Monday, December 23, 2013

It's only words

Getting in the Christmas spirit at Crow Towers

As the last days of 2013 flicker and ebb away, I thought it would be opportune to share some of the blogs which have entertained, informed and inspired me over the past twelve months. In so many ways, the blog has become one of the greatest gifts of the post modern internet age. Giving a voice to those previously disenfranchised from the mass media and opening up a creative world in which everyone- from political dissidents in Libya and Palestine, to an outdoor activist in Salford-can open a creative door and reach the outside world. Expressing  hopes and fears, plans and achievements, be they profoundly political and philosophical statements, or just the mundane thoughts of a cyber diarist.

As in any creative field, the product is only as good as it’s creator. Fortunately, the outdoor world in particular throws up a larger than average number of quality writers, although by far and away, my favourite blog of 2013 is not actually an outdoor blog.  That’s how the light gets in by Gerry Cordon is essentially a cultural blog in which art, music, books and politics feature alongside the authors’ European travels. Gerry is a Merseyside based retired academic who apart from being an outstandingly good writer is a pretty good photographer to boot! Some of Gerry’s art pieces have featured on Footless Crow and continue to be enduringly popular. 

I’ve only recently discovered Because they’re there by Alan McFadzean. An excellent outdoor blog which is put together beautifully by its professional author. Like Gerry Cordon, Alan publishes his work through Wordpress and is another blogger covering a wide area of interest and who is equally adept with words and images.

Most people will be unfamiliar with the former writers but it’s fair to say that some of the outdoor world’s biggest names are as adept with words and images as they are at establishing state of the art mountaineering ascents. Both Andy Kirkpatrick and Nick Bullock knock out highly readable blogs despite the hectic lives they lead at mountaineering’s coal face. Veteran outdoorsman and writer, Chris Townsend’s blog is always a treat. Offering his Highland based perspective on everything from outdoor gear to conservation. Over in the States, Boulder resident Peter Beal’s  Mountains and Water, is another fascinating well written blog which will be of particular interest to climbers everywhere. On a walking and environmental theme, David Lintern's Self Powered is another cracking outdoor blog with some exceptional images illustrating the always fascinating text.

From my sea kayaking days, it's good to see someone described as 'the doyen of sea kayakers'-Douglas Wilcox, still putting out his excellent trips blog- Seakayaking with Seakayak Photo.Com

So...there you have it. Some of the blogs which I’ve been reading and enjoying this year. If you have any recommendations then do post a link in the comments. Unfortunately, I have to field comments to prevent spammers and advertisers posting junk but everything else gets through.All the best for 2014.


  1. Hey, thanks for the mention. It's greatly appreciated. Happy Christmas.
    Alen McFadzean

  2. An honour to be anywhere near that roll call. And likewise, back at ya. Also glad to see you're making an effort with the new pad. Have a good one John.

  3. Glad you like my blog John. Yours is always on my list. Season's Greetings.

  4. Thank you John, I wish you a great 2014 outdoors :o)