A few of my favourite blog posts

I’ve been scouring the archives. Here’s a few posts I had fun writing…

My mum loves Levison Wood… how to cope when a parent loves another adventurer

Why adventurers should aim to inspire, not motivate… a polemic / think piece about adventuring and adventurers

Curveballs… a blog on one of my favourites countries, Georgia

Home straights and home comings… how does it feel getting back from a six year bike ride?

‘What’s going to happen when…?’… japery in Central America

An accidental run to Smalley Green Part 2

To discover what motivated this journey, read part one. For the journey itself, read on…

I like running, but not in the way some people like running. In the days before I set off on an unplanned run through the UK, footage appeared on social media and TV news of the two Brownlee brothers at the end of a triathlon so gruelling that just pondering it saps calories. In the video, one of the brothers pauses, reels on the spot, staggers, looks about as close to cardiac arrest as it’s possible to look without being attached to a defibrillator, and then his brother appears, throws his arm over his brother’s shoulder and aides him in an ungainly stumble, reminiscent of a three-legged race, towards the finish line where he swoons into pain, physical oblivion and post-traumatic stress disorder. This is a psychological aberration. People are sectioned for less.

But I do get the draw of pain and punishment. To some extent, far removed from the Brownlee’s limit of endurance, I enjoy exertion. I thought this as I began my run from my Mum’s house in Oxford, an unplanned jaunt to no destination, with no time-frame, route or objectives. I felt the light-headed buzz of breathlessness, the gush of endorphins. I passed a sign advertising a coming fun run. Fun. That was for wimps. This would be the unfunnest, unfunniest, most funless run of my life. But if I got really tired I’d stop and have a cup of tea in Subway.

How to rough camp without being murdered in your sleep

I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
And all around me, a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

Was a high wall there that tried to stop me
A sign was painted said: Private Property,
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing —
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun come shining, then I was strolling
In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling;
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting:
This land was made for you and me.
Woody Guthrie

Stevey Gonzales

Admiring a salt lake on the Baja peninsula of Mexico

Contrary to popular belief football is not Mexico’s national sport. It’s sweeping. Mexico’s women are more intensely devoted to sweeping than a gap toothed, tattoo-branded, wailing Milwall fan is to football. Sweeping in Mexico begins before sunrise and continues well into the night. The same floors and spaces are swept more than a dozen times a day, I know, I’ve watched this happen. Every so often I am evicted from restaurants – ‘you’re closing?’ I ask, ‘Si Señor. For sweeping.’