Its oh so quiet....

I have been busy behind the scenes the last month or so making plans and coming up with some new ideas. This happens when I accidentally read something, it catches my interest… and then I run off on a crazy idea with it all!

The process started a few months back when I stumbled upon Yr Hen Ogleth - The Old North - which is a feature in the heroic poetry of Wales, but interestingly doesn’t relate to Wales itself. It was a collective of kingdoms spanning Stirlingshire in the north down to Lancashire in the south, and yes… incorporating Cumbria. The kingdoms were seen as broadly the same in terms of culture and language and this is something which can still be seen in the modern landscape, language and… indeed… the culture. The people of the Old North still share a lot in common, and many elements of this collective were still very much evident more recently than I had imagined. One would have thought, for instance, that the Celtic language of the ancient Britonic people would have died out with the coming of the Angles or Norse in this part of the world, but apparently it was still in use up until the 15th Century in some areas, and some words still exist in the modern dialect.

Interestingly the people where the Cymru and the language was Cumbric with the modern county of Cumbria keeping that heritage alive (along with it’s earlier constituent Cumberland), although most of the county was probably part of the Kingdom of Rheged in those times.

I started off looking at all the historical features on the OS Map of Cumbria, plotting each and every one I could find, to get an idea of what was here, and thinking of ways to link these sites and explore their histories and origin. Then I started to add in the placename evidence of the Brittonic people, the Cumbric place names as well as those earlier ones which remain shrouded in mystery… and was pretty impressed with how much is still evident.

There is a lot to do on this whole project to uncover the Cumbrians, their links to the other people of the Old North… and expand it all into building an understanding of this whole ancient region. But it is going to be fascinating… and I hope photogenic too!

What is even better is that it allows me to mix my own past as an archaeologist with my current focus on photography!

Kendal’s Castle How, the old Motte and Bailey abandoned in favour of the more striking medieval structure on the other side of town.

Kendal’s Castle How, the old Motte and Bailey abandoned in favour of the more striking medieval structure on the other side of town.

This is going to be a slow burner though, done along side and behind the scenes with other stuff as time, fitness and health allow (I am hoping that the latter two will benefit from this project, less time sitting about and more time clambering around the countryside and possibly up the odd mountain has got to help!)

Winter Offer!

Special offer for February and March!

How about a PRIVATE workshop - 1 to 1, or bring a couple of friends it is entirely up to you. South and Central Lake District location, choose between morning and afternoon… all for only £100!

Sounds good?

Get in touch for availability!

_DSC5666-Pano.jpg

The Battle of the Bulge... part one

I have been fighting the good fight for a while now with spectacular results…. spectacular in that I can see absolutely no changes in my body after 10 weeks of running and 3 weeks of yoga!

I am fitter… I am more flexible… but I am not lighter.

This is kinda disappointing, but this week we have started edging towards a cleaner diet - and that will continue. I will complete the C25K program that I have been doing at the end of next week too, and I think I will carry on with the running for the foreseeable, especially since my back and right arm are still far from right post car-crash which is ruling out mountain biking for a while.

Physio starts the end of next week, which hopefully will help, and then the CPAP trial later in the month - I am really hoping that a large part of the problem is hormonal (in that the hunger/fat storeing/satity/repair mechanisms are out of whack due to low sleep quantity and quality). I have been getting increasingly tired to the point that I am not really comfortable with the idea of driving at night for more than about 30 - 40 minutes now.

So this is update 1, we are out the starting blocks on rebuilding my physical body… but not much more than that. I will try and update at the end of February and see how another 6(ish) weeks moves things on. They do say (somewhere) that the first 10 weeks are really foundation, and that differences only really start to become apparent after that. But I guess feeling stronger, fitter and more flexible is not a bad gain to be facing.

I just want the damn lovehandles GONE!

TheGoal.jpg

Deeply unflattering illustration taken before today’s run… with a dodgy photoshoped indication of where I had hoped to be by now!!!!

I will get back to proper photography for a bit, updates on progress with a load of stuff coming soon… and keep on plugging away at the fitness in the background!

Turn it around!

This year I had all sorts of plans, dreams and ambitions… it was all very complicated, too complicated. Then I had that moment of clarity and thought… no, lets boil this down to the essence of what is actually important.

My health has not been great over the last few years. Too much stress, too little sleep and too many injuries (mental and physical). I started unpicking this tangle last year with hypnotherapy to try and straighten out my inner demons, which did largely work in that it has taken the edge off and allowed me to start dealing with issues on my own terms rather than letting them control me. Next stage, then, is to start dealing with the physical damage whilst continuing to work on my emotional health.

I have started a lot of this process already, I kicked off a C25K program last year which was due to finish at the end of this month, but having just taken the last week off I am going to push that end point back to the end of the first week of February. I embarked on the RED challenge from Mind this year too, which again I have had a bad week on so may extend this into February… actually… part of me is thinking about extending it for the full year! These will help with physical fitness, and I will bring the mountain biking and fell walking back into the mix as the year progresses. Finally I have started a yoga class to tackle some muscular imbalances and stiffness that have resulted from injuries.

Next month I start physio, and a CPAP trial which may help with some physiological issues that are feeding back into health, fitness and weight.

So, that is the plan. The reason, a few years ago before accident number 1 I was in reasonable shape. I didn’t think things had gone too far awry until I saw a photograph of myself in Utah from back in the spring. Now I can see the deterioration and now I am going to fix it!

bollocks.jpg

There is also going to be an element of cleaning up the diet to double down on the effects of being more active and I have given myself a few goals that I would like to hit, with the ultimate one being a substantial 33kg+ off. What is actually achievable doesn’t matter, but I want to end this year happier and healthier than I have been in a very long time!

Hopefully I will get in the swing of regular updates and progress reports!

Of course, you are wondering how this will impact the photography? Hopefully a lot - a clear mind will help with creativity and improved fitness should get me to new and exciting locations!

Bit Under the Weather

Very little has been done this week, between waiting for my car to come back from the body shop after last years crash and a dose of the collie wobbles I have been pretty much hibernating!

Back to it next week though! I have big plans for this year!

8th January 2019.jpg