Sarah Marles- Mrs P.A.W.S. Creator of Paws Adventure Walking Service, two beautiful children and this blog post!
It's not often in life you get to meet some pretty inspirational and interesting people who have a love for the same things as yourself. Most recently I've rubbed noses (not literally) with the lovely NIsha Katona of Mowgli Trust Dog Show/ Mowgli Street Food fame, and Dominic Hodgson best selling author of 'How To Be Your Dog's Superhero', soon to be best selling author of his next book 'Worry Free Walks' both of whom I got connected to through a mutual love for dogs. So to add to this by meeting Kate Humble last night, a lady who I have admired and like for years, was a real treat.
I've liked Kate for a long time and her programmes have been an inspiration to me for a decade. She has presented all my favourites over the years from Spring Watch, Countryfile, and my favourite of them all Lambing Live.....a particular highlight. Infact Kate Humble and Adam Henson are one of the key influencers in my decision to up sticks off to the Lake District in 2010 in search of a rural life. I was lucky enough to find that rural life and had four years doing my own lambing live! It was a lot more brutal in real life, I have to admit, the non edited version saw me quite literally up to my elbows in sheep birth and at 4am in the morning it's quite a bleak and sometimes upsetting place to be, nothing like the Lambing Live I was used to watching from the comfort of my own sofa. So fast forward 8 years and I'm now mother to my own little lambs aged 4 and 5, and I'm knee deep in dogs rather than lambs, but the love of being outdoors and amongst animals and nature is always key for me and this is what drew me to Kate's new book.
So last night, I met Kate through her book signing with Linghams Booksellers for her new book 'Thinking On My Feet' which is a celebration of the simple act of walking. It's beautifully written and has a strong message running through it; to improve your health and well being.....walk more. It's free, easy to do and is a brilliant way to escape the daily and increasingly overbearing technological age that we live in.
As a professional dog walker, I walk every day come rain, hail , snow or shine and I absolutely LOVE it. It goes without saying that I love working with dogs but crucially it's the being outdoors that keeps me sane. As a single mum of two young children and a business to run, with two staff members to support and a never ending barrage of to do lists, phone calls to make, social media to see to and a household to run it's pretty tough at times. My head is absolutely full of stuff......what are we going to eat for dinner, what do the children need for school today, what time am I supposed to me meeting that new client, how many emails do I need to reply to today, the list is endless! But, when I am out there walking, putting one foot in front of the other, just like Kate says in the book......my mind is peaceful, clear, almost meditative. I can THINK and have space to de-clutter that head space. I notice nature all around me, the simple things give me pleasure, the air fills my head and I am happy. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, the dogs love it too, they are mindful and see the joy that is right there, they feel the surroundings and immerse themselves in it fully and I'm thankful to say that I do too. OK admittedly, I don't immerse myself quite as much as the dogs as they happily roll in the fox poo and eat shells, but I'm pretty immersed most of the time, and it really is good for me......a therapy and an escape from the busy full throttle life that awaits me once the walk has ended.
So it's clear that Kate's book resonates with me and meeting her and seeing her enthusiasm for the great outdoors, for walking, for nature and animals is contagious. She is as lovely in real life as she is on the telly box. So if you are feeling a bit low, or tired and a bit gloomy now that winter is upon us, grab the book and immerse yourself in a great read and then do something that will really help to raise your mood; grab that lead and tell your dog it's walkies time, wrap up warm and head on out. Look out for nature as you go and embrace the natural world, its a commodity that is free and has so much to offer and even if it's just a little Robin that you stumble across, a Wirral Rock that you find and re-hide, a squirrel looking for his hidden nuts or another dog walker just enjoying the exercise and the inspiration from all that surrounds you. Allow yourself to be humbled by nature and the little joys of being outdoors and return home feeling that little bit better.
For more information on how dog walking can help you feel better click here for read my previous blog.
For more information on Kate's book, click here.