As I’m sat here writing this, I can’t quite believe we are nearly at the end of February. Where did those 2 months go?? It’s been a manic time for me; plenty going on, lots to keep me busy and I’ve sometimes wondered how I’ve been keeping my head above water! I’d love to report that things are settling down but that’d be telling lies, and in all honesty, I’m quite happy with that! Although there has been a lot of stress to start my year, there have been some amazing trips and opportunities. I can honestly say that busy has meant happy.
January saw me to the Lake District for 5 days. Initially planned as a camping trip, I chickened out and booked a hostel for my time there. It was freezing!! On day 1 I took my first walk up Catbells and then across to Maiden Moor. I loved the views from this walk, and although the weather could have been better, I made the most of it and enjoyed the opportunity to test out some kit I had been bought for Christmas!
Day 2 was a walk up Fairfield. The initial plan was to complete the Fairfield Horseshoe but due to the winter weather, I knew it wouldn’t have been sensible to do alone having never had any winter walking experience. Fairfield was still pretty icy and conditions up the top were bleak, but I really enjoyed myself. There was something quite exhilarating about walking in the freezing wind and rain – it really made me feel like I’d completed something big that day.
I decided to stay low for the final full day of my holiday as the forecast was showing continuous heavy rain for the day. Honister slate mine supplied breakfast and then I was off to Crummock Water for a wander up to Scale Force. I was certain I’d never visited here before but once I started the walk away from the waters edge towards the fall I realised that it was somewhere I had been during my D of E years – happy memories! I sat by the fall to have my lunch because I love the sound of water – I find there’s something quite soothing about it – then made my way back around to Buttermere for a gorgeous view of Fleetwith Pike at sunset.
I go by the theory that all walks end in the pub, and on this trip I had the fortune of coming across another little gem of a pub in Ambleside – The Wateredge Inn. There was nothing I could have wanted more than to sit in front of a roaring open fire, enjoying great food and local ales. Somewhere I will now recommend to anyone!
Before making the journey back home I had to visit Wasdale Head. It’s my favourite place in the Lakes and I had to give it a miss on my last trip due to time constraints – it always seems to take so long to get there! But the feeling I get every time I drive round the corner and see beautiful Wast Water means I know it’s worth it. I don’t know what it is about the place, but it always puts a smile on my face. I was a happy girl finally ready to head home – just now time to plan the next trip back!
The end of January also meant I was finally able to announce my new role as an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion. I attended a 2 day launch event in the New Forest where I got to meet the other 60 champions, members of OS staff and also listen to talks from people like Ben Fogle and Kenton Cool. It was such an inspiring event and it was amazing to be able to talk to so many like minded people, all with a passion for promoting the great outdoors and the benefits of getting outside. We are all so excited about encouraging others to get outside, and I already know it’s the start of some great friendships.
Alongside these adventures, I’ve been able to make a couple of day trips to new places. I spent a lovely sunny day at Beachy Head in East Sussex. The weather was gorgeous and it’s somewhere I’d always seen pictures of but had never actually visited. It’s safe to say I wasn’t disappointed.
Also, my Mum & sister came to stay a couple of weekends ago and we went for a walk around Sutton in Suffolk, home to the well known Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon burial site. They brought our little dog along for the weekend and she absolutely loved exploring a new area – she had the biggest smile of us all! That was until the end of the walk when she ended up a little soggy…
There have been plenty of other things going on alongside, but these are my highlights for the last 2 months. Squeezed in around these is shift work, normal daily life and some not so normal events too! However, I’m a big believer in finding the positives in everything and I’ve really learnt a lot so far, especially about my resilience and ability to power on despite setbacks. It’s been a great experience and if the start of the year is anything to go by, 2018 should be pretty great. Just remember that sometimes, busy is good. Finding the time to get outside will just make it that bit better.
Until next time…