These Are The Things…

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A few musings on recent events at Mascarandy Towers…

TGO Bloggers Network

For those visiting these parts for the first time, hello!

I know you’re likely to have come here from all sorts of places but if you’re popping by from the TGO Bloggers Network then greetings to you.

I’ve recently been added to this list which is a collection of ‘the best online writing on the subjects of backpacking, hillwalking and the outdoors’ according to the fine people at The Great Outdoors magazine.

It’s a list I’ve wanted to be a part of for a while as it contains many of my favourite authors across the outdoor world. Alan Rowan, Alistair Humphries and Mark Horrell are all writers I enjoy reading alongside the likes of Fiona Russell and Kate Jamieson.

I’ve been penning stories on my ‘adventures’ for a while now as well as sharing video and audio content across the web. If you’re here for the first time, I hope you enjoy these pages.

(If not, let me know, I can take it…)

(I think)


I’m a podcast fiend. Commute, down time, work time, travels … whatever the occasion, I usually have one in my ears.

My choices are quite eclectic and I’ve even dabbled in producing some myself (you can subscribe to them here). At this precise time, there are 11 on my iPhone and I’m going to bore you with them.

First up there’s my NFL ones which at present are two of Ross Tucker’s. I also listen to Around the NFL and also Gridiron’s efforts too. Then there’s Farming Today, Outside Magazine, Ted Talks, BBC’s Costing the Earth and Documentary series. I’ve also got one from the Boston Globe too about Aaron Hernandez.

Still awake? I wanted to highlight one I’m really enjoying at the moment by Bonita Morris. She’s the youngest person ever to reach Everest and the North Pole and after releasing her book – The Girl Who Climbed Everest – she’s producing her own Podcast.

I’m three deep into the ‘She Loves Mountains‘ series now; she is currently talking to Sophie Ratcliffe (Challenge Sophie) about her fascinating life and how she quit the rat race to become a real influencer in several fields.

All I can say is give these podcasts a listen. Inspiring, informative and taken from the view of someone who has done it, rather than someone just trying to get an interview.

They are conversations, rather than straight Q and A’s, but don’t just take my word for it – give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.


Not the hard sell … it feels quite small fry compared to the big mountain experience of Bonita but work is continuing on my 50 Gems of Cheshire book. I’ve recently been in Parkgate on the Wirral which is a salt marsh and the county’s only coastal ‘resort’.

I’ve also spent some time with the chaps at Ness Botanic Gardens (see the raw snap above!) and over at Lovell Quinta Arboretum too. All three are fantastic places and complete gems in their own right.

The next job is to finish off snapping some of the remaining places and get cracking with the writing. Then it will be on to a Secret Dales project I’ve been wanting to get my teeth into for ages.

Social Media

Likes? Dislikes? Clicks? Are they important? I’ve seen loads of posts recently that show the reality of people who seem to be ‘living their best life’.

That’s a term that should be banished into the bin alongside ‘outside the box’, ‘blue sky thinking’ etc.

There seems to be this clamour to put something out on a social account that shows a person surrounded by paperwork, hair a mess etc to show the world that this is the reality of what they do rather than the pristine, well-filtered posts of the outdoor world.

Why do it? We head to social media, especially Instagram, to see the best of the world, not masses of paperwork that you’ve set up to show you’re normal!

No one wants to see a picture of me typing this with a brew (you can if you want though) – they seek the pics of Warnscale, my caving, being out and about.

Come on Insta outdoors folk … let’s keep it real yeah?


Can the complete dullards who dumped the keyboards in Selside please take a long hard look in the mirror? And then hit yourself repeatedly, preferably with something hard. Like some keyboards.

I know where there’s a load of them.