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Glevum Way, part 3

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On a rather windy afternoon (thanks to storm Brian), we finished walking the Glevum Way.

We picked up where we left it last time, with familiar paths around the golf course then across fields to the A38.  From here on the route was mostly new to me.  More fields with really easy to follow paths took us to Sandhurst, then we walked along the road for about 1km to the river.

Glevum way, through fields

The riverside path was... interesting.  Narrow, a bit overgrown, and tucked away between garden fences and the water. Oh, and a stile with the word 'DEATH' spray painted onto it. There was also far too much rubbish strewn all over the place, which only got worse as we got closer to the city.

dumped trolley and rubbish
it was jokingly suggested that this could be 'art'. No. it's rubbish dumped by idiots :(

The other thing we noticed as we approached 'civilisation' was a gradual increase in traffic noise, and the soothing sound of sirens.  Ahh...

After popping out at what google maps labels the 'Westgate leisure area', it was a little wiggle of bridges to cross the Severn, walk along the other bank, and cross back at the lock.  I'm not actually sure exactly where in the docks the official start/end point of the route is, but we decided that Tank would do and celebrated with burgers and beer :)

We walked 12km in 2.5hr, with almost no need to stop and check the map. The signposts and stickers on this section were actually pretty good, apart from at Westgate where they seemed to vanish.

The Glevum Way is certainly a varied route - very urban, but also lots of countryside.  I've really enjoyed walking a lap of Gloucester.

Hole in the Wall

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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?!".

dogs
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...

WAExpo

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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 »