I’m currently sat on the grounds of the beautiful Finca Bebedero in North Tenerife, taking a break from one of the many adventures Jonny and I have been pursuing while we’ve been on this island. More to come on those very soon. Today I wanted to give mention to my reading choice for this trip.

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Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (known for the world-famous Eat, Pray, Love) has captured so much of my appreciation. This book discusses the life of the creative. It captures perfectly the torment and the turbulence and the terror or dedicating yourself to a life of making things. Whether you’re a writer or a painter or like knitting, Gilbert challenges the inner turmoil of artists that we’ve grown to revere.

There is this well known idealogy that one must know suffering in order to produce authentic, raw and well, good, material. But where has this thinking come from? I questioned my own approach and I too have this idea that I do my best writing when I’m either heart-broken or depressed or anxious or disappointed. Why do we maintain that we can’t be feeling the love and the joy to create our best?

I thoroughly enjoyed the read and cannot recommend it enough. Gilbert presents the idea that creative inspiration floats around waiting for the person with the right mind in the right place and time to bring the idea to life. I like that. I like that all we have to do is be ready for it. That, and follow our curiosities.

As I’ve wandered around this island, discovering numerous microclimates, pockets of culture, and tradition, I’ve felt alive for one, but also exceptionally happy. It hasnt been a struggle, I haven’t faced any drama and I certainly haven’t been suffering. Yet, I’ve captured some of my best photos ever. I’ve had ideas for pieces that I had never dreamed would come to me before.

When we’re open to lightness and love, marvellous things can happen. We can be creative and not need to hold on to our suffering. We need not attach such seriousness to our work.

Unlike a medical professional or a plumber or a roofer, the beauty of the creative life is that one can make or do or capture whatever they feel like. There is no set standard for what must be achieved. There is no direction which must be followed. You must simply give the mind something to occupy it so that it does not pursue something you may not want it to. I say it all the time, but dog-chewing-on-furniture syndrome.

This trip and Big Magic have fitted together beautifully, hand in hand. I can bask in beauty and the good life and still create. If you are feeling frustrated with a creative pursuit, I recommend this read for a refreshing change in perspective.

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It’s safe to say, without a shadow of a doubt, that Snowdonia is my favourite National Park within the UK. Well, that I’ve experienced so far at least. The love affair started almost ten years ago. This was a trip to tackle Glyder Fawr. I can clearly remember the way the air felt around me. We entered the National Park and I felt the excitement and sense of possibility. Nothing felt certain. Nothing set in stone. This wreaks havoc on those trying to plan a hiking or climbing route, but reminds us that we do not rule the world; the elements do.

In this mountain range – like any other – the weather can change in seconds. A sun catch can become a scramble of mist and scree. You definitely don’t want to be caught out without the right kit. Your body is only as strong as the mind you have supporting it. Preparation is key.

This may sound like a total nightmare for some. For me, well, I like to be put in my place from time to time. I like to be shown by Mother Nature that man does not rule the world. I like to feel the adrenaline of the uncertainty. I like the sense of adventure.

So back up to Snowdonia it was, this past weekend. Only this time, the mission was the baddest of the bunch: Snowdon, himself. It’s always going to be on the list to want to climb the biggest one, but in some ways Snowdon isn’t quite as bad-ass because there’s a café at the top. You can seek refuge from the rain and the wind, use an actual toilet, buy a hot cup of tea. We still enjoyed it nonetheless.

For our first ascent up Snowdon, we chose the Watkins trail. Tempted as we were by Crib Goch, with the temperamental weather brewing up in the sky, we thought it wise to take the safer route. We started our route from our campsite at Llyn Gwynant. We navigated around the perimeter of the lake and up a valley. The winding trail takes you through miner’s territory. This passes breath-taking waterfalls before you ascend up the rock faces and eventually hit a brief climb through scree.

It became apparent we’d made the right choice with our route as we reached approximately 150m from the top and the harsh winds and mist descended. Visibility was horrendous and careful footing essential. But the sideways rain didn’t manage to get the better of us, thankfully.

We didn’t get the view we’d hoped for from the summit, but it really doesn’t even matter once you’ve reached that point. You’re simply grateful you made it and spend time laughing and joking with others who have climbed that day too.

We descended back down Watkins, thinking it probably best considering the conditions and once we were out the cloud line around 800m the sun shone in full glory and it was just us and and the sheep looking out to sea.

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A lot goes on in Bristol all day every day, but perhaps one of the most anticipated visual events of the year is the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and it’s epic mass ascents. At roughly 6am and 6pm for 3 days each year in August, over 100 hot air balloons take to the sky in a dazzling flight of colour.

My favourite place to sit and take them all in is from the Observatory atop the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Two iconic sights melted together is a photographer’s dream.

The wind had been blowing strong and much to the disappointment of the masses, the ascents had been called off as obviously pilot safety is the first priority. But finally, last night around 7pm they took to the air in style and blew everyone away, as per usual.

Aside from Albuquerque, New Mexico, this is the only other place on earth that you can see so many balloons take to the sky at once. It’s a truly surreal sight that captures for me the magic in life.

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It has been sun and sea and sky and sand and surf these past few days in Perranporth, Cornwall. A pocket of glory with turquoise shores, perfect waves and a bar on the beach, Perranporth is an awesome getaway spot for anyone looking for a break in the UK.

The Watering Hole is a must – Britain’s only beach bar. It serves as an epic ocean-side venue for a variety of well-known musicians and serves the best coffee to ease you into your day after an early morning stroll along the beach.

Sticking on the theme of refreshments, Good2Go is an epic vegan food cart on the main street in town that offers falafel wraps, mezze boxes, chilli, hot dogs and delicious treats for the vegan beach bum looking for sustenance other than chips.

Thousands of moon jellies were washed up on shore this past week, harmlessly splatting us in the face as we paddled out to the surf, but nothing could top the Mediterranean heat we had, which brought with it the most breathtaking of sunsets. A walk up and over the cliffs to some old tin mines also revealed stunning turquoise shores.

I long for my return, sweet Perranporth.

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