Okay, right at the very top of this episode of my weekly blog I want to say one thing… Remember the home-made brownie I mentioned my husband baked in my previous weekly blog (read Episode 85)? The one I said was the fudgiest brownie I’ve ever had? Well, I’ve upgraded the compliment. Actually, it’s the best brownie I’ve ever eaten. Thick, creamy, gooey, fudgy, perfect. I felt you needed to know that.
I’ve promised myself the final piece from the batch when I hit publish on this post. I’m sat in my home office, in my pyjamas, having just devoured a big plate of appley sausage casserole (all hail the inventor of the slow cooker), knowing that the last slice of chocolatey goodness will be my reward. Apologies for any and all errors in spelling and grammar… I promise I’ll still give my weekly blog a proof-read before I send it off to the internet.
And with that out of my system, I’ll get back to this weird story of my life. This episode of my weekly blog there will be some musings on National GetOutside Day, some more Coast to Coast hiking preparations, and a couple of bits of nice post I received. Here goes.
National GetOutside Day
On Sunday I celebrated National GetOutside Day, a day Ordnance Survey dedicated to encouraging people all over Great Britain (and beyond) to spend a bit of time outdoors. And I know lots of you celebrated the occasion with me too, albeit in different locations all over the country.
Over the past year or two, we’ve adapted to a new way of living. Many people have enjoyed being outside more than ever before, and learnt not to take the freedom of the outdoors for granted. Our outdoor space gives us a chance to switch off, appreciate what’s around us and helps us stay fit and healthy.
GetOutside Day is about celebrating all those things by getting up and out. I started my day with a walk with some of my Church family up on our local hill, and ended it toasting marshmallows in my back garden. It was lovely.
GetOutside Activity Challenge
As you know, in 2018 and 2019 I celebrated GetOutside Day with a super silly challenge to see how many different outdoor activities I could do in 48 hours… On my second go at the challenge, I managed 71. You can read the full list of activities here.
The idea was to demonstrate just how many different things there are to do outdoors. All too often we assume outdoors adventure to be something difficult, time consuming, tiring and expensive, and that can very quickly lead to “it’s not for me, I’ll just stay in”. I wanted to show that the outdoors is for all, that there is something for everyone, that you don’t need to have all the skills and all the equipment (all the time…), and that just a little bit of time outside each day will make a massive difference to your enjoyment of every day life.
One Hour Outside
I guess it should go without saying but here I am anyway; the outdoors is for life, not just for GetOutside Day – why not make getting #OneHourOutside your challenge over the next week? My annual November challenge will return, but there’s no harm in getting some practice in!
And I’ll say this now because then I’ve committed. Next year I intend to bring back my GetOutside Activity Challenge for a third go… What do you think? Reckon I can beat 71 activities in 48 hours? Watch this space – I’m sure I’ll ramble on about it here once or twice before the time comes.
Hearing My Own Voice
Do you like the sound of your own voice? I don’t… but it was an honour to be asked to take part in friend Ian’s most recent Tales from Beyond the Brochure podcast, Episode 45 – GetOutside Day.
We chatted about what GetOutside is all about, and about this year’s theme – kindness. It was lovely to be able to speak to a different audience about why I feel that spending time outside is an act of kindness to myself, and how we might be able to show kindness to others when outdoors.
It’s okay, it’s not my voice all the way through or anything terrible like that. Ian has a lovely voice perfect for podcasts (I think he’s available for voiceover work…), and I’m joined by Maja from Away with Maja and Sarah from The Urban Wanderer. Well worth a listen via your usual podcast provider.
Baggage Transfer Booked
It’s not long at all now until we start our UK Coast to Coast hike. Following on from my lengthy update in last week’s episode (Weekly Blog Episode 85), I wanted to update you on one more thing…
We’ve gone ahead and booked our baggage transfer service for our two-week adventure. After giving it careful consideration for the longest time, Jenni and I have decided that using such a service will allow us a bit more time and comfort out on the trail. And make our hike a little bit more fun.
We carried our own gear when we hiked the West Highland Way, and that was amazing – there are definite pros to doing that, not least the freedom of having everything with you at all times. And we know we could carry our own gear, we’ve proved that to ourselves already (have you read about the Brenig Way?). But we have decided that a little extra cost is worth it for the benefits it brings.
That extra time and comfort mentioned above comes in a few ways. Only having to carry day packs (albeit my larger day pack so I can carry warm layers, plenty of snacks, and my Jetboil for lunchtime tea), means the high routes are more doable thanks to not having the weight of camping gear on our backs. In theory it also means the route should be less arduous on the knees and hips, making recovery each night quicker, and therefore helping us to hike happy every day for two weeks (200 miles is a long way!). Don’t worry, I’m still taking my walking poles – I’ve got a new pair to try out.
It also means we can carry a few luxury items for our overnights. How about an actual set of non-hiking clothes for starters? And maybe more than two pairs of socks? I also reckon I can get a thin blanket in there… I know how to live!
It’s weird. It feels like I have to justify using a baggage transfer company, because for some reason carrying all my gear myself is considered “the right way”. I know that’s ridiculous, it’s not like they’re transporting me between each campsite. But I guess that’s the nature of feeling like people are judging you when you talk about your adventures on the internet for all to read. I am so very happy indeed with this decision, it feels like money very well spent, and I am looking forward to hiking right across the UK in this way. Maybe I should just link to this old post What is Adventure and leave it at that?!
I’ll be sure to let you know whether using a baggage transfer company lives up to my hopes when I’ve had that experience. But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy adding a cosy sweater to my duffel bag.
In the Mail
New Hiking Socks
Talking of adding an extra pair of socks to my hiking pack, I was very excited to receive these great looking socks in the post this week.
These Fusion Walk Socks are a gift from 1000 Mile socks (mine are the charcoal ones). They’re made a mix of merino wool and Tactel, and have all the good padded bits, as well as some fancy looking arch and Achilles support.
If you don’t know, the benefit of 1000 Mile socks is that they are double layered, so you don’t need to liners under your hiking socks (which I normally do for big hikes) – they’ve got that blister protection built in.
Of course, they’ve gone straight on my packing pile in the spare room; a brand-new pair of hiking socks? Pure luxury! I’ll let you know how I get on with them.
Silicone Splatter Guard
My latest attempt to reduce how much rubbish we create in our kitchen is by getting a splatter guard for the microwave. At the moment, we use kitchen roll of cling film when heating up leftovers (or warming scones… or brownies) in the microwave; this bright green thing should eliminate that. This was actually a gift from my parents, which I’m very grateful for.
Yes, this is made out of plastic itself, but I’m hoping that is mitigated by the amount of rubbish I won’t be creating due to having this in my kitchen.
I think that’s it for this weekly blog episode. You know I can’t stay any longer, I have a brownie to eat!
As always, I would really love to hear from you in the comments below. What have been the highlights of your week? Let me know what your favourite thing about the last seven days has been. And don’t forget to get your One Hour Outside today… whatever day you happen to be reading this on!
Buy Me a Cuppa?
If you enjoyed this blog and fancy supporting me and my mini adventures, you can “buy me a coffee” (well, tea, naturally). If you enjoyed this post and would like to support what I’m doing, please head over to Ko-fi to find out more.