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Andy Muse
Writing From Wales And Beyond!
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Welcome

  • Yes, I'm a writer and model and mountain guide. I write personal pieces, personal poetry and political commentary from an anti authoritarian stance. I guide people on walks in the mountain and I stand naked in front of others as the most employed life model in the UK!

Recent posts

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Andy Muse
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We delivered walks Wednesday through to Monday in glorious weather and with wonderful people :) You can see the photos from those seven events at the gallery section of our very own social media site - https://community.walesoutdoors.co.uk- some are coming soon :)

It's oh so good to be back!

This weekend, once again, we have a blinder of a programme for you!

Book Here - https://www.walesoutdoors.co.uk/adventures/day-walks/

This Saturday!
10am South Gower Exploration

10am Mountain Navigation Training

6pm Sunset on Pen y Fan

This Sunday!
9am Andy's Amazing Four Waterfalls

10am Foraging And Batman's Falls - Last Tickets!

10am Bosherston Lilly Ponds and Broad Haven

1pm Andy's Amazing Four Waterfalls

Did you know we have a classroom? Check it out!

Whatever happens now we will not stop delivering our educational and socially distanced programme of walking in the great outdoors in Wales and beyond for any new directive from the Welsh or UK National Governments. 'Your' and 'our' physical and mental health is more important than complying with 'their' posturing.

Remember - SAGE have said that there has been NO CASE anywhere in the world of a human contracting Covid 19 in a group situation on a beach. We think that is the same for the hills too.

Remember - your chance of contracting Covid 19 from someone YOU LIVE WITH is only 36%

Remember - the R number is currently well under 1

Remember - the death rate is currently and has been for several weeks lower than the normal seasonal average

Wales Outdoors will never ask you for a vaccine passport or any Coronavirus test result.

Want to chat with Andy about any of this? We have Wales Indoors you know :) https://walesindoors.co.uk

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Andy Muse

Sent to Cardiff CouncilDid you read my emails Deborah?I know the works are completed on the Ely T...

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Andy Muse
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Realism has been the dominant theory in international relations since the realist victory in the ‘first debate’. There is discussion as to whether the various strands of realist ideology can be viewed as a single theory, but there are some generally accepted tenets that all realists subscribe to. Realism sees the international community as residing in anarchy, affirms that the state is ‘the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory’ (Smith, 1986, 23). Realism asserts that ‘a nation’s survival is its first and ultimate responsibility’ (Kissinger, 1977) and also that ‘security can therefore only be realised through self-help’ (Baylis, Smith, Owens, 2008, 102). Furthermore, realism depicts international relations as they are rather than attempting to work towards what realists see as an unattainable utopia.

There are many theoretical approaches to international relations that challenge these assertions. The historical opponent and still the most widespread is liberalism which aims to deliver liberty, justice and order to international relations through the influence of both domestic and international organisations. The failure of realism to predict the end of the cold war and the break-up of the Soviet Union saw resurgence in liberal policy. President Clinton’s administrations response to the conflict in Kosovo, seen as a humanitarian intervention, is an example of such liberal policy. However, it is in feminism that we find the most comprehensive emancipatory agenda and an ideology that enables a reinterpretation of domestic and international power structures.   

Feminism asserts that realism is a flawed masculine theory being both the describer of and advocate for a states need of power, for security, in the anarchic international system. Through the use of language, cultural constraints and the systemic feminising of groups within society, international relations are entrenched in realisms masculinity. It is through gender analysis, gender being a socially constructed set of characteristics that define human activity, that feminism offers an approach to international relations that redefines current gender roles and offers alternatives that empower individuals and enable feminised groups to participate in global affairs.

For realism then, ‘the people who “people” IR are statesmen and soldiers, that is, political leaders of powerful states and the armies they command’. (Amico, 2004, 3) Feminists argue that liberalism does not address society’s inherent discrimination and the male hierarchies that dominate international relations, that liberal’s simply add representatives from government organisations and multinationals to the statesmen and soldiers of realism. This then, given the general acceptance of feminised groups and male hierarchical systems, inevitably leads to the majority of the world’s population being excluded from participation in global affairs.

It is also well argued that the liberal capitalist economy relies upon these inequalities of opportunity and the oppression of minorities and women. This is starkly evidenced by the following statistic: the richest 20per cent of the world’s population holds three-quarters of the income, the poorest 20 per cent receive only 1.5per cent. (Baylis, Smith, Owens, 2008, 117). Women are surely at the bottom of both of these income groups.       

The might is right assertion of realism is challenged by feminism through examining gender. Feminists look at gender roles, such as women as homemakers and men as labourers, seeking to deconstruct such entrenched labelling. This redefining of individual’s roles within society allows for equality of opportunity, empowerment and a new political language. Feminism looks also at other power in-balances, the feminised groups, such as ethnicity, religious conviction or sexual orientation. This emancipatory approach has had an increasing impact upon international relations as evidenced by women’s programmes initiated by both the World Bank (women’s empowerment), the United Nations (gender issues in participation) and grass roots movements (the green belt movement).                                                                                

To imagine the interaction of states structured not through a masculine hierarchy which promotes self interest through economic and military strength, but through a structure that is inclusive of all voices within society is to imagine a safer and more secure international landscape. Where there are groups within society that are victimised, excluded from the political process or discriminated against and where there is such global inequality of resource distribution, inherent consequences of both realism and liberalism, there will be conflict.  

Feminist theory affirms that the concepts of war, of power and of security in international relations are masculine in nature and it is this masculinity that assists the path to conflict rather than to negotiated settlements. If we are to look away from the realist’s acceptance of war and towards a future where conflict resolution is by negotiation and not by force, then the imagery and language of politics and warfare needs to be emasculated. For example: the male dominated hierarchies in the military use masculine imagery such as ‘vertical erector launchers, thrust to weight ratios, soft lay downs, deep penetration’ and ‘releasing 70 to 80 percent of our megatonnage in one orgasmic whump’. (Cohn, 1987).  Given the male gender role of protection through the exercising of power the sexualised terminology appears to encourage the use of force. This can be further evidenced by weapons names such as peacekeeper or patriot and descriptions of the use of force such as clean strike.  By deconstructing such language, across the political spectrum, feminists argue that international relations will begin to focus on an inclusive and peaceful security. Perhaps the dangerously unfair position of women and feminised groups in a 21st century world can be starkly highlighted by this short quote: ‘I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries of following their men, now walk ahead. He said there were many unexploded land mines since the war’. (Mueller)    

Realism has failed to imagine a safer global future and liberalism to find a fair structure that enables an equitable distribution of power. Feminism offers a deconstruction of the power hierarchy within state systems, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and multi-national companies. This emancipation of women and feminised groups, this demolishing of the structures that facilitate economic and power discrimination offers the chance for positive change in international politics. 

REFERENCES

Baylis, Smith, Owens (2008) The globalization of world politics, 4th edn , Oxford, Oxford University Press

Cohn, C (1987) Sex and death in the rational world of defense intellectuals, Signs, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, Vol. 12, No. 4, 693

D’Amico, F. (2004) Resurgent (Sur)Realism – A critical feminist challenge, Syracuse, Syracuse University

Kissinger, H (1977) American Foreign Policy, 3rd edn, New York, W. W. Norton

Meuller, R, Quotes, Litera, http://www.litera.co.uk/t/MTkzMjQ/ (Accessed 2/11/08)

Smith, M. (1986) Realist thought from Weber to Kissinger, Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press

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Andy Muse

As an old socialist my knee jerk is to be wholly in favour of Universal Basic Income, that minimu...

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Andy Muse
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What was on the front page of WalesOnline on Saturday?

https://www.cardifflifemodel.co.uk/in-the-news/what-its-like-to-be-a-life-model-and-pose-nude-for-strangers/

Yes, my business Cardiff Life Model Collective has been in the nude news again! And what a great article!

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Andy Muse

If you spot a mistake you get a free session of drawing! Yes, , I'm working through my business' ...

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Andy Muse

First person to subscribe with either a Gratitude or a Personal level post will receive a signed ...

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Andy Muse

A round up of my weeks commentary without any new stuff. It’s my day off 🙂JANUARY 25TH – WHAT IS ...

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Andy Muse

A round up of my weeks commentary without any new stuff. It’s my day off

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Andy Muse
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Wales Outdoors Goes Indoors!

Every Thursday we host a 40 minute zoom for those who want to get out for walks with us or who are interested in the great outdoors that Wales has to offer. The original idea was to maintain friendships and client contact but this has grown into a rather lovely weekly catch up and series of chats across a wide subject range. Last week we chatted about ghosts and specifically our personal stories of contact with the ethereal. 

This Thursday we will be adding some meat to the bones of The Wales Outdoors Classroom which is the Wales Outdoors response to lockdown and to enabling you to be out and about with us even in a Tier Three or below restriction. 

Every walk is now education and we have a structured plan for you to follow and to become a mountain superstar or even one of our guided walk leaders!Anyways, each Wales Indoors Zoom is different and there is always some space for some general chat too :)
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Andy Muse
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IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT

It's day one of my 365 Day project to comment on current affairs and to put the world to rights.

You can read todays post at Andrew John Lamb

Of course it's kinda dark and all about covid but hey, I'll be writing about other stuff too... It just had to be done on day one :) 

Thank you for being here with me and for sharing in this journey which will hopefully turn into some kind of book in 2022. 


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Andy Muse

BATSHIT BONKERS BRITAINIt’s a more often than not thing that I find myself aligning with the righ...

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Andy Muse
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Bonus Monday Moan time. We’re calling it The Monday Moans!
Are The English Coming?
Of course I thought that when the English were released from their four week national lockdown that they would be ‘allowed’ to cross the border into Wales and that those living in Wales would be able to cross the border into England. It seems this is not the case. 

Sorry to the English for my assumption they were free to enjoy the countryside of Wales or to visit relatives over the border. Sorry to the Welsh for suggesting that their business’ might once again benefit from visitors from England or that they might be able to cross the border to enjoy the sights of the English countryside whilst catching up with friends or relations. 

Restrictions NOT Necessary!
I and many others have had just about enough of these fatal and NOT based on science rules. To read my full article detailing the ACTUAl and indisputable FACTS (the governments own statistics which the governments continually ignore) about covid go here https://www.walesoutdoors.co.uk/walks/the-english-are-coming/ but here is a short reminder:

  • Flu is currently killing more people than covid
  • Only 13 per cent of NHS beds are occupied by patients with Covid-19
  • The number of NHS England beds currently occupied is lower than last year’s average
  • Critical care bed occupancy remain lower than the past five year average
  • Nightingale hospitals were never more than 1.23% full
  • The R number is likely 1 and the trend appears to be down
  • Deaths are very close to the average death rate for this time of the year
  • 1% of the population is thought to be infected
  • Testing is woefully inaccurate and leads to quarantining many who do not have the virus
I am not prepared to live in a prison planet and will be doing just what I choose to do. In the main that will be complying with the rules but if there is reason to be outside of such then so be it. I’ll take the consequences.

English… Please Come And Learn New Skills 
I will also be happy to welcome any walker willing to get out in the great outdoors with Wales Outdoors. 

‘All of the Wales Outdoors walks are now rich in educational content. We will be walking with the intent to pass on mountain navigation or bushcraft and foraging skills or discussing and practicing mountain first aid or the telling of local histories or a combination of all and or other leader skills. A range of course notes for all educational outcomes will be available and in six months time I will be issuing digital certificates and badges to those who have attended and expressed interest. I have gathered the courses under the banner ‘Wales Outdoors Classroom’ and this classroom will be available to browse as a virtual space embedded within the Wales Outdoors website. 

Travelling from England to Wales and from Wales to England to take part in education is a valid reason, as outlined by the Welsh Government, to cross the border. So, why not travel for a walk with Wales Outdoors and build a portfolio of mountain craft skills evidenced by Wales Outdoors Classroom. 

Full details fo the Wales Outdoors Classroom courses will be published at the Wales Outdoors website in due course.

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Andy Muse

Yes, the Welsh Assembly have changed the rules and regulations yet again and the changes once aga...

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Andy Muse

For When It's Raining! Wales Outdoors Goes Indoors. . . Given the on-going Covid 19 crisis we hav...

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Andy Muse

COMING SOON. . . Wales Indoors! Yes, I've stolen the idea from 'The Adventure Women', some of you...

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Andy Muse
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It's been in the air for some time but it looks as though Wales is going into a full lockdown sometime soon.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-54527400

This despite all evidence that no lockdown or restriction on movement has ANY effect on the rate of spread of virus.

You know, it's obvious now that we are in a period of control by 'Little Hitler's' that is unprecedented. But where will this all end? I am convinced there is something else at play and of course the conspiracy world is behind that. But more people, many of whom have never been anywhere near a conspiracy in the past, are asking questions and drawing similar conclusions. All because the action of the governments are making no sense.

I'll say again either all governments are 100% incompetent, nay, wilfully damaging their economies and so the lives and livelihoods of their populations OR there is something sinister we are not being told about that is operating in the shadows. I see no room for any middle ground. It's as polarised as Brexit or the US elections. It's either one or the other and both, for the average Jo, are dire...

I'm not looking forward to another round of tweaking my calendar of events, of shifting events from 2020 to 2021 but rest assured Wales Outdoors will be working hard during lockdown and will come back in 2021 with a vibrant and exciting events programme. And we'll never ask you to wear a mask and will never track and trace you.

Your support at this time is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed.

Join Us! in our secret Covid Chat group - https://community.walesoutdoors.co.uk/group/covid-chat

Love
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Andy Muse

COVID 19, THE GOVERNMENT AND WALES OUTDOORS. . . WE ARE OPEN FOR WALKING! We will continue to del...

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Andy Muse

DISCOUNTED STUFFA list of stuff that Wales Outdoors have tried and tested and recommend and have ...

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Andy Muse

It looks as though the English Government have taken on the Welsh Ass's mantle and are now the ki...

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Andy Muse

I've been in France and enjoying a different French experience to the usual, but, not that differ...

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Andy Muse

What a weekend! Waterfalls! Ocean! Swims! Walks! And, in the main, the weather played ball too :)...

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Andy Muse

What a rather lovely but busy weekend. . . We delivered four walks, two half days back to back on...

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Andy Muse
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It was a fine weekend, two days of glorious walking in warm, nay, hot weather, bright sunshine and with rather lovely company. Not only did we deliver to great walks for the Wales Outdoors community we also spent the first night out in the camper van since lockdown. The views over the common towards the central Brecon Beacons were pretty much as expected... Stunning!

It's good to be back and we're glad to have you on board with us :) 

Until next weekend then and the shorter but action packed Waterfall Walk half days...
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Andy Muse
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Lockdown is ending. Wales is opening up. July 6th sees us able to travel, without recrimination, further than five miles from our front doors. And July 6th sees Wales Outdoors taking full advantage of this and delivering a 'free' walk to a small group of keen 'adventurists'.

I've left Instagram, I don't post very much directly to Facebook anymore, I've moved away from Vimeo and YouTube to self hosting our content. I've even sacked off Paypal and in doing that I've had to ditch Meetup and set up my own booking system and payment portal. I gave up on Twitter a few years ago.

I've done all of this because I decided it was time to make a stand. After having had run-ins with Facebook and Google and Airbnb and Instagram and after witnessing others being removed from platforms such as Twitter and Vimeo and Youtube I decided enough was very much enough.

But it's time consuming and it hurts and likely it is not good business sense. Hence, that's why I'm here... But, so are others... And I find myself in the same camp as evils such as Unilever and Verizon but also a bedfellow of fine outdoor companies such as Patagonia and Arc'teryx. About time and I'm glad the big guns have finally listened to me ;)

Facebook made BBC Radio 4 News this morning with a campaign by many to stop advertising on that platform. This campaign doesn't go far enough. Google need a dressing down too. In fact there needs to be a restructuring of the must have too big to fail internet resources and 100% in favour of the users. They can make or break a business, enhance or damage a life, win or loose an election... 

Anyways, this is a place for you to engage with Wales Outdoors, to support the work of pressuring tourism agencies and the adventure industry in Wales to do the right thing, to call out the inefficiencies and outright mismanagement by those agencies BUT also to celebrate the walks that Wales Outdoors deliver, the people we meet and befriend and of course to big up WALES!

Join Us!



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