Monday, 10 February 2014

Some Thoughts on January

Whilst here in the North East of Scotland we have been fortunate not to suffer the floods currently inundating the South and South West of England, the January weather has certainly curtailed my own plans to get outdoors and under canvas. We haven’t yet suffered any snow at low levels but we have suffered somewhere between 100-150% of our usual precipitation for the month and nearly twice the amount compared to 1981-2010 average. Annoyingly this has fallen disproportionately at weekends.

At the start of the year I wrote down my list of resolutions. These are to get 50 hours flight time as Pilot in Command – I am still on track for this as the majority will be completed over the summer months through the January weather meant less flying than I had hoped. I had promised myself 1 night per month as a minimum under canvas. I didn’t achieve this but hope to make up by doubling up in February. One resolution easily achieved in bad weather was to read a book per month. I actually managed 3; reviews for which are posted under book reviews. The inclement weather also gave me time to think about some micro adventures for the coming year. So far I am planning the following:

A Summer flight and to and stopover in the Orkney Islands

Taking Zulu Victor to France and Belgium in April for 5 days to visit WW1 battle sites

Taking 3 day trek of the West Mounth Hills in the Southern Cairngorms

I now need to think of 5 more to meet my self-imposed quota for the year. Hopefully Andy Howell can suggest another Cairngorms trip

Coming back to micro adventures I’d like to explain the concept a little here and why the concept fits my own lifestyle and aspirations. First though I’ll suggest you take a look at Alastair Humphrey’s website as Alastair is the inventor of the concept and is a fantastic source of inspiration so go to for more.
As I work pretty much full time, though as a freelance there are likely to be linger periods of inactivity, finding spare hours to do something adventurous can be difficult. But Alastair points out the following:

“if you add up all the weekends, statutory leave and Bank Holidays you’ll discover that you have at least 132 free days every year. 132 days is a long time. You could row across the Indian Ocean in 132 days. The difficulty of course is the fragmented nature of these 132 days. You have to be determined to use your weekends rather than frittering them with IKEA and the X-Factor”

So a micro adventure is meant to be small, cheap and close to home and something that can be done over a weekend or just a bit more. At the same time should take you outside your comfort zone. For me I don’t think it needs to be something you haven’t done before – though such opportunities should be taken when they come along- as long as you are physically or mentally exerting yourself.