By the end of 2021 I was exhausted. COVID had caught me over the Christmas period as the loss of my Mum began to take its toll. I hoped 2022 would give me time to rest and reflect. I certainly reflected, but spent much of the year on the road, on the sea and on the mountain..!
I’m a planner – I like to plan and prepare for my expeditions, speaking gigs and even my shopping. The 2022 Kendal Mountain Festival was on its way, so I watched my films, prepared my weekend diary and trying my best to help the environment, I booked trains from Derbyshire to the Lakes.
I’ve always believed in fresh air and exercise for both physical and mental health. The Peak District has always been on my doorstep and I’ve been a regular visitor for all of my 52 years. The picture above was taken about 1976 in the Winnats Pass with my big Sister Amanda and my Nannars Dog Sally..!
I was recently contacted by Ben Baumann of the Roots of Reality Podcast. Ben is an historian from the United States of America and has always been fascinated by life’s greatest questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Why are we here? And where are we going? As a result, he decided to become a historian with a focus on the history of existence in the big picture and how it connects to our modern world, with the goal of taking our complex history and making it easy to understand.
2019 was a year of death, cancellations and accidents, so I hoped for a more relaxing and rewarding 2020. It certainly started with a bang as during the 2019 Kendal Mountain Festival, I was asked to don my best Edwardian Mountaineering Tweeds and marry two friends in the Lake District. Surely enough on January 18th, I stood before Tom and Emily in Sticklebarn and pronounced them Husband and Wife. I felt extremely honoured to be asked and we all enjoyed a wonderful weekend under sunny skies in Langdale. 2020 was off with a bang..!
I adore Mountaineering and I adore Writing. Inspired by a meeting at the Kendal Mountain Festival, I’ve written a number of Love Letters to some of the Mountains I’ve climbed over the past 30 years. They’re a varied selection of peaks spanning the Himalayas, Africa, Asia, The Arctic and Europe.
I recently spoke to Dave Cornthwaite on his Self Propelled Podcast about life, mountaineering, frostbite and resilience. Dave is an accomplished traveller and creator of… Read More »The Self Propelled Podcast…
What a year 2019 was, or wasn’t. The first time I missed a Scottish winter for 20 years, a trip to Africa cancelled at the last minute, a climb in India scrapped because of lack of interest and a cycling trip to SE Asia cancelled because of injury. For some just that would be disastrous enough, but all those setbacks paled into insignificance on March 20th as, out of the blue, I lost my Dad. The literary world is strewn with poetry, prose and paragraph about death, but no words can describe the feelings of loss I had and still have. I’m happy that he left us peacefully, with his loving family around him. He felt no pain or suffering and I thank God for that. Only the night before, he’d been on top form, laughing and joking with me at a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Presentation. It was a striking lesson in living every day of your life to the fullest of your abilities.
The run up to Kendal is always busy, so this year I decided to spend as much time as possible in Hospital to shield me from the chaos. Actually, I’d been knocked off my bike by a car and was nursing some rather stiff joints. Serious care, rest and drinking would be required over the festival weekend if I was to make it through…