‘You Must Be Brave!’

‘Oh Ratty!’ he cried. ‘I’ve been through such times since I saw you last, you can’t think! Such trials, such sufferings, and all so nobly born!’  (Kenneth Grahame)

Whilst delivering local talks about my cycle touring and wild camping exploits on Nordic soil, a member of the audience often declares, ”You must be brave!’

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Watching the Whale.

It’s almost February here in the English Lake District. The weather is dreary and damp, we’ve had many weeks of what could be described as poor weather. Whilst lying in bed one early morning, recovering from a brief illness, my thoughts turned to more pleasurable days of cycling.

It was a sunny weekday in New Zealand, I gazed contentedly out of the open-sided carriage.

Continue reading “Watching the Whale.”

‘Find Beauty, Be Still’

In this the last post of 2019, I would like to send all my blog followers and readers a giant thank you and much gratitude, for your loyal support and lovely heartwarming comments over the last year. I hope you are enjoying the festive break and looking forward to the new year of 2020.

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November Thoughts.

The days seem shorter and the light is dwindling, along with my willpower. It’s not easy to carry on running, cycling or swimming, when the cold mornings are dim, the early evenings dark and working hours, are spiralling out of control.

So, I’ve had to come up with a proverbial carrot to dangle in front of my mind’s eye! Continue reading “November Thoughts.”

The Joy of Lily Tarn

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau, 9. The Ponds, Walden

As I run through the seasons, the ethereal and mysterious Lily Tarn keeps my spirits up and never fails to enthral me, over and over again. Continue reading “The Joy of Lily Tarn”

The Forest in Autumn.

Autumn is upon us now and here in the Lakes, all around is phenomenal colour and light. At this time of year, trees are ablaze dressed in orange, gold and red, skies are often deep grey or indigo blue, bracken a polished bronze and arching rainbows come and go.

The leaves on the trees constantly catch one’s eye. They are breathtaking particularly when dancing in the breeze, lit by the low autumnal sun. 

So, I thought a few photos of autumn… would go perfectly with a poem about the ‘Forest’ by Carol Ann Duffy.



In fact, the trees are murmuring under your feet,
a buried empathy; you tread it.
High over your head,
the canopy sieves light; a conversation
you lip-read. The forest
keeps different time;
slow hours as long as your life,
so you feel human.

So you feel more human; persuaded what you are
by wordless breath of wood, reason in resin.
You might name them-
oak, ash, holly, beech, elm-
but the giants are silence alive, superior,
and now you are all instinct;
swinging the small lamp of your heart
as you venture their world:

the green, shadowy, garlic air
your ancestors breathed.
Ah, you thought love human
till you lost yourself in the forest,
but it is more strange.
These grave and patient saints
who pray and pray
and suffer your little embrace.
Carol Ann Duffy.


Rydal Bench 054
(Photo No. 2 Credit to Ross of Himanka, Finland)


Swimming Through The Twilight.

Out of a need for solitariness came the realisation, that nightfall on a lake is one of the most interesting and startling times of the day. Swimming at dusk is now my absolute favourite and is special during any season of the year. Early Autumn has arrived and changes are afoot!.

Continue reading “Swimming Through The Twilight.”