Ah yes. August. Over two months since my last published ramblings on here (could those at the back please keep the cheering to themselves) and if I do in fact still have a readership, I’d like to apologise. I know from my own browsing habits that there’s nothing more annoying than a regularly updated blog that suddenly peters out, hopefully leaving its readers wanting more but bad form nonetheless. Although relationships across the web are often fleeting, I like to feel that the blogging community is a relatively stable one and I’ve genuinely missed being part of it this summer. In truth I needed time away to re-evaluate my priorities and where life was taking me, get a hold on some of the self doubt that dominates most things I do and discover once more what it is that makes me smile.
Can I claim total success? No I can’t. But what I have learnt is that this blog is important to me and sharing our daily adventures is something that I have truly missed. Hopefully that goes both ways as the number of people that have recognised me in real life from these pages is frankly remarkable and I hope that most of you have stuck around through my hiatus. I’ve also realised that my aim to craft every post into a masterpiece, or as near as I can make it anyway, is a hopeless goal that did nothing but sap my enthusiasm for sharing some truly remarkable encounters with nature. My writing isn’t good enough, there’s simply not enough hours in the day and, when all is said and done, not everything needs a thousand word essay to convey ones experiences. As a result I shall be trialling a range of new formats here over the coming weeks. Video will definitely start to feature more (for reasons which will soon become abundantly clear) as will a more photo heavy style for those ‘big days’ where words will simply never be able to do it justice. That’s not to say that longer reads won’t still by a regular occurrence, as this one is turning out to be, but there’s nothing like a bit of variety to spice things up. On that front I’ve also implemented a few tweaks on the general look and feel of the blog, nothing major but just the odd thing here and there that’s been bothering me for a while. The biggest of these has probably been my choice of fonts to hopefully present an easier reading experience. This is an absolute minefield though so I’d be grateful for any feedback you might have.
With that out of the way you may be wondering what else I’ve been up to. Sat around watching the TV perhaps? Well yes, admittedly Euro 2016 did take up a couple of weeks but I’ve also been on a non-stop whirlwind of holidays, long weekends and plenty of DIY. The latter need not interest us here but the rest definitely does. To try and tell the whole tale from scratch would probably take us until Christmas so instead here are just a couple of my personal highlights:
- Cetacean watching by sailing catamaran off the Cornish coast
- Scenery and shipwrecks at Land’s End
- Puffin therapy on Skomer
- Week in Northumberland including the Farne Islands – epic doesn’t do it justice
- Camping in mid-Wales (the tent leaked) plus a footplate ride on the Talyllyn Railway
- Hill walking in the shadows of Cadair Idris
- Sea kayaking off Gower
- Visit to the Flying Legends airshow at Duxford
- Butterfly hunting around Wicken Fen
- And lots more day trips besides
In short it’s all been rather hectic but that’s exactly the way I like it and how things should hopefully stay for the remainder of the year. Just last weekend we met up with a couple of friends for an amble over Rhossili Downs, the highlight of which was undoubtedly this juvenile Wheatear up at the old radar station. With our trips to Mull being more autumnal of late I’ve really missed these little guys.
Also about was a family party of four Chough whilst down on the beach the rising tide was washing ashore scores of Barrel Jellyfish again, a seemingly regular occurrence along Gower’s coast. I’d hoped to see a few of these in their natural habitat the following day as we kayaked from Oxwich to Three Cliffs but alas it was not to be.
And just in case you thought I might go this whole post without mentioning the weather once? Not a chance. It’s horrendous here at the moment, a typically British start to August but hopefully only a blip before the weekend. In the meantime I’ll do a couple of featured ‘catch-up’ posts before we run headlong into whatever may lie ahead. I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.