I have a pretty nice job, most of which is office-based but every now and then we get to do something fun and outdoors. Like go on a multi-day hiking trip. This time, myself and a couple of colleagues spent a few days hiking along the West Highland Way, from Bridge of Orchy to Fort William, the end point of the trail. Definitely one of the better ways to spend a working week!
We arrived at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel and stayed there overnight in one of their nice new rooms. The hotel is expensive but nice and I have to say, the food was amazing and the staff very friendly. The following morning, thoroughly spoiled, we set off towards Inveroran and on across Rannoch Moor, a vast, beautiful, bleak plain of moorland.
* You can have tea and a cookie when you hit 500 words
* Stop. Being. So. Judgy
* Sit down and get going already
* No! Just... no
* I said sit down
* Look at all those words, you did good
* All those words are crap, I'm going to have to delete them all
* It is absolutely imperative that I dust under the couch right now
* I need to go to bed
* I need to get up now so I can write before work
* Writing is hard
* I love this!
* Facebook doesn't care where you are and has nothing interesting to tell you
* You do not need more cute animal gifs
* You are not hungry
* Yes, that character really is an excellent baddie
* The Gods help me if my search histories ever get flagged by the government
* How exactly do you kill a man with your bare hands
* What if he had bear hands
* Maybe I should write an Urban Fantasy
* The End. Hell's bells, the END
* This blank page is very white
* Words, I need some more words...
In Ireland, the main socially acceptable conversation starter, greeting and subject of complaint and general observation is the weather. And the main sub-category of the weather is rain. After all, it rains a lot in Ireland; not for nothing is it known as the Emerald Isle.
Accordingly, there are many different types of Irish rain, each with its own word, application, description, delineations and phrase. You can't have a proper conversation in Ireland without talking about the weather, and you can't talk sensibly about the weather - or indeed understand what an Irish person is talking about at all, without knowing at least a few of the different types of rain.
Below are the most common types of Irish rain, which you'll need to be familiar with before you can have a coherent conversation in Ireland:
"She's always complaining about her cold feet, let's get her some nice fluffy, colourful socks to keep them warm! No-one will see those anyway so it will be our secret!"
I can't remember now who came up with the idea but we knew she'd love them and so we kept the socks and hung back the too formal outfit and continued our dazed wandering through the department store.
It was barely noon, we'd had barely any sleep and nothing to eat and we were shopping for the clothes our mother would be buried in, my two younger sisters and I.
When it comes to books (and their writers) I am not faithful. I am promiscuous, wanton, hedonistic and fickle to a great extend; flitting from one to the next, devouring some while merely tasting and discarding others.
The first thing you notice once you get past the visitor centre and onto the open grounds of Clonmacnoise is the sense of peace and expanse which still, after all these centuries, pervades the grounds. And yet it was attacked and looted innumerable times over the centuries, by the English, the Irish, the Vikings and the Normans. In 1552 it was looted and destroyed one final time; a rather sad end to one of the most famous monasteries in Ireland, renowned for its learning and craftsmanship, its trade and religion and visited by scholars from all over Europe.
I love a great quote! They provide inspiration for the next adventure, or to express succinctly our feelings about things. They can make us think more deeply and come to a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Most of all, they can remind and encourage us to go out there and live our life!
Staying (mostly) away from the more overused and cliché quotes, here are a few of the very best:
1. Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.
-Sir Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
I sat down on a rock and waited for the pain and wave of nausea to subside again. There were a couple of hundred metres of loose, gappy, rocky limestone still too navigate before I could get to the gentler sloping grass field. The sun was beaming in a cloudless sky, I was on my own and my knee was buggered.
Our lives are defined by experiences and travel is one of the greatest ways to develop who we are. Seeing different parts of the world, meeting people from different cultures and having experiences you might not otherwise have had enhances your life, your compassion your enlightenment and your understanding of yourself and of the world around you.
When we write, we we distil our experiences, mix them with our imaginations and apply our craft in order to create. But writing, all writing be it fiction, reportage, or memoir, poetry, whatever you write, it starts with who we are. And this is why travel and writing are such a great mix!
Lets look at 6 specific ways travel is great for your writing
"Uh, what's wrong with the car?"
"I dunno, I seem to be losing a bit of control."
"What?! What are we driving over?"
"It might just be a flat tire..."
"Well, slow down then, something is wrong."
It is around 7:30pm, it's pitch dark, bucketing down with rain and we are still twenty minutes away from our Airbnb.
We slow down and we're on a narrow little road without a hard shoulder between the sea and the mountains, in between two little villages. Imposing stone gateways loom up ahead in the glow of the headlights and we limp and wobble and pull into the private lane, which turns out to be the very long -mile or so long - driveway of a golf course. We pull in a bit, put on coats and get out to inspect the car. Verdict: not one, but two completely flat tires.
Hi, I'm Misja.
I'm a writer, a mum, an (eek!) oma. ...
Do you Really want to be a Writer?
Getting Lost in Cádiz
A Visit to the Kinderdijk
24 Hours in Amsterdam
The Old Rail Trail - cycling 50 km in the rain