Outbound: magic train rides, electrocuting wood and bibliotherapy

In Outbound by Claire

Simon Artmitage, poet and walker (often combining the two) was recently on BBC 6 Music talking about his route along the South West Coast Path. He’d often stop in to pubs where groups of people waited, expecting him to have wild, exciting worldly thoughts at the end of each day. Often, he was just bored, too. That was oddly reassuring to hear. When I walked from London to Brighton earlier this month (not for charity, by myself, overnight, for fun) I had some moments that are easy to put into words, some I haven’t tried nor wanted to, and some short moments of boredom (thankfully short-lived).

What I love about adventures and sport is the way they change your head, regardless of any shining moment of epiphany. It’s all still there, going on quietly behind the scenes. Touring the Wellcome Collection this weekend, I found an amazing-sounding book on the philosophy of cycling, which I am excited to both discover that it exists and also can’t wait to read. Other things I’ve enjoyed reading and watching recently are below. You’ll notice some articles that don’t involve needing to stand up, too.

I send a bi-weekly email out with these roundups and some of my favourite other adventures, too. Enter your email address here if you’d like to get them.

  • The top 10 rail journeys around the world. My kind of top 10 list.
  • Four mildly epic walks to take in London this summer.
  • The Most Amazing Places to Swim Outdoors.
  • This map shows how far you can travel by train from London in under 22 hours.
  • Want to cycle to Brighton but fancy some support? @supportthecycle is organising a #London2Brighton cycle in July open to everyone.
  • “MIND GAMES: a short and honest post about entering the final month of a long #adventure.
  • The secret of being free: how to live off the grid in London
  • As always, listening to Collyn Ahart’s advice: “Exploring wikiloc and truly truly impressed. Filling up my garmin with hiking and mtb trails.”
  • Girls-only skate sessions in the UK are pushing the scene to new heights.
  • 21 Game-Changing Bike Accessories You Need To Own. Perhaps some hyperbole.
  • This is a bit silly: how to moor a boat.
  • Caps (not hats) and sock porn.
  • Sports clothing can make you sacrifice your visual personality. This jersey by Middle Of Nowhere is for people who do not like to do that.
  • Surfing in former battlegrounds.
  • surfing warzones
  • “For the past three years I have been playing not to lose. After yesterday, now I am playing to win.” A beautiful read if you’ve got a spare five minutes.
  • Why you should go to the movies (and on adventures) alone. Psychologically proven and all.
  • “Try skateboarding with Natalie, lacrosse with Rosie and then unwind with Lily’s sexy yoga.” More Than a Model is a series where i-D opens a window into the secret lives of their favourite supermodels.
  • This is what it looks like when you run an electric current through a lump of wood. It is BEAUTIFUL.
  • “Over the past decade, ultra running has gone from a fringe pursuit for distance freaks to a hyper-competitive sport attracting big-time sponsors. But a mysterious training condition is suddenly plaguing its ranks, robbing a generation of top athletes of their talents and forcing victims to wonder: Is it possible to love this sport too much?” Read ‘Running On Empty’.
  • “In just over one weeks time I will be getting on my bicycle and continuing the trip I started two years ago, continuing from Budapest where I left off through Hungary, Romania, the Carpathians and Bulgaria to Istanbul.” Looking forward to following these adventures.
  • When Tilda Swinton’s twins reached 14, she wanted them to continue their Steiner schooling without the stress of tests. The Guardian meets them two years later. “Imagine teenagers, taking an hour to be with themselves, no modern distractions, just the beat of their heart, the tick of their brain, the sweep of the sea.”
  • Read this and try to tell me you don’t want to talk to a bibliotherapist. This shit is rad. Also, reading fiction makes us treat others – and ourselves – better.” [via Rosie & Faris]
  • On ageing and appreciation of life. “As our role models become ever younger and more idealised, we are so afraid of aging that the quest for youthful preservation generates an almost pathological obsession with our bodies. As we align our sense of self-worth with self-image, the psychological and emotional consequences are tortuous. The one thing we do know for certain is that our body will always, in the end, betray us.”
  • ClaireOutbound: magic train rides, electrocuting wood and bibliotherapy