One week on. Older, tired… yet still beautiful!
Tag Archives: inspiration
Last night I attended the last of this term’s watercolour evening classes and, sadly, this will be my last class for sometime. I have to reserve my future evenings for preparations required for when I turn freelance at the end of June.
However, I was chuffed to bits to produce something I’m really rather pleased with on my last night. The goose painting above was clearly inspired by (copied from) a photograph I took recently with my new camera. See my past blog on ‘Birds of Emberton Park‘.
Do let me know what you think!
Another set of photos.
These were taken right outside the main door of my friend’s house. It might be easy to think how lucky she is to live in such a beautiful place – but believe me, luck had very little to do with it!
As always, hints and tips for better photos always encouraged.
“The Golden age of adventure for women may seem to have passed, but there is still a big world out there to document. Kira Salak is a writer and professional adventurer. After graduating with a PhD in literature and travel writing, she traversed Papua New Guinea. This experience she turned into the book Four Corners. Since then, she has written numerous articles and visited Peru, Iran, Bhutan, Mali, Libya and Burma, amongst others. Perhaps her most daring exploit was in the Congo on the trail of mountain gorillas. Salak was smuggled into the country by Ukrainian gun runners. The award-winning article she wrote about this trip gives a clear insight into a country with many human problems, but also the attempts to keep alive the mountain gorillas. Salak’s less shocking travels reveal a world which we, living in an age of easy travel, are far more able to explore if we only have the thirst for knowledge and adventure.” Top 10 female adventurers, Listverse
Earlier this week I commented that a woman’s strength lies in her ability to imagine she is strong.
So here goes…
I am Kira Salak. I am Kira Salak. I am Kira Salak.
I am standing on top of a mountain, face against the wind. My face is covered in blue woad and I wield my broad sword with ease. ( I know Kira isn’t blue and is carrying a kayak paddle but this version is the vision I held in my mind when I focused on giving up smoking three years ago. This version of me is capable of ANYTHING)
I will be an inspirational adventuress I will be a brilliant writer. I will be the next Kira Salak!
Like many, I have a pile of yellow rimmed National Geographic magazines perched on top of my downstairs loo to entertain and inspire guests who may find themselves… errr…. sitting!
I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have found myself researching the requirements for becoming a National Geographic explorer, scouring the job lists, or reading the writer guidelines. I am one of many thousands I’m sure.
There is something so completely engrossing and wonderfully inspirational about the amazing photography and stories held within those pages. In fact, I find myself wondering why I’m trying to write about it here. Much better for you to see it for yourselves! National Geographic online is now even better than the magazine itself – although you can’t enjoy it while… errr…. sitting… so a subscription remains useful and worth having!
Try this, for example; Photo of the Day: Best Pictures of December 2011, Gallery – National Geographic.
But also check our their walllpaper archive!
Today, we live in a world where we seemingly have to accept that thousands of people continue not to show any sign of belief or confidence in the youth society, with many allowing trouble making individuals or groups to concrete their stereotypes of youths.
Yes, it is quite clear we do live in a society that inhabits troublesome teenagers, and yes we do unfortunately continue to see rising crime figures from young ones as young as 6 committing crime - but if you take a look closer, they are actually rebelling to your disbeliefs.
Whilst my dad taught me the joys of adventure when I was a child, my mum was my anchor.
It was mum who was always there to greet me when I came home from school. It was mum who always made sure I was fed, watered, getting exercise, keeping up with school work. Not that dad didn’t take a passing interest… but it was usually just that. Dad was working. Mum was dedicated.
I’m not saying that this is the way it should be. I’m simply saying that this is the way it was. In my childhood. And my childhood was great.
Being like mum
This is why I spend my life trying so hard to be like my mum. For me, being like dad is easy. Both working and travelling are more natural pursuits for me than staying at home and being a mother.
I rather naturally slip into the mode where I am so engrossed in my work the world might walk passed without me noticing – especially when I write. Being aware of others, learning to stop and listen, takes practice.
I am not a cookie-baking mother. Neither do I enjoy spending my time cleaning. I won’t strive to put my husband’s dinner on the table for when he gets home (if I do cook, it’s usually under a piece of cling film going cold by the time he does arrive). However, I spend a lot of time and concerted effort practicing the art of being the best mum, wife and housewife I can be within the limits of my own personality. I really do try hard.
I admire my mother and still have very little idea as to how she could be as dedicated as she was!
While I might have considered being the feminist line when I was a teenager, I don’t aspire to it any longer. There is something noble and selfless about a person willing to dedicate themselves to their family. Occasionally, when my kids were younger, I often wished I was better at it. Now I simply accept that I could be a whole lot worse!
My mother now lives down the road from us. It is my turn to look after her. I hope I do as good as job as she did raising me.
My husband is now my anchor. Without him I would struggle to be even half the woman I am today.
My father, guilty of suggesting to my husband that he pin my foot to the floor with a nine-inch nail to ensure I hung around following our marriage, is himself highly responsible for my love of adventure.
By the time I was ten years old I had been introduced to the joys of schlepping up some of the magnificent peaks of the Scottish Highlands, swimming in crystal-clear lochs, wild camping, wild cooking and general survival skills. Along with my elder sister and younger brother, I spent many a weekend following in my father’s footsteps, head down into the inevitable wind, a small blip in a duck-like row of blips that might have been spotted trekking along the horizon line.
It was all very healthy and great for my mother who, having driven us to our drop off point, was then able to spend a few precious evenings to herself before picking us up again a day or so later. This must have been a great respite in what was otherwise endless years of dedicated housewifery and motherliness.
Of course, at the time, I experienced my father’s Highland trips with the heart and mind of young person. We spent many happy hours stuffing our faces and staining our hands with wild bilberries. There was the fascinating joy of Creamola foam, a weird pink powder that could turn mountain-stream water into a fizzy raspberry drink. We swam naked in the privacy of hidden lochs. We tried sleeping in one huge, bright orange survival bag only to discover my brother, fast asleep, half way down the mountain the next morning. We sat around campfires, slices of pappy white bread and sausages stuck on sticks as we attempted to toast them. Childish dances were danced and songs were sung to honour those inevitable losses to the flames. It was all very idyllic…
…except when it wasn’t. The majority of my time was actually spent whining about the cold, being hungry, being thirsty, complaining about each and every false summit, and general anticipation that it would all be over as soon as possible. As a result, as soon as I was old enough to enforce my say, I sat down on the matter and refused to be dragged up even one more hideous mountain!
Childhood experience sits strongly in the psyche however and the glorious sense of adventure these trips gave me was intoxicating and had already become deeply ingrained in my soul. Although it took a great many years before I began longing to trek up mountains again, I never stopped seeking adventure – I simply looked for it in other places!