Every day for the past week I have looked out my window at the garden and watched the dance of spring unfold. There is always something new to see. Another tree coming into leaf. Fresh blossom floating in the breeze. Birds that flit back and forth to their nests.

The two big larches, which have been a drab brown all winter, are slowly turning green. The daffodils and rogue Forsythia that has seeded just over the wall combine into a swaying sea of yellow. There is a smattering of purple grape hyacinth in the rockery.

These splashes of colour are much needed. The nigh-on, incessant rain and grey gloom of March - certainly here in the Central Belt - has felt soul-sapping at times.

The saying goes that “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. This month has felt more like lion, sea kraken, sloth, grumpy Komodo dragon, alligator snapping turtle, plague of locusts, polar bear, lion again.


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Generally, when the weather is a bit rubbish, my natural instinct is to hunker down and stay cosy. But what I have come to realise over time is that all it does is make me feel like I have brain atrophy. Instead, what I need is a spot of “type 2 fun” to blow away the cobwebs.

If you are not familiar with the term, “type 2 fun” is, according to the agreed definition, “miserable while it’s happening, but fun in retrospect”.

Unlike its better-known sibling, “type 1 fun” (also known simply as “fun”), “type 2 fun usually begins with the best intentions and then things get carried away.” Or in other words: it seemed like a good idea at the time.

It typically involves, although is not limited to, wet, cold, muddy, hot and uncomfortable conditions, accompanied with the bold proclamation it will “be an adventure”, “character-building” or “perfect material for the memoirs”.

If you ever did outdoor education as a kid, it is a bit like that. Cold plunging in an icy loch. Being eaten alive by midges on a camping trip. Hiking up a hill in horizontal rain. Getting lost in a forest while orienteering. Running across remote moorland and ending up knee-deep in a bog.

The premise - dubbed “the fun scale” - was coined by an Alaska-based geology professor and mountaineer called Rainer Newberry in 1985. It soon caught on and has since become ingrained in the lexicon of the adventure sports world.

When it comes to “type 2 fun”, often some form of “type 1 fun” - a nice meal, spectacular views, a pretty sunset or great company - is dangled as a carrot for partaking.


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Put simply, “type 1 fun” = eating a chocolate Easter egg, whereas “type 2 fun” = eating a chocolate Easter egg as you wearily rest your back against a trig point having ripped your trousers climbing over a stile, face-planted in a muddy puddle and crawled up a scree-covered incline on all fours.

There is also “type 3 fun” but that’s a whole different genre and not one for us mere mortals (think the recent Barkley Marathons where Midlothian ultrarunner Jasmin Paris became the first woman to complete the gruelling, 100-mile trail race in its almost 40-year history).

So why is “type 2 fun” worth trying? Because it is about stepping outside your comfort zone. Pushing through discomfort helps build resilience, boost self-confidence and, if all else fails, you get a funny anecdote to regale guests with at dinner parties in years to come.

The clocks go forward this weekend which means that from tomorrow, the lighter and brighter evenings are finally here. Plenty of scope for some “type 2 fun”.

Get out there and “enjoy” it.