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Being Highly Sensitive

Being Highly Sensitive

When I sit down to write an article, it’s often to share my little adventures away from the rat race. But with mountains off the agenda right now, I thought I’d try something different by writing a post that’s a little more personal. I’m conscious readers don’t know a lot about me. I’m quite a private individual, so other than knowing I’m a former lawyer who’s found solace in the mountains, you’ve had to form your own impression about the…

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Defer your success and never fail again

Defer your success and never fail again

‘The past is history. The future’s a mystery. But today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present’. Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda Goals My goal for 2020 was simple: complete 18 classic Lakeland fell walks, each one inspired by Alfred Wainwright’s excellent book, ‘Fellwalking With Wainwright’. By this time last year, I’d read the book from cover to cover, spread maps across the kitchen table, scribbled notes on scraps of paper and formulated a plan. Things didn’t…

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Motivation

Motivation

I thought staying motivated to work in lockdown would be a breeze. You see I’ve been lucky to work from home for the past three years. I have a decent home office setup. I know that Zoom isn’t just a retro ice-lolly. And I’ve had to make up my own coffee-machine gossip for some time. And that’s meant my lockdown routine has felt strangely, well, normal.  In our pre-Covid world, people would often say to me ‘you must have so…

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Senses: Touch

Senses: Touch

Wash your hands after touching anything. Or better still, don’t touch anything, and then wash your hands anyway. My permitted walks have become an exercise in crossing stiles without making contact. And immediately dousing myself in hand gel if my concentration lapses and I accidentally brush past a leaf. And human contact has stopped altogether. I’m not one for hugging every person I pass in the street but an element of touch does come naturally to us. We shake hands…

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I miss the mountains

I miss the mountains

I miss the mountains. I miss fine-tuning the route. Reading guidebooks. Poring over maps. Checking the weather forecast. I miss packing my rucksack. Sorting my kit. Filling my water bottles. Making a sandwich and deciding how many Mars Bars to take. I miss loading up the car the night before. Laying out my clothes ready. I miss going to bed early. Waking up in the early hours. Sneaking out of bed and wolfing down some breakfast. Creeping around the house…

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You don’t have to be a superhero

You don’t have to be a superhero

Despite a marathon unsubscribing session last year, I’m still on lots of mailing lists. On the whole, this is great. My inbox is filled with (mostly) interesting content, discount codes and ideas. I’ve kept things manageable by being honest about what I actually end up reading. If I find myself deleting e-mails before even opening them, that tells me it’s time to unsubscribe. But despite my e-mail subscription list being pretty lean, I’ve found it hard to keep on top…

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Patience

Patience

I reckon we should all try to have a little more patience. I grew up in a time before self-checkouts and online shopping. When sending an e-mail meant plugging a cable in and keeping your fingers crossed someone didn’t try to use the phone as you connected via dial-up. Mobile phones were used to speak to people. Doing a project at school meant heading to the library or, if you were lucky, digging out the Encarta CD-ROM. I remember the…

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Sink or swim – the spiral of burnout

Sink or swim – the spiral of burnout

I recently shared an article on Twitter from the BBC website: “Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired”. There were other headlines that day too: “Warning over youth career aspiration-reality disconnect”. “Young people ‘most vulnerable’ at work”. “My boss let me go over my condition”. The common themes? Stress. Anxiety. Burnout. All too common experiences for the 21st century worker. While it’s good that we’re starting to give mental health issues a voice, these articles show there’s still stigma…

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Running in the woods

Running in the woods

I don’t have the stats on this but I reckon January is one of the more popular months for running. I rarely see other runners when I’m out but 1st January tends to mark a change. Whether it’s starting as you mean to go on, or blowing away the cobwebs after the excesses of the festive period, lots of people reach for their trainers come January. It tends not to last though. As the months go by, numbers dwindle as…

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Helvellyn at sunrise

Helvellyn at sunrise

ROUTE STATS (including map) Helvellyn at sunrise After days of rain, I’d planned a trip to Thirlmere during a short window of more settled weather. While I’m enjoying my Lakes of the Lakes challenge this year, I’ve been craving some higher ground before Winter sets in. By heading up later on Friday, I could tackle the Thirlmere Loop, camp over and sneak in a sunrise jaunt up one of my favourite mountains – Helvellyn. A bit like a specific trip…

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