Day 1 @ Keyhaven: Up at 7:30am. Kettle on, coffee down. Organise gear. Play badminton. Facebook. Read for 17 minutes. Restless. Another coffee. Lunch? Mind racing. Need to keep busy.
Day 10 @ Keyhaven: Up at 10am. Breakfast at 11. Gaze out window. Coffee. Gaze out window. Epic 2 hour-long badminton match. Shower for 17 minutes. Read for a while. Super chill. Content with just sitting here.
What a rare privilege to truly slow down. I am beginning to believe this is the answer to many a problems. Through our slow living we now have time to focus on the real issues; we now have time to talk philosophy for hours, to seek meaningful as opposed to mandatory interactions; we now have time to forage for quality foods and patience to bake bread each day. Imagine a world operating on this level where people actually listen to and value others, where you have enough time to focus on projects that bring you joy and build the relationships you really desire. Well wouldn’t that just be lovely. The challenge is figuring out how to recreate this phenomenon/state of mind in the real world. Right now we are in that free minded travellers space that comes from living out of bags and being transient. How do you find time to “gaze” when you have a mortgage to pay, kids to feed and career to nurture? I don’t know the answer, sorry, but I do know that I will strive to figure it out. Something I heard lately might suggest a good a to start:
“Strive not to maximise how much money you can trade for your time but instead how much time you can trade for your money”
Regurgitating that quote I undoubtedly stuffed it up; but the message I get from it is this. If you consider each of us are here for about 650,000 hours, does it seem smart to trade away as many of those hours as possible to earn as much as possible? Because that’s what the majority of us are doing. The statement suggests a simple reversal, value those hours, stretch the money you have to live as many of those hours how you want to live them! Take on a simpler life; need less, eat less, drive less, buy less, do more, live more, be more, love more. On an individual level I can already attest to the benefits, on an environmental level I would argue this to be one of the key changes that we (as a species) could make to combat the current climate crises. Anything helps, start small, why not bike to work tomorrow?
I began writing this in a different country, whilst I have not crossed any boarders things sure have changed. To the world the UK has always been considered a true melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, but perhaps this image has been a little misleading, pushed on us from a London-centric view of the country. Anna and I have had a rather unique opportunity over the past month to interview many different demographics of people from varied locations around the country. One common theme that stood out was that almost all folk we spoke to in the cities (London and Bristol) were avid Bremain voters, compared to riding through the country where red Brexit banners flowed from car widows and houses. This suggests to me a disconnect between how the UK portrays itself via social and mainstream media and what the populace believe/value. The inclusive, progressive and modern image has since fallen through to one of xenophobia, open racism and confusion. There does seem to be growing hope though, with massive back peddling on Leave promises, vast swaths of politicians resigning, and Boris (bloody) Johnson stepping down there is potential to not follow through with pulling out. Here’s hoping…
Meanwhile in other news, we have enjoyed some quality family and friend catch up time but feel it’s time to get back on the road. We have given ourselves 7 days to ride south from Bristol to catch a ferry over to Brittany, France. Sounds like there are some good attractions along the way, we will ride through Devon, Dartmoor N.P. and Cornwall if we have time. Both of us have fingers crossed for some better weather on the other side of the channel, English summer has not be awe-inspiring… Weather and climate in mind, we have just made up our mind’s to ride south as opposed to north from Brittany. So new route is looking like Southern France – top of Spain (San Sebastian, Pamplona, Barcelona) – then hug Mediterranean all the way up into Italy. This route lends it’s self better to beaches, warm nights and less rain!