62% of you voted for me to keep my newsletters long and waffling (clearly my audience is predominantly layabouts without any proper work to be doing on weekday afternoons), so I’m going to keep things that way.
But for the 38% of you doing an honest day’s work (and only procrastinating a little bit during office hours), I’ve posted the links in a list at the bottom if you just want to scroll straight down.
OK, onto the good stuff:
I was weirdly, vicariously thrilled to see an ‘adventure film’ winning a freakin’ Oscar recently! Better still that it’s a film about a lovely guy, made by a team of lovely, decent, talented adventurers. If you have not seen ‘Free Solo’ yet (trailer here), I urge you to go and watch it (UK listings here). I will refund you in full if you don’t enjoy it.
I found the film captivating in many ways, but also painfully close to the bone regarding the conflicting themes of ambition, selfishness, restlessness, commitment, and having a rippling 6-pack.
Bonus: it’s mostly showing in quirky independent cinemas where you can eat pizza and drink beer as you watch.
Waymaking is an important addition to my shed adventure library. It’s an anthology of women’s adventure writing, poetry and art. I particularly loved the artwork and the artist’s commentary on each piece. Some of the essays are fantastic (Maria Coffey’s stood out for me) and they are very varied. This is a whopper of a book that must have taken so much hard work to put together. I’d love to see more adventure books like this – eclectic compilations to dip into, flick through, and mull over.
Jasmin Paris’s feat of endurance was a welcome antidote to modern sport. The runner’s remarkable story evokes a bygone age of pushing at impossible boundaries for the sheer love of sport.
I’m currently writing a non-fiction book about living more adventurously. I am looking for a Structural Editor. If your interested, please reply to this email with some useful info.
I have scheduled a monthly calendar entry reminding me to go climb a tree. Why don’t you do the same? I am really enjoying the experience.
“It is my third visit of the year to this fine old oak tree; a nice habit beginning to build. We are 65 days into 2019 already, and there’s still no sign of change here in the wood. I’m still wrapped up warm in a jacket and woolly hat. My hands are still cold as I grip the coarse bark and haul myself upwards. There is absolutely no hint of spring or buds of green yet.
Sitting up here on the third of my monthly climbs I realised that my own year is following the same pattern as the tree’s. I still feel as though the year is only just beginning, that I have not really got started or made much progress. I had assumed that by now I would be further along with the book I am writing, that some work partnerships I am hoping for would have materialised, that I would be clearer in my mind about the journey I plan to make this summer.
Up here it becomes clear to me then that my New Year plans and hopes are only just getting started. And yet the plain fact that I am back here up in these branches for the third time in 2019 makes that folly apparent.
I really appreciate that this tree (I’m not yet ready to call it “my” tree) stands waiting for me week upon week until my next visit. That (to my eyes) the tree does not change in the slightest. It just is. And I have found myself anticipating my next trip out to these woods so that I can measure my own change against it. This month the evidence is disappointing, but also motivating.
And I must beware measuring myself against a seemingly inert tree and year. For soon this oak’s year will accelerate. Probably by the next time I visit here, in fact, the tree will be bursting into action, unfurling a million fresh new leaves as it sucks every ounce of sunlight and energy out of the seasons to come. I must do the same. I make a pledge to myself before climbing down: by the time I return here next month I must ensure that my own year is budding with new growth and hope and bursting into life.”
Adventure for Youth
I asked a question on Twitter: What is the best Outdoors Organisation to help an 18-year old lad who has had a terrible childhood, no positive role models, zero outdoors experience, and no money?
The answers were brilliant so I wanted to share them with you in case they are helpful for anyone you know.
Resources for Planning a Cycle Tour
Another set of useful answers from Twitter if you’re planning a big ride.
A set of ideas to help you get outdoors more every month of the year. A nature calendar to notice more, explore more, see more, do more (and also chill out!). I posted this last time but with the wrong link.
Bargain Outdoor Gear!
I’m really happy to be an Alpkit ambassador, and also to let you know that their Spring Sale has begun. For example, the Brukit is reduced from £45 to £38. It’s an all-in-one cooking system requiring minimal setup, ideal for those grab-and-go adventures where everything you need fits into one pot.
Where are You?
Finally, as always, please do let me know where you are reading this! Send a pic to make me jealous (or whatever the opposite of jealous is).
Links for Lazies 👇
- ‘Free Solo’ is ace (trailer here). Go and watch it (UK listings here).
- Waymaking is an important addition to my shed adventure library
- A whopper of a long run
- The Atlantic, 7 years on
- Fancy editing a book? Email me
- Go climb a tree
- Outdoor opportunities for young people
- Resources for Planning a Cycle Tour
- Nature Prescriptions
- The Alpkit sale has begun!