A buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) feeding on blackthorn blossom (Prunus spinosa) in the Beddington Farmlands nature reserve in Sutton, London. The blackthorn foams with blossom again. Chiffchaffs have arrived, and creak their seesaw tune from trees that seem to tremble with rising sap. Spring is here – and I notice, with something approaching disappointment (but more likely just dull amazement), that it has been more than a year since I last blogged. It has been an unusual year, though, and I'm in no mood to beat myself up. Since I wrote last March about confinement and illness, I've managed to start finding time for adventure and professional advancement. Looking at the months that have passed since my last post, I find reasons to feel happy about life (if not about my blogging).

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_video link="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0MIPoKazyM"][vc_column_text]

As I’m developing my mountain film skills, I’ve had little time to devote to blogging lately. Here, however, is my latest project: a short film about the Lake District, mountaineering and mental health. And to go with it, here’s the story…

Back in April I failed to complete the Cape Wrath Trail. The awful truth is, I barely even started: after a wonderful and exhausting hike across Knoydart, I fell on snow in the shadow of the Forcan Ridge, wrenched my left knee and had to abandon my attempt. Two months later I am still struggling to master my disappointment, and have yet to summon the words to describe my experience. As I slunk back to London I felt I’d left my hopes, confidence and credibility behind me. These difficult emotions could all too easily play into my long-term experiences with mental illness – a problem for which hiking is usually a help, rather than a cause.