Even by my recent standards I’ve been ridiculously quiet on the blogging front over the last week.
However whilst previously this may have left me with a nagging sense of guilt I really don’t feel that way currently because life is ridiculously and legitimately busy.
My new job has started and I’ve been trying to once again get used to manoeuvring all the ‘life stuff’ that I need to get done around working full time.
Thankfully I’m not something that’s such a distant memory that it’s hard to do – and even when I wasn’t working I’ve usually been up at the crack of dawn for a swim and a walk.
I’ve always been an early riser – but my sudden employment (it seemed to come out of nowhere after lots of fruitless applications) has been a rude reminder that I need to plan things like shopping and meals a bit more in advance than I have been for the past few months.
It’s been hard to stay on plan – but that’s not the only slightly jarring thing about working 9-5 again.
The start date of my new role (somewhat unfortunately) arrived right after a wonderful bank holiday period that’s been absolutely awesome.
Consequently I’ve had to pivot from ‘relaxed wandering and exploring whilst feeling excessive levels of chill’ into ‘sit behind this desk all day and learn new stuff’.
Consequently the bank holiday is already a distant memory and my brain feels like it’s been griddled like a BK Whopper.
Before I felt like my mind had been beaten black and blue though my fleeting moments of freedom found me once again in Cheddar Gorge.
It’s a special place for me – because it was there (whilst doing a random circular walk) that I first met someone who’s become really important to me.
At the top of this very hill at the exact moment I took a photo of myself the future arrived.
It was also slogging up a hill with a heavy pack on its back, doing exactly what I also love to do.
Thanks to my phone and my tendency to photograph absolutely everything I know the time and the GPS coordinates of that moment.
I’m pretty anal like that.
This time I’d not only returned to the scene of the crime – but I had that special person in tow with me – and we were both keen to experience the whole event all over again.
The difference was that this time it wasn’t a day trip, but a weekend in a camper van.
This is admittedly something of a new experience for me.
Not only had I never slept overnight in any kind of vehicle before but I’d never stayed at a camp site either.
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the experience despite fully expecting the Carry On cast to appear and Barbara Windsor to start enthusiastically exercising in front of me in a bikini.
It was all great though – regardless of her absence.
Sure – getting up to go to the loo in the middle of the night wearing pyjamas when it’s around 300 metres away at the opposite end of a damp field isn’t ideal – but I stoically managed to go number 1’s in the dark successfully and otherwise slept like a baby.
This is mildly unusual – and as someone near and dear to me will attest I can be a pretty restless sleeper at times.
In a camper however (with significantly less caffeine imbibed than usual) I slept like the recently deceased – which was wonderful.
All of this grade A rest made the trekking associated with a visit to a place like this a lot more palatable – and over the two days while we were there we walked as much as we possibly could.
It wasn’t all plain sailing mind you.
Being a careful kind of fellow I liberally applied lots of sun cream – and consequently all of my exposed parts went a satisfying warm pink colour.
For me this is usually as good as tanning gets.
However – I neglected to account for unexposed areas and my shirt let liberal amounts of sunlight through.
It’s a rookie mistake because I actually have SPF rated North Face shirts for trekking and neglected to pack them, choosing instead a lightweight Berghaus one.
This ultimately meant that I ended up with a chest that resembled a red and white picnic blanket afterwards – which was less than ideal.
It didn’t matter though.
Sunburn fades – but I suspect that the memory of a day like this will last a lot longer.
Whilst I didn’t know it at the time I started changing a lot of thought processes when I first visited here.
I’d randomly chosen it as a destination in August last year partially because I was running away from negative feelings and I needed a fresh perspective.
I thought I might find it at altitude.
I needed to work stuff out and I couldn’t do it looking at the walls of my house glaring at a TV playing video games or binge watching box sets.
Walking and clambering over things is my process.
It fixed everything for me.
It often still does.
If things don’t make sense then I try not to worry. Just putting one foot in front of another repeatedly will make it all better.
As I walked and tried to make sense of my (pained) feelings and experiences (I’d just become MOTY) the world opened up and unfolded for me.
I’m very fond of the opinion that the universe listens and this was just such a moment.
I enjoyed going back.
It was a great bank holiday and no mistake.
Now however I’m back to Earth with a bump.
I have lots to learn in my work life, lots to do in my everyday life, lots of planning to get through for the future – and suddenly I’m bewildered by how little time I seem to have to accomplish it in.
There suddenly don’t appear to be enough hours in the day – and everything has to be squeezed into a frantic weekend.
That works well for some activities however – and on Saturday (having managed to avoid ALL spoilers) I went to see Avengers: Endgame.
My fellow geek and I decided to make it a special occasion and we booked a showing at a lovely little cinema called ‘The Picture House’ in Uckfield (link)
This is an absolutely lovely building built in 1913 and kept to a very high standard.
It has a small family feeling that multiplexes just can’t hope to compete with.
You don’t have to compromise though. The seating is modern, the image is Dolby 4K and the sound is Dolby 7.1
The movie looked and sounded every bit as good as any other modern cinema I’ve been to and in my view this place richly deserves the awards that it’s received.
I’d go so far as to say that it’s better than the Electric cinema (although it has no sofas the screen is better) in Birmingham that I visited a while ago (link) – which is high praise indeed!
If the lovely red velvet everywhere wasn’t enough there’s a restaurant directly opposite The Picture House to tittilate your tastebuds. However from a SW perspective there wasn’t much on the menu that wouldn’t completely screw me over.
Instead I made sure I ate a hearty on plan meal before going – but once in the foyer I did decide to make one small concession to naughtiness.
Life is for living after all.
It’s been aaaaages since I had some hot popcorn and I just couldn’t resist.
If you’re looking for spoilers you will NOT find them here – but you will find a one word review.
If you’re planning to go then you’re going to love it.
If you’re on the fence then hop right off and book a ticket because the answer is ‘YES. IT IS THAT GOOD!’
So that’s that.
This relatively short blog can’t hope to do justice to the complexity of other things going on my in life at the moment.
At times my brain has felt like it’s in danger of melting – but this doesn’t mean that what I’m thinking about is a problem.
Life is so good that my choices now boil down to ‘if I leap in one direction everything will work out but it will be complicated’ and ‘if I leap in the other it will be just as good and just as complex but will work out a little bit different’.
If only all of life’s decisions were like that eh?
Anyway. I better get a move on internet. My newly seated job requires that just like everyone else I have to fit my steps and miles in before or after work.
Off I go.