Raise a glass….I’ll wait. Go and get one. Raise a glass to the year ahead.

Backpacking – don’t you just bloody love it?

Been a funny old year 2011 – for me at least. It began with me fretting about my redundancy, anxious where money is going to come from and keep a roof over my family’s head and such like. Looking back it really was quite stressful. But I got my head down and stuck in with trying to forge a new career concerning videos and the great outdoors.

For the first few months things were really borderline in truth. Income was at the very limit of what my family could accept and I was constantly chasing work or seeking avenues to get a foothold in gaining a portfolio – all the while further developing my kit with the little spare funds I had at my disposal and my skills in filming and editing videos. And in truth, I’m still learning!

I suppose with anything in life we continue to learn – but my goodness have I had a steep curve to ride.

It’s not something I really talk about publicly for obvious reasons, but I will reveal some of that personal information now on my blog. From the outside looking in, it may well have appeared that ‘terrybnd’ was living the life of an outdoors person’s dream. And at times I suppose it is and continues to be. But the boundary between a hobby we all love and work has not only since become blurred but non-existent.

I can honestly say, on occasion I’m sick to death of being out on the hills. I need a break. If the weather is pants, usually one could just head home to the land of the living and think “C’est la vie!”. Whereas, I’ve had to stay put and keep at it. I’ll be physically and mentally tired and pining for home comforts, or annoyed some gear I’m testing hasn’t lived up to expectations or more importantly shots I’ve chased or patiently waited for stubbornly won’t bloody materialise.

But the hard work has paid off and in some respects the redundancy has proved to be a blessing in disguise.

I feel daft saying all this, but my work has gained more and more recognition (honestly can’t think why at times – I shudder and cringe looking back on some videos) and now the work comes to me, as opposed to me pulling my ever greying hairs out seeking some kind of commission. It’s all been extremely humbling. Something I really can’t put into words.

You may laugh, but from my point of view, I’m still Terry from before. The same old regular bloke in the pub having a beer and socialising and talking about football and other everyday blokey chit chat. The attention I’ve received from many quarters has been somewhat unsettling and something that never occurred to me as a consequence of what I do.

The numerous kind emails of support, the compliments, the advice and more has been truly overwhelming. The approaches by the likes of the BBC and other media out there has been a real shock to me but exciting at the same time (keep your eyes peeled on TGO Magazine). It’s really nice seeing my videos and business get banded about too – such as on the Visit Peak District Tourist Board website here.

After all, I’m still that guy who blogs about his trips in the outdoors, I’m still the husband who pisses off his wife from time to time, I’m still the guy you’d talk to in the local – I’m still simple old me. And I suppose that’s why some of the above unsettles me. It’s not that I can’t deal with it, it’s just I never sought it and expected it.

Either way, without sounding like an old big head (if that’s your perception) or better still as some moaning ungrateful sod – let me say this….

I never thought I’d be where I am now. I figured a couple of months at best and I’ll be seeking work of any shape or form to bring in the income at home. So, I do still from time to time pinch myself when out on wild camps – that I’m getting paid to do it for an end result. Taking in a fine sunset with a beer in hand with tent set up nearby is something I’ll never tire of til my dying days – and every time such a scenario arises, I’m humbled on so many levels now you just wouldn’t believe.

And as for the future? Pardon my language – fuck knows to be honest!

The past year has taught me to expect the unexpected, make no doubt. I have some goals and dreams I’d like to chase or execute – modest ones. The Peak District at night is one such project. But I’d like to slowly begin to spread my wings into other national parks, too. I’d love to say more, but I feel stupid to do so in case none of it ever materialises! I’d only look a desperate dreamer fool.

So, raise a glass if you have one to hand – or go and get one – I’ll wait a moment…..raise a glass to the end of 2011 and onwards to 2012. I truly hope all your dreams and wishes come true and hard times are overcome with ease. Thank you all for continuing to visit my wee space in this online wild west and I hope to share more of my joys of the outdoors in the coming months, and will take pleasure in receiving yours too.

If you believe or have a God, I hope they bless you. Good luck, look forward and always take joy from every moment in the hills!

Happy New Year!! I’m off to pack now to see in 2012 from Kinder Scout. Speak soon.

Now for some outdoors porn…..

I think this is my favourite pic of the year. One I’ve chased for a few months. I really like it anyway. It tells a story.
Another fave of mine – it just whets my appetite concerning two future projects I’m working on.
Now I’m back in the DSLR fold, I’m hoping to develop my photography skills too. We’ll see what happens on that front.
My favourite trip of the year I reckon. A camp up an old favourite of mine in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
I dunno what it is – but I just love Ingleborough and never tire of the place or it’s views.
Another highlight of the year – social meet at Monsal Head. Was funny watching folk crowd round my friend Mark
from Rab as he displays some of their latest wares.
I had a lot to drink that weekend (not all them bottles are mine!). So, with luck and based on feedback I’ll organise another
social meet in the spring of 2012.
Beautiful little-visited waterfall in the Howgills. A trip I remember fondly.
A trip where I first met Martin from Summit and Valley and James from Backpackingbongos – two people I consider to
be good friends now.
An encounter of the friendly kind I had with a Red Grouse on Kinder Scout – will never forget this. He just wouldn’t
bugger off and leave me alone! Made for great video footage though!!
One of the many local establishments I’ve spent many a happy hour in over the past year.
A beautiful morning from Wolfscote Hill – cracking trip this was in the White Peak. Though staggering to camp
from the pub wasn’t ideal. It’s a fair old climb up to this little visited hill. Worth it. The views are excellent.
Friendly sheep up on Stanage Edge in the summer – twas a cracking sunset too.
One of a few memorable bivvies I had during the summer in the Peaks. This one I awoke to a cloud inversion. Bliss!
After experiencing a nasty thunderstorm, the views cleared nicely from this camp on Shining Tor.
Another pic that tells a story – I was knackered and this can didn’t last long let me tell you!
Same trig point – next morning.
Camp on the Roaches. Nice evening I remember fondly.
An encounter of the wrong kind with this lady’s husband followed later in the evening.
A view I never tire of in the Peak District – Chrome and Parkhouse Hills.
At work one January morning in the Peak District – kits changed a fair bit then. Up to 8kg I have to lug about now.
I’ve grown very fond of Stanage Edge too. A place that never fails to lift my spirits.
And of course, I nipped to the delightful Chiltern Hills ‘darn sarf’ and enjoyed a couple of nights bivvying with Red Kites for company.
And finally, I suppose this video sums up best what I do now or have done over the past year….

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