Unexpected Joys in the Clag

Barely am I back from my cruise to Greenland, Iceland and Norway (more about that if I get around to it in due course), then the post-holiday gloom of returning to work hits full face. A lack of decent walking opportunities on the cruise, means it’s 3 months since I did any form of backpacking, and I’m itching to get out. One break from work quickly spawns the need for another.  Continue reading “Unexpected Joys in the Clag”

In the Frame

A few weeks ago, the editor of TGO Magazine contacted me to ask if I’d like to be in their “In the Frame” feature, which showcases the work of a different landscape artist each month. Of course I said yes, and after offering Emily a selection of works to choose from, she went for “Cairngorm Glen”, a piece inspired by this year’s TGO Challenge. It was all the more satisfying that my turn came in the October issue of the magazine, as this is the issue where the application process for next year’s TGO Challenge kicks off. Naturally, my application for that went in pretty quickly yesterday too. Continue reading “In the Frame”

The Moor

The track is mine and I enjoy the novelty of walking without the expectation of seeing anyone. I’m alone with the sound of my feet crunching stones on the track and birds going about their business above. A herd of deer scatter on the hillside to my left, a rabbit bounds away through the wood. A solitary sheep fixes me with a steely gaze. For the first time in the walk, I feel like I’m properly testing myself in this unfamiliar terrain. Continue reading “The Moor”

Art of the TGO Challenge

Amongst all of the other kit decisions I had to make ahead of embarking on the TGO Challenge this year was the one about art kit – what to take ? what would I be likely to use ? was it even worth bothering ? In the end I stuck to my usual approach of a small box of watercolours, a couple of pens and brushes, something to hold some water, a paperback journal (which I was taking anyway to keep notes in), and a few sheets of watercolour paper in a case I got the urge to do anything more than a quick sketch (which I didn’t). Continue reading “Art of the TGO Challenge”

The Power of Nostalgia

We trudged through hop field after hop field, along shady lanes and even a bit along the road. Barely noticing our surroundings and wrapped up in our conversation – a conversation that had been going for several hours now. Frequent breaks, hidden stashes of sweets, Special Brew and Benson & Hedges. A burning hot day and progress was slow. So slow that we were pulled out and transported to the campsite. Continue reading “The Power of Nostalgia”

TGO Challenge 2017

I’ve already told the story of the actual walk, but also wanted to wrap up some comments on the planning for the trip, route and general experience of the whole thing. So here’s an index to the individual blog posts and some general thoughts on this year’s Challenge… Continue reading “TGO Challenge 2017”

Never invite someone called Dale to somewhere all the places have “Dale” in them

Cath’s (@wellycath) been wanting to get a group together for a camp around her birthday for a couple of years now, and finally managed to seize her chance last year when Team Social Hiking decided not to contest the 5-in-5/10-in-10 this year, and instead to try to get together socially sometime in June. This also brought it into the range of my personal festivities and so it came to pass that this year my Official Annual Birthday Camp would be in the company of friends rather than hiding away solo and forlornly at the edge of a field in Kent. Continue reading “Never invite someone called Dale to somewhere all the places have “Dale” in them”