Close encounters of the herd kind.

When I discovered that my girlfriend Sophie had never had the experience of visiting the New Forest before, the plan for our day off was immediately realised. Sophie was staying at mine for a few days and since I had to work Monday, we really wanted to make the most of our time off on Tuesday. The week after week heatwave the UK had been experiencing showed no intentions of having a rest. It had been a while since my last visit to the New Forest (my last blog post actually, oops) and I was raring to go, to hear the silence, breathe the fresh air and seemingly endlessly explore. More importantly however, to share with Sophie the wonder of wandering these peaceful forests…

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International day of happiness.

A free day is full of possibility. Last Tuesday in particular, I woke with no plans. I had the day off work, the sun was shining, as much as it can be for March, and I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to get away, to experience some freedom and a mind as fresh as the air that surrounded me. It’s easier to feel that away from the city, I find that more often than not. Leaving your minuscule troubles or petty worries at your front door, and refusing them the ability to follow you where it is serene and quiet. This is how I wanted to spend my Tuesday.

I embrace solitude, and when set on heading out for a countryside retreat, solo didn’t seem a bad idea. However, I came to realise that this may not be the case for some, and I felt a desire to provide someone with a chance to share the timely tranquility with me. My friend Laura could sadly not make it, but fortunately my friend Chloe was free, so we headed out for some forestry exploration.

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What am I scared of? Not living.

Spiders? Nope. Heights? Not really. Clowns? Not entirely, although they can be ever so unnerving.

There are some things I’m not overly fond of, but my main fear is one of a non-physical existence. It’s not an animal or a place, nor a phobia of some sort. My ultimate fear is of an encounter with myself, a reflective type…

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Be in the moment.

Panic. Panic, distress and worry as I double-checked my phone back-up for those photos. Nope. Nowhere to be seen. How did I let this happen? Let me check the other folder… No, not there either. Recycle bin? Ah, emptied. Oops. Ooh, what about that recovery software? *twenty minutes later*, damn, nothing. One more time, I’ll check my phone and SD card. F***.

This is pretty much an accurate representation of when I was sorting through my travel photos in order to make some edits. I kept thinking to myself how I so easily deleted the photos from my phone without first ensuring I had other copies backed up. Idiot. A whole bunch of fifty plus photos that I was eager to start post-processing, gone. I tried everything to get them back, but they were no more…

… but does it matter?

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Do more of what makes you happy.

It’s one of my favourite expressions, but one I do not seem to live by as much as I could. I think everybody has their own individual interests and whether you express yours openly or hold it personally, you know what yours is too. With the manic rush of modern day-to-day life, I believe it almost a necessity to take frequent time out to appreciate your interests and to enjoy them as much as you can. Our western culture is no stranger to allowing our interests to be pushed aside by the mundane and monotonous daily grind: jobs, money, weather, transport, reliance on others etc. As such, we’re occasionally experts of subtle ‘excuse-finding’ as to why the perfectly possible seems unreasonable at the time. From here on out, I aim to not fall victim to this self-restricting and dismal trap.

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