Rambles with Rhubarb

I’m at that odd point where I don’t know what to do with myself. I recently read an article about the need to do give yourself a break and to allow yourself to do nothing, always reminding me of Julia Roberts on the floor of her Italian home munching asparagus and a boiled egg in Eat, Pray, Love. I have no issue with being Julia.

But this contentment with nothing is not something easily found in our generation where we are always expected to do and to document what we have done to show the world that we are relevant. The matter is made even harder when you’ve recently finished studying Ammianus’ Res Gestae where one of the key points hammered home is that idleness and sloth lead to the decline of EVERYTHING good and sacred.

With my exams over, but a distinct lack of graduation and indication of what sort of degree I will receive (fingers and toes crossed for at least that 2:1 everyone demands) I go to sleep at night thinking that I will do x, y and z in the morning, but then wake up a little hazy about how to spend the day. With friends still at university or even already working and my Asian travels far off, it’s easy to feel a little lost and like my life compass is really letting me down. At this point Pocahontas’ compass would come in handy and a lesson in painting with all the colours of the wind. That sort of education was wasted on John Smith, who needed no new skills for his CV and did not have the worry of graduate schemes looming over his head.

Disney-graphics-pocahontas-709947‘Hooooow long must my CV grow?’

As you can tell I’m losing the plot a little.

Enter Rhubarb the Vizla, my primary care giver and friend at this odd time, with whom I have bonded during the many hours of the day that can slip past unfilled.


Together we have been exploring the urban jungle that is my home city of Bristol and just enjoying this special time when I can just walk and slip away from reality.


In the quiet of the woodland nestled between railway track, main road and a suburban refuge I find my mind drawn again to the stories lying in my imagination that have been neglected somewhat in recent years. My rambles with Rhubarb allow me to indulge the part of me that wants to withdraw from people, from technology and social media (I am fully aware of the irony of such a statement when writing for a website) and to indulge the part of me that loves to wander, take photos, get lost and craft fantastic tales in my head, even if my companion does draw me back to reality with a bang whenever she rolls in a steaming pile of badger shit.


Sometimes I think that Rhubarb and I could rival Bear Grylls with our urban survival instincts.

Emily Atkins

Born and bred in Bristol Emily is a girl with a love of the West country, but a niggling feeling that she needs to get out and see more of the world, starting with Scotland for university. When she's not writing, she's studying for her Classics degree, googling Mary Berry's latest recipes that inevitably she ruins on first attempt, and browsing the Lonely Planet dreaming of far away places to visit. Interested in everything from exercise and food, to literature and travel, she's always looking for new things to explore and learn.

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