2017 has so far been quite hard to handle, with my attempts to land the perfect job dominating every waking (and often unconscious) thought of mine. As such, I’ve written very little. I envy those of you who use writing as an escape, because for me writing happens when I can block everything out – and I mean everything; I wear ear plugs a lot of the time so that I can’t even hear the rustling of the trees outside – and the stresses of travelling, interviews and moving house are far beyond the reaches of ear plugs. I couldn’t consciously justify writing when I believed all of my available brain power needed to be occupied by worrying about something else. Daft, I know.
Thankfully this is the case no more, as I have solved that particular problem and my mind feels like it’s taken a lovely soapy bath, had a good night’s sleep, a hearty breakfast, and is now ready to face the day.
I’ve topped up the novel with a few words, but I’m so far behind my target for this point in the year that it can be thrown out of the window and forgotten about. The target, that is, not the novel. So before I start my new job in just over a week’s time (one which my new employer reassuringly tells me will keep me occupied 24/7), I’m going to take the old fingers for a stretch across the keyboard and see what plops out, by doing something I’ve been thinking about for a while – writing about our walks.
I’ve often referred to my girlfriend in this blog as ‘my other half’, ‘my partner’, or other similarly ambiguous terms for a significant other, to protect her anonymity. This blog was my thing, for me to write about writing, and I didn’t believe it fair to drag her into the obvious instant fame that the fourteen-or-whatever-it-is followers the blog has would bring. She’s told me on numerous occasions that this is utter nonsense, and as I intend to write about the many walks and travels we undertake, it’s going to be pretty much impossible to do so without using her name. Which is Samantha. Or Sammy, or occasionally Sam. So when I refer to her in this blog from now on, you lucky fourteen will know who she is.
And the dog to whom I’ve also referred many times before, is Herbie. Or Herbs, or occasionally ‘No’, ‘Stop It’, or ‘Shut Up’. He is the scruff bag in the picture at the top of this page and we adore the little bugger.
Walking has become a very important part of our lives over the past year. We’ve become expert Ordnance Survey map readers (ha!), walked half way across Essex, trekked the Jurassic Coast and we’ll soon be living within spitting distance of the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, with the Lake District only a couple of hours away. We’re also hoping to take part in a 60 mile day/night charity walk from Bath to Cheltenham later this year, but there will be more about that when we’ve actually booked it. In the meantime we intend to make the most of our new location and all of the fantastic walks it will provide.
So there’s a brief background, the preface if you will, to a different type of writing I’ll be publishing here from time to time. I’m not going to go back to walks we’ve done in the past, as I’ve made no notes and my memories of specific details won’t be up to scratch. I’ll start with our most recent, our first proper* walk of 2017. It’ll follow this post, I’ve just got to go and write it first.
I do hope you will be back.
*I define a ‘proper’ walk as any long enough or difficult enough to require me to carry a backpack containing lunch, water, and first aid kit.