Thursday, 12 September 2013

The lovely summer of 2013

If even just 4 years ago anyone had said I would by mid-2013 have 3,800+ followers on Twitter, my response would have gone something along the lines of “Don’t be so silly!” “I don’t even like the name or the idea of something called ‘Twitter’”. However, rather amazingly, @spiritofthespey now has in excess of 3800 Twitter followers!

I have concluded it is best not to ‘twitter’ on Twitter. People take most notice of worthwhile tweets ~ often Re-tweeting items they rate and find interesting ~ and more likely to ‘Follow’.  Having been introduced and coaxed into Twitter mainly by my VPR Louise (Twitter name @Approach_Coach) and also Rene Looper (@tuminds), I have realised one of the advantages of Twitter is that it is easy ~ even I got into it without too much effort but also and most crucially ~ it is quick to execute. One simply puts together a few well chosen words within the character limit and/or takes a relevant/clear picture, which, if there’s a reasonable signal, can be sent instantly ~ job done!
For me certainly ~ blogs are not quite so easy and ‘instant’. Rightly or wrongly I need time to consider content and will want to include a couple of links and some nice pictures to help tell the story. Also, along the River Spey, internet connection is not too reliable. Indeed, it’s very hard to find a signal from a canoe in the middle of the river. In the villages along the way contact is very spasmodic and even in some of the lovely hotels we stay in en route during our canoe/whisky journeys, wi-fi is not always reliable.
Because of factors detailed above and the fact I have been on my knees in my canoe for the greater part of the summer, my 3000+ Twitter followers have had opportunities to keep up with what I am doing via my many Tweets sent at opportune moments. However, I am now acutely aware that I have not written a Spirit of the Spey blog for over 4 months.
Summer of 2013 has indeed been a wonderful in terms of weather and temperatures. Water levels have been very low and my boats have taken quite a ‘scratching’. However, apart from 1 location at Dipple above Fochabers and another at ‘Cumberland’s Crossing’ below Fochabers, we always know of or can find a navigable channel. Lady Spey has revelled in the warm and generally very calm conditions. She has looked stunning in her summer dresses ~ all of lush, vibrant colours. First the bright yellows of the broom and gorse usually fronted through late June/July with rich blues of lupins which have, in the last decade, become well established along the riverbanks. Now Lady Spey is draped in late summer greens as the still plentiful leaves are now beginning to be tinged with patches of ochre and gold. *
Currently I am off of my knees and out of my boat and have been, for the last few days, sitting at my desk catching up on administration ~ scaling my email mountain ~ rather than my preferred option of paddling my canoe in the company of the beautiful Lady Spey. It was my intention to, sometime this week, take the opportunity to put together a brief resume of at least some of my Journeys with clients and other exploits through the wonderful summer of 2013.

However, my resume of the summer may now have to wait until after Wednesday 18th, when I get back from my next 5-day ‘At One With Nature’ Journey ~ starting Friday from Kincraig, camping en route to the sea, with students from Edinburgh University. This is always a great trip to be involved in, working with such lovely, interested/interesting students from the world’s 5 continents ~ all coming together to take part in these highly regarded degree courses delivered by the Faculty of Outdoor, Environmental and Sustainability  Education, School of Education, University of Edinburgh.

In the meantime, pictures of canoe/whisky Journeys from the Summer of 2013 can be found on the ‘Spirit ofthe Spey’ Facebook page. I would invite you to view the many photographs and perhaps even do me the honour of ‘Liking’ the page!

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