The Magnificent Outdoors

We arrived back yesterday from a lovely camping trip to a place called Boncath in West Wales. It’s near Cardigan. Camping is a lovely form of holiday that I have been introduced to largely by my wife. We stayed in caravans when I was younger and of course camped Christian style for week stints in army tents, but the past few years have been a real eye-opener. There is much joy to be found in going back to basics and sleeping under canvass.

Screens disappear which is a great incentive to read, chat and make fire. Being outdoors is definitely good for you, and I like now having curlier hair from the sea and a browner/redder face from the sun.

A lovely thing more recently is my Mother in-law’s acquiring of a dog. He is a Black Labrador called Helo. He makes me want to own a dog. I think dogs are great for company, to keep you fit, to get you outside more, to have a simpler being with you who is loyal and instinctive. I found that a few months ago, when we looked after Helo for a week that being forced to walk for long periods of time really helped me creatively. I was writing a sermon at the time on the first three verses of Psalm 40. I was able to plan it out in my head with much more ease because I had the space to think.

Another enjoyable talking point – leading on from the previous post – I started to ask my niece and nephew to try and think of ways that humans and animals are different. My younger nephew took a long time to think of one but eventually managed to realise that talking was a major distinction. With a little help from his older sister they eventually came up with a long list of things such as clothes, art, reading and handbags. The latter was my favourite, and an extremely valid one!


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