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I’m a 42 year old American woman living in the forests of England with my British husband and pre-school son. I work (remotely) on the narrative side of gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands. Or at least, that’s what I want to do...
 
The last year has been full of big changes—in November 2020 we moved from Central London to a woodland property in the Forest of Dean in the midst of this pandemic. I had stars in my eyes about spending my time gardening and wandering the woods with my young son (the Enting), but a couple of months after we arrived I was recruited for fantastic role, and while me returning to work was not in our plans for another couple of years, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up!

 

But it does mean I’ve spent a lot more time indoors this year than I expected to, and I’ve done a lot less work around Owlshire as well. Add in several rounds of autumn colds and the darkness of coming winter and… well, it would easy to stay inert indoors under a fluffy blanket until next summer.

 

I’m keen to feel strong again, get outdoors, and feel worthy of Owlshire!

 

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This is me, today.

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 
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Ongoing Goals Placeholder

 

  • Finish my Walk to Mordor - about 1,100 miles to go. Want to complete by November 2022.
  • Track (and over time increase) my PAI score, primarily by doing outdoor smallholding activities and walks.
  • Reach current goal weight and then assess from there.
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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 
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I was on the NF forums earlier, checking on some Rebels, and wondering when the next 5 Week Challenge would pop up, but also reminding myself that I’d taken a break from the 5WC lately because they just weren’t working for me.

 

Then I ended up here and thought… maybe… maybe this is the way I need to approach my goals.

 

I stopped recording my Walk to Mordor mileage when we moved from London last year. The Walk to Mordor app says I have about 1100 miles left. If I attempted an minimum of 20 miles a week, that’s 55 weeks—just over a year. 

 

I’d like to make it by November 2022. That means walking at least 20 miles a week. 

 

I’m counting all the steps (and their mileage) my Fitbit records—inside and outside, walking to the kitchen or walking in the woods. This is mostly for sanity, it’s just easier to take my daily total than figure what counted and didn’t. 

 

There are some activities that don’t generate a lot of steps, but do build strength and stamina. I will start tracking my PAI to acknowledge that. At this time, I do not have a PAI goal, I just want to watch what happens and I’ll make decisions from there.

 

I’ll be trying to update at least weekly. At minimum, I’d like to track:

 

  • Progress to Mordor
  • My average PAI

Other things I would like to do but I’m not beholden to is a pic collage of weekly highlights, and whatever ephemera delights me and I want to record on my Epic Quest. 

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 
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@chibi-nerd

 

Owlshire is named for the song  of owls that greeted us or first  night there, and the Forest of Dean is a real place! No runaway witches or wizards spotted yet, though, unless you count me!

 

I wondered if the WtM app would get pulled at some point... Oh well...

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 
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Excited to see you here! Love the purple in your hair also! It reminds me of my purple days :) 

 

Well, I'm not walking to Mordor, but our path does lie together for many miles! It's very cool to think of walking the wilds with you, especially as one of my unwritten goals is indeed to get out in the wonderful countryside more and explore places I haven't yet explored. Maybe my wanderings will lead me one day to the Forest of Dean.

 

Happy wanderings! I always love your Owlshire updates!

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"What does your heart tell you?" - Aragorn

 

Epic Quest: In the Footsteps of the Dúnedain: Aragorn's Journey

Current Challenge: The Chronicles of Rhovaniel, Volume I: Courage

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26|27

 

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6 hours ago, Rhovaniel said:

Excited to see you here! Love the purple in your hair also! It reminds me of my purple days :) 

 

It's normally a mix of green, blue and purple but it has all faded except the purple. 💜 Want to touch it up next week. 

 

6 hours ago, Rhovaniel said:

 

Well, I'm not walking to Mordor, but our path does lie together for many miles! It's very cool to think of walking the wilds with you, especially as one of my unwritten goals is indeed to get out in the wonderful countryside more and explore places I haven't yet explored. Maybe my wanderings will lead me one day to the Forest of Dean

 

I'm going to Mordor because it's already plotted for me. Perhaps I'll change it along the way... But my plan when I get there is to return to the Shire. 

 

If you ever come this way, let me know!

 

6 hours ago, Rhovaniel said:

 

Happy wanderings! I always love your Owlshire updates!

 🐾 ❤ 👣

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 
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(Partial) Check in—

 

I started tracking last Thursday, when I made this post, but normally weeks will go from Monday-Sunday.

 

  • Added 18.2 miles toward Mordor,  1162 miles remaining…
  • PAI average 64

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Weekly highlights - This was an unusual weekend, which is also related to how I stacked up so many miles in a partial week!

 

I went on a solo holiday to the small city of Hereford. My first real solo holiday since the Enting was born! (I did go away for a couple of days right before the pandemic hit, but it was a socially exhausting one. I needed an introvert’s holiday.)

 

I stayed at a hotel called The Green Dragon (like any geek should). I had sushi for the first time since pre-Lockdown. I walked up and down the River Wye that cuts through the city. I brought my knitting. I journaled and sorted out many thoughts in solitude that I hadn’t really been able to sort out with family and work and everything around me, including thoughts on future direction. I did Christmas shopping. I had an amazing Sunday roast from a place called The Bookshop. I did not have an existential crisis. 

 

(I know that last one sounds silly, but it was important. I need alone time, but given silence and my thoughts even for a few hours I tend to flood with negativity and worries and work myself into a complete mental crisis. I did not do that with 2 days to myself. This is a HUGE mental health accomplishment.)

 

Okay, but maybe you’re asking about that photo there with firefighters? That was… not so much a highlight as noteworthy. Our neighbors’ barn was set on fire this weekend by some local troublemakers, and… it’s massive. 200 tonnes of winter fodder and hay destroyed. Their entire winter store for their working farm. It’s devastating. Mr, who was at home this weekend, spent Saturday helping out (including early reporting and heroically among those who chased down the arsonists as they tried to flee the scene!) At peak there were 10 fire engines. I have no idea where they fit all those fire engines as we’re a tiny single track lane. The flaming side of the barn collapsed into the lane as just the first engine arrived, missing it by a handful of feet. The barn is still smoldering, the valley is filled with smoke. So, so awful.

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 
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Oh, that's awful to hear about the neighbours, I'm sorry. I wonder if there's any relief fund being set up for them?

 

The weekend away sounds absolutely wonderful though! 

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"What does your heart tell you?" - Aragorn

 

Epic Quest: In the Footsteps of the Dúnedain: Aragorn's Journey

Current Challenge: The Chronicles of Rhovaniel, Volume I: Courage

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26|27

 

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Checking in on Sunday because I want to put a stamp on this week and start over.

 

This week started off strong and then Tuesday Enting was sent home from preschool with Covid-like symptoms, so we dutifully went to get him tested at the first opportunity, went into isolation and then tried to be patient as the week carried and we were juggling an increasingly lively, bored child with our respective jobs and there was no result forthcoming. On Saturday afternoon  we were politely well enough out of the waiting window (72 hours) so I called the number you’re supposed to call, went on hold for nearly an hour and found out that his test results are lost. They’re investigating, but since that investigation may just result in “go get another test and wait another up to 72 hours for results” we went ahead and scheduled him another test on Sunday morning so we could be ahead of that curve. (He can’t go back to nursery until he has a negative PCR result.) 

 

Which is all a long way of saying that after Tuesday things tailed off a bit.

 

Anyway, here are the numbers. May they be better next week:

  • Mileage: 23 miles, so I made that goal! Survived and attack by Wargs, and nearly to the doors of Moria!
  • PAI Average: As of Sunday, it was down to 45/100. Ick. 
  • Weight: Hormones week, so I don’t track.

And now after all that complaining, here are the highlights:

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Friday night games in front of the hearth with Mr (we’re working our way through the more advanced Dominion expansions), touching up my rather faded hair color (now it matches my favorite scarf), and some lovely autumn photos from the garden.  Wednesday was our 1 year anniversary at Owlshire! If one has to be in isolation, there are certainly worse places to spend it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 
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  • 27 miles - in the Miles of Moria, at the Junction of 3 Passages… 1112 miles to Mordor!
  • Average PAI 54

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The week’s highlights include our first 0 and -1C days (and resplendent in knitwear), my London BFF coming to stay and demonstrating weaving on her loom (and leaving it so I can practice!), and many, beautiful, autumnal/winter walks.

 

Not pictured - Storm Arwen came and did some damage to Owlshire, but nothing we can’t fix in time.
 

 

 

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 
Instagram

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