Cabin Fever

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This time of the year can be frustrating when you have a role that effectively cranks up several notches in winter.

So whilst I’m seeing Instagrams of friends and people I follow hitting snowy hills in crampons and ice axes, I’m firmly fixed to a chair, tapping away copy and creating as much content as I can.

It can be hugely annoying as I see the snow come down in Scotland … or worse in the Dales, knowing I can’t get out there to enjoy it … just yet!

But that is the route I’ve chosen for now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cabin fever is difficult to shift without actually getting ‘out there’ but the arrival of tiny feet certainly helps distract the mind.

And when I say feet, I mean paws.

If you’ve read Yorkshire’s Three Peaks: Inside Story of the Dales, you’ll have seen Max, a Lhasa Apso that accompanies me on my travels. Technically, he isn’t mine. Well, there’s no ‘technically’ about it. He isn’t – I borrow him for walks and he repays me by enjoying himself and giving his owner some breathing space.

So I was really happy when my partner suggested we get one of our own. We wanted to adopt, but with a nangy old cat in the house, it was difficult to find the right kind of dog. In the end we went for a well bred puppy – and another Lhasa.

Her name is Lhoste – her breed hails from Tibet so it felt right – and I’m hoping she will live up to her name and hit the hills with me as soon as she is ready.

Which won’t be long.

Then a bivvy …

Having a dog means you have to get out more and when I get the chance I am hitting the trails and paths behind my house. I’m lucky that we back on to Pennington Flash and walking at ‘Lhotse pace’ certainly makes me appreciate what we have in our own back yard.

It’s a stunning place in winter as frost kisses the ‘Flash’ and the paths – and at this time of year there are already many signs of spring.

The Dales isn’t far from my mind though and 25 Great Walkers Pubs of the Yorkshire Dales has been submitted to the publisher – with its planned release being the second week of May.

50 Gems of the Yorkshire Dales is also set to be revised to take into account the National Park expansion which will happen in August 2016. If there’s an area of the extended park you’d like to see featured, please get in touch.

Finally… in preparation for my annual winter birthday bivvy (well, March), I have purchased a Rab Sleeping Bag Liner. It is an interesting pinky purple shade, but I’m sure it will work. Will let you know how I get on … what’s your best piece of bivvy equipment?

One more … prices in my shop have been reduced ahead of ’25’ coming in. All cheaper than Amazon too.