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Less appy, more happy

This is a poem I wrote when I replaced my smartphone for an old-skool phone a few years ago after a moment of clarity, when I was out for a nice jog, of how ridiculous and sad it was that I was beholden to an irritating little machine rather than just enjoying the joggy feeling.

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All-male events

Are single-sex groups a healthy thing?  And how helpful is it to use male language and imagery with groups of young men?

In a culture that often carries unpleasant whiffs of male-centredness and male-identification (and where many believe that oppression of women is the very nature of the system),

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When the wind blows

It is winter, the dormant season for plants (above ground at least) – it’s the time to plant your trees. What I find interesting is that if you plant your healthy young sapling and help it to stay upright with a big stout stake and strong straps, then it is unlikely that it will grow into a mature tree;

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The woods and the womb

This is something I find I hear a lot:

“Wow – you own a wood!  Are you going to build a cabin?’

I own a wood.  It is great.  It is sunny, rainy or cloudy in the daytime, dark in the nighttime if there aren’t any moonbeams,

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Surviving the mainstream’s extremes

Here’s a second pattern that I’ve noticed during my time as a bushcraft instructor:

“My son isn’t keen on the outdoors – he’s just not the gnarly ‘survival’ type”

Machismo did not die after the 1980s, it just got clever.  One trick it performed was to elevate itself into pseudo-aspirational but unattainable places. 

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Little consolation from the console

I have spent a lot of time in the outdoors with adults and kids, often with teenage lads on a string of 3-day outings together, in undomesticated environments like woods, moors and rivers.  One lad recently pointed out to me that, out of the last 18 months, cumulatively he had spent an entire month with me,

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