IT’S GETTIN’ COLD IN THE TENT!

So it seems we´ve had the summer and are now firmly into Autumn on the Isle of Arran.

I´ve been soaked nearly every day, but the rain is starting to feel cold! I thought we were supposed to have a mild climate here in the western islands? I guess this is quite mild, but itś the constant downpours, gusty winds, and a generally damp atmosphere, that is not condusive to long term ´tenting´!

THE ARIANA PROJECT INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS!

Fortunately, I’m not wild camping at the moment and am enjoying the (relative) comforts of being at Middleton’s campsite in Lamlash Bay, where the owners’ friendliness makes up for sleeping in a cold damp tent! At least they have a dryer where I can dry my clothes and towels, especially Hari’s as having a wet dog in a wet tent every day would have me running for the nearest B&B or airport to go south if I didn’t have my furry friend with me!

I think he’s enjoying himself though, and which water dog wouldn’t, he’s 2 minutes from the sea, and gets to live the outdoor lifestyle 24/7!

One thing I do really ejoy about staying here in Lamlash is seeing the beaautiful Holy Isle every morning, which always looks different, depending on the morning weather!

My socks and Sandals are still holding up well, but even my Sealskinz socks which are supposed to be waterproof, like all waterproof outdoor gear, eventually are not even close to being waterproof! Oh well, it means you start to read the weather more closely.

I am still making my way through the Secret World of Weather, by Tristan Gooley, a wonderful author dedicated to Natural Navigating, and using clues in nature to help understand what is going on in the natural world, without resort to technology.

I’ve listened to the audiobook five times and am on my second read of the paperback, but Ihave to admit to being defeated most of the time when I try to apply all the techniques in real world situations, like when Iḿ offshore sailing or long distance walking, but practice makes perfect!

Itś quite hard trying to navigate without a compass or gps using only natural clues and signs, when yo´ve got a force 8 on the nose , or are walking through a prolonged downpour on the hills… But if he can do it, and our ancestors could, then so can I ! I will persevere!

One of the problems with camping is the lack of access to power, and although the only technology I have is my smartphone and a mini keyboard with which to type, they still require recharging, so it has been great to sit in a local Bar restaurant, The Drift Inn where the staff have really taken to Hari, and put up with me using up the sofa area every afternoon to work on the book and the project so that gets us out of the tent into the warmth! And the beer’s good too!

I’m not sure my gear is going to hold out if the weather gets any colder, as it’s not the best, even though bought from uk outdoor store ( oex brand feom go outdoors not recommended!) as usual it’s made poorly in China, produced en masse, and the low quality starts to show through once you start putting it to the test…

I don’t want to buy products made in China, as it doesn’t sit well with my manufacture local, buy local ethos…with minimal resource usage, low impact packaging and distribution (impossible to achieve these days!) but if anyone reading this lives in the UK, you will notice that we barely make anything anymore, and all of our products are either made in china, or some other cheap manufacturing country, and even if it is “made” in the uk, you can bet that most of the raw materials are imported! But that’s another story!

So all is well, the projects are progressing, and I hope to go live with them soon…

That’s if my fingers and toes don’t drop off in the cold! Actually, it’s nt bad at all, and a lot less wet than being out on Ariana mid atlantic in February! And how can I talk about resilience, when I can’t even put up with a bit of cold and rain, when people in the city of Glasgow less than an hour away, are sleeping in the streets, with health problems, social problems, addiction problems, haven’t got any money, are hungry…

and then expand that to the whole of the Uk where there are thousands of rough sleepers, then expand that to the rest of the word, and then imagine they are going through all these problems, and the country is at war, or they are afraid for their lives…

But that’s another story…

I can only say I am not in any hardship at all, and I am looking forward to starting the real work, of making a difference to people’s lives in the real world, away from my island paradise…

TO BE CONTINUED

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