Sunrise Sunset

‘One season following the other, laden with happiness and tears.’

So go the lyrics from Fiddler on the Roof. And we’ve all certainly experienced the happiness and tears over the last year. Some things don’t change though, and it is nature’s constancies that have helped keep me going during the coronavirus pandemic. The seasons, the tides, the phases of the moon, all these patterns help me remember I’m part of something much bigger (and far more important) than myself. Continue reading “Sunrise Sunset”

On the topic of adaptability – moving life outside

Written prior to the start of the January 2021 national lockdown

During the spring lockdown of 2020 many of us initially found ourselves inside far more than we liked. With outdoor exercise limited by both time and destination, we did something impressive. We adapted.

Continue reading “On the topic of adaptability – moving life outside”

Life as an outdoor influencer

Happy New Year!

A low key influencer

Despite offering me opportunities to travel and try out exciting new outdoor gear, the title ‘influencer‘ has never been one of which I’ve been proud. Like so many other things in my life, it came upon me unexpectedly.

Continue reading “Life as an outdoor influencer”

There’s a fruit fly in my office – a different type of productivity

‘I’m currently harvesting a great crop of Drosophila melanogaster from my compost bin.’

Remarked my neighbour over the garden wall. Remembering secondary school biology experiments, I nodded wisely and responded,
‘Me too but mine are in my office.’

There would have been a time when an abundance of desk-bound fruit flies would have shocked me. Not any more. My home office is currently doubling as a greenhouse. This former spare room isn’t alone in its multi-occupancy status. The kitchen has developed into a sourdough micro-bakery, and the lounge has gained additional status as a flour warehouse.

There would have been a time when all of this would have annoyed me but these days I find it exciting. Please allow me to explain.

A couple of years ago I enjoyed a session of business coaching. I learned many useful business skills but the one thing that has really stood the test of time is the idea that for me, business success relates to the concept of livelihood.

It was a seminal moment. I realised I wasn’t out to conquer the freelance writing world, make millions of pounds or mash my rivals into submission. All I really wanted was a livelihood. A way of living that would provide the physical and emotional necessities of life for both me and my family.

Which is probably why, when March lockdown reduced my income, I didn’t panic (too much). I worried of course but turned my thoughts to how I could use my newly spare time to ensure the continuance of those necessities. So I turned to gardening. Permaculture gardening to be precise. All summer and autumn I have grown, foraged, baked, and preserved food for my family.

With a small, north-facing garden, we haven’t even come close to self-sufficiency. However, I’ve realised this doesn’t matter. What’s more important is that this year has helped me redefine my ideas of personal productivity. Whereas my previous ‘good days’ were all type-till-you-drop ones, they now also include garden and kitchen tasks. My concept of ‘work’ has stretched, leaving me more satisfied than I have felt in many years.

Which brings me to productivity. The business world is full of it. As a species, increasing our productivity should apparently be our end goal but what is this doing to us, our loved ones, and our planet? Perhaps if we all focused for a while on the idea of livelihood, the concept of just having enough, we might find ourselves in a happier and healthier place.

The new travel writing – extreme lockdown locations

All summer the possibility of a second national lockdown has loitered lugubriously. But the official command to hide away has now been given. Most of us know when, where, how and with whom to lock ourselves away for the next month. But just imagine for a moment. If ‘away from people’ was your absolutely favourite place to go, where would you choose? We have a few  extreme lockdown location suggestions for the South West of England.

(NB Just in case you thought these were serious… they’re not!)

Continue reading “The new travel writing – extreme lockdown locations”

Writing walking routes, five top tips

We Brits love to walk. In fact, in 2019 71% of UK adults reported walking at least once a week, with an average personal distance of 205 miles in a year.  Wouldn’t it be great if some of those walking miles started and finished at your hospitality business? Continue reading “Writing walking routes, five top tips”

Working from home? 5 great reasons to hire a freelance copywriter

Your staff are working from home, your business has moved online, and your website messages need updating. If this sounds like you, you’re in good company. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the emphasis on online service delivery models has led to an increase in requirement for experienced copywriters. Continue reading “Working from home? 5 great reasons to hire a freelance copywriter”

Living frugally? Sir David and I recommend giving it a try

Frugal has surely to be an unusual favourite word, especially for someone  who struggles to correctly pronounce the letter r. With its rather Dickensian hints of struggle, dearth and hunger, frugality is perhaps not the most popular of life goals. It does however have its own rewards, and not just financial ones. Sir David Attenborough would agree with me on this point. Continue reading “Living frugally? Sir David and I recommend giving it a try”

On the road again? Campervan travel and Covid-19

With increasing levels of local lockdown and the October storms already begun, many of us have now subconsciously started the process of hunkering down for the winter. In our household however the darker months have traditionally been a time for future travel plans and short weekend forays to lonely windswept camp sites. Continue reading “On the road again? Campervan travel and Covid-19”

Experiencing intimacy with the outdoors

Many people who spend a lot of time outside will tell you their favourite outdoor memories are those when the elements took charge. Those wet to the skin, fell in a bog, blown over by the wind moments stay with us because they have an immediate and very physical impact. Continue reading “Experiencing intimacy with the outdoors”