Planning for 2021

Published 21 February 2021

A signpost with two fingers both directing people to Ulvik but in different directions
Which way do you go when you don’t know which one to follow?

I was asked recently if I had any walking plans this year. It’s a fair question. It’s usually this time of year that people start making plans for the year ahead. Planning holidays is the obvious on. But for lovers of trail walking, the mind may also think about what walks they are going to do.

But 2021 is no ordinary year. And I sit here thinking about what may be in the year ahead, and what I could do. And keep concluding the same thing. How can I plan anything like this?

The reality is that nothing is ever certain even in normal times. You can make all the plans you want, and things may go wrong and put pay to them. However in normal times, at least you know that you’ll actually be legally allowed to go out of the house. That you won’t run the risk of the police telling you off if you go out for the day and stop to have a sandwich at lunchtime.

Now, I am an optimist. The way we’re going with vaccines and things, it feels very unlikely that we’ll be in lockdown over the summer. But what the world looks like then, well that’s another question. Some friends of mine are about to have their first baby. One of them has been a companion on many a walk I’ve done. It would be great to do one “last” walking trip with them before the baby arrives. The baby’s due in August. But will we actually be able to do an overnight stay with someone from outside our own household by June or early July? I’m not feeling confident at all.

I am not even sure how much annual leave I’ll need to use for school holidays. Assumptions about who may be able to have the children during the holidays may not be applicable this year. I’m currently hoarding annual leave like mad, just in case I need it.

I want 2021 to be a year I can get out and do some good walks. There’s a good chance I may even be able to escape to the Lake District for at least a weekend or two at some point. Maybe even get to Black Sail Hut like I wanted to do last year. But right now, I can’t think beyond the logistics.

There’s an argument that the circumstances mean it’s sensible not to plan. That if the current situation has taught us anything, it’s that things can change fast. If you don’t get your hopes up, you won’t be be disappointed.

2022 on the other hand, well that’s a whole different ballgame.

Your Comments

Vic Flange

21 February 2021 at 3:16 pm

“But will we actually be able to do an overnight stay with someone from outside our own household by June or early July?”

Can you persuade your friend to camp too? It was good to see you dig out your Laser Competition tent at Buttermere. I can’t recall you camping for many years previously.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

25 February 2021 at 3:49 pm

Yeah, the tent was last used in 2012! I’ve been meaning to dust it off for many years. Not sure my friend will be up for it – although perhaps if I can get him a tent he can borrow…

Your Comments