Shouting from my shed

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Recent Posts

Fear serves a purpose. It keeps us safe. My Living Adventurously newsletter has been running for several months now. One of the posts led to Janey emailing me. We had a chat, and I asked her to write a guest blog about living adventurously from a woman’s point […] Read »
Suilven This adventure began with a map. Or perhaps it began with a bike ride – I can’t remember any more. It doesn’t really matter, I suppose, but good ideas do tend to brew when either a map or a bicycle […] Read »
Shouting from my Shed – 35 Buna dimineata. Here is your latest dose of what I’m enjoying or pondering: Can I begin today by asking for a favour? If you have read (or listened to My Midsummer Morning, would you be so kind as to take 30 […] Read »


Today, on the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, I saw the replica of Endeavour – the ship Captain Cook sailed out of Whitby in search of a possible southern continent, the Terra Australis. I believe those two voyages of discovery matched each other for audacity and adventure. Also today I met a 60-year-old who is filling his retirement with multi-day seakayaking trips and has just returned from helping run a 2-week expedition for young people in Iceland. Earlier I had met a couple whose steady, conventional route towards retirement was interrupted by forced redundancy after two decades working as school teachers. Forced into boldness and change they now run a farm (Beyond Boundaries) whose purpose is to help people with physical and mental disabilities be active, get outdoors, and keep challenging themselves. At the farm I met a young woman who grinned happily at the memory of when, with lots of help and cajoling, she eventually managed to cross the small stream in the small wood behind the farm. The event had clearly gone down in legend amongst that group of friends. I’m only 3 days in to this ride and already I am loving all the different interpretations of living adventurously that I have across. As for me, I’m sleeping on a beach tonight, weary from a day riding up moors and down the crazy, steep streets of quaint fishing villages. I carried my bike up flights of stairs on the Cleveland Way, poured with sweat, and was very grateful to cool down with a sunset dip in the North Sea. Now it is time to pile a little more driftwood onto the fire and snuggle into my sleeping bag. #yorkshire #blog #thenorthface #neverstopexploring
I am bidding a fond farewell to my shed and hitting the road for a while. Having cycled around the world and travelled to over 90 countries, can I find adventure cycling around home? (What does ‘home’ actually mean to me anyway after so long loving the adventurous nomad’s life?) And what is important about living adventurously – to me and to the people I meet along the road? I will be sharing my experiences on Instagram so please tag any friends who might enjoy following along with the journey. Although I am going to be posting content, I will not be engaging with social media whilst I’m away. No reading comments or messages, no scrolling, no email. In fact, no internet browsing at all, no music or podcasts. Not even any books to read. I want the full immersion and separation that is key to all the richest travel experiences, like in the olden days when you waved good-bye and set off to seek dragons and hoped that you would not fall off the edge of the earth. I can’t wait. To challenge myself on the trip I have decided to record my first-ever podcast. I am interested in being a beginner again, travelling in a different way, observing through a new prism, learning stuff.  When I cycled around the world I wanted to learn how to write. So I wrote a lot. (I took a mere 3000 photos in 4 years, and zero video). I used my walk across southern India to teach myself to take better photographs. And my trip into the Empty Quarter was a conscious effort to get to grips with story-telling through film-making. But the podcast is for further down the line. For now I hope that you enjoy seeing what I see along the way. I’m really looking forward to this ride. There be dragons out there. Dragons, plus the occasional cafe breakfast. #blog #bikepacking #cycletouring #adventure #travel #alpkit #goniceplacesdogoodthings #neverstopexploring #thenorthface
Writing now, I must try to lay down the ambient background of slowness, heat and modest but constant pain. ⁣ Too loud and you will tire of the moaning. Too soft and you miss a critical dimension. ⁣ Plug away, plod away, drift away. Time does the rest, turning a walk into something richer, as cream changes to golden butter under duress. ⁣ Though individual days blend together, the result becomes an experience more vibrant than the mere cumulative act of trudging towards the next sit-down and sandwich. Travel long and slow and you learn to pay attention. ⁣ Time moves strangely on the road: at once fast and slow. ⁣ There is real time, told by tolling church towers and the sun’s relentless sweep. But there is also walking time, marked by the body and mind – tortured soles and souls – that pays scant heed to the chronological order of the universe. ⁣ Weeks fly, days pass, hours and minutes drag: just me, my violin and my shadow slowly crossing the landscape with Laurie. ⁣ ‘The days,’ he wrote, ‘merged into a continuous movement of sun and shadow, hunger and thirst, fatigue and sleep, all fused and welded into one coloured mass by the violent heat of that Spanish summer.’ ⁣ This is just one day of my life. But every day to come will depend fractionally on what I do today. I must live it as vividly as I can bear to do.⁣ ⁣ (An extract from my new book, ‘My Midsummer Morning’. Available for sale now – link in my bio. Thank you / Gracias!)⁣ ⁣ #MyMidsummerMorning⁣

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