13 September 2019

Life in the Slow Lane














Alice and I have returned home from our lovely micro adventure to a happy Cameron, who had a great time at home by himself but was delighted to have us back again. Any adventure big or small involves time to prepare and tidy away afterwards, shoehorning that into our everyday lives is not always straightforward something that I always forget when I say yes to these things, I am now studiously ignoring the pile of jobs, teetering like a large messy pile of lanudry, that need my attention.

We went away because I was assessing a Duke of Edinburgh gold expedition, this involves a group of young people completing a four day, three night expedition, unaccompanied in remote countryside.  I have to meet up with the group beforehand, to make sure that they are prepared for such a demanding undertaking, and during the expedition to satisfy myself that they meet the conditions that are required of them.

Over my years of being an assessor, the role has taken me to so many beautiful parts of my country and this time was no exception.  I found myself in a part of Wales that I have driven round and through in the past but have never stopped and explored.  It was beautiful, rugged and at times really remote.  The lanes were narrow, the traffic non-existent for most of the time, the rain poured and the sun shone.  We got soaking wet and have sunburnt noses!

We saw stunning scenery, walked many paths, enjoyed waterfalls, paused for the changing colours of nature, explored ruinous castles.  I feel as if I have soaked up enough beauty to last me a good while.

Our days were largely ruled by the timings of the expedition and my need to meet the group.  I have learnt that it is best not to plan our days too much, that if we go with the flow and enjoy where we need to be it is much easier for us all.  We stopped when and where we wanted to, explored, allowed time to do what we wanted to, there was no rushing, life at its simplest, pared back.  Although it is a lot of effort to make times like this happen the nourishment they provide on so many levels makes it all worth while.

I have come crashing back into life at home, hitting the ground running.  But I feel ready and able to tackle anything as my cup has been filled up with the loveliness of having been away.  I hope you have had a lovely week too.

14 comments:

  1. It looks so beautiful and peaceful there. X

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    1. It was! I thought where I lived was rural but this felt so much more so. I loved it so much and would love to return some day.

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  2. It sounds like you've had a wonderful time and have come back relaxed and refreshed. Wales is somewhere we'd like to visit again, there's such beautiful scenery there and so many places to explore. Glad to hear that Cameron coped okay on his own, it's a big step leaving them to take care of themselves, even if there is someone there to keep an eye out.

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    1. I did, it was so restoring. It did feel like a big step to leave Cameron but he loved it and did more around the house than he does when I am at home!

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  3. beautiful and so serene. I was up in Lake Placid and being surrounded by nature seemed to feel restive for my soul.

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    1. It was serene that is the perfect word. Nature is so restive for the soul isn't it, I know it effects me when I don't get enough of it.

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  4. The scenery looks very beautiful, I used to enjoy our trips to Wales, especially the north. Sounds like a plan to have gone with the flow so you could relax and enjoy your trip. I wonder if all the applicants passed their expedition xcx

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    1. They did all pass! It was so beautiful, it is hard to show that in a few photos. It was a really immersive time.

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  5. I always admire the Duke of Edinburgh walkers with their absolutely huge back packs! They look like they might topple over. Glad you had a nice break. It's a long time since I've been to Wales. X

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    1. They are usually huge, but they have to be totally self sufficient which means on a gold expedition, such as this was, they are carrying all they need, with the exception of water, to support themselves for four days and three nights. The food alone can weigh a lot at the beginning. I work hard with groups to get them to reduce their weight by suggesting things they can do to reduce it.

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  6. Oh my goodness what a beautiful spot. Visiting Wales is on my bucket list.

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    1. It is beautiful. I lived in Wales for four years and never tired of the wonderful scenery I got to call home.

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  7. Oh, what beautiful photographs. I'm so glad for you that you had time to slow down and soak it all in.

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    1. Thank you. We definitely took it slow, it was a great way to soak it all in.

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