I have extremely fond memories of summer holidays as a child. I would spend as much of the six week break as I possibly could enjoying the lovely weather by sitting indoors, often with the curtains partially drawn, reading books, watching films and compiling mix tapes.
I am not an outdoor person, I barely even use my own garden. Summer makes things even worse, as I have the naturally pale blue skin gifted by a Celtic ancestry. The hot summer sun gives me freckles, heat rash and sunburn if I don’t baste myself in Factor 50. Being outdoors also inevitably means barbecues, ice-lolly-plaguing wasps and topless men in the high street. Books indoors are far preferable.
Having said that, I do quite like a nice walk in Spring or Autumn, when it’s still quite cool and breezy out but with the kind of happy sunshine that makes you feel confident you’ll not need an umbrella (though this is always a bit of a gamble in England, obviously). I tend to stick to pavement walking though, as I am an urban warrior *side eye to camera*.
My lack of interest in the great outdoors has meant it’s taken me almost two years since I moved here to venture to Warley Woods, a large expanse of ‘outdoors’ that is approximately 60 seconds brisk walk from my front door. This morning I put on my trainers and set off for the woods, listening to my current audiobook obsession (more of that in another post).
Well, Warley Woods is properly lovely. I spent a good hour tramping around, taking great lungfuls of fresh air and politely nodding at myriad dog walkers. It’s a mixture of wooded areas, a large meadow, a golf course, cafe, play areas and some other landscaped bits. I was really impressed by how clean it is; no litter or dog poo. Some of the paths are smudged with the ghosts of dog poos past, but this is inevitable.
Having ventured forth and conquered this new land, I am planning to pop to the woods for a quick constitutional as often as I can now. It felt really good to go for a wander and finally make the most of a beautiful area that is on my doorstep. I might even go in summer as the wooded areas should be well-shaded and I can maintain my goth’s suntan. I may even be tempted to venture further into this area:
I love the idea of a clearly signposted wilderness. I did peek at it from the safety of the footpath, but it looked highly likely I would muddy my green trainers if I ventured into the wilderness. I will return in less attractive footwear so I can go full-on Bear Grylls.
Almost 40 and I am now an ‘outdoorsy person’. I’ll be going Glamping before you know it.