Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Mountain climbing: Why am I doing this to Myself?

There's something euphoric and insane about the act of mountain climbing. A bizarre spectacle, that is almost worshipped in some areas of our small, odd island, where brightly-clad people of all ages, backgrounds, and fitness levels go to areas of hills and decide, without questioning, that scaling one would be an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
For me, this strange desire was bred in from childhood - most, if not all, of my childhood memories are in the Lake District or the Derbyshire Dales or the Yorkshire Moors; anywhere but the rolling agricultural landscapes of Hertfordshire, where I grew up. When I first decided to move away from home, to go to university, again it was this landscape that drew me in, that made me feel something that the gentle grasslands of my home county could not.
Maybe it's my Northern blood - for hundreds of years, Lancashire-born family on my Dad's side have been throwing themselves at hills and hoping that they come back in one piec…

Country Roads (Take Me Home)

I am not, and I don't think I ever will be, a 'city girl'. I was brought up in Hertfordshire which, as I found when I first arrived at university, is apparently a county seen as 'basically London innit?' No. For the most part, no, it is not.

My Hertfordshire has very little to do with London, or any other city for that matter. My Hertfordshire is a small town with a street of shops and a street of restaurants, a wide town park, and beyond it fields on fields of crops, spattered here and there with tiny villages of increasingly ridiculous names (my favourite is 'Loudwater', because it truly belongs to a Tolkien novel). It's home to narrow country lanes and wide open spaces and the occasional forest. Not well known (9/10 people assume that I said 'Herefordshire' when they ask where I come from), nor very large, and certainly not a 'city' place, it has put deep roots in me that long to be surrounded by skies and grass, not buildings.

But s…

Deep roots are not reached by frost.

A couple of months ago, as happens every so often, I was sent a survey from a student discount organisation with which I have an account. Often I completely disregard these - and if I do complete them, it's the multiple choice answers only, I'm never engaged enough to write anything longer.

This particular survey, however, was from the Woodlands Trust. I'm a Zoology student and a conservationist, and it's safe to say that I care about trees, so I was more than willing to put in a little extra effort. The questions were as you would expect, until one in particular: "Is there any tree in your life with special significance?". I can imagine a lot of people answered a quick 'no' to this question and asked themselves what sort of a person did have a significant tree in their life. 
I am the sort of person that does. My community are the sort of people who do.
A month or so after, when I was home from university at Christmas, I took my dog on a walk of whic…

In All Honesty: To Myself and To You

To anyone and no one; and mostly to myself.

I have not posted here in a very long time. To have to say that is not what I wanted when I started this blog. But it is a fact, and I will not pretend that it isn't.

The truth is, that sometimes it can be extraordinarily hard to work out how you really want to spend your time - and even harder to act on it. When I first made this blog, it was because I thought that in the future I might like to become a wildlife or nature journalist, and that to have a blog would be a good idea. I put a lot of pressure on myself to write like a journalist, because I thought that's what I wanted...but all it did was make me feel that I couldn't write what I wanted to write. I thought that I needed to do Serious, Meticulously Researched Articles about important global issues; about conservation; about things that I am passionate about...but that honestly I'm neither informed enough to write about nor blessed with time to research, as I would …