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Hole in the Wall


One of the many lovely things about having dogs is having a good excuse to go for nice walks with other dog-owning friends.  It had been a while since we walked with Abi, so we put a date in the diary and then spent far too long trying to decide where to go.

We eventually decided on this route, at Hole in the Wall.  Unfortunately Jon was suffering from man flu, so I left him at home with Bonnie and just took Tilly. There's nowhere to park in the village (hamlet? handful of houses?) itself, but there is a layby just up the road marked as parking on OS maps.

Speaking of OS maps, this is the first time I properly used the android app (though I did of course have a paper map in my bag).  It felt very lazy to plot the route in, then just hit a button and have my phone tell me if we were going off track.  I'm sure that's cheating somehow?

wibbly lines
so many lines

One important thing that the route description hadn't mentioned is how many stiles there were.  I lost count. Some had gaps big enough for the dogs to squeeze through, but most were not dog friendly.  Tilly doesn't mind being scooped up and carried over things, but Cai was a lot less keen!  He'd just sit down and look at Abi as if to say "oh not again, can't you just leave me be?!".

Give us your lunch please!

Another thing this walk had lots of was pheasants. At one point Tilly vanished into a wooded area and tried to flush a load out, and she ended up back on the lead a few more times later on because they were distracting her too much.  Her recall and prey drive are a lot better than Bonnie's, but she still can't be completely trusted...



The other weekend I went to Bristol for the Women's Adventure Expo.  If you were also there (or at the Love Her Wild networking event afterwards), and chatted to someone in a bright blue fleece who forgot to introduce herself and said things like "I used to be a lot more outdoorsy but then life got in the way" then hi, that was me :)

I did start on a write up that was basically 'I saw this talk and that talk and blah blah' but it was boring, so instead here are a few key points that have stuck with me nearly two weeks later.

"Women Only"

When I told my partner I was going to this event, I rather predictably got something along the lines of "If someone organised a Men Only adventure expo there'd be outrage, so why is this ok?".  yeaaahh.

So-called 'positive discrimination' doesn't always sit comfortably with me.  Probably because I've never felt like I'm being discriminated against because of my gender (despite having spent much of my life doing 'male dominated' things such as Scouting and science and computers).  It'd be nice if things were equal enough that we didn't need all the safe space type stuff. But I digress.  This event was not "women only" - I saw at least two men in the audience ;) - but all the speakers were female, and the focus was on encouraging women to get out and do adventurous things.

One thing I heard more than once was along the lines of "I was in my tent in the middle of nowhere when I heard male voices outside, and immediately I was on alert just in case".  Of course the vast majority of the time everything turns out fine*, but this sort of reaction is a Real Thing for so many people (probably including me, if I'm honest), and I'm not sure it's something that a lot of men would think about.

*but kudos to Laura Kennington for talking honestly about the bad attention she got while attempting to kayak the Volga in Russia

end slide of WAEXPO

Imposter Syndrome

I've thought about this a lot in a work/career context, but never really considered that it's a "thing" with hobbies too.  But of course it is! Seems pretty much everyone is just winging it and pretending

I have a lot of friends who do Really Impressive Things in their spare time - recent examples including marathons, triathlons, LEJOG, competing in Sickline, long cycling trips in foreign lands, working/volunteering in third world countries.  On top of that, I also spend far too much time browsing social media and enjoying words, photos and videos from complete strangers doing yet more Really Impressive Things. Sometimes it's difficult not to feel very inadequate in comparison: I can 'only' run 10k, or cycle about 60km, or kayak grade 3, etc etc.

Of course this is not the ideal attitude, and it's important to try and remember that everyone has their own personal abilities and goals..... continue reading »



For a late summer holiday this year we had a week in Croatia. 

We flew from Luton, because we were booking late and that's where affordable flights were... stupid traffic jams on the M25 and M1 made me rather anxious about getting to the airport on time, but obviously we did get there or I wouldn't be writing this!

Anyway, we landed in Dubrovnik airport just before 10pm.  Our accommodation for the first two nights was at Villa Radović in Cavtat, and I'd taken them up on the offer of an airport transfer (which took all of 15 minutes!).  Within an hour of landed we'd checked in, freshened up, walked down the hill into town and were sat on the seafront enjoying a nice cocktail.  Lovely :)


Two nights gave us one full day in Cavtat.  To be honest this was probably enough - it's a very small town! However it's quiet, cheaper and generally more relaxed than Dubrovnik, so definitely a good place to stay.

After breakfast pastries, we had a wander around the Rat peninsular, consumed ice cream, and in the afternoon went sea kayaking.


I haven't done much kayaking at all recently.. in fact this was my first time paddling something other than a swimming pool all year!  We were in a group of 6, with the others on tandem boats.  We were offered this option but I was very quick to turn it down. Jon didn't seem keen on sharing either.

We paddled around the bay, then out to Supetar island where we stopped for a swim, drink and another little wander.  Jon then managed to capsize while trying to splash me, which I obviously found hilarious.