Thursday, 19 May 2016

New Forest Water Park, Hampshire

Forget the HIIT class that has you sweating it out with 50 other misty eyed gym goers on a Saturday morning; this course is a real challenge this weekend!

The New Forest Water Park might just take you by surprise. After all it's not like you expect to see a Total Wipeout level of inflatable playground just 10 mins from Ringwood. The New Forest is better known for its picturesque villages, stunning scenery and more than a few horses, but now it's making its mark on the adventure circuit too.

After arriving, signing disclaimers and picking up a wetsuit (it is only May after all) we were penned into a briefing room then made our way to the pontoon, with the likes of the 'iceberg', 'human catapult’ and something called 'the doughnut' ahead of us, and a few obstacles in between.

Quickly forgetting how cold the water is, you're challenged to jump and swing around the course and heave-ho yourself and others back onto dry (wet) land (inflatable) for another go after you inevitability and very ungracefully fall in.

Naturally it's bloody hilarious, and watching your friends battle through the course in a friction and gravity skewed world will have you working your abs as much and your arms. Prepare to ache!

Check out our video below!

Also available at the New Forest Water Park are, cable powered wake boarding, a small bar, picnic tables and a much earned hot-dog hut.

Weigh the Anchor Recommends

  • Bringing wet shoes for a little extra grip 
  • Chest strap for your GoPro 
  • £5 for the extra wetsuit hire
Still smiling!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Why I write

By Claire

This week an article of mine was published on, and I couldn't be happier!

It's my first gig as a writer; there was a discussion on the topic, a round of editing and I wrote my first invoice. I'm expecting a call from an agent seeking to represent me any day now.

Ok, not really. source a lot of their content from people living the gap year experience and those with valuable perspectives and insights to give (even if we are back home now). But the fact that I was offered payment for my writing capabilities makes this assignment feel different. Yes I am just as passionate about this article as all the ones I've written before, but receiving payment makes me realise I have other opportunities open to me and my voice too.

Writing on the balcony on a sunny summer evening

I write to digest what's happened on a particular day, to solidify a memory for the future and to vocalise a thought or feeling on subjects. I write privately when I'm stressed and can't seem to talk it out; it's part of my healing process. I scribble my thoughts down in a sudden and sometimes surprising outpouring of emotion and suddenly the solutions become clear and I feel magically cleansed. Publicly I write to share an experience and offer my point of view, not because it is any more valid than anyone else's, but because I enjoy it. It's a wonderful way to share and find experiences and enriches my life. It's also a break from my norm, where a weekend walk turns takes on new purpose and I have more to think about than my usual work/gym/sleep routine during the week. 

Getting started can be hard; I've always written journals and diaries, but it's only once I became used to my voice that I was comfortable making my thoughts public, and I still wince sharing my blog with family and friends, even though it's only ever been met with complete support. 

I've always said "I write for me, not for you" as a form of protection. With this perspective, if someone doesn't like what I write, it's ok. I'm not expecting their support or praise, but it's nice to receive if they want to give it. I guess that's why this assignment is different. Without support, the article wouldn't be, and by choosing to publish it I am being given credit for my writing and validation of my views. There's nothing like endorsement to deliver motivation, which is why the minute I saw the published article, I couldn't wait to start composing the next one.  

iPhone notes; filled with scribbles when inspiration strikes
So thank you all. Thank you for reading, thank you for writing, and thank you for your support.

Till next time,  
Claire x