My Currently Loving feature here on Splodz Blogz is my excuse to share with you a few of the things that I’m particularly enjoying right now. Some might be from my new things pile, others might be very old and well used. It’s most often actual material things I own, although it might also be experiences or days out, and it might be music or videos or other things.
In my Currently Loving post this month I’m sharing a great documentary and book I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, some super useful outdoorsy gear, a lovely smelling candle, and some most excellent snacks. Read on for more…
As always, once you’ve read mine, I’d love to hear about the things, books, films, walking routes, food, and other stuff you are currently loving. Tell me everything in the comments box below or send me your links over on twitter.
Currently Loving | March 2021
01. Life of a Mountain, Helvellyn
Terry Abraham is such a talented film maker. His previous two Life of a Mountain documentaries, focusing on Scafell Pike and Blencathra, are favourite viewing of mine when I’m in need of some outdoors at home, and so I knew I was going to enjoy this final documentary in the trilogy: Helvellyn.
The thing I like most about Terry’s film making is how he combines utterly breath-taking stunning scenes of the Lakes, with interviews and stories of the people who live in and lives touched by those scenes. It also felt really good to see some friends and fellow Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champions appear on the screen, too, which always fills me with joy.
As you know I’m still yet to hike Helvellyn (read Weekly Blog Episode 33 for more about that), but it remains so high on my bucket list. I genuinely hope that 2021 is the year that both the pandemic restrictions and the weather allow me to get up on that mountain and see those views for myself.
If you’ve not seen any of the Life of a Mountain films, I highly recommend adding the trilogy to your DVD collection; available from Striding Edge and also from Amazon (or you can buy just the Helvellyn DVD if you already have the other two).
02. Seaside Woods Scented Candle
I love a scented candle, it makes my home office smell lovely as I spend my days and evenings on my computer, and I’ve included Yankee Candles here in my Currently Loving before. I find them both good value (£9 each for the ones I bought, I’ve never spent more than that on a candle), and well scented.
This time I took a risk and ordered three new-to-me scents in their online shop, going off the weird and wonderful descriptions and hoping for the best. The three I ordered were Seaside Woods, The Last Paradise, and Beach Escape. See a theme – I think my nose is trying to tell me something!
I like them all, but my favourite, and the one you see in the photo, is Seaside Woods. It really does remind me of the smell of driftwood, or damp blossom, it’s a very soothing scent that I’ve been enjoying a lot over the last couple of weeks.
I generally choose the small jar size, because I find they burn well and fill the space I have with noticeable but subtle enough scent.
Which scented candles do you like best?
03. Long Belkin iPhone Cable
Charging cables don’t last forever, and my trusty old Lifedge “Ultimate Cable” I’ve had for six years finally gave up the ghost recently, meaning I had to find a new one. Sadly, the company no longer seems to exist, which is a shame as I really rated their products, and so I needed to find an alternative.
This is the braided cable by Belkin, which I chose for its promise of being very difficult to break, something which is very important if you travel. It’s MFi-certified which means it’s good for data transfer as well as charging, important if you want to use this to transfer images as well as add juice. It cost me £14.99 which is cheaper than the price of a standard plasticy official Apple cable, and I’m certain it will last longer.
I always choose a long 2 metre cable because it just makes it more useful both at home and when away, especially if I want to charge my phone when hiking (battery pack stays safely in my pack, cable is long enough to keep my phone in my pocket so I can use it on the go).
04. Walking by Erling Kagge
My headphones in the Currently Loving flat lay this month represent a book I highly recommend – Walking: One Step at a Time by Erling Kagge. I guess a book that sings the virtues of my favourite pastime is going to be something I enjoy, but I genuinely found it captivating, finishing it in close to 24 hours, which is really rather quick for me!
Erling Kagge is a Norwegian explorer, and this book is a celebration of everything that is good about walking. Erling talks about walking of all types, from the perilous first steps we take as a toddler, to how walking to work or at lunchtime can provide joy and thinking time, and to great expeditions such as trekking to the North Pole. In every story and example, there is deep thought and philosophy, self-help advice, and real motivation to get out there and walk.
It solidified why I love walking and made me want to do it even more. Except not in a sewer, no thanks to that… (you’ll have to read it).
I won’t give any more away, except to say that this should be compulsory reading for anyone who likes to walk. If you want to listen, the audiobook is available on Audible, or you can buy the book itself from Amazon, Waterstones or your local independent bookshop.
05. Boot Tray for Car
This piece of curvy rectangular black plastic is honestly one of the most useful additions to my hiking gear in recent years. Gone are the days of using a bag for life, or even my waterproof trousers, to help keep the boot of my car clean(er) after a day hiking. Now I keep this in the boot of my car, and always have somewhere to put my muddy boots.
It’s such a simple idea. This thin but sturdy-enough black plastic tray is perfect for a couple of pairs of boots in the boot of the car, by the back door, in the tent, wherever you need to leave boots that have somehow managed to become covered in mud that you can’t wash off there and then.
06. Peppermint Soap
I’ve been using bar soap at home as a more environmentally friendly and hygienic alternative to liquid soap for a good while, and in that time I think the bars from Friendly Soap have proved to be my favourite so far. They are free from plastic, palm oil, preservatives, and are cruelty free.
I recently bought this Peppermint scented Friendly Soap from a new-to-me online shop Rooting for Earth, run by a friend of a friend. It is by far my favourite soap scent of the moment; it’s so fresh smelling, and has poppy seeds in it which are just a little bit exfoliating so you feel like you’re getting really clean when using it.
My other favourite is the Orange and Grapefruit one, which also very refreshing.
If you’re in the market for plastic free and environmentally friendly soaps and other related products, definitely check Friendly Soap and Rooting for Earth out, the prices are good and my order came nice and quickly.
07. Isobaa Merino Long Sleeved Crew
(PR gifted item)
As I’ve gotten older I have definitely learnt to appreciate good quality clothing over fast fashion. Okay, fashion might be pushing it, I’ve never done that, but I have been known to buy cheap rather than make considered purchases that will look great and last a long time.
This is the Isobaa Merino 180 Long Sleeve Crew. I’ve already had this for several months and worn it a whole bunch, and I just know it will last for a very long time, assuming I look after it properly. It was a PR gift, but it hasn’t taken much for me to fall in love with Isobaa clothing; it’s so comfortable, great quality, and is now a staple in my everyday wardrobe.
Made from superfine 180gm Merino, this long-sleeved crew neck top makes for an excellent base layer when I’m hiking or motorcycling, and also works as a casual top when travelling. Being merino, it keeps me warm when it’s cold and breathes well when it’s warm, making an excellent layer that I don’t need to keep putting on or taking off to stay comfortable when out and about. It also dries quickly, doesn’t smell even after several days of wear, and is sustainable.
Want to know more? I sung the praises of Isobaa in my post about my motorcycle road trip kit, which was the point that I got this particular top. I think this particular top is out of stock at the moment, but you’ll find other long sleeved tops here.
I love cookies. Large, gooey, filled with chocolate or caramel or nuts or fruit or a mixture of those things. They are the best at-home sweet treat. Well, one of the best.
One rather wonderful side effect of all this staying at home is that my husband has really nailed baking cookies. They’re so good. I can say in the morning that I’d really like some cookies, and by lunchtime there can be 10 large home baked cookies cooling in the kitchen. Excellent for our collective happiness. Not so great for the waist. But happiness over inches any day.
Cookies baked by others are also good, I’m not fussy… I mean, I was the very happy recipient of some amazing cookies from Crumbs and Doilies recently (read Weekly Blog Episode 58), which were just fabulous, and I rather like the ones from Humble Crumb Bakery which I got for my birthday and have since found in a local market (read Weekly Blog Episode 44).
But yea, home baked cookies, the ones pictured were made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips (see my Currently Loving post for June 2020) but are long gone. Maybe I should order some more?!
09. Tiny Towel from OS
(PR gifted item)
Of the bits and bobs Ordnance Survey launched in their new orange range of outdoor gear (read my post about the range), the micro towel has to be my favourite. It is the cutest little branded towel available. It’s teeny! But easily big enough for a hike that doesn’t involve a wild swim or any need for a shower. Made by Lifeventure, and covered in a print of a map of Scafell Pike, it has made it straight into my ditty bag and is now a permanent feature in my day hike pack.
At just 37cm square and tucking nearly into it’s own little pouch with a clip to attach it to the outside of your pack when wet, this towel is made from super absorbent material and has a really cool print of Scafell Pike on it (Ben Nevis and Snowdon also available).
Apparently, it’ll soak up 9x its own weight in water… it’s therefore perfect for drying my feet after a paddle, my hands and gear after heavy rain, or my sweaty face after climbing a big hill!
Honestly, it is such a handy bit of outdoor gear, and at just £10 would make a perfect “oh it’s nearly Easter” gift for yourself. Buy it from the Ordnance Survey shop.
10. Nakd Lemon Drizzle Bars
I can’t wait until I can get out hiking again, but in the meantime, I’ve been continuing to enjoy some of my favourite hiking snacks at home. I don’t know what it is, but working from home makes me hungry.
I’ve been loving these Nakd Lemon Drizzle bars for a long time, the combination of sweet date and citrus sharpness is a match made in heaven in my opinion. Small enough to count as a light snack, big enough to fill a hole when needed, good for any time of day. Yes they are processed, but they are natural, gluten free, vegan, have no added sugar, and are generally considered “healthy”.
I guess I could make something very similar to these at home, but you know, sometimes you just want to open a wrapper and eat what someone else has made rather than making any effort. I did make a rather excellent cranberry and chocolate flapjack this last week which came pretty close, but I am yet to experiment with date balls or bars. Do you have a recipe I should try out?
I’ve been buying them in boxes of four in my monthly supermarket shop, but it turns out you can buy them in boxes of 48 from Amazon… that would surely be too many snack bars, I don’t need 48 Nakd bars, really.
What are you currently loving this month? What do you think of my choices? Tell me in the comments below.
Want to see all my Currently Loving posts? This link should help.
In the interests of full disclosure for this Currently Loving post, and as mentioned within the text above, the tiny towel from Ordnance Survey and the Isobaa long sleeve were PR gifts, for which I am very grateful. I have therefore marked this post as gifted, but it is not sponsored – they did not ask to be included in my Currently Loving feature, I did that because I’m currently loving the items.
There are affiliate links on this page, the funds from which help me go on the mini adventures that make life interesting.