Action Nan, aka Pat Smith and owner of Bosinver Farm Cottages, achieved widespread recognition across Cornwall and further afield during her 300 mile walk around the Cornish section of the South West Coast Path in April 2016. But even before she set off on her recent journey, Pat enjoyed many active adventures around Cornwall. Here Pat explains a little bit about Action Nan and how she came to be…
“Action Nan was suggested as a humorous, memorable name for me as I was undertaking my 300 mile charity walk around the Cornish coastline in 2016. It certainly achieved widespread recognition across Cornwall with press, social media and TV coverage helping me to raise over £8,000 for the RNLI Penlee Lifeboat and other RNLI teams around Cornwall.
Even before I set off on that journey I had enjoyed many active adventures around Cornwall , from sailing and kayaking to cycling and Nordic walking. My mission (and I have chosen to accept it) is to explore the many wonderful opportunities on and off the beaten track around Cornwall…….
So I think that is the Action part – now for the Nan…
I absolutely adore being a nan to my four grandchildren and they keep me active and curious too. We spend lots of time exploring and going on adventures in all weathers and I try to pass on the tales and stories I remember my mum and my nan telling me. I see it as my role in their lives and it’s an absolute pleasure.
I also feel really concerned about the threats to our natural environment, not only here in Cornwall but across the world – from the build up of discarded plastic in the oceans to the frightening decline in birds and insects and the loss of green spaces for children to play outside. To this end I try to teach my grandchildren and guests’ children to be aware of and experience the joy of nature, to connect with, know, and love it, then hopefully they will benefit hugely from that connection, then care for and look after it in the future.
Why did I come up with the idea of writing as Action Nan?
First of all I am always busy. My mind rarely rests and is always at work hatching some plan or other. Secondly, my body is pretty busy too. I plan to do some exercise every day – preferably outside, be it walking, riding my bike, Pilates or swimming. If I don’t, I feel miserable.
Thirdly, I did not consider my lifestyle to be anything other than normal until I realised that most of my good friends are 15 years younger than me and I can keep up with them, whilst my peers often comment that I wear them out just recounting my exploits! In fact, one good friend who I did a lot of sailing with said going away with me was like taking a dog. Wherever we landed, I had to be let out for exercise whilst she relaxed on deck with a G&T!
This is so true of me. I am almost childlike in my curiosity and I think it is an important attribute. I always like to look ’round the back’ of whatever is presented to me and find out more. Then the teacher (in a former life) in me wants to share that information with others as I believe knowledge is the key to greater understanding and leads to a richer life.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all my Action Nan adventures so far, and I’m excited about the ones yet to come. If you yearn to forage amongst wild plants, cook and eat your harvest over a wood fired barbecue, paddle your own canoe up the hidden Cornish creeks, watch Shakespeare being performed against a backdrop of ocean waves and starry skies, come with me and follow my blog. Better still, come to Bosinver and try it all for yourself with me as your guide!
Read Action Nan’s ideas for days out and adventures here. You can also follow @ActionNan on Twitter and @Action_Nan on Instagram