A quiet sit and think
Living in the south part of London presents some problems. Any decent areas to put some miles behind me are mainly north of the city. There are a lot of parks but nearly all of them are sterile, too small, intensly boring or overcrowded. However, there is one which is quite large and is like being way out in the countryside. To get there involves me riding the rails for a bit, so I did just that and went for a quiet sit.
It's one thing writing stuff out for copy, but another to get away from the keyboard and put the mind to work without the distractions of typographical errors, phone calls or other stuff breaking into my brain.
There's a nice lake at the place with viewing stands. One of them is down a narrow weedy trail which most people don't know about. I sat down in one corner to consider what I will do with this blog. I have a voice recorder on my smartphone (airline mode was on) and used it to lay out a few thoughts.
As I was doing the thinking out loud thing, a magpie arrived. It looked at me, I said hello and the creature wandered around the handrail of the stand, jumped onto a tree branch, did it's guano thing and flew away.
The treksThe thought occurred, thanks magpie, that I could go down a main trail, take a side one and see where it takes me. Head for as obscure a region as possible and go for it. A satellite view from a screen snap could be on my fone or printed out, compass in one pocket, camera in another then sort of wing it toward a town with a railroad station and return home (or go on to somewhere else).
What do I really need?When I'm on the road doing my travel blog I normally use a 35L backpack which weighs in at around 10-12 lbs loaded. I have to travel as light as possible due to an old spinal injury. When hiking around that weight must go down into the ultra-light region, because I'm carrying it for many miles. When home I normally use a Jeep pack, but mustn't overload it. Then I have a Gonex (about 7 ounces and pretty much waterproof) which was first used for a time in the Negev Desert.
My older smartphone takes good photos, fits into my shirt pocket safely and weighs 6 ounces. I have a nice Leica/Lumix TZ70 camera which has good battery life and, in it's case with extra battery, weighs twice as much and is 3 times larger, taking up room in my backpack but is good for wildlife photographyit too will fit into my pocket. An 8 inch tablet takes care of any writing and photo editing when away longer.
During hikes, which are usually shortish, I only need an extra pair of socks, waterproofs, a bit of food (usually sandwiches) and my Leki pole for a third leg if needed. My compass is in my travel vest or shirt pocket as are any simple maps. Footwear depends on the weather.
Writing it all upI could jettison the website entirely and just do the hikes. The trouble is, I like writing and photography both of which are an impetus to get out somewhere then write it up. I code up my own blog software because WordPress(WP) sucks big time. Mine is faster, the base install less than 150k and does everything needed for a blog or website (WP is huge and a very overbloated 50+ MB).
So I'll keep the blog. Since it is only about hiking, then I don't need to use categories and will keep it single column.
...and from hereReturning home after the time by the lake, I've written this as a sort of introduction for the new itinerary. I refuse to be on any social media, I'm not an iPhone Lemming or ego travellerthere are much better things to do.
The software is now working so a few of the old posts will be reinstated to satisfy any search engine bots. Then I'll leave it sit until a new post is decided on.
Where that will be is anybody's guess (hikes outside the UK will not be on this blog).
Jul 12, 2021
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