The end of October was drawing ever closer, the days were getting shorter, but it just seemed right to plan a little adventure. My friend, Andy and I hatched a plan to paddle the River Stour in Suffolk, early the following month. The navigable section is between Sudbury and Cattawade, the last stop before the tidal estuary, a short journey of just 24 miles, broken up by quite a few portage points. Not being in any rush, a gentle paddle over two days downstream, going with the flow and a wild camp somewhere by the river was our plan.Continue reading “Going with the flow on the River Stour”
A connection like no other, we are so often missing that special thing in life that makes us human; the simple appreciation of our environment and sense of wonderment in what it provides, the air that we breathe, warmth in our hearts and nourishment from the land and sea. In a busy rushing about day that so many experience, it’s no wonder we are at times feeling a little lost, lacking in purpose and just consumed by modern day life. That hustle and bustle, the always-on, connected culture, our phones with their messages, social media likes, commuting to towns and cities, rushing from one thing to the next, working hard for the chance of salvation, and then onwards to repeat that often crazy loop of repetitive behaviour that consumes our lives.
Where did this all start? I’m asked questions like this quite often, perhaps when I guide families on a walk, show children how to light a fire, or by adults who feel a kindred spirit attempting to escape! My answers vary, but mostly they focus on studying Bushcraft, reading books, courses attended, leadership training and assessments, all over the past 15 years. But I’m not sure this is where it all truly began, so I’m going to begin at the beginning and we’ll see where this journey ends!
As a child I’d heard of the bushman though the story telling of Laurens van der Post, his books and films. Many years later, my intrigue in their culture and hunter-gatherer way of life still yearned to experience how they lived. How does an egalitarian culture that has existed for thousands of years manage alongside the modern-westernised world of the 21st century? What wisdom do they have to offer us, should we ask? And, what skills can we learn from the bushman? Just some of my questions I felt needed answers. Continue reading “Learning with the San-Bushman in Namibia”
No matter how much you assess and focus on your priorities, develop strategies and make plans, the results can so often come out differently. 2017 was another year where, to be honest, I didn’t always know what to expect. Reflecting on the past and planning for the future are important, but, what really counts is being open to opportunities and adapting to change, these make for an exciting (yes, sometimes hectic), rewarding, and adventurous life! Thank you to everyone that helped me on this journey, those who inspired me, helped make things happen and joined me to learn and have fun. Here are a few of the highlights from 2017…