So it’s 2011, a new year. I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. I like to have a few ideas for the future but I don’t feel it’s necessary to have a tick list. This will be my first full year of retirement. It still seems bonkers to retire so young, but I’m enjoying it. What seems strange is the elastic nature of time. I don’t really have any deadlines or production schedules, unlike when I was working. This is liberating but also a bit disorienting.
It seems like a lot of outdoor bloggers have been going through life changes over the last twelve months. Philip has recently resigned his job to do his own thing. Terry is developing his video business after being made redundant. Maz has had a son (or more specifically Mrs. Maz!). Hendrik is training to be a wilderness guide (dream job!). I know of at least two other bloggers who are undergoing some significant changes in their lives. Best wishes to everyone for a happy and successful new year.
It’s interesting how we underestimate the amount of change in our lives. Often, we have a static view of life and yet life changes year to year, sometimes dramatically. I love history and even in less fast-moving times, you can see that the players underestimate how quickly events can change and overwhelm.
At the moment I’m reading something completely different: “Parallel Universes” by Michio Kaku. Astrophysics and string theory are not exactly my normal areas of expertise, but I thought I’d have a go at understanding why physical reality is not as it seems. The concept of ten, eleven or even twenty-six dimensions is difficult to get your head around. However, one point that is emphasised at the beginning of the book is the profound change in thinking from the universe as a static entity to an evolving and changing one.
Change happens at a macro and a micro level. The best way of adapting and enjoying change is to embrace it rather than fear it. There’s no doubt that at a global and national level there will be changes and challenges. The economic and geopolitical environment is unstable.
In the outdoors community, I fear we are losing the battle against the industrialisation of our wild lands. We need to stand up and be counted. Well done to Alan and others for highlighting this. I feel a letter writing campaign coming on. This is a microcosm of the arrogance of government and how it ignores ordinary people and panders to special interest groups.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I’m increasingly fed up with the nanny state and socialism. I’m not against compassion, caring for those less fortunate, sensible regulation of commercial interests and the rich paying their fair share, but I am against the increasingly divisive, mean-spirited and dictatorial attitudes of the “left”.
On my reading list is “The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-checking the Left’s New Theory of Everything“. I’m not saying that the other parties have the answers either. What I want is more freedom to live my life, less interference from government and lower taxes. Why do people have this blind faith that government (in all its forms) is better at resource allocation and wiser in its spending than individuals? Beats me.
Anyway, back on topic. What does the new year hold? Unfortunately for gear retailers, I’m unlikley to be spending much. Realistically, all my needs are now catered for. I have a few wants. The Terra Nova Solar Photon 2 interests me as a lighter alternative to the Scarp. Beyond that, I can see little that really interests me, other than a better camera.
In terms of getting out on the hills, I only have tentative plans. I have mapped out an interesting “Coast to Coast” walk in Scotland from Attadale to Beauly, which I have pencilled in for early May. I’d like to do another Cairngorms circuit in June. I really ought to go somewhere else than the Lakes or Snowdonia, so perhaps I’ll go to Dartmoor or to the Peak District. Here’s to a good year for everyone!