Go­ing back to na­ture helps you see your place in the world

The Observer - - COMMENT -

I would love to live like Miriam Lance­wood and her hus­band Peter Raine (“Liv­ing in the wild”, Mag­a­zine, last week). I long to be closer to na­ture and have for­ayed into this type of life for short pe­ri­ods and found it in­vig­o­rat­ing and pro­found. One loses all sense of one’s own im­por­tance. If you em­brace na­ture, you just be­come part of it, no more im­por­tant than the leaves on the trees or wind in the grass. I think it’s called some­thing that politi­cians don’t like us dis­cussing: free­dom. R Anon Posted on­line It’s very easy to rub­bish the life they lead, the old guy with the young Ama­zon, the Nordic jumpers etc. Nev­er­the­less, they are liv­ing an ex­tra­or­di­nary life. They’re not pre­tend­ing this is the Stone Age; they’re no more ro­man­tic about things than any­one who as­pires to a new three­piece suite, but they are a damn sight more dy­namic.

I would be sur­prised if they would be both­ered about fin­ish­ing their days in se­cu­rity. I have kids and I have no re­grets about hav­ing them, in fact, they saved me. No less in­vig­o­rat­ing and mem­o­rable are the times I’ve spent in wild places, alone or in com­pany. Other than that, ev­ery­thing else mostly pales. wax an­ima Posted on­line The bow il­lus­trated on the cover of the Mag­a­zine is to­tally un­suit­able for hunt­ing or much else. It is a cheap tar­get bow straight from the shop.

The arm lo­ca­tion and gen­tle re­curve would sug­gest a draw weight of about 35lb. The ar­row shown is new and un­used; it is too long and is shown on the wrong side of the bow for a right han­der – to­tally wrong for hunt­ing; for that, you need ei­ther bird ar­rows or broad­heads or both. There is no sign of a tab, a bracer, rest, sights or any bow fur­ni­ture what­so­ever. Any archer will tell you that an ar­row must never be nocked – fit­ted to the bow­string – un­til you in­tend to shoot. Frankly, my dear, I don’t be­lieve a word of it! Anne Miller via email The cou­ple in your ar­ti­cle had much sour­ness about par­ent­hood, chil­drea­r­ing and us oldie stay at homes along­side their tri­umphal­ist life­style of yomp­ing through the mar­gins of civil­i­sa­tion with­out a care in the world.

With both knees gone weak at my 72 years (no re­place­ments be­cause I sideswiped a mate on a mo­tor­bike aged 17), I’m happy to view my rel­a­tive im­mo­bil­ity as a badge of hon­our. Not for my teenage fool­ish­ness, but be­cause I helped wear them out in one of the finest en­vi­ron­ments known to hu­mans – the teach­ing pro­fes­sion, among teens and grow­ing adults.

So, much the bet­ter that it took 20 years to wear them out as a ge­og­ra­phy teacher- driver, equipped with Ford Tran­sit 15-seater minibuses (speed-gov­erned, of course ), which I jumped in and out of count­less times, car­ry­ing rang­ing poles and the other para­pher­na­lia of phys­i­cal ge­og­ra­phy mea­sure­ment, looking for trig points, scree slopes, beach gra­di­ents, etc (on con­crete, as­phalt, lime­stone, slate, gran­ite and, oc­ca­sion­ally, sand). mvmiaowsel Posted on­line

The Mag­a­zine fea­ture last week on the wild life­style of Miriam Lance­wood and her hus­band, Peter.

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