England are doing well in The Ashes, so all is well in my sporting world. Not so good if you follow football but since when has it been?
There is something a little miserable about shivering away at 3am watching people in T-shirts likely to suffer heat stroke if they clap too energetically but that is the wonder of modern media.
To compliment my Ashes watching I am reading Crickets Burning Passion. The story of how it all came about. (no it is a proper review not an effort to funnel you to my Amazon affiliate page)
As it is winter here in Blighty my reading matter usually tries to mirror the seasons, so it is polar adventure for me. Walking Home Lynn Schooler. A book I read in one long sitting, always a good sign. Not sure if I stumbled on this book myself or some other outdoor blog had mentioned it. Anyway its worth the read. Middle aged man in crumbling personal relationship discovers time is passing. Thankfully this is no ordinary middle aged desk jockey with a midlife crisis, this fellow lives and breathes the wild and going for a stroll along the Alaskan coast is just what he does.
Perhaps like a lot of people, I spend a lot of time wanting to be somewhere else. Planning for the “next thing” which is usually down a long road and preferably ending with a muddy track. This sort of changed when I read a book listing Britain’s wild places. I happen to live in what is considered one of Britain’s top 50 wild places. Not down the road, not nearby, about 5 minutes gentle stroll.
I have done for years, it is actually inhospitably wild protected by access problems. Low lying saltmarsh that is pretty much useless for anything humans want to do today, unless they want to get stuck in mudholes which do kill you or get caught by rising tides which will drown you. Fortunately you need some sort of boat to really get into trouble, but every year some fools have to be pulled from the mud on the periphery as they have sunk up to their middles. Years ago of course you died, now you get busy on your mobile phone and pray you don’t die.
Its flat, bleak monotonous stuff to my eyes, but the birds love it. So faced with this fact I have decided to expand my knowledge of birds beyond the seagull / duck / goose / wader / sparrow categorisation which has served me well for many a decade.
I am alarmingly ignorant of this stuff. I know more about goretex and stoves made out of cans than I do about the natural world going on around me. I have been putting the cart before the horse for rather too long when it comes to hiking. Sure I have responded to the impressive landscape stuff, the sort of thing you see when overflying an area but I seem to have missed just about everything else of consequence.