Hiking in Exmoor

Since booking my trip to Peru, and the mammoth task of climbing Machu Picchu is looming, it has inspired me to look at the area around where I live and find new places to explore and find some new challenges.

Its made me reexamine the local area, and made me realised that I’m quite lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country. I found a place on the edge of Exmoor National Park called Webber’s Post, its funded by The National Trust and provides plenty of walks and hikes, both on the beaten track and off of it.

 

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The route that I took wasn’t particularly long (2 Miles) but it was very challenging. I took my new hiking boots as this was a perfect opportunity to break them in. It was a mile down hill and then a mile up a very steep path.

I’m going to attempt to try and do something like this every weekend to get my fitness up and get myself used to climbing up steep a rough terrain.

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The wooded parts of Exmoor are like something out of a fantasy novel, utterly peaceful and beautiful. I would definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area!

 

After my hike I decided I wasn’t done exploring and decided to nip up to Minehead, which is by the seaside. I’ve been here before, but when I was very little so it was nice to revisit it as an adult.

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Of course an ice cream was needed, who can visit the seaside and not get an ice cream?! As its coming to the end of the summer holidays for schools, it wasn’t too busy.

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There was a cute little harbour nested at the end of the bay and this statue which shows a west country walking map, which I took a liking to.

I think its so important to get out and explore new things and new places, especially if you have the seaside practically on your door step. I always feel refreshed from being by the sea, there is something cleansing and rejuvenating about it.

Are there any local treasures you’ve discovered lately?

India x

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5 Things you can do to encourage your writing

Hey everyone!

I procrastinate, put off, make excuses, and eventually drag myself kicking and screaming to my writing desk. I thought that I would share my top five tips on how to encourage your writing, from the best procrastinator around…

 

  1. First you need to decide whether you are in INPUT MODE or OUTPUT MODE  !

    This is very important. If you’ve got nothing to give, you’re going to frustrate yourself endlessly by forcing yourself to be creative. Sometimes its not happening, and that’s okay.

  2. Leave the house! 

    I know it can be hard, especially when you’ve created the perfect writing nest for yourself with all your comforts around you. But as much as this can help, it can also hinder your writing. Go to your favourite coffee shop, or find a new one! I often start in a coffee shop and then when I get restless I find a new place to go, like the library. Two totally different vibes, but they both work.

  3. Set a timer!

    I cannot tell you the amount of times (haha, get it?) that I have done this. I’m one of those annoying people who leaves everything to the last minute and then will write a play in six hours. Time is everything to me as a writer. It is the only deadline that I can stick to. I’ve tried to set myself weekly or even daily writing goals and I always just think “Well, its not a real deadline is it?”.
    I set two hours on my timer on my phone and keep the screen on. I can see the clock ticking in my peripheral vision and that spurs me on. It may sound silly, but blocking my time down into small sections really helps. After the two hours I get up and have a little walk around, maybe a snack or cigarette then set another two hours.

  4. Get your headphones and find a great soundtrack!
    I’ve said before how The Lord of the Rings soundtrack has changed my life , I’m not even joking. But its not just LOTR, its Pirates of the Caribbean, its Gladiator, its Jurassic Park, its a compilation of Hans Zimmer’s best work. I used to be the kind of person who had to work in a quiet room or nothing would get done. Since being at uni and coming back home, those types of spaces do not exist.
    Give it a go, you’ll be surprised. Also, if you’re writing an intense scene listen to an intense soundtrack. The battle/war/conflict soundtracks always make me write faster.

     

  5. Explore new things!

    I think this is essential. Whether that’s reading something new, seeing something new, eating something new, exploring somewhere new, it all counts! All of the new things that we do trickle into our creativity stream in our mind and they mutate and come out somewhere in your writing. You have to feed your creativity, otherwise how can you expect it to give you a new idea?

That concludes my list of things you can do to encourage your writing, I hope this helped some of you who are struggling or maybe they can be used in the future. Do you have any top tips?

India x

I’m writing again!

Hey Everyone,

Yesterday I handed in my notice at work, which marks the longest ten months of my life. Its no secret that I don’t enjoy my job, but it has been necessary to stay there so I could afford to go off travelling Peru, and it allowed me to get a few cheeky driving lessons in there too.

The past week or so has been wonderful. I’m using up all the left over holiday I have before I leave and managed to get a wonderful 6 days off in a row. Its funny how my brain felt instantly freed when I knew that I had a long period of time off of work. I immediately started getting new ideas and wrote them down quickly incase I would forget or lose the feeling.

The ideas didn’t stop. I’ve started a new document called ‘Ideas Throwing’ (original, I know) and have started to write scene after scene of everything i’ve been wanting to explore this past ten months…And its magical!!

The end of this job is insight and I am so ready to close that chapter of my life. It has completely drained my creativity and even made me question who I am at times. Goodbye terrible job, goodbye prisoned mind and hello to my creativity returning in its full force.

YIPPEE!

India x

Climbing Cheddar Gorge

Okay I’m just gonna jump right in and say it, do not attempt to climb Cheddar Gorge on a hangover…or without a reasonable supply of water. I made that mistake and although it didn’t ruin the experience it definitely made it harder than it needed to be.

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The drive down into Cheddar Gorge is like something out of Jurassic Park, the rocks tower over the cars and make people look like ants. The scale is intimidating and impressive from the bottom but even more so from the top.

As some of you may know, I’m going to Peru in October and climbing Machu Picchu, so panic mode has set in and I decided I need to do some form of hiking before I set off.

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The path that we chose up to the top was quite tucked away by the side of the road, outside of the village of Cheddar. Its a very steep path and seems to take forever to get to the top, but it is so worth the hard work when you get there.

I would recommend wearing some ‘sensible shoes’, trainers or hiking boots are probably a good idea. We didn’t realise that the terrain was going to be so rocky and uneven so if I go next time I’m definitely taking some proper boots.

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I can’t believe I’ve lived close to here for a while and haven’t hiked up to the top before.

My boyfriend was taking a lot more photos than I was as he brought his proper camera with him and all of my shots are from my phone. I later realised when he tried to send them to me that the file sizes are too big to put on my blog 😦

 

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So pretty and I’m very happy that I managed to climb all the way up to the top. I still have a very long way to go in terms of fitness, but i’m going to incorporate more hikes and walks like this into my time off when I can. I was going to climb Snowdon in September but work wouldn’t give me the time off, and to that I say both Boo and Hiss. 

Have any of you been up Cheddar Gorge? Or have you climbed up Snowdon or Machu Picchu? Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂

India x

 

 

 

 

 

Adventuring at Longleat

Longleat is situated in Somerset, and is home to not only the Marquess of Bath but to a whole load of animals as well! As you can see from the cover image that this place is enormous and the Marquess of Bath is fantastically eccentric. A few days ago when I visited the water in the fountains was dyed bright blue and made for quite a visual.

I went to Longleat a few years ago to see their light show, which was comprised of giant sculptures lit up with different coloured lights to create some wonderful scenes.

There were giant lily pads and frogs floating on the lake, a pack of glowing lions and in the grounds there were giant fluorescent flowers which made me feel like I was in wonderland. It was an evening spectacle, which made the lights all the more beautiful, but it meant I missed out on all the animals.

I went this time with my family for my sister’s birthday and it was our mission to go on the Safari and make a proper day of it.

The first thing we did was the drive through safari and got up and close to some wild animals, some scary some not so scary. The monkeys were by far the naughtiest, climbing up onto every car and seeing what they could pull off of it. Our aerial got chewed, but at least our roof rack wasn’t hanging off like the car in front. You win some, you lose some.

 

 

One of the monkeys had just given birth to a baby, it must have been minutes before we got there. That was a pretty special moment. I didn’t take a picture because I was in awe of how she just got up and climbed up a tree to get a little privacy, her baby had already learnt to cling onto her belly as she walked. Nature is pretty cool.

Then we parked up the car, had our little picnic lunch and decided to go check out the house and gardens.

 

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Blue fountains

Just looking at this huge stately home would have been a good enough adventure. There were blue fountains bursting into the air and a huge lion cast from bronze twice the height of any human.

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King

 

Then we went into the house and explored all of the rooms they had open. There are magical things inside those walls and i highly recommend going to have a look! Unfortunately they wouldn’t allow cameras inside as a lot of the paintings are very very old and even sunlight can severely damage them. All of the windows had thick blinds over them to allow some of the light in, as so you could see, but not enough to damage anything.

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So pretty

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After that it was time to go into the park and see what other animals we could find. There was a bird enclosure that had lorikeets flying about in. There were pots of nectar that you could buy for £1 and you could go in and feed them.

 

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These lorikeets were vicious. Only with each other, not with the general public, but they were fighting for that nectar! They just fly onto your shoulders and arms, one flew and just perched on top of my sisters head. They use their beak and their claws to climb up you, it looks like it would hurt but it doesn’t at all.

You’re going into their environment with food so be prepared if you decide to do this as the woman that went in before me freaked out when one landed on her and swatted it away pretty hard. Not cool! Don’t be that person.

Penguins! These guys were pretty cute.

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The most beautiful creature. I think those small white pods are eggs?! He looked like a mythical creature.

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Then we went on the boat trip around the lake, which has seals and hippos in. I dunno about you, but the thought of being in the same area as a Hippo is kind of terrifying and also really exciting. They’re huge! And aren’t they the most dangerous animal?

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I’ve been on this boat tour before and didn’t see the Hippos or the Gorilla who live on the island in the middle of the lake. And this time I saw both so I’m pretty happy with that. The Gorilla is too old to have any new gorillas introduced into his life as it would stress him out too much, they said he watches TV and his favourite show is Peppa Pig as he claps along.

And now I’m going to spam you with more pretty pictures of this gorgeous place…

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Triwizard cup anyone?

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View from the boat

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Beautiful grounds

 

 

Okay, now I’m done. It was a brilliant day and would highly recommend going!

India x

 

2 Months until my Peru adventure

Hey Everyone,

It is now 2 months until my trip to PERU!! Can you tell I’m excited? I bought two things that I think are going to make my life a lot easier whilst scaling Machu Picchu – a good pair of walking boots and a comfy backpack.

I made sure that I tried on the boots and the backpack before purchasing as i didn’t want any unwelcome surprises whilst up a mountain. I went into North Face to try on the boots, and they were £145, expensive

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Pretty cool box! And yes that is a Game of Thrones puzzle underneath. #NoJudgement

…But then I got the name of them and did a little online research and I found them on offer in a shop nearby for £85, yeeeeees. Love a cheeky saving. They’ve got nice and high ankle guards on them, and a mould around the heel that aligns your foot to keep it straight while you tackle tricky terrain. They’re also purple.

 

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This backpack is the comfiest thing ever. I tried it on and it was a clear winner. All of the other backpacks were bulky or had annoying bits that push down on your neck and head. If it was annoying me in the shop, with air bags in it, then imagine how annoying its gonna be carrying it every day for a month. This one had really padded straps on the shoulders and also on the hips.

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Look how cute it is

It may be a little smaller than some of the other ones, but I really like it. This one I also managed to get for a bargain. It was £70 in the shop and I found it on sale online for £50.

There are so many more things I need to buy, but I thought this was a good start. Also, can’t believe how expensive injections are??

I’ll keep you posted on any other bargains/bits and pieces I buy. Not long now!

India x

 

 

 

Writer’s create their own luck!

Hey everyone,

I cannot believe that it has almost been a year since I have moved home from university! A year at home has flown past compared to the long drawn out university year. Here’s a bit of a catch up and also my thoughts on writer’s creating their own luck.

I had a mini melt down half way through this year, worrying about what I was doing and what direction I was going in and my answer to that pressure I was putting on myself was to book a trip to Peru and save all my money for the next four/five months and essentially run away from all my problems.

I do think getting away from everything for a while will help me gain perspective on my life and what direction to take, I’ve got two months left and then I’m off! But after I booked the trip I soon realised that life will be there waiting for me when I come back and nothing will have changed unless I create a change.

My long term solution was to earn some money and move to Bristol, which is a much more arty area than the one I live in. I thought that I could go to Bristol and be surrounded by opportunities and culture and art, and that is still my plan at some point. However, there is going to be an extended period of time while I am earning and saving money, after my Peru trip where I wont be in my dream city.

I decided that instead of putting everything on hold until I can be where I want to be, to start creating my own luck. I spent a few very productive days at my laptop sending off emails, pitching articles, offering to volunteer my time in exchange for experience and talking to new people and people I knew before uni. Nothing happened for a while and I waited for things to come back to me.

Waiting for a response is the bread an butter of a writer’s life. You may have heard that writer’s wait around a lot, but you wont believe it or understand the amount of waiting until you launch your wonderful self on the world.

Then in the space of a few weeks everything changed. Just when I thought I had a plan, life deals you a new set of cards and makes you rethink everything. Also what they may not tell you is that you can’t ever announce anything as soon as you find out. You have to wait for it to become ‘official’ and then ‘official official’ and then even on the day its happening you think ‘maybe they’ll change their minds’.

All I can say is that there are some very exciting things on the cards at the moment. Pleasepleaseplease don’t let them change their minds! 

You may think that some writer’s get lucky or are lucky to know the right people. But I can guarantee nothing different is going to happen if you don’t try anything different. Do your research and be relentless. If, like me, your dream is exactly that – a dream, what can you do to change that? It will take all of your energy and effort, but when you get results it will be so worth it.

 

My two favourite phrases:

‘Fortune favours the bold!’

‘You don’t ask, you don’t get!’

 

Be bold, be brave, ask! Never settle and never let go of your dream.

India x

200 views for July!!

July was my most successful month so far, and I’m really excited that I got 200 views for July! This may not sound like that much to other people, but it seems like loads to me! I’m looking forward to growing my blog over the next couple of months and then into 2018.

I’m going to try and make August even better and bring even more content to my blog. Keep your eyes peeled because there are exciting things afoot!

Thank you all for reading and coming along with me on my writing journey.

India x

Don’t compare your writing journey to anyone else’s!

Hey everyone,

Sorry I’ve been a bit rubbish at keeping up with my blog lately, life always seems to get in the way! Anywho, I’m here now and I wanted to talk a little bit about jealousy or comparing yourself to others. Especially if you have friends who are also writers.

Its going to be hard but please please please don’t compare your work, yourself or your writing journey to anyone else’s! Sometimes its hard not to, especially if your friends or peers are seemingly doing better than you, and they are getting more success or attention with their writing.

The most wonderful thing about writing, is that it is an ageless profession. Meaning that you have your whole life to write, to rewrite and to write it again! Of course everyone dreams of being an ‘up and coming’ when they are young, but that doesn’t happen for everyone. Give yourself time. Take the pressure off. Don’t be that friend who can’t be happy for other people’s success.

You may be secretly thinking “Why isn’t this happening to me?” or “When is it my turn?!”, but there is nothing worse than when something goes well and a friend is sat there with a sour face. Be their cheerleader. Go to their events. You may even meet someone who will be important to your own writing journey!

Keep working hard and keep believing in your own talents. Don’t hate on someone else’s success to make you feel better. Focus on you. Your journey. Your life. Be kind to others and treat them how you want to be treated. It’s okay to be a little jealous, but use that as fuel to make your own dreams happen.

Remember that persistence outshines talent. Don’t become complacent and think your talent will pull you through. Keep going. Keep writing. Keep putting yourself out there and keep creating the life you want. Support your friends and peers, and don’t compare your writing journey to anyone else’s.

India x