54 and the wild places.

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I fell into a habit a few years back of taking my birthday as a day off. I went from ‘I couldn’t possibly’ to ‘Why on earth not; we are not around here for long?’

Today I’ll be doing what I like doing: walking. It costs no money apart from a decent waterproof coat, good boots and trousers. Most of the kit I have is over 15 years old: it is battered, but still useful. It is hard to resist the siren lure of consumerism, you don’t need labels to define you or bring you contentment, plus there is something profound about well loved and worn items that have aged with me.

Mostly I do this on my own; walking in wild places, sometimes getting lost, frequently getting so tired so that conscious thought fades and being totally at the mercy of the elements is powerful. I like the isolated and random conversations with strangers as our stories intersect, often over a ruminative pint and I love the luxury of a slow soak in the bath when I get home.

Today I will mostly be off grid.

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