Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Quandry on the Quantocks (Part 1)

One week after a rather abrupt end to my first walk-leading experience over the northern Quantock Hills and I returned to deepest Somerset to pre-walk a route I’d devised that would introduce another group of followers to the southern stretch of these beautiful hills.

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It’s Definitely Not Terry’s…

August was a month of many birthdays and it provided me with two opportunities to bake cakes for people. At the end of the month, I attempted to bake a chocolate orange cake in time for my sister’s birthday (it’s another BBC Good Food recipe). She likes chocolate oranges AND she likes cake… I was hardly going to bake something using green tea and KitKats!

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Thinking About Exmoor

Having returned home this afternoon bearing the cloak of embarrassment, I’m setting my sights on a potential camping trip to Exmoor before this returning summer sun completely dissipates. A chance for redemption. Although, some might say that spending 3 days exploring a largely unknown mass of land is the last thing I should be contemplating after today’s walk; in which I led a group of fellow ramblers up and over the Quantock Hills with an excessive dosage of confidence [map ignorance]… I knew I’d taken a wrong turn but I hadn’t anticipated arriving back at the cars an hour early and 3 miles short!

Highland cattle at Quantock Lodge, Somerset, earlier today.

I’m currently torn between one of two camping sites right in the heart of Exmoor, which would provide me with car-free walking opportunities for each day. Now, I’m going to use this post to start planning and setting out ideas for ways in which I can pass my time there pro-actively.

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#500

Having started this blog just over five-years ago now (August 2009), I became aware with my previous posting that this one was going to arrive at quite the credible milestone.

There have been times within the last year where I’ve feared as though my stream of content would somehow deteriorate. I’ve always worried that the recent absence of a workshop might encourage long-standing followers to turn the other way… But I’m delighted to see that many of you are still here reading, sharing and particularly to those who leave comments and send me private e-mails.

THANK YOU ALL.

I couldn’t have attained 500 posts here without your support. As much as I do write with a view towards my own psychological benefit, this blog would not be the same without your continued support and contribution. I’d been afraid to look beyond the trees and to show you that I make mistakes in the kitchen and how I seem to spend an almost-unhealthy portion of my weekends wandering around in the wilderness… And yet, the feedback I’ve received from you has been outstanding! I shall always keep this blog alive with the content flowing.

I look forward to writing another 500 posts and I’ll aim to complete that long before August 2019.

There’s one promise I shall make to myself from here on… To share more of my writing; to search and to find an inspiration to ignite the embers of the creative soul that survives deep within side. Two-years ago, I was enrolled on a creative writing course in the evenings. I’m sorry to say that I haven’t done a lot with what I learned there. I promise to try. I do believe.

Thank you very much once more for reading, subscribing, following, commenting, sharing, liking and, well, all the rest! :-)

Dorset Coastal Walk (Part 2)

At the end of Part 1, I’d reached Ringstead Bay, at which point I decided to stop and finish off my lunch before negotiating an inland return route and hopefully getting to cross some hills. The temptation to trek back along the same line of the Jurassic Coast was great (in spite of those cliffs) but as someone who spends most weekends climbing mounds much closer to home, I wanted to discover what this patch of Dorset had to offer.

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Camping Kit

As I sit here, contemplating one third and final camping trip before the summer leaves us for this year (even though, it may feel like it has only just re-emerged this weekend), I’d like to share with you a selection of items that I consider as essential to my own camping experiences. I’ve noticed that others seem to carry a lot of kit with them…

But then, perhaps it’s because my motive is different – I’m not travelling to ‘camp’ as much as I am earning a place to stay while I head off adventuring in to each day.

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Dorset Coastal Walk (Part 1)

We’ve had some good weather recently but it has to be said that it’s been a little cooler than we could expect for this time of year. A month ago, things were quite different, especially down on the south coast where I was exploring the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. Today, I’d like to begin recounting that walk which followed my first night’s sleep within a tent.

Lulworth Cove car park – 9am on a Saturday.

My intention was simply to walk west from Lulworth Cove (where I’d parked) to Ringstead Bay, which is around 6 miles. From there, I just wanted find a return route. I didn’t thoroughly plan anything in advance. It was more to do with finding sites of possible interest on my map and aiming for each in turn.

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Going Indie

Already, it’s been seven days since I last fell in love… This time, it’s an affection I’ve developed for a new kind of music! It was at the Green Man Festival last weekend where I feel I was first properly introduced to the genre commonly known as indie music. Folk, world, blues; I’ve heard them all before and they’re appreciated. But for some reason, some how, I’ve gone almost 30 years without experiencing indie. To tell you the truth, I still cannot quite define how it can be differentiated from ‘light rock’!

With days of coming home, I was online, to the iTunes store and downloading three new albums; each from a an artist to have featured at the festival (in fact, all three performed on the same Friday night). We begin in alphabetical order…

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