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Shouting from my Shed: Volume 11

Happy Friday!

I spent much of the first chunk of this year working on a series of films around Britain, exploring this wacky, wonderful, wild little land I call home. I don’t know when the films will see the light of day, but I’ll post some pics from my wanderings in my newsletters.

Here’s what I’d like to share today:

Life Lessons from a 7-Thousand-Mile Bike Ride: “When you’re a kid, everything is astonishing. Everything is new, and so your brain is awake and turned on … Once your brain establishes a routine, it stops … the alertness goes away.” Watch the film here.

An Article I Enjoyed: Nick Bullock is a fine climber and a fine writer. “Experiences, adventure, passion and love are vital. And a sense of belonging is vital. But to the general British public climbing is not important.” Some musings on image versus adventure

A Good Book: a few newsletters ago I recommended the brilliant Barbarian Days as a book that will persuade even non-surfers to dream of the ocean. In a similar vein is Caught Inside, which made me want to move to California and become a surfer. But it goes beyond mere envy-inducing. It reminded me often of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. High praise indeed! (So I guess this is also a recommendation for Pilgrim. Maybe read a couple of reviews first though, as it’s not to everyone’s taste.)

A Quote to Ponder: in the unlikely event you need convincing that I make all this stuff up as I go along, writing that last sentence reminded me of these words by Annie Dillard, taken from that book:

“Thomas Merton wrote, “there is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage.
I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.
Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

A Silly Video Clip: Be bold, they say! Take a chance! Jump! But life doesn’t always work out like the motivational newsletters say it should. Funny ferret.

A Plea for Instagram Inspiration: I enjoyed sharing interesting Instagram feeds in my early newsletters, but I seem to have run out! Yes, there are bazillions of beautiful adventure photos, but I’m looking for stuff that is real, different, interesting, useful, challenging, and funny. If you have any suggestions, please just hit ‘reply’ and send me a link. Thanks!

Until next time,
Alastair

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