Monthly Archives:

November 2019

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Managing your moon

November 28, 2019

I feel there’s not enough easily accessible information about being in the outdoors and women’s periods/moons/cycles. A recent exchange made me realise that instead of expecting male writers to include words detailing it, outdoor women could write more openly about it all. I was inspired to write this after reading an article ‘How To Shit in the Woods’ on the Gather Outdoors website, which I highly recommend for its practical, environmental approach to, well, shitting in the woods. If you…

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the blue whale is the water’s auteur

November 26, 2019

I wanted to say hello to all the new people who’ve followed this account on the blog, email and Instagram recently. Instagram is a place I love for its sharing, creative community so I’m grateful that you’ve decided to join this OUTSIDER journey. My name’s Sophie McKeand, an award-winning poet, and nature writer from north Wales. For the past two years I’ve been slow-travelling across Europe in a self-converted Mercedes Sprinter hi-top LWB van with my partner @andyrgarside (a freelance…

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Two year vanniversary

November 23, 2019

Two year vanniversary!! Two years ago on Nov 23rd @andyrgarside and I gave the keys back to our rented home in Wrexham and set off on what can only be described as The Adventure of a Lifetime. We had, simultaneously, epic plans and also no idea what the future held. It’s been a white-knuckle-ride through: healing relationship trauma, questioning everything we thought we wanted, navigating a new and completely different physical and emotional space, coming to terms with having the…

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Embracing JOMO

November 21, 2019

Living with less isn’t less fun (or at least it’s not meant to be). It’s more of a return to embracing the contradictions of a slower life. We don’t go out every weekend like we used to, and don’t really drink these days, but still I love the occasional mojito-fuelled blast around old European towns. We travel slowly to see the world, driving our home-on-wheels in giant arching European loops but can no longer afford long-haul flights; do we want…

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Slow down

November 19, 2019

Slowing down is a strange experience, at once soothing and terrifying. Many of the stresses of our productivity-focussed lives fall away, but also busyness can be a mask for all the sides of ourselves we don’t want to admit to. You take it off and what’s left? I never met a tree, or a badger, or a river with these worries. It’s all a construct. Slowing down just allows us to see this world for what it is; to see…

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Ham and Jam

November 15, 2019

I presented a radio programme celebrating the life and works of the utterly wonderful concrete/experimental poet Peter Meilleur, who wrote under the pseudonym Childe Roland. It was live tonight at 6.30pm on BBC Radio Wales but you can listen again online here.…

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Vanlife dreams

November 14, 2019

I’d always thought myself a winter person. I joked that I was probably a sheep in another life because the sharp cold or thumping rainstorms of the dark season seemed to sooth my soul somehow. I never felt depressed or unhappy in endless thick foggy days. So to find myself in the van, chasing the sun, wallowing in syrupy sunsets and throwing arms wide to the sun’s bright rays every morning feels like a complete vault-face. And to tell the…

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