIFUL and long ( 9 hours) and I think it gave me time to cool off. Time’s a healer and I’ve booked to do it again next spring! I just like to say a heartfelt thank you to Zoe and Jen for keeping my spirits high during – it was an honor to adventure with you.
I also want to thank Outdoor Food and Tent Meals for providing me with some delicious and easy to cook Vegan and Veggie camp foods along the West Highland Way. I’ve loads left over for future adventures so that’s my energy taken care of!
I came home feeling relieved to see my loved ones, to my new paddleboard (a wonderful gift off Rik for my birthday) and to Martha (our van conversion) who is looking more like a camper conversion by the days. We took a scenic drive through the Brecon Beacons to visit a family business where our Rock and Roll bed was waiting to be fitted.
We’ve still got a few storage things to do and some painting but other than that, it’s done. Before the storms hit over the weekend, we drove a few miles up into the hills and ‘vanned’ it for the night.
Testing out how comfortable it was and how practical it’s going to be with our pup. I’m glad to say it passed the test! And of course, Bel had us pinned to the sides whilst she sprawled out like Lady Muck….
The real excitement tho came through the post! Creative Countryside is now in print and Issue 1 has done so well that issue 2 is becoming a reality. There are even talks of a gathering in January where we seasonal folks can sit down and further extend the community that’s been created through Instagram. I’m so excited to be taking over as a content editor for the online journal and I’ve so much planned for it. Being involved in CC’s projects has helped me to realise where my priorities lay in life – in the garden, in the kitchen, in my books and in my family. I no longer seek the material possessions that give us status. I haven’t for a long time but it’s good to reaffirm this.
It gives me great pleasure to watch people around me succeed and it’s been lovely seeing Rik embark on his journey of becoming a paddle sports leader. Naturally, that means I’ve had to volunteer as the fool who falls in during canoe and kayak water rescue (and you know my love/hate with the water) but it’s also meant I’ve got extra time to spend with my beloved and our friends over at T n R coaching in Chirk. Life seems to revolve a lot on the water of late and I’m OK with that, it’s good for the soul.
Talking of things being good for the soul – I’ve walked 700 miles so far this year. I’ve 3 months to get to 1000 miles and I’m confident I’ll do it. Hopefully, Pen Y Fan in a few weeks can contribute to that and oh yes, it’ll be a van stop over! 😉
How’s your October been?