What Does Adventure Mean to You?

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DO you work in a factory, an office, a shop, or drive a company van? Are you a member of parliament, unemployed, a doctor, a refuse collector, a teacher or the chief executive officer of a multi-national corporation? Maybe you fix washing machines, collect taxes, build homes, trawl for fish, deliver mail or paint white lines on roads. It doesn’t really matter . . .

Perhaps, whatever you do, you have those days when you glance through a window and see sunlight breaking through clouds. And you think: I want to be out there with rain spattering my face and wind in my hair. I want to leave the suit or the high-vis jacket hanging on the wardrobe door. I want to boil water from mountain streams, sleep in unfamiliar places and awake beneath unfamiliar hills. I want to bloody well live because I’ve got only one chance.

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The summit of Mulhacen, the highest mountain in Spain

Lucero 26Creag Leacach1Adventure to me is about standing on the summits of Blencathra or the Glyders while the wind and rain whip you off your feet; it’s about warming a pan of curry at the end of a day in the silence of a Scottish glen; drawing a sleeping-bag cord and feeling the hood encase your head; washing in a freezing stream; conversations around a bothy fireplace; the hiss of a petrol stove; sore feet and damp socks; an unexpected sunset; the sun burning your neck; open countryside; a freedom to roam; distant horizons; blue horizons; new horizons.

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The slabby crags of the Devil's Point at the head of Glen Dee

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Because that is adventure. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other, repeating the process and discovering somewhere new. And if that somewhere leads to somewhere else, and that leads to the Khumbu Icefall or the Appalachian Trail, well – that’s how life goes.

adventure xzThis post was published for the Berghaus What Does Adventure Mean to You competition. Details can be found here.

 

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About McEff

Alen McFadzean. Journalist (recently made redundant from The Northern Echo when my job and the jobs of my colleagues were transferred to Wales to be done by people on lower wages), former shipyard electrician, former quarryman and tunneller. Climbs mountains and runs long distances to make life harder. Gravitates to the left in politics just to make life harder still.
This entry was posted in Climbing, Environment, Hiking, Mountains, Mourne Wall, Walking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to What Does Adventure Mean to You?

  1. Mjollnir says:

    Aye, that about sums it up! :-D

  2. You can borrow my inflatable for a trip across Loch Quoich if you want! ;-) You sum it up in one particular line for me – the one where you say about getting outside to live your life ‘cos you only have once chance!

    I got a message about that competition but haven’t managed to do anything about it yet.

    You could have numbered your photos and then we could have had a ‘guess where’ competition! ;-) I could see several Welsh Carneddau hill shots, Buachaille Etive (Mor?) looking down Glen Etive to Starav, and wasn’t one the Hunters Pass on Beinn Fhada? If not, could be the famous Forcan Ridge (which I now need someone to take me along as Richard won’t be able to do it again we don’t think)…
    Carol.

    • McEff says:

      Hiya Carol. I think I’ll pass on the offer of the inflatable. After reading your epic Loch Quoich exploit I’ll stick with boots and firmer ground. You did well on the picture guessing front, except there’s no Glen Etive shot. If it’s the loch pic, that’s in the Mourne mountains. And yes, Forcan Ridge – you’ll have a great time!
      Cheers, Alen

    • McEff says:

      Actually, you’re correct about Loch Etive. I was looking at the wrong picture. Mind, I have been drinking beer and wine since 6pm.
      Alen

  3. BTW – had a quick read of the terms and conditions, and how to enter etc. but couldn’t see whether it had to be a newly-written post or not?

    • McEff says:

      I had a quick look too, but it was all a bit heavy going so I gave up. I didn’t see anything about it not being a newly-written post because I toyed with that idea myself.
      Alen

      • T&C are always heavy going aren’t they. I love that, each time you update something on your PC like your AV or your firewall, they seriously expect you to re-read all the T&Cs in case they’ve changed anything! The damn process takes long enough as it is!

  4. Absolutely bang on – I couldn’t put it any better myself – and those photos are superb!

  5. Margaret Oliver says:

    Wow, you have put into words exactly how I feel about the outdoors. I hope you won’t mind if I print this off and display it at my workstation. The photos are stunning. Good luck with the competition.

    • McEff says:

      Hi Margaret. Thanks for your comment. I would be extremely honoured if you display it at your workstation. I’ve never had my work exhibited like that before so I’m pretty chuffed.
      All the best, Alen

  6. Jo Woolf says:

    That’s an inspiring and uplifting post, Alen! It makes me want to get my walking boots on right now. Keep on doing what you’re most passionate about. I’ve slowly but surely come to the conclusion that it’s the only way to live. The best of luck with the competition!

  7. John says:

    Nice one Alan,I enjoyed this.By the way, and this is where dyslexia gets the better of me.Blenchara is up for sale,I understand! Keep well John

    • McEff says:

      Hi John. Yes, Blencathra is up for sale along with the title Lordship of the Manor of Threlkeld. I’ve just looked at the website and the best offer will be accepted. It might be worth offering a few quid just in case no one bothers because they expect it to go for millions. There’s even a “viewing” section on the site, as if you’re expected to pick up the key and drive around. It’s worth a look.

      http://www.hhland.co.uk/blencathra/

      Cheers, Alen

    • Trying to post a comment

      • McEff says:

        Have you been consulting that Admiralty Gunnery Manual again, Peter?

        • Peter(Tynemouth) Dear McEff. Yeh, As there seems be another Peter and I thought my Email was well encrypted. Dropping the Amirality Gunnery for the time being I consulted the ‘Admirals Fun with your Enigma Machine (and Commodore 64 suppllement’)for guide to encrypt your name so the Kriegsmarine would be fooled.Well I was fooled as well.Got bored and went for a game on myBally pin ball machine (Star Trek 1978 4 player)poa and fell asleep. Full details to follow. Your photos so brill that I feel that Nice will advise GPs to prescribe viewing them as safer than Prozac (? New job for you Pfizer..McEff sounds good) More to follow.

          • McEff says:

            Peter, when I started writing this blog nearly five years ago I assumed that sooner or later there would be a dull moment. That hasn’t been the case. I look forward to receiving remuneration from the pharmaceuticals industry.
            Cheers, Alen

  8. Neil Clasper says:

    Some fantastic photos there. Great stuff.

  9. David says:

    Nice words and smashing pics Alen. You are spot on about adventure meaning different things to different people. It doesn’t need to be a major undertaking to enjoy one, just the right ingredients.

    Moira and I have just got back from a weekend on the coast near Silverdale. We were up at 4.00am on the solstice morning to watch the sun rise. We then had an easy 7 mile walk along the coast, grabbed a couple of hours kip in the evening and then at 11.30pm we were sat on a shingle beach around a small fire enjoying a drink and the sounds of the Morecambe bay at night. It was only a mini adventure yet had all the ingredients to make it memorable.

    Good luck with competition.

    • McEff says:

      David, that sounds like the perfect way to spend a day. I had plans to watch the sunrise from the stone circle on Barningham Moor but they fell through for various reasons, not least of which is a busted rib from falling over while trying to fly a kite.
      A fire on the beach sounds like heaven.
      Cheers, Alen

  10. qdant says:

    Only a bell and a bird break the stillness …
    It seems that the two talk with the setting sun.
    Golden colored silence, the afternoon is made of crystals
    A roving purity sways the cool trees,
    and beyond all that,
    a transparent river dreams that trampling over pearls
    it breaks loose
    and flows into infinity.

    Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958)

  11. Many adventures and more to come. You have built quite a collection of memories amigo and winning the writing competition is in your grasp. Best of luck.

  12. “I want to bloody well live because I’ve got only one chance.”

    Hear hear :)

  13. Wow… I love the words… hehe. I felt you… :D
    Just wanted to add…..” Adventure for me is enduring leeches… ;)

  14. Dear mcEff Adveture is surely a journey.TheChinese have a saying ‘All journeys start with a first step’.Robert Frost said ‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by.And that has made all the difference’.Profound words.I followed Robert F. And it has been true.Along the way (Serendipity I would call it) Well I will see if you will continue to accept my blogs ! Meanwhile I will get the Enigma Machine hidden while the Mother in Law is out (At a Luftwaffe reunion) yours etc The Tynemouth Tirpitz.

    • McEff says:

      Hi Peter. Robert Frost’s another poet who’s new to me. I’ve just read the full poem here:

      http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/road-not-taken

      It reminds me of the Robert Louis Stevenson quote: “Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive,” which is supposed to be based on a Chinese saying.
      Hope the Luftwaffe reunion gets off the ground.
      Cheers, Alen

  15. Ash says:

    Those opening lines of yours could be set to music something like that song about a “few of my favourite things”. Your no relation to Julie Andrews are you?
    Brilliant post!

    • McEff says:

      Ha ha. I am no relation to Julie Andrews, though my grandmother once sang in a choir at the Albert Hall, god bless her. Thanks for the kind words, Ash.
      Cheers, Alen

  16. Kaura says:

    There is security and comfort in not going on adventures. But it’s the adventures that make for stories worth telling.

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