@polarbearjuliet

@polarbearjuliet

More a house sparrow than a polar bear these days. Outdoors & adventure blogger who still loves Iceland but is probably camping in the garden.

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A quick snack stop on Sunday morning which became an impromptu lesson in landing at a high dock, thanks to a very unfriendly and uncooperative swan, and then another practice of the stern rudder. 

I think I enjoyed my kayaking weekend. Four days on, it’s still a bit soon to be sure. For one thing, I can’t believe how exhausting it was. My arms still ache a little in places. I still have a nice purple bruise on the sole of my foot (it’s time to upgrade from the neoprene socks I bought for caving in 2006ish to some boots with solid soles, and my mum’s delighted because finally I have something on my birthday list) and the lingering scorching from appalling heartburn is only just fading - a combination of breakfast too early and kayaking exertion and my insides are literally burnt!

So this week has been a tiring one. Brownies in the rain, again. I went as an extra pair of hands who knows knots and gadgets to Guides. I swam, a mere leisurely 72 lengths. And now I have a whole evening off and no one has ever needed it more than I do today. 

When my bones are less tired and my muscles less sore, I intend to hire a kayak and practice some of those techniques. Jump in the water & climb back on. Master the stern rudder and maybe even the bow one. Get ready for my night kayak in October. Does anyone want to join me?

#usinginstaasadiary #kayaking #weekinthelife #tired #paddlesport

@polarbearjuliet

A quick snack stop on Sunday morning which became an impromptu lesson in landing at a high dock, thanks to a very unfriendly and uncooperative swan, and then another practice of the stern rudder. I think I enjoyed my kayaking weekend. Four days on, it’s still a bit soon to be sure. For one thing, I can’t believe how exhausting it was. My arms still ache a little in places. I still have a nice purple bruise on the sole of my foot (it’s time to upgrade from the neoprene socks I bought for caving in 2006ish to some boots with solid soles, and my mum’s delighted because finally I have something on my birthday list) and the lingering scorching from appalling heartburn is only just fading - a combination of breakfast too early and kayaking exertion and my insides are literally burnt! So this week has been a tiring one. Brownies in the rain, again. I went as an extra pair of hands who knows knots and gadgets to Guides. I swam, a mere leisurely 72 lengths. And now I have a whole evening off and no one has ever needed it more than I do today. When my bones are less tired and my muscles less sore, I intend to hire a kayak and practice some of those techniques. Jump in the water & climb back on. Master the stern rudder and maybe even the bow one. Get ready for my night kayak in October. Does anyone want to join me? #usinginstaasadiary #kayaking #weekinthelife #tired #paddlesport

A slightly blurry and positively dayglo selfie for day two of kayaking: taken through a waterproof case on the edge of the water. My buoyancy aid is grey at the bottom and my jacket is navy so I’m not quite the walking shipping hazard I look like here. 

Today I did the BCU Explore Award and it was a lot gentler than yesterday. It helped that we actually covered half to three quarters of the syllabus yesterday, leaving most of today for practicing strokes, learning extra skills and… well, exploring. I haven’t quite mastered my stern rudder but Diana and I jousted using it, we picknicked at the ruins of Christchurch Old Priory and we learnt some beginner whitewater skills (I will not be taking further instruction in that particular discipline, however fun our instructor finds it). I ache marginally less at the end of the day than I did at the beginning and I didn’t even have to do the bow rescue (we tried a canoe rescue but it turns out the canoe was too faulty to rescue properly).

iamapolarbear.com

#kayaking #exploreaward #christchurchharbour #paddlesport #paddleawards #selfie #watersport

@polarbearjuliet

A slightly blurry and positively dayglo selfie for day two of kayaking: taken through a waterproof case on the edge of the water. My buoyancy aid is grey at the bottom and my jacket is navy so I’m not quite the walking shipping hazard I look like here. Today I did the BCU Explore Award and it was a lot gentler than yesterday. It helped that we actually covered half to three quarters of the syllabus yesterday, leaving most of today for practicing strokes, learning extra skills and… well, exploring. I haven’t quite mastered my stern rudder but Diana and I jousted using it, we picknicked at the ruins of Christchurch Old Priory and we learnt some beginner whitewater skills (I will not be taking further instruction in that particular discipline, however fun our instructor finds it). I ache marginally less at the end of the day than I did at the beginning and I didn’t even have to do the bow rescue (we tried a canoe rescue but it turns out the canoe was too faulty to rescue properly). iamapolarbear.com #kayaking #exploreaward #christchurchharbour #paddlesport #paddleawards #selfie #watersport

Beachy waves or drowned rat? You’re looking at a tired and sore and achy holder of the British Canoeing Paddle Discover Award. I have paddled until my arms - and worse, my legs - hurt, I’ve done a completely unnecessary deliberate fall into the sea and self-rescue (swim two metres to where it’s shallow enough to stand up & pull the boat back to the shore) and tomorrow I’m doing it again but worse for my Explore Award. I have to do an Eskimo rescue (or bow rescue) where I have to hang upside down under water and pull myself upright on the bow of someone else’s boat. I am sufficiently terrified that I considered announcing that I’m not coming back. Can I still get my Explore Award without doing this rescue?? Please??

iamapolarbear.com

#kayaking #paddlesport #paddleawards #beachywaves #bedraggled #discoveraward #britishcanoeing #selfie

@polarbearjuliet

Beachy waves or drowned rat? You’re looking at a tired and sore and achy holder of the British Canoeing Paddle Discover Award. I have paddled until my arms - and worse, my legs - hurt, I’ve done a completely unnecessary deliberate fall into the sea and self-rescue (swim two metres to where it’s shallow enough to stand up & pull the boat back to the shore) and tomorrow I’m doing it again but worse for my Explore Award. I have to do an Eskimo rescue (or bow rescue) where I have to hang upside down under water and pull myself upright on the bow of someone else’s boat. I am sufficiently terrified that I considered announcing that I’m not coming back. Can I still get my Explore Award without doing this rescue?? Please?? iamapolarbear.com #kayaking #paddlesport #paddleawards #beachywaves #bedraggled #discoveraward #britishcanoeing #selfie

A couple of weeks ago now I spent a couple of nights glamping in the Pleasant Pheasant, this gorgeous shepherd’s hut @farmsteadglamping in North Dorset. It’s taken this long to post pictures because it’s taken until today to do the blog post about it (link in bio). It feels great to be posting new travel content again and it also feels good to get away from home for a couple of nights. It feels extra good to sit and watch the sunset from a hot tub!

iamapolarbear.com

#travel #localtravel #glamping #shepherdshut #northdorset #hottub #travelblog #travelblogger

@polarbearjuliet

A couple of weeks ago now I spent a couple of nights glamping in the Pleasant Pheasant, this gorgeous shepherd’s hut @farmsteadglamping in North Dorset. It’s taken this long to post pictures because it’s taken until today to do the blog post about it (link in bio). It feels great to be posting new travel content again and it also feels good to get away from home for a couple of nights. It feels extra good to sit and watch the sunset from a hot tub! iamapolarbear.com #travel #localtravel #glamping #shepherdshut #northdorset #hottub #travelblog #travelblogger

This was the view this morning from Saddle Tor to Haytor Rocks - a nice easy stroll normally. I thought this was going to be a really good test of my navigational abilities. Can I actually get from one tor to the other (and back again) using only map and compass with nothing in front of me to navigate from? But these are probably the two most visited tors on all Dartmoor and wouldn’t you know it, there’s a big obvious path connecting them. 

In fact, what it tested was my ability to care whether I reached Haytor, my ability to climb it and my will to not look at the route being traced on Strava to get back (I track for distance and info, not for navigation). I failed that last one, actually used the little blue line to make sure I was on the right path back twice.

Anyway, it wasn’t as wet as it looked and I was properly boiled-in-the-bag in all my waterproofs after climbing two tors. It’s good to be prepared and I think it’s marginally better to get damp than sunburned.

#dartmoor #walking #saddletor #adverseweather #womenwhohike #mist

@polarbearjuliet

This was the view this morning from Saddle Tor to Haytor Rocks - a nice easy stroll normally. I thought this was going to be a really good test of my navigational abilities. Can I actually get from one tor to the other (and back again) using only map and compass with nothing in front of me to navigate from? But these are probably the two most visited tors on all Dartmoor and wouldn’t you know it, there’s a big obvious path connecting them. In fact, what it tested was my ability to care whether I reached Haytor, my ability to climb it and my will to not look at the route being traced on Strava to get back (I track for distance and info, not for navigation). I failed that last one, actually used the little blue line to make sure I was on the right path back twice. Anyway, it wasn’t as wet as it looked and I was properly boiled-in-the-bag in all my waterproofs after climbing two tors. It’s good to be prepared and I think it’s marginally better to get damp than sunburned. #dartmoor #walking #saddletor #adverseweather #womenwhohike #mist

Today’s Dartmoor walk wasn’t the one I wrote the route card out for last night. It was one I found in the guidebook described as 12km but “easy” - just what I wanted after a very disturbed and disturbing night that you’re better off not knowing about. A nice gentle walk following the old railway track, three tors crossed off (I’m not counting them but it gives me an idea which bits of Dartmoor I’m ignoring) and an ice lolly on the final push back up to the car. 

#dartmoor #walking #womenwhohike #england #devon #uktravel #moorland #logbookwalk

@polarbearjuliet

Today’s Dartmoor walk wasn’t the one I wrote the route card out for last night. It was one I found in the guidebook described as 12km but “easy” - just what I wanted after a very disturbed and disturbing night that you’re better off not knowing about. A nice gentle walk following the old railway track, three tors crossed off (I’m not counting them but it gives me an idea which bits of Dartmoor I’m ignoring) and an ice lolly on the final push back up to the car. #dartmoor #walking #womenwhohike #england #devon #uktravel #moorland #logbookwalk

I’m walking on Dartmoor this weekend, aiming for two Level 2 logbook walks towards my Open country qualification - that means 10+km or five hours. I’ve just handwritten (and hand-calculated!!) tomorrow’s route card in my tent and I’m actually feeling a little nervous. Not about the walk itself, although the first two hours are endless uphill and will take twice as long as I’ve forecast but about the walking on my own. It never used to bother me but I guess this is a fairly long walk in a place I’m unfamiliar with and also, I’ve got out of the habit of walking alone in the pandemic. My dad gets bored and if anything, he’s the one taking me with him. It’ll be fine. I’ll enjoy it once I’m out. I saw my two peaks from my afternoon walk through a very pleasant village so I’ll see if I can spot the village from the peaks. This is a flooded quarry on the bridleway - I knew it was there because it’s marked on the map but it took me by surprise and it’s more beautiful and more of a chasm than I expected. 

iamapolarbear.com

#dartmoor #devon #travel #uk #walkingweekend #walking #lake #quarry #logbookwalk

@polarbearjuliet

I’m walking on Dartmoor this weekend, aiming for two Level 2 logbook walks towards my Open country qualification - that means 10+km or five hours. I’ve just handwritten (and hand-calculated!!) tomorrow’s route card in my tent and I’m actually feeling a little nervous. Not about the walk itself, although the first two hours are endless uphill and will take twice as long as I’ve forecast but about the walking on my own. It never used to bother me but I guess this is a fairly long walk in a place I’m unfamiliar with and also, I’ve got out of the habit of walking alone in the pandemic. My dad gets bored and if anything, he’s the one taking me with him. It’ll be fine. I’ll enjoy it once I’m out. I saw my two peaks from my afternoon walk through a very pleasant village so I’ll see if I can spot the village from the peaks. This is a flooded quarry on the bridleway - I knew it was there because it’s marked on the map but it took me by surprise and it’s more beautiful and more of a chasm than I expected. iamapolarbear.com #dartmoor #devon #travel #uk #walkingweekend #walking #lake #quarry #logbookwalk

In case you missed the exquisite final detail of the man who sent me a nasty email about getting wet at Brownies yesterday, I looked at his Facebook and he has a big shiny header quote: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain!”. I can’t. I just- I’m tired. I’m angry. I’m discouraged. 

But this isn’t about him! This is about Vík and Katla and the new Netflix series Katla which I watched over the weekend. It’s set in Vík, a tiny town on the south coast of Iceland during a year-long eruption of the huge volcano behind the town. I wrote a blog post about it yesterday and also about visiting the area, places to see from the show and places to see not from the show. This gorgeous picture of Vík was taken three years ago next week, the day after I walked the Laugavegur Trail and climbed up above the church with blisters the size of my actual feet. Where was this weather while I was hiking in the mountains? Link to the post in bio. 

iamapolarbear.com

#iceland #vik #katla #netflixkatla #netflix #travel #summer #travelblog #july2018

@polarbearjuliet

In case you missed the exquisite final detail of the man who sent me a nasty email about getting wet at Brownies yesterday, I looked at his Facebook and he has a big shiny header quote: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain!”. I can’t. I just- I’m tired. I’m angry. I’m discouraged. But this isn’t about him! This is about Vík and Katla and the new Netflix series Katla which I watched over the weekend. It’s set in Vík, a tiny town on the south coast of Iceland during a year-long eruption of the huge volcano behind the town. I wrote a blog post about it yesterday and also about visiting the area, places to see from the show and places to see not from the show. This gorgeous picture of Vík was taken three years ago next week, the day after I walked the Laugavegur Trail and climbed up above the church with blisters the size of my actual feet. Where was this weather while I was hiking in the mountains? Link to the post in bio. iamapolarbear.com #iceland #vik #katla #netflixkatla #netflix #travel #summer #travelblog #july2018

Dear Brett

Thank you for your lovely response to our first night back at Brownies in fifteen months.

I’ve thought about little else for the last six months, between the unsatisfactory Zoom meetings and the last month of admin that led up to this moment. That admin includes taking two qualifications in the last year and writing a lengthy risk assessment (two risk assessments, in fact, in this particular case) which had to be approved by our District Commissioner, in addition to an adult leadership qualification and a police check. 

Yes, it did rain and we did carry on regardless. You knew that it was raining and Brownies was continuing outside regardless when you dropped off your daughter, outside, in the rain. 

She took off her coat and jumper because they were running around, having fun and getting hot and sweaty. Assuming you allow your daughter to come back, I suggest you padlock her coat closed because I can’t force sweaty kids to keep three layers on at all times. 

I’m sorry she’s in bed with tummy upset but there’s no connection whatsoever between being wet and digestive issues. It’s more likely that was caused by the snack she decided to have in the middle of the running games and would have happened whatever the weather. 

Finally, the reason for the “bad choice made by the person organising this” to hold Brownies outside is that we’re volunteers trying to entertain your children for no pay during a pandemic. As we’re not depending on Brownies for our livelihoods, unlike teachers, we don’t have to be forced inside with mixed groups of children before we’re vaccinated enough and safe enough. And you’re not forced to send your daughter to outdoors Brownies, although she’s a lovely kid and we’re inevitably going to lose her now. 

We all had good old-fashioned fun running around in the rain. I admit, I envisioned sunshine but kids aren’t made out of sugar, they won’t dissolve in the rain in an hour and a half and neither will the leaders. One parent thanked us for going ahead despite the weather. 

You, sir, are a disgrace and a lovely reminder why volunteers for things like this are so few and far between. 

Fuck you. 
Brown Owl

@polarbearjuliet

Dear Brett Thank you for your lovely response to our first night back at Brownies in fifteen months. I’ve thought about little else for the last six months, between the unsatisfactory Zoom meetings and the last month of admin that led up to this moment. That admin includes taking two qualifications in the last year and writing a lengthy risk assessment (two risk assessments, in fact, in this particular case) which had to be approved by our District Commissioner, in addition to an adult leadership qualification and a police check. Yes, it did rain and we did carry on regardless. You knew that it was raining and Brownies was continuing outside regardless when you dropped off your daughter, outside, in the rain. She took off her coat and jumper because they were running around, having fun and getting hot and sweaty. Assuming you allow your daughter to come back, I suggest you padlock her coat closed because I can’t force sweaty kids to keep three layers on at all times. I’m sorry she’s in bed with tummy upset but there’s no connection whatsoever between being wet and digestive issues. It’s more likely that was caused by the snack she decided to have in the middle of the running games and would have happened whatever the weather. Finally, the reason for the “bad choice made by the person organising this” to hold Brownies outside is that we’re volunteers trying to entertain your children for no pay during a pandemic. As we’re not depending on Brownies for our livelihoods, unlike teachers, we don’t have to be forced inside with mixed groups of children before we’re vaccinated enough and safe enough. And you’re not forced to send your daughter to outdoors Brownies, although she’s a lovely kid and we’re inevitably going to lose her now. We all had good old-fashioned fun running around in the rain. I admit, I envisioned sunshine but kids aren’t made out of sugar, they won’t dissolve in the rain in an hour and a half and neither will the leaders. One parent thanked us for going ahead despite the weather. You, sir, are a disgrace and a lovely reminder why volunteers for things like this are so few and far between. Fuck you. Brown Owl

If I released an album, I made get use this as the cover. I don’t know why but it just feels like an album cover. (I’ve tried writing songs. It’s right up there with playing cards and open heart surgery as things I just can’t do.)

This is from my walk around Brownsea last Saturday evening after all the day visitors had gone home. Just me and the couple in the tent in the next field and the overnight warden, the only people on the island. Peace. Tranquility. Sticky windy heat that threatened a thunderstorm. 

iamapolarbear.com

#selfie #me #brownseaisland #glamping #camping #treetentcamping #islandlife #outdoors #june2021

@polarbearjuliet

If I released an album, I made get use this as the cover. I don’t know why but it just feels like an album cover. (I’ve tried writing songs. It’s right up there with playing cards and open heart surgery as things I just can’t do.) This is from my walk around Brownsea last Saturday evening after all the day visitors had gone home. Just me and the couple in the tent in the next field and the overnight warden, the only people on the island. Peace. Tranquility. Sticky windy heat that threatened a thunderstorm. iamapolarbear.com #selfie #me #brownseaisland #glamping #camping #treetentcamping #islandlife #outdoors #june2021

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