Showing posts from June, 2013

Ode to 50

Am I really 50? So how did that happen then? Well, to answer my own question I guess my parents had sex, I was the result, and on 8th June 1963 I came into the world. Simple as that really.

The years have certainly slipped away easily enough since then. I have the same vague memories of toddler-hood that I always had (my older brother ramming me and my pushchair into a coniferous hedge in a park indelibly stamped) and my childhood passed smoothly enough in a string of memories of bike riding, card playing, swimming in outdoor Lidos with fountains and peeling turquoise paint, family walks, picnics and skateboards. Was it all idyllic? Probably not - I remember a 3-day stand-off that my parents once had and dropping the hamster cage (complete with hamster) down the stairs - but it was certainly relatively carefree.

Exams and university Finals are all distant memories and it's hard to reconcile that my own eldest is soon to embark on that particular trail of misery. Yes indeed, I am…

Counting Steps - A Book for Father's Day

If you are looking for a present for Father's Day on 16th June, then 'Counting Steps' - the debut book from fellow writer and blogger, Mark Charlton (Views from the Bike Shed) - could be the answer.

It is a book rooted in nature, landscape and relationships, exploring through its 26 named chapters the experience of fatherhood and the light this throws on his relationship with his own father.

The evocation of landscape and Mark's physical relationship with it through cycling, climbing, walking, running and canoeing, runs as a theme throughout the book. It's Mark's relationship with the landscape which is also self-revelatory: he refers to the 'capacity of landscape to hold a mirror to our feelings, to embody our spirit in physical form' and how 'we return to certain places not so much to look at the view as to look at ourselves'.

Indeed, a few years ago I found myself doing just that. After a hugely difficult and challenging period in my life, I…

Ten Years On

Saturday 25th May 2013

As we head south on the M40 on a beautiful sunny evening (long-awaited), it is strange to think that ten years ago this weekend we were heading up the same motorway in the other direction to start our new life in the north. Today in the back of the car, on our way to holidays, we have three distinctly growing girls: ten years ago we had a baby, a toddler and a pre-schooler. Where did those years go? I ask myself.

I struggle to accept that then I was on the cusp of 40, still able to kid myself that I was young; today, on the cusp of 50, I fear the same can no longer be said! The years have passed both in the blink of an eye - and slowly and surely. On the one hand it all seems like yesterday, on the other a lifetime of experience has been accumulated in a decade.

The friends we left behind are still there, of course, but new ones have been made and form the backbone of our happiness in the High Peak. For two of our girls it is truly home - it is all they really …