Aches and UPFs

Aches and UPFs

Words have been elusive for weeks, I’ve been on a bit of hiatus. Trying to learn more about process, Obsidian and templates. More a huge snake pit of discovery rather than a bunch of rabbit holes.

So I find myself back, Monday morning, 6:20am typing with the aches and pains of a weekend well used. Two Munros on Saturday, a rough 18 miles (Beinn a Chaorainn and & Beinn Bhreac) followed by a cheeky one on the Sunday just under 10 miles (An Socach). On my own I’m afforded the chance of digging into an audible book and some tunes. Which may feel like defeating the purpose of being one with nature.

Believe me when I tell you soaked through to the skin with bubbles forming in my water proof trousers. Boots that had formed their own water ecosystem. I saw enough nature and the point was more my own company, sense of achievement and a chance to dig into something.

The walking guide….from (Beinn a’ Chaorainn & Beinn Bhreac (Walkhighlands)) gives a nod to stage 5 as the vast tablelands of the Moine Bhealaidh which stretch ahead for several kilometres, with Beinn a’Chaorainn visible in the distance.

At no point does this suggest…a scene out of the gloomiest parts of Lord of the rings or the nothing in Neverending Story. A place that goes on forever, with drudgery! I found a river that couldn’t quite decide which direction it was going in. Just bog and wet for miles with nothing to keep me company but my hand and my poles. I could just about see them in front of me. The book to it’s credit does suggest that it might be difficult to navigate in poor visibility. An understatement! Armed with two garmins and an OS map, I ploughed through it!

It didn’t help having the thought of the only guy I passed telling me the weather was going to get really bad and he was going to head to the pub, watch the football with the option of coming back Monday. One there is no pub for miles, two I’ll be back at the grindstone on Monday, so this is it this is my day to conquer these hills.

There is a sense of deep achievement though as I head down the home straight, along the track and back through pine trees of old. Breathing in deep and soaking up the air filtered by the trees. Despite the damp, greens and purples fill the sights with a feeling of things being alive.

It takes me a good half hour back at the van to peel away the waterproofs, ring out my socks, and get some normality back into my fingers and toes. The sun comes out just as I leave the car park! A rainbow and some warmth. A blessing for drying out, that cold beer with fish and chips back at the campsite as I stare into space.

The next day, it’s a different story, almost t-shirt and shorts worthy in comparison! I hear the call of the deer and more importantly I get my egg sandwich in the dry and with a view!

Back to what I was listening to, a little music, some beats interspersed with chapters from:

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert a repeat listen, and for any writer or creative person there are so many pearls of wisdom.

Ultra Processed People: Why do we all eat stuff that isn’t food. Five chapters in I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. An exploration of food and the industrialisation and processing of what we eat and what it means. Really accessible and thought provoking.

A couple of take away points:

  • Whole foods are so important to health, the extraction of the good things combined with all manner of science and industrialisation of meals isn’t progress.
  • Modern foods are designed to make us want and eat more. I give you Pringles, once I start I can’t stop!

A small slice of the topic covered here, with a 6 minute take on UPFs:

I feel like I need to double down on my efforts around cooking and sharing those recipes that are easy to make!

The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.