Who Am I?

Welcome to my blog. I  hope you’ll find something to spark your interest and leave you with a smile.  Describing myself in a few words is difficult and sure to lead people astray. I’ve never been a fan of labels so I’ll concentrate  instead on describing why I began this blog and what you may find on its pages.

Several years ago,  I realized I’d got into a rut and lost sight of the activities that gave me the most pleasure and helped me to relax. After living in quiet rural,  outback  and coastal areas of Australia for most of my life, I found the return to the chaos of city living a little insane.

To remedy this I set out to explore the south-east region of Queensland, Australia and where possible, have adventures further afield. Sometimes I go solo. Other times I manage to bribe long-suffering friends and relatives to share my experiences.

A ravenous devourer of blogs, I appreciate the humour,  inspiration, information and companionship provided by these writers whom I’ve never met, but often count as friends.  I thought it was about time to dabble in the scary world of public self-expression myself, partly as therapy for depression and partly to try and give back something. So you can blame these other bloggers for my coma-inducing ramblings!

What kind of blog is this?

I’ve created  this blog as an avenue for me to share the simple joys I get out of hiking. I gain a great deal of pleasure from nature and want to share this passion with others. Be warned though.  I love reading, art, history, science and cycling,  and am passionate about some social justice issues so I will probably sneak in a few random posts about topics other than walking.

What’s not in this blog?

You’re not likely to find reviews of expensive hiking, cycling or camping gear here as I simply haven’t used it.  One day I just headed out with what I had –  a no-brand school backpack, a borrowed camera and a $17 (leaky) tent. Sometimes that’s what you’ve got to do otherwise it will never happen. You can wait forever for that perfect time. There are plenty of  adventure blogs out there to satisfy the needs of gear junkies so I’ll leave that to the professionals.

Why “Mildly Extreme”?

In my “normal” life,  l live quietly and have responsibilities but every now and then I get the chance to go a little crazy. Usually I am a prolific list-maker – a dedicated planner – but sometimes spontaneity and risk are the way to go. In fact, they’ve provided me with some of my best memories.

My outdoor adventures are often made more interesting by my propensity for getting slightly lost. Along with other family members, I seem to have inherited a slight lack of directional sense. If I am not actually taking wrong turns, I am wondering whether I have made a wrong turn.  This happens more often when I am driving though, so the initial act of making it to my hiking destination can be a challenge in itself. Of course, if I ever upgrade to a better phone, using navigational apps could solve these problems. That will involve me actually learning to use them though which is another challenge, given that I am a bit of a technophobe.  So for the moment, I will continue to be an old-school hiker…and take regular “detours”.

Thanks for surviving this long winded “about” section. Feel free to drop me a line through the contact page if public comments aren’t your thing. Thank you to all those bloggers out there who provide us with many hours of entertainment, advice and comfort usually without any financial return.

Mildly Extreme Jane

Jane

68 thoughts on “Who Am I?

    • Thank you for your kind welcome, Dayna! I am really not experienced at this whole blogging thing and I am certainly more comfortable outdoors than in front of a computer screen but I will give it a good go. 🙂

  1. Good on you Jane for your lovely blog. I too am fairly new to the blogging world, but find it just as rewarding as you describe. It’s a great way to ‘talk’ to complete strangers, whilst sharing a piece of who you are and what you love. Look forward to hearing from you more 🙂 Leah

    • Thanks, Leah! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement. I enjoyed having a look at your own blog and look forward to reading future posts. I am sure I will gain lots of handy tips and ideas, especially about places to hike in your area. 🙂

  2. Jane, hello! I’ve just finished reading your second-last post about your walk in Springbrook, which prompted me to seek out your About page. Who is this woman, who, like me – has a parasite phobia? My biggest fear in anticipation of the PCT next year is not bears, snakes (pfffft) or mountain lions, oh no no no, it’s ticks. Or anything that may want to bury any part of itself in me and continue to live. I used to live near Springbrook, and a while after I’d returned to Melbourne I did a solo visit back up north, walking in Springbrook and Tambourine. Love your blog. Cheers, Jenni

    • Hi Jenni! Yes, it’s more so the little things that disturb me, like parasitic worms and ticks! Snakes are ok, climbing cliffs are not too bad, but ticks….argh! It’s really more the parasitic ticks that I’m concerned about as they can make you quite sick and they are hard to find. We used to get enormous kangaroo and cattle ticks out west that were yukky but not really dangerous. I can tell you that the athlete ice spray method works really well to stop them moving so you can pull them out without them wriggling. I put a link to a really useful tick information pdf on my story A Tale of Ticks and Other Terrors which might help you. 🙂

      You used to live near Springbrook? It’s a beautiful area. I’m keen to move south too though as I find the heat and humidity hard to deal with here.

      I’d love to do the PCT as well and have been checking out some of the other long walks in the US. Such beautiful hiking country there. Best wishes with that. Looks like a fantastic challenge! I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog. I love your humour and down to earth attitude. Thanks for the nice comments. Jane.

  3. Hi Jane! I just found your blog and already like what I see (and especially how you described just setting out one day with what you had: an old pair of shoes, a leaky tent. I think this is the best way to start anything: to simply begin). I walked the Camino de Santiago this summer and it was incredible. More of a really long walk than a hike, but something you might want to check out one day if you’re interested. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    • Hi Nadine! Thanks for your kind comments. I actually hope to do the Camino de Santiago one day with my daughter. I think it will be a wonderful experience. I do have some Spanish ancestry so as well as the long contemplative walk, I will enjoy checking out the culture. Yes, I find if I wait until I have everything perfectly planned, I never get around to doing it. Making a start even if it’s not so organised is better than never starting at all. Thanks for reading and for encouraging me. I hope you do continue to enjoy my blog as well as your own adventures. I will take a look at your own blog after replying here. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Daydream Believer | It Goes On

  5. I don’t have time to read every day. I will certainly drop in several times a week. You are a kindred spirit and I look forward to experiencing what you choose to share.

    • I’m pleased you had some time to take a look. I really enjoy your blog. Like you though, I don’t have time to read blogs daily but try to catch up on weekends or quiet nights. How kind you are to call me a kindred spirit. Thank you. I hope I can keep finding things to write about which are of interest to you. Best wishes. 🙂

      • I’m sure anything you write will be of interest. I started out with little gear to. My additions over the years are all safety related with a few comforts like a tent that doesn’t leak.
        You may want to consider learning how to use a compass. I don’t use all that fancy crap. Besides, fancy electronics will fail. I haven’t met a compass that broke yet.

        • Hi Jude,
          I actually did a little orienteering at school and learned to use a compass there and find it useful on walks. Usually I am not too bad at going off track on walks. I find my way back with the sun, landmarks and tracks. It is funny really as I sometimes walk with a relative who uses a GPS mapping system on his phone but we’ve been in situations where my old school hiking (tracks, sun etc) got us back on track because his signal was dodgy or incorrect. So I agree with you about the old methods being more reliable sometimes! Driving in the car is another matter for me though, particularly in the city. I am not sure I will ever get used to city driving. The main purchase I hope to make in the near future is a comfortable back pack as my cheap one doesn’t distribute the weight properly and is very hot in summer here. I am getting a bit old and my neck and back need a better set-up. Thanks again for your comments. Great to hear from you. 🙂

          • City driving GPS good thing. hiking not good. Example our big death here in the Presidential Range New Hampshire. An excellent climber died and was difficult to find as her gps was 2 miles off. There’s a lot more to the story. The moral is that these greast items should be considered extra back-up for survival, which is a great thing. I do it but know I can’t depend on anything but myself for help. My first rule of self-rescue is to know when not to go out.
            You don’t need to buy the most expensive backpack- just one that is comfortable and works for you. Bring with you what you will carry the most often for testing out the pack. Good luck!

    • Oh, thank you! That’s very kind of you to say. I appreciate it. I will enjoy looking through your blog when my Internet connection is a bit faster later on. 🙂

  6. A really nice blog, Jane! I’ll look forward to reading more. I love your photos. You are showing me some of Australia that I am familiar with (lived there for a while) but from new angles. Great!

      • Thanks! I am very much aware of the fact that where I walk is land that was lived on for many thousands of years by the Indigenous people of our country and was taken away from them by force. I also have Indigenous extended family and want to be respectful of them. 🙂

    • Thanks for following and commenting, David. It’s lovely to receive kind feedback. I’m following yours too now and know I will enjoy what you have to share. You seem to have the same views as me about finding nature in many places. Very appropriate name for your blog as well. Have a great week. 🙂

  7. Jane, thanks for following my blog, and here I see I’m in for a treat learning about your part of the world. I like a bit of outdoor adventure and smile at the term being ‘directionally challenged’. Ditto that!

    • Hi Liz,
      Thanks for commenting and following back! I love following nature bloggers from other parts of the world. There are many places I will probably never visit in person but at least I get to enjoy pictures and commentary. You’ve travelled a great deal! Looking forward to checking out your old and future posts. I noticed you wrote how much you enjoy macrophotography. So do I. 🙂

  8. You know, Jane, I had not read this earlier and I wish I had. There is so much in common between us and yet there is so much that is different. But it is all good 😀
    One should not look for too many things in common after all. That would not just be boring, but extremely embarrassing and irritating as well a short while later.
    But I am really glad I met you here. Thank you, for being. 🙂

  9. Funnily enough Jane I stumbled across your blog by sheer accident whilst Googling images regarding the Warrie Circuit. As a keen walker myself I fully appreciate and know where you’re coming from, it’s a pastime that does indeed get right under your skin.

    Your bush experience commentaries certainly have an ‘old world feel’ associated to them. References to Gerald Durrell in particular gave me flashbacks to my reading frenzied carefree youth, when countryside foraging for small animals and insects would captivate me no end. A time when I would return home to my mother’s disgust at times with my latest ‘new found friend’. Growing up with kept containers of captured newts to frogspawn, tortoises, mice and Guinea pigs was the norm (however the latter three were purchased with help of some sympathetic juvenile persuasion.😀)

    I do commend you on your photography. You have captured your bush friends in their natural environment so well.

    In particular of interest was the commentary of Mt Maroon in Rathdowny, having ascended to its peak and the arduous path upwards I could relate entirely. While the distance is relatively short compared to many in the region it is not to be taken likely, and yes the summit view is well worth the effort it takesto get there. At the time of visiting there was a myriad of butterflies and flies hovering everywhere with one lone sentinel blue tongue lizard quietly nestled on the rocky crag pile. All was still and quiet cept for the breeze moved scrub. It was an experience.

    • Hello David,
      Thank you for sharing your own wonderful experiences from childhood and also your love of bushwalking! It is always a pleasure to hear from other people who share similar passions. I was interested and pleased to read your words about my commentaries having an old world feel to them. I actually hope to impart some of the delights from the past that I experienced from reading certain authors and also from watching documentaries. It was a simpler time back then. For many children in “modern” countries, electronic entertainment has replaced the joys of playing outdoors, reading and using one’s imagination.
      Thank you for your kind words about my photography. It is most encouraging. I’m not very good at the technical side of things but i do enjoy making memories with the camera.
      I enjoyed reading about your experiences of Mt Maroon. I hope to go back again one day and attempt to reach the summit. There were few insects about on the blustery day I went there and it was quite chilly. I expect there will more wildlife on a warm, spring day. I’m glad you enjoyed the experience. As you said, it’s not a long walk, but the gradient is a challenge.
      Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog.
      I hope you are able to do the Warrie Circuit. I recently returned to Springbrook National Park and did the Purlingbrook Falls, Natural Bridge, Twin Falls and part of the Warrie Circuit again. The Best of All Lookout has some wonderful Antarctic Beech trees and excellent views.
      I hope you will visit again and find something of interest in my blog.
      Best wishes! 🙂

  10. Thanks for following The Immortal Jukebox. I hope you enjoy the wide variety of music covered and find the writing entertaining. I usually post on a weekly basis. I welcome comments. If it has been a while since you last visited come on over and see what’s new on The Jukebox. Regards and good luck with all your projects. Thom

    • Hi Thom,
      Sorry I took so long to reply to this. It went to my spam box for some reason! Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. Great to hear from you, Best wishes. 🙂

  11. Hello Jane! I have been meaning to visit your blog for ages as we seem to follow a few other blogs in common and I always enjoy reading your comments. I have only had time to read your latest post and this ‘who am I’ post this time, but as I have loved reading them as much as I thought I would I will be ‘following’ you. I am sorry to read you have a flare-up of RA at the moment. I have RA too, but am fortunate to have been free of pain for a while, due no doubt to the drugs I am on. Your photographs are beautiful too. I wish I could take such lovely shots. Part of my problem is not having a good enough camera the other part is not being a good enough photographer! Best wishes, Clare.

    • Hi Clare! Thank you so much for following and commenting on my blog. It is lovely to receive such encouraging words. I have just had a read of one of your blog posts and am now following you too. I must disagree about your photography skills though as I think your pictures are wonderful. I have always wanted to visit your part of the world and perhaps I will get a chance to one day. I can see from your posts that we enjoy similar experiences, Clare, so I look forward to reading more from you and enjoying the lovely images from your region.
      Thank you for the kind words about the RA. I am glad you are pain free at present. My body doesn’t tolerate medication very well so I’ve been hesitant to go on RA drugs. I tend to get bad side effects, but sometimes there is no choice really as you would know. We have to prevent further damage to joints and organs.
      Have a lovely week! Best wishes, Jane. 🙂

      • Thank-you so much Jane. You are too kind about my photography efforts. With regard to RA. Well, there isn’t much comfort to be had as you know. It is so painful and debilitating but it’s not one of the ‘big’ diseases which encourage big money for research. I’ve had it since my mid twenties and I’m now nearly 57 so I’m used to it. I have many allergies so finding medication which suits me has been difficult and as I get older the medication has had to change anyway. I went into remission in 1993 after a pilgrimage to Walsingham in Norfolk. I believe it happened because of the pilgrimage but some people may think it came about because of other things. The RA came back again after the birth of my younger daughter 18 years ago. I was offered the drug Methotrexate 14 years ago and that took some time to get used to as its very powerful. I took it in tablet form for years but 3 years ago I started to inject myself once a week with it. Unpleasant but there were less side effects. I now use an injection pen (like the ones diabetics use) and it is this method that has brought about the new remission. There will always be side effects to any drug but we have to work out what is best for us. Some side effects I can’t bear and I’d rather have the painful joints. This surprises the specialists but they only consider one aspect of our lives. My wrists fused within weeks of me being diagnosed with RA in 1985 (I’d had symptoms for a few years already by then). Apparently nowadays if caught in time fused joints and swollen joints can be prevented. This amazes me. All I was given to start with was aspirin. The medical profession is much more approachable now than then and I am sure you could discuss with them what you could cope with and what you couldn’t and they would treat you with respect. Best wishes to you too, Clare 🙂

        • I’d never heard about the injection pen, Clare. That sounds like a better way to administer the drug. My aunt has to visit a specialist 2 hours drive away for regular transfusions of the drug. Thanks for all the info. I am so sorry that your wrists fused and you started having RA at such a young age. I hope you continue to stay in remission! 🙂

          • Thank-you Jane – so do I! It’s always a disappointment when the pain comes back but maybe with this newer drug the chances of it being as bad as before are less – perhaps? 😉

    • Thanks for those kind words, Charley. I think a lot of people can probably relate to getting “stuck” and needing to get out and escape in nature for some mental and physical relief. I wish you well with your blog. It’s looking great so far. Have fun “up there.” 😀

  12. Hi Jane–I “found you” via your comments on Paula Peeters wonderful blog . . . and I’m looking forward to following your artful images and words too. (And . . . I’m now also following some of the commenters to your site . . . it’s encouraging to find so many “happy wanderers” out there.)

    Happy trails!

    Thea

    • Hi Thea,
      Thanks very much for the follow and also for your comments. It is always great to hear from new people out there who also have a passion for wandering and nature. I just checked out your blog and am following now. I’m very impressed by your “barefootedness.” I’d love to be able to do that here but unfortunately I’ve got too much joint damage and we have a lot of highly venomous snakes in the bush. I do find it so much easier to “climb” rock surfaces without shoes and am looking at getting some kind of soft, flexible climbing shoes. I’ve wondered about those sock/shoe things that look like foot “gloves.” Anyway, I’m very interested in reading your stories and hope to get some tips.
      Happy walking to you too!
      Jane

    • Thank you! It was lovely to discover your wonderful blog yesterday through the magic of the Internet. I hope you continue to enjoy your own travels and beautiful photography. 🙂

  13. Hi Jane… This is a fun intro. You sound like my kind of person. I started exploring the woods as soon as my legs could carry me there. And I’ve never stopped, having hiked in areas as diverse as the tropics and the arctic. I’ve hit the follow button and look forward to sharing in your adventures. –Curt

    • Hi Curt,
      Great to hear from you and thank you for the kind words and the follow. It sounds like you’ve had a great many of adventures in your life so far, probably many more than me! I hope you continue to enjoy your varied travels for many years to come and I look forward to reading about them. Best wishes! Jane

  14. Dear Jane,
    I am sorry for any inconvenience, but I have to nominate your blog (the foremost in my mind) for the Liebster Award. This is in appreciation of the funniest texts and best photos all around. However, in my blog in Danish (don’t know if it is translates) I debate back and forth about nominations such as this one. It takes time/work and is it to be taken serious, is it a worthy cause? You are certainly not obliged to ponder about it or accept nomination. But I wanted to link to your site to promote it.
    Post with and about nomination:
    https://marinaaagaardblog.com/2016/09/13/marina-aagaard-blog-liebster-award-nominering/
    Sincerely
    Marina 😮

    • Dear Marina,
      You don’t need to apologise for nominating my blog. I am very pleased that you found it worthy of consideration. It is a great compliment to me. Thank you very much for the honour. Like you I am nervous about these awards. I really hope you won’t be offended if I don’t accept it though. I appreciate the nomination but I think it would be impossible for me to pick a blog to nominate. I follow so many lovely bloggers and they are all special in their own way and have been very kind to support my blog. I feel like I might offend someone by picking just one. Thank you so much though for thinking of me. You are very kind, Marina, and I hope you will understand why I find it difficult to accept the nomination.
      With very best wishes to you. x

    • Hi Thom!
      Thanks very much for visiting my blog and commenting. I’ll be publishing a blog post about Ravensbourne National Park in the near future. It’s the one that will have a quote from your blog post about immortal thoughts and the connection with music. I’m still trying to edit the pictures from my walks there. I took way too many! It was a wonderful trip. Thanks very much for allowing me the use of your words. They were perfect. Best wishes, Jane. 🙂

  15. Hi Jane,
    I look forward to exploring your blog. I am very much into nature and hiking too, and since moving to New York, I miss the beauty of the Australian outback and bush. I think through your blog I will be able to get my fix of Australia.
    Kind regards,
    Laura

    • Hi Laura,
      I do apologise for my lateness in replying. Thank you very much for reading, following and commenting on my blog. New York is certainly very different to Australia. I hope you’ll be able to find some nature escapes somewhere in your environment to relax. In the meantime I am pleased that you feel my blog will help you have a fix of Australia. I’m sure I would miss it too if I moved overseas. When I get a chance I will explore your blog as well. Thanks and very best wishes, Jane. 🙂

      • Hi Jane,
        No apologies necessary, thank you for your reply. I look forward to exploring your blog, as I’m sure I will get some Aussie travel inspiration from your posts. Hope you had a great weekend,
        Cheers, Laura

  16. You have a wonderful blog here, Jane, and I find it very inspiring. Great to read about what bought you out into the world of blogging. Kind of similar to my own. Best wishes, and I will look forward to following your blog! 🙂

    • Thank you very much for those kind words, Pete. I really appreciate the encouragement and support. I’ve had quite a busy 18 months with personal and work issues so the blog has taken a back seat. I still hope to share the occasional post though. I’ve also looked at your about page and it’s obvious you share a fascination with the natural world too. You have a wonderful blog which gives great pleasure to others, I am sure. I also look forward to exploring it further when life settles here a little more. 🙂

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