Sunday, 10 April 2016

Karrimor Orkney lll Weathertite Walking Boots

With a summer of walking and backpacking ahead of me, followed by my first semester at university jammed packed with field trips, a new pair of walking boots was an expense I couldn't avoid. After my last pair suffered a almost bloody nail puncture last Autumn I have since been constrained to a somewhat uncomfortable pair of wellingtons.

Having done quite a bit of searching, for both quality and price I came across these ladies walking boots from Karrimor. These are the first piece of outdoor kit that I have had from Karrimor, and needless to say I am not disappointed so far. Retailing at £60.00 from, they arrived quickly and I opened the box with too much excitement than should be deemed acceptable.

My first impression was that these boots were pretty beautiful, I believe it was last summer I did the review on my last pair of boots I brought (See post here), despite being outdoorsy and more than happy to be getting soaked with rain and covered in mud, I still want to look good doing it. Which I find a pretty difficult balance to achieve, but I'm not one to shy away from a challenge. Anyway, back on track, these were some pretty good looking boots, with some of the material being a pretty durable American Full Grain Leather. It took me a staggering 30 seconds before I managed to tweet a 'before' picture of them!

Another thing that I noticed was the sheer amount of laces, or more the surface area that the laces cover. Unlike other boots I have owned, the laces of the Orkney boots reach much closer to the toes, allowing for added support when walking. Something that you can really tell when you're in them!

I haven't taken these on a long trip yet, but with a few short walks on varying terrain, I am already pretty chuffed with this purchase! With boots that feel slightly big on me (I know that sounds weird, and on the photo they don't look abnormally proportionate to my legs, but when I put them on I'm at least a few inches taller!) they are surprisingly light, weighing around 670g, a very good quality on long walks, where the weight of your boots really shouldn't be added to the strain on your legs.

The material around the top of the ankle is currently a bit uncomfortable, but I am sure that once the leather softens with use that this will no longer be a problem. But of course if I do find any issues as I go, I will update this post at the bottom!

Monday, 4 April 2016

National Garden Month!

So April marks National Garden Month, the celebration of a hobby I know little about and have never really experienced. But what better time to at least make a try. Perhaps the only memory I have stems from my great-grandfather's abandoned greenhouse, where I would potter about as a child, replanting dead plants for no good reason at all. But most of all I recall that earthy smell of soil. For me it is a grounding and comforting smell that simply transports me back to my careless days as a child.

But as I grew older a garden become a place where things were left to grow of their own accord, and for old rusty bikes to become lost in the wilderness. And from that I knew nothing more than a small concrete yard where a brave weed would grow desperately between the cracks.

Since then I have moved out to a place of my own, and a garden was something that never even came into consideration when I was checking the market. Not a single fragment of the nerves in my brain even comprehended a thought. And that was simply because it was something I knew nothing off, and felt completely unaffected by.

Luckily I did have a dry and overgrown window box at the front of the house, and a small space in which a few potted plants could happily be homed. All I did was simply pull out the dead plants and neaten everything up, and thinking a good job done. I'm going to make National Garden Month change that. Well technically, while I sit cosied up on a brisk English evening writing this post, I have already started making my tiny green abode into an abundant address simply brimming with life.

But why bother? Of course there is the simple benefit of a lovely looking area. But I can't quite reason that to be enough in return for the hours of work and somewhat unending patience. So I did a little research, why do so people invest so much into such a hobby?

It turns out that there are much more benefits to it that I even realised. Research suggests that the presence of flowers actually comforts a part of our human makeup, in that the appreciation of beauty has much more of an emotional and cultural importance to us.This not only helps with our mental and emotional health, but as found to have profoundly positive effects on our physical health too. The simple and low impact regime of gardening, no matter how small, has been seen to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and help improves concentration. Some effects of which are some of the leading groundworks for modern day illnesses.

Gardening is also considered an 'altered state of conscious inducing activity' - alongside running and yoga, where the individual simply zones out and focuses on nothing but the activity. A state that is thought to be both magical and spiritual, and time when a participant can simply experience the best of who they are. Pretty cool huh.

Not only all of this lovely stuff, but gardening has an obvious benefit to the environment, with pollinating flowers encouraging the visits of small insects like bees! (I shall be going on a 'save the bees' rant very soon on my blog!)

Anyways, I'm sure you all get the point, gardening is actually really cool. So here's to April- the month I attempt to keep something alive!

Here's what I've been doing so far...
Planted some Parsley and Rosemary in my neat little window box, and have since
 added a sweet-pea plant and sowed some chive seeds!

Potted some seeds too! All bee friendly species, let just hope they grow! 

I have promised to whisper positive quotes to my little garden everytime I go past, ya know, because a little positivity goes a long way! But of course I shall keep you updated on progress!

Until next time!

p.s my new walking boots came! (if you follow me on twitter you will already know this haha!) but anyways, I am hoping to have a small adventure soon so I can try them out and give you guys another review! So as always, keep your eyes peeled!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Worcester University

Had such a brilliant day yesterday! An early bus into town and a quick train and I was standing in the beautiful city of Worcester! It was my applicant day - which in short in simply an open day for students that have already been offered a place to study!

I took a single photo that day, everything went so quickly! But I am hoping to visit the city again soon for a good old tourist visit!

I am now more excited than ever to start my studies, a Bsc Geography Honours degree! This means that I will more than likely start to blog about my studies more, field trips that I do, and things I learn that I feel are worth blogging! (And of course my trips around worcester looking for geocaches!)

I think I might give this blog a bit of a revamp and name change soon, so check this space! I will put some brain juice and get the clogs turning!
The Hive Library, the first university library in the UK to be open to both the
general public and to students.