On Reviewing

Doing reviews? Freebie time for me. Ah, yes, well; no.  For now certainly, no freebies. 

Everything I’m currently reviewing here, I’ve bought.  With my own money.  Yes, even that frighteningly expensive vest and that huge Jean Gaumy book.  The kit is what I use on solo self-supported wanderings or when making micro-budget films.  The books, they’ll be that mix of art, poetry speculative fiction and travel that overfill my bookshelves. 

So why am I doing these reviews?

A couple of reasons.  As I won’t be first to admit I’m a slow, weak, old punter.  But I’m a punter who’s collected a smidgen or two of experience.  So I figure my take on kit, an ordinary user’s, may have some value.  A look at what things are claimed to do, what they actually do and equally what they don’t do.  As I said, I don’t race, being a mountaineer who runs rather than a runner.  This will clearly colour my reviews; as will my reliance on public transport(if you’ve only a bus every two hours, what you pack is very different than if you have a car waiting). 

The other reason?  The major one?  I’m an enthusiastic nerd.  I’m amazed by the world around me, by things like my entire kit for a day on the hill weighs less than the boots I wore as a teenager.  And that lightweight modern kit is far more comfortable and capable than the old stuff. 

Similarly with books.  I’m dyslexic and struggled to learn to read, my handwriting is still occasionally atrocious.  Once I learned to read though, oh my the worlds it opened up.  If I introduce just one person to the beauty of a Bashō haiku, a Larry Durrell conversation, his brother Gerry’s description of an animal, a Galen Rowell landscape or Tessa de Loo wandering in Byron’s footsteps, I’ll be chuffed to bits. 

So there it is; a rough idea why I’m doing reviews on my blog.  Boils down to me being a curious, enthusiastic nerd really.  And believing there are more like me out there. 

Be well and be wonderful to each other my dears …