Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Canada Travel Tales: The Mountains Said I Would Find You Here

I think I saved the best for last with these posts. 

On the final Saturday of our trip we were lucky enough to come here. J Mac (Mr Mac's brother) is a mountain man by nature and he kindly took us up to some mountains he used to work at.

He knows these mountains well having worked here for three years. He knew the territory, knew the wildlife and knew the best places to go. He also knew how to drive the ranger we got to travel about in as we explored.

Our trusty steed
 We started out by heading to the lake and having a look around. It was pretty beautiful but sadly the water and the temperature combined to make it a less than ideal spot to stop for lunch as there were a plethora of buzzing beasties.

 After ruling out the lake we went to higher ground and checked out some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen in my life. I was riding up front with J Mac and got to see all the views as they appeared. It was truly one of the best days of my life.

We stopped for a while and had home made rolls and home made scotch eggs before continuing on. Ever corner we turned presented another incredible view.

Before we left I got a photo of me in the mountains doing Pilates for the Pilates photo project run by Leith Pilates. Then we were off. I slept in the car on the way home and have been dreaming of the mountains ever since.

You cannot visit this area unless you go Cat Skiing and are therefore supervised but it is one of the best places I have ever been.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Monday Mantra: I'd rather be a bad feminist, than no feminist at all

This weekend was all about feminism and Edinburgh and all sorts of cool things like. On Saturday I went charity shopping in Stockbridge with two excellent feminist friends of mine. We had some excellent chat and then for some reason bought both Sex and the City 2 and 50 Shades of Grey. We then proceeded to have an evening of pizza, profiteroles and punishment as we subjected ourselves to both.

This led to a fascinating chat with a friend on twitter who was not so involved with feminism when she first saw Sex and the City 2 and who was therefore mostly annoyed by the reviews when it came out that suggested that they were being somehow unladylike while I had issues with the final season and both films which I felt basically ruined the whole franchise. I hated that Samantha started calling them girls more than ladies, that Samantha "needed" a man, that Carrie ended up with Big as some kind of happy ending and so on.  I also felt the films missed the point of the show being far more about the clothes (which, incidentally, I hated) and less about the women as well rounded characters. When we could not take the film we paused it to read out sections from 50 Shades of Grey. These went from the hilarious (languid erection anyone?) to the distressing (his moods are romanticised as "mercurial" not manipulative which is what they really are.

After that evening I felt ready to take on the patriarchy which is excellent because on Sunday I got to meet the #FeministFest team and get to meet some excellent women doing something pretty great.  Feminist Fest is  joint venture between Engender and YWCA Scotland and will see 30 women ranging in age from 16 to 66 from a massive variety of backgrounds and experiences writing reviews and bringing their voices to the festival. I am mega stoked to have been picked as one of these writers and though my sinusitis left me somewhat subdued yesterday at the training I am very excited to see some thought provoking and funny shows, work with some amazing women and maybe be part of some change. That is all pretty cool.

All this leads me to my quote I'm channelling today. I know I'm not a perfect feminist, because I am a flawed human being, but like the amazing Roxane Gay says, "I'd rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all"

Happy Monday!

Friday, 31 July 2015

Word for the Year Update: Nourish the Soul?

Those bad habits slipped back. I started a new job and I pigged out all day e'ry day.

I went to Canada and ate a lot of large portions.

I came back and felt jet lagged and drank a lot or Irn Bru.

You get the picture . . .

I was inactive, or at least LESS active a lot of the time.

I bought a lot of clothes and shoes and not all ethically sourced.

I went back to the place where I think spending money (on clothes, on food, on anything really) might make me feel better. The place where I think eating can fill the gnawing hole in my insides.

Nah. Not an option.

On the plus side though, I did do the following things:

- keep up only buying cruelty free make up and skin care - this gets easier every time
- do active fun stuff on holiday in Canada
- register to join the gym at work (and start going!)
- actually go climbing

I think focusing on what I am doing and how best to complement it is WAY better than beating myself up over the things I did not do as that starts a cycle which is not particularly helpful or good.

And on that note: here is me doing exercise at altitude:

Give it some altitude!!!

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