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vanlife

dailyconnectionwithnature Europe nature travel vanlife

Soaring with eagles

October 5, 2019

I am running out of new ways in which to gush about a glorious yellow sun in a deep blue sky. For two days we’ve watched twenty-or-so Spanish Imperial Eagles circle thoughtfully in the skies above Sierra de Guara. Their precise movements are dictated only by the slightest press of a wing ‘finger’ or two into the sky, pulling the body into a tighter arc, then release to swing wider. It is hypnotic, watching these guardians of the air, their…

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Europe family vanhounds vanlife

The naming of hounds

October 2, 2019

Inspired by a recent post by the utterly wonderful @briannamadia I thought I’d fully introduce our two van hounds with all of the nicknames they’ve accumulated over the past four years since we adopted them. I don’t even know how some of these started, some of them escalated quite quickly, others grew on us over time: First up is Bonnie, the black whippet-x as her repertoire is the more extensive: Bonnie, bean, string-bean, Bonnie-bean, Bonnie-bear, princess Bon-Bon of the waves,…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe travel vanlife

Returning to the mountains is returning home

September 25, 2019

You wake in the French Pyrenees at 1400m above sea level. post-yoga, you lie in corpse pose and experience the image of yourself as a receptacle for an endless flow of rubbish. Your heart tightens at this image of a rubbish dump. You shudder, whisper ‘I love you,’ and as you do the image transforms into an Atlantic wave: clean, powerful, abundant. You rise with the heart of a mountain; ribcage ringing with the echoes of your future self, you…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe poetry vanlife

When a hummingbird hawk-moth changes everything

September 22, 2019

I wrote this line sometime ago. I was thinking how overwhelming our lives are – there’s so many issues to worry about: on a personal level we care about work, family, money, friends, and all the micro occurrences in our daily lives that we have to deal with; on a wider scale we stress about the environment, recycling the massive amounts of waste we create, war in foreign countries, and the thought that nuclear power might wipe us all out…

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dailyconnectionwithnature minimalism nature travel vanlife

Vanlife mornings

September 19, 2019

Time is more fluid on the road. Some days we are early birds, others we are lounge lizards. Our mornings are not a pristine Instagram photo. We crumple on the bed, drink tea, rise in stages. Hounds stretch & wander & return to snooze. We share last night’s dreams. I do yoga then maybe swim in the mountain river engorged by yesterday’s wild & electric storms that skittered across slate-grey skies. We have returned to bright green landscapes and towering…

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Europe feature travel vanlife

Rocamadour. How to travel with serendipity:

September 16, 2019

Take the advice of locals. Let their words become early autumn swifts calling you to historic pilgrim sites. On the first day, immerse in white stone medieval abbeys built into the rock face. Eat lemon ice lollies, say ‘bonjour, il est très chaud!’ as you weave down pathways strewn with images of a prophet-turned-moneymaker, then drop into the cool, towering stone of Sanctuaire Norte Dame de Rocamadour, the heart of the pilgrimage: Admirer | Contempler | Prier, (to Admire |…

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creating dailyconnectionwithnature nature vanlife

full moon foraging

September 14, 2019

I woke this morning at 4am and couldn’t return to sleep. The full moon called from outside the van and so, pulling on shorts and fluffy poncho, I wandered outside to sit barefoot in brown, shrubby riverside grass knowing the wild mint threaded throughout the green landscape behind me. I have no photo. I didn’t take my phone. I sat with my face turned skyward for about an hour as the river silvered on before me, as constellations I do…

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creating Europe nature poetry vanlife

exchange rate

September 12, 2019

Back on the European mainland. Feels like we’ve driven back into summer as we head farther south through central France. We’ve definitely driven back into the dream vanlife. I’ve had some professional rejections these past few weeks. This is ok. It happens to writers. It happens to everyone. The trick is to learn & grow from the knockbacks, not to be defeated by them. Recognition is lovely, and it helps, but it’s not everything. The art is everything. The words…

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creating dailyconnectionwithnature Europe food vanlife

meeting new friends & old

September 9, 2019

I’ve had a continual love-hate relationship with social media over the years. A couple of years ago I deleted Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Then when we hit the road I set up this new OUTSIDER Instagram account because I wanted to document these experiences. I’d thought to put it all in a book but as there’s no end date to these travelling days I didn’t know where the book should finish. I’ve preferred using Instagram/blog/Patreon instead. Maybe it’s less polished,…

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