I am nearing the end of a 12 day trip in which I have ignored my usual routines, including fresh air and exercise.
Then again it is half term so these things are allowed. As a family, we have decamped to the city of Belgrade, to work, to see friends and family, and on a personal note to have some therapy on my knee in the hope of running again.
In this maelstrom of activity; the catching up, the meetings, the blur of lights, the restaurants, lunch time beers and late nights, I have also largely ignored this blog. I plead forgiveness from myself for neglecting that which often keeps me happy and healthy.
But a change is as good as a rest and this week I found out I have been shortlisted for the Go Outdoors Best Outdoor Blog, as voted by Go Outdoors Customers. I am delighted just to think that someone might enjoy and be inspired by reading my blog.
...if I thought my blog inspired even just a handful of people...
I have recently been doing some crowdsourcing, listening to the reasons why people don’t go out camping in the wild (article to follow soon) and most “excuses" tend to be around comfort or children.
Over the last 12 months I have re-acquainted myself with wild places. I have also taken my 5/6 year old daughter out wild camping in summer and autumn, paddling on rivers and on short walks in the mountains. This is not because either of us is super human. Emma is a girl who never showed any propensity towards these things. She is no natural sportswoman, she has no particular love of discomfort, she has only recently started distancing herself from an unequivocal love of pink things.
Like all children, however, she is curious. And curiosity is like a fire, the flames must be fanned..
I sense that many people want to try things like camping in the wild - there are after all more and more communities springing up on Facebook aimed at emboldening the meek to go out and enjoy a simpler, more adventurous life, even if just for one night under the stars.
Getting outside and existing in a slightly more analog way is not difficult, does not have to be particularly uncomfortable and it is possible with children. I would be delighted to win this Go Outdoors Best Blog Award, but if I thought that my blog had inspired even just a handful of people to get outside or to introduce the simplicity, beauty and health of nature to their kin it would surpass any award or prize.
Check out the others for inspiration
Here, just for good measure, are links to the other nominees, all of whom, I am sure, are not blogging for awards (although they are nice) but for the joy, excitement and wellbeing that the outdoors offers them, their friends and family.