It’s fair to say that life is well and truly back to normal. Whatever normal is, of course.
We arrived home from our overland adventure in Morocco a little under two weeks ago now, and as is traditional in the world of post-adventure psychology, the Sahara Desert already seems like an age ago. It’s always the way with things that are a big deal in your life; they come and go far too quickly. This is not helped by currently having no future adventure plans… I need to fix that, and quick.
Always Busy. Always Tired.
In standard weekly blog style, I must share these three facts; my day job is super busy, I feel like I’m way behind on home and life chores, and I’m very tired – like I could sleep for at least three days without getting bored. The fun of adventures never lasts very long!
I’ve not done any real exercise since we got back, not even any long walks – or short runs. And while I have enjoyed getting back into the swing of creating reasonably healthy home cooked meals (‘healthy’ in terms of cooking mostly from scratch using fresh ingredients and being mindful of the balance on my plate), I’ve not done too well at taking care of my body. Which is unsurprisingly leaving me with less motivation for the things I love in life.
In fairness, I must acknowledge that I returned from the trip quite exhausted, so I wasn’t off to the best start. That’s what happens when you choose to spend your annual leave galivanting around Morocco on a motorbike rather than sitting in a sun lounger sipping on cold beverages. This trip was never designed as a life reset! But even with that, returning to a good routine has not been anywhere near the top of my priority list.
Good at Finding Excuses
My most recent excuse for the lethargy is that I had my flu jab earlier this week and my arm hurts. I should have had it the day we returned to the UK, but my appointment got cancelled as they didn’t have any jabs left. Not sure how much of a problem that is in general this year, hopefully just a one off that happened to impact me and no-one else.
I have at least download the adidas running app, so I guess that’s a step in the right direction, isn’t it?! I received a 12-month free pass thanks to buying so many pairs of trainers this year (!) – I share my newest later on in this blog, although they’re definitely not running shoes. The app includes a bunch of running plans a bit like the one found in the Couch to 5k app, so I’ve chosen one I think would make a good fit. I guess now I just need to actually go running.
I’m on the Outdoor Adventure Podcast
Right, moaning done, excuses made, on with the blog! The biggest news for this weekly blog, is that I am featured as the latest interview guest on the Outdoor Adventure Podcast. Created by Rob Darfi, this new podcast (it’s less than a year old), is all about the world of outdoors adventure – news, events, gear reviews, trip reports, and interviews.
I was surprised when the invitation to be on the podcast landed earlier in the summer, and after some encouragement from a friend, I decided it would be a fun thing to say yes to.
In our hour-long chat, we talk about all kinds of things related to my life outdoors – including Dartmoor, blogging and other writing, long distance hiking, trig bagging, road trips and motorcycle adventures, hiking with an ITV film crew, the outdoors and mental health, what it means to be outdoorsy as a normal person with a full-time job, and lots more besides. Oh, and the funny doormat incident I mentioned in weekly blog 129, too.
A Casual Chat
Our time together seemed to go really fast; it was like having a chat over a cup of tea with a like-minded friend, and I hope that comes across (and that I didn’t say anything too silly!).
Rob put this in the show notes:
“Welcome back to another exciting episode of The Outdoors Adventure Podcast, the ultimate podcast for outdoor enthusiasts! In this episode, we have a special guest with us – Zoe Homes, the adventurous soul behind Splodz Blogz. Zoe is a seasoned explorer, outdoor enthusiast, and a passionate blogger who has embarked on countless outdoor adventures. Join us as we dive into her inspiring journey, exploring the wilderness and embracing the thrill of outdoor activities.”
I’m definitely blushing at that. Thanks Rob.
I’ve not had the courage to listen to my own interview back yet, and may never – but hey, it’s out there now, so please do go and listen. The podcast back catalogue is worth a listen, too, I’ve enjoyed Rob’s other interviews and trip reports.
One Hour Outside Challenge
Which leads me very nicely onto my main personal focus for November, and that is my One Hour Outside challenge. Maybe this will get me moving again. And will at least mean I’m living up to all the things I talked about in that podcast!
Launched way back in 2015 when I first started talking publicly about the benefits of spending a little bit of time outside every day, this is actually my ninth time of asking people to join me for a month-long challenge under the One Hour Outside banner (they weren’t always in November, that annual tradition started a few years later).
I shan’t go into all the details in my weekly blog because they’re all available in this post about the November Challenge, but I did want to take this opportunity to ask – will you join me this year? I’d love to hear your One Hour Outside whats and wheres, as well as how it makes you feel as the month goes on. I’ll mainly be on Instagram, Threads and Facebook, or you can use the comment box below this weekly blog if you prefer.
As we’re only a couple of days into November, I don’t have a bunch of challenge-specific One Hour Outsides to tell you about yet – but I’ve dotted the photos I’ve taken since the beginning of the month here for you. I mean, we’re talking two damp and autumnal lunchtime walks, it really is early days! I do intend to use my weekly blogs to hold myself accountable to my own fresh air and natural light journey this month. Maybe you can, too?
New Camera for My iPhone
Very much indoors, I’ve been to the Apple Store twice in the last week. I noticed an erroneous grey splodge inside my iPhone’s zoom lens just before we went away to Morocco (have I mentioned I went to the Sahara?!), and so booked a Genius Bar appointment when we came back to have Apple look at it. Having had an iPhone camera problem way back in the early days of iPhones, when I walked out of the Covent Garden store with a replacement phone within half an hour of arriving, I was hopeful they would see the annoying problem and sort me out sharpish.
And while Apple’s customer service did still provide me with a very suitable solution, it wasn’t quite that quick this time. It turned out a speck of dust or something had wiggled its way into the camera assembly at some point. And because Apple now, quite rightly, replace parts rather than whole phones if they can, a new camera was required.
A little frustratingly, the Apple Store I was at didn’t have the part I needed in stock, so I had to return the following weekend to have the replacement fitted. If it had been local, it wouldn’t have bothered me at all, but my nearest Apple Store is an hour on the motorway each way, so it’s not exactly convenient. Never mind, I used the opportunity to have a little solo coffee and cinnamon bun and a mooch in FatFace, and came home with a camera sans grey splodge in the corner. That’s better.
In the Mail: Trainers from My Teenage Years
Okay, I gave in. The trainers I spotted online when I first started my year-long collaboration with adidas (this time last year!), the ones that reminded me of a pair of shoes I had when I was a teenager, are now mine.
The Forum Bold is an iconic adidas sneaker based on an original design from 1984 (when I was four…), which I got in white, green and maroon. I just think they look perfect – the platform sole gives them a chunky look and feel which is right up my street. Yes, I’m a woman in her 40s rocking a pair of platform trainers – that’s okay, isn’t it?!
These aren’t outdoorsy trainers by any stretch, so I won’t be telling you how they’ve got great grip, a nice wide toe box, and a comfortable yet supportive upper (the things I look for in a good pair of walking trainers). Although, assuming they turn out as comfortable as I hope, I fully anticipate them appearing in a future Currently Loving post!
Have you been tempted to relive your teenage years in fashions that have come back around? Probably a good job it’s only shoes I really pay attention to!
A Dr Jart Cicapair Dupe from Revolution
If you enjoy reading my weekly blogs, then you know that my skincare journey has been a fraught one. My skin is terrible, has always been, and I’ve never really gotten to the bottom of it. And at the moment, it seems worse than ever.
The Dr Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Colour Correcting Treatment, the green-to-beige cream that seems to be very popular at the moment, has been my confidence in a jar for a number of years. It provides colour-correcting coverage for my face without needing to wear foundation every day. It was already expensive, but seems to have recently increased in price again. I need very little of it each day and so a jar lasts quite some time, but even so, it is a lot of money for makeup (for me!).
I recently discovered a potential dupe (which I mentioned over on Instagram), which I have been trialling for a few weeks. Revolution Super Base Colour Correction Skin Base comes in at £4 per 10ml instead of £8 per 10ml – half the price – but apparently includes the same or very similar ingredients, and certainly claims to have the same effect. I was asked on Instagram to let you know how it faired, and so here I am.
The Revolution version does work – it goes from green to beige on the skin, providing colour-correcting coverage, blending easily to provide me with a face which looks less blotchy and red. But it’s not quite the same. It’s just a bit heavy, and maybe even a bit greasy in texture.
Dr Jart’s version feels light on my skin and the effects last all day without caking in my wrinkles. The Revolution version is much thicker, and while it goes on nicely first thing in the morning, it doesn’t take long before it has slipped around and makes my face look and feel a bit greasy. By mid-afternoon I’m wanting to wash my face and start again. It feels like it sits on top my skin a bit, whereas the original soaks in more like a moisturiser does.
Revolution have designed this as a primer, and I wonder if you need some kind of powder over the top – but I’m not interested in adding anything else to my face. So it’s a no from me. Yes, it’s an okay product, but it’s not as good as the original. I’ll use up the one I have, but will be returning to the more spendy option after that. Now you know.
A Hole in My Tee
Given that I bang on about Isobaa making the best basic tee I’ve come across, it’s only right to mention that my most recent purchase was not quite up to par.
I bought two new Merino 150 short sleeved tees in the Isobaa half-price sale at the end of the summer, so that I wasn’t always having to wear the same one over and over again. This was particularly with Morocco in mind – merino is an ideal material when you are packing light (read more about why in this post).
But I was very disappointed to notice three small but obvious holes in the sleeve of the green tee while I was away. The tee had only been washed twice, once on the delicate cycle I use for all my merino clothing, and once in the sink, but the material was super thin and three little holes appeared a few days in.
I emailed Isobaa and they got back to me straight away, agreeing it was no good, and to offer me a replacement or refund. I had no choice but to keep wearing the holey tee on my trip, I’d taken very limited options with me, that was the point. As I really like the tee, it’s such a nice colour and design, I took the replacement, and it was waiting for me when I got home.
Clothing, especially when the retail price is £60+ per item, should last for years, and so I felt let down here. But Isobaa didn’t mess me around; their customer service was quick and very easy. So thanks Isobaa, you have retained me a fan despite my holey disappointment.
See You Next Time
Well hasn’t this been a weekly blog full of a rather random collection of topics? I hope you managed to follow my musings and enjoyed reading this episode. These posts are always a bit of a brain dump, and I guess that’s why I like writing them.
Next week I’ll be giving you a run-down of the first week of this year’s One Hour Outside challenge (here’s to some sunny weather this weekend, please), and will share some rather exciting news about my motorcycle situation. Before then, I have a gear review coming up for you, and maybe even the last in my Cotswold Way Adventure Journal series.
Buy Me a Cuppa?
If you enjoyed this weekly blog episode and fancy supporting me and my mini adventures this year, you can “buy me a coffee” for £3 (well, a cup of tea, if that’s okay?). Head over to Ko-fi to find out more. Thank you.