Sometimes you need to get away from it all… to switch off the world for a while, and go exploring.
Two weekends ago, we did just that. We drove off into the middle of nowhere* and went somewhere with no wifi, almost no phone reception and no TV. A very modern adventure indeed!
We showed up in the middle of a mini blizzard and woke up to a fresh blanket of white, crisp stuff.
(Edinburgh had been sorely lacking in snow so to say that I was delighted would be a complete understatement.)
And amazing skies… with wisps of clouds almost painted onto them.
Ok, so ‘nowhere’ is actually a beautiful little wooden bothy in the middle of field, near Dumfries.
But it felt like an expedition into the unknown. (Certainly the first weekend I have been without my mobile phone in maybe forever.)
We woke up to a different world of blue skies and all this untouched snow… and so much silence.
Gorgeous, perfect, beautiful silence. The kind where you can actually hear yourself think.
So there was only one thing to do… make like Shackleton and get trekking.
He wore the exact same wellies, you know.**
So off we went through scenery that we later wrote poems and songs about their epic beauty.**
Then we happened on these strange tracks… who or what could have made these?
And spotted some very unusual creatures, not native to our shores.
(By that, I mean the shores of Leith.)
And then over the hill… we reached the summit.
I think we both just stood stock still and stared.
Silently appreciating this beautiful view…
Well, as silently as you can while taking photos!
After which, we had to perfect our National Geographic cover shots.
For when they come a-calling.
I’m not entirely sure my explorer shot is as convincing… explorers do wear pink pom pom hats right?
And like all good explorers before us, we brought a sledge. A red plastic sledge.
Exactly the same sledge as Scott of the Antarctic had.**
Turns out sledging isn’t quite as easy as we’d remembered it being…
And my ‘landings’ need a lot of work. Yes, tipping yourself off the sledge at the bottom of the hill is not the most graceful of finishes.
After the big success of my sledging, I did an installation piece in the snow…
Turns out falling backwards into snow and waving your arms about is an utterly ridiculous way to spend 5 minutes of your life. Utterly ridiculous and brilliant.
And star jumps… it’s a little known fact that all explorers do this.**
(Yeah, ok, I’m beginning to see why the sheep are terrified of us!)
Then we headed back to base camp…
De-wellied. (That’s a word right?)
Made some tea. Had some biscuits. It’s what Ranulph Fiennes would do.
24 hours later, we returned to the real world…
… and reluctantly switched everything back on.
Since that weekend, I’ve decided to try and give myself an internet/phone break every now and then.
Simple things like putting my phone in the other room when we’re watching a movie, not checking my emails immediately on waking (or before going to bed!), not instantly taking my phone out when someone else does…
Doing a bit more of concentrating on being here in the now.
And remembering that adventure is out there…
It’s what would every polar explorer would do.***
**Historically accurate fact. (Maybe.)
*** Along with wearing a pink pom pom hat.