Monday, August 1, 2016

Dear Diary... Nepal and other things.

I'd say life is definitely out there... you just need to go find it :)

I'm in a period of limbo currently.
This has allowed me to spend a lot of time day-dreaming and procrastinating; it's the perfect excuse for a dreamer such as I.
I really do have to make some solid lifestyle decisions at some point very soon.
I have made one solid decision recently. I have booked my flights for a 10 week trip to Nepal. Not exactly a solid lifestyle decision of course but it does allow me the grace to defer any real decisions until a later date. I'm hopeful that my current contract will take me right up to my departure at the end of September.

I have a lot of things swimming around in my head, such trivial things as how I might make a living on my return or where I might actually live. Squatting at my parents house, at the grand old age of 46, can only be considered a temporary measure.
Should I live on canal boat for example? Or find a small plot of land and build a shepherds hut? A tree-house would be nice. I've never really been all that comfortable living in a house and perhaps now is the perfect time to manufacture a mid-life crisis and create my own little off-grid utopia. I'd like that very much.
Fortunately I have an open book on what I might do, alas it all revolves around making a satisfactory income in order to continue moving forward. It's a chicken and egg situation. I'm thinking along the lines of short-term engineering contracts to keep me afloat whilst I look at some different avenues of generating income creatively.
I have however decided that I'd like to have a go at producing some short videos and podcasts for the blog, which could be a lot of fun. Alas (again) these won't pay the bills.
I have taken a little plunge into it though and purchased one or two items that should help me to produce something reasonably watchable/listenable.
I'd like to broadcast a few of these during my trip to Nepal.

A Zoom H2n voice recorder for podcasts, interviews, and making notes. My old analogue one was about 10 years out of date. The recording and sound quality, to my untrained ear, seem to be of a good standard.

I've also purchased a couple of Edutige ETM-006 Lavalier microphones and a stereo splitter cable for recording better sound on my GoPro. Hopefully this will help me produce some reasonable vlogs and video interviews. I just need to find some way of improving the awful sound quality whilst filming on the bike; post-production editing is not something that I'm familiar with. Or any form of editing come to think of it.
Hopefully I can cajole one or two of the Yak Attack racers to sit in front of the camera.

Three weeks spent moving house followed by two weeks working away in Essex seriously curtailed most of my activities but with the looming prospect of officiating at Yak Attack again I have stepped up my mileage on the bikes. The pleasant weather we are currently enjoying in the UK has bolstered this considerably; it is so much easier to force oneself out of the house when the trails are dry and the sun occasionally shines.
I've been enjoying the challenge of adapting to my new singlespeed bike. The technique and higher tempo's required to maintain forward momentum have proved to be an interesting learning curve and I'm feeling a lot fitter for the experience. I certainly won't be taking it to Nepal though; I enjoy the luxury of multiple gear choices on those monstrous mountains of The Himalaya.
Mitch has enjoyed ribbing me constantly about my potential metamorphosis in to a trendy singlespeeding hipster. I'm more hippy than hipster though so I won't be purchasing any skinny jeans or a messenger bag anytime soon, and besides which my fashionable beard growing skills are terrible.

The singlespeed on the Cromford Canal in Derbyshire.
I'm going to be doing a few trail centre rides on my full-suspension bike too in order to sharpen up my wayward technical skills. All work and no play, of late, has made me rusty and I'm lacking a little bit of confidence in this area.
I also need to embark on some serious sessions of long technical climbing (rides) to build up the endurance and power necessary to survive the looming spectre of abject misery that Nepal's previously mentioned monstrous mountains are in the habit of dishing up.

I've picked up one or two items of interest from Alpkit recently, I'll give a little insight into those in the next couple of weeks, and I have one or two other blog posts that just need polishing up and will be ready to publish soon, including another one in my #DestinationUnknown series.

I also need to address the issue of my self-dislocating shoulder before very long, having been putting off an operation to repair it for three years. (It popped out again on a ride with Mitch the other day and it is a particularly painful experience when it happens).
The doctors assure me that it will be back to 95% normal once repaired. The trouble is I keep getting life opportunities and they are difficult to turn down. The recovery process involves 6 weeks off work and around 6 months to full recovery. I just can't find a 6 month window in which to squeeze it in to. I'm going to have to bite-the-bullet and get it done sooner or later.

On a brighter note I did come across a fine ale recently that seemed perfectly suited to my errant personality :)


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Thank you for looking, see you soon.
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Consume less, live more. Plant more trees.

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