Saturday, 5 May 2018

I'm so excited!

As you'll know if you follow my social media posts, I travel around the UK a LOT and it's easy to get jaded with travel but something happened when I was in Cheltenham a few weeks ago which really
made me smile and has stuck in my mind.  We were walking through the town centre and a man just in front of us had a small child with him.  There were a number of roadworks in the area and the pavements had clearly been marked up prior to digging resulting a mish mash of confusing graffiti and a large number of white crosses. Each time the small child saw a white cross he excitedly shook his dad's arm, pointed at the cross and shouted "Look daddy, treasure!" - after the forth of fifth time I was still behind them chuckling away but daddy was becoming less enthusiastic.

How cool would life be if every time we saw a white cross on a pavement we thought there might be treasure there?  How easy is it to lose excitement at the things we see every day?  I know I'm somewhat over excitable (my husband may step in here and edit that to "very over excitable"!) but even if I don't jump up and down over white crosses on the pavement I still think the world is a pretty amazing place.

Take yesterday for example, we tackled a long low level hike to the east of the Lake District and I got excited over the following things.
  • Lambs - because, well, just look!

  • My first cuckoo of the year - no photo of the bird but it was in these beautiful woods.

  • My first swifty swallowy thing of the year - no I don't have a photo of it and no I haven't yet figured out the differences between them all, but it was still lovely to see. 
  • My first ever ash flowers.  Clearly I've not been paying close enough attention, but I've honestly never seen these before and had to ask someone what they were.  Fascinating!

  • An old milestone buried in grass with barely any markings on which we only knew was an old milestone because the guidebook we were using told us so.
  • Blue skies and a good breeze - my favourite weather combo (probably makes me weird as well as over-excitable!) 
  • Finding a lovely stream to sit next to in the sunshine and enjoy our afternoon tea and cake


I have a friend who is fortunate enough to have travelled the globe and seen many spectacular sights - but I feel really sorry for her because she once told me that because she's seen so many amazing things the typical sights in the UK don't really move her any more.  She doesn't dislike them, she just doesn't get a buzz from seeing them and I think that is so sad.  Are amazing sights like some sort of drug where your tolerance increases the more you have meaning you have to have bigger and bigger hits?  To be honest, I'd rather be like the little boy getting excited over all the white crosses on the pavement - life is way more fun that way.

Another thing I still get excited over is when folks ask if they can send me something to review - I don't always say yes, but this time it was a rucksack and, as I needed a new one and as I seem to be perennially potless (seriously, all writers and NOT JK Rowling! 😀), I agreed.  It was a gorgeous bright orange rucksack from Thule and I was very excited and loved almost every single thing about it!

First up I love the colour - it goes with my coat, hat, sunglasses, scarf and flask - plus it clashes nicely with the purple in my hair.



Secondly I love the two handles on the top - SO easy for lugging it on and off luggage racks on trains and moving it around the house.


Thirdly I love the fastening on the top - it rolls over and clips at the back so it's a) a little more shower proof and b) a little more thief proof when I'm using it in big cities.


Fourthly it's a bit like a TARDIS - when there's not a lot in it, the side straps can pull it in nice and tight so it's small and sleek, or you can expand them and cram a couple of days worth of stuff in there.  

It's also narrow enough that I can put a flask in the deep side pockets and walk along the aisle of a Virgin train without conking people on the head as I pass, and it tucks nicely onto my lap when the train is busy.



Oh - and it has a very handy little pocket where I can store my phone cable and spork - both items essential for both hotels and hills. (The waterproof cover is also in that pocket)


The only thing I wasn't excited about was the interior pocket arrangement - they're undeniably handy but one gets in the way of the other a little - but it's a minor niggle in an otherwise great rucksack.


And if all of that has got YOU excited about my new rucksack, you can find more about them on the Thule website here.  

PS Don't forget that I am ALWAYS excited about our books - they are full of fab photos and fun facts and we are happy to ship directly and cut out the Amazon middle man.  Click the pic to find out more & order yours.  😀