Inspiration: Moira and Steve

Inspiration: Moira and Steve

“Neither of us can imagine a day where we aren’t strapping on our boots or throwing on our waterproofs and getting out with the dogs!”

Moira and Steve Forsyth, from Dumfries and Galloway, live in an old lodge shared with three rescue dogs and two rescue pigs. Here they share why walking in the outdoors is so important to them.   Steve Moira Beach and Camping Hey Moira and Steve, tell everybody where you’re based and what you do!

We are Moira and Steve Forsyth. Moira is a Specialist for Scottish Enterprise and part time Yoga Teacher and Ayurveda Therapist. Steve is a recently retired Primary Teacher and we have been living in Dumfries and Galloway for over 25 years now. Oh my lord! We are becoming pensioners! How did that happen???

How long has the outdoors been a part of your life?

As a couple we bought our first two-man tent when we first got together in 1984 which we threw into the back of our rusty wee Ford and headed for the coast and hills. As we grew our family and moved to Dumfries & Galloway and bought an old run-down lodge with a big garden, the outdoors became our every day. Once the kids grew up and we got too stiff to sleep in a tent we upgraded to a 24-year-old camper van. But we have now changed to a more modern and reliable van which we use as our car and you can find us regularly tootling about the country with our dogs having adventures….

What’s been your favourite trip or adventure?

All our holidays were camping trips when the family were young – just throw everything into the people carrier and off we go. The most memorable trip was to Ireland. Before we got on the ferry two rutting deer dented the car, and as we drove through the Wicklow Mountains people were tooting and waving at us which we thought was so sweet but turns out our roof box was open and we were spewing tennis rackets, frisbees, balls and all manner of stuff onto the road behind us. That same trip an ancient old couple had to help us put up our new tent which we hadn’t tried before we left home which mortified the kids and then our youngest (who was only three) went missing on a beach site in Wexford causing mass panic and searches in the dunes, but he’d simply taken himself off to a tap to wash his sandy feet. We have had lots of adventures since then but these simple ones are the best memories, even if at the time they were a tad stressful! You don’t have to scale a mountain or do a bungee jump to have a memorable adventure.

How do you find a balance between being active and life’s other responsibilities such as work and family?

Steve once coined the phrase, “the family that plays together, stays together” which is pretty cool but not sure if he read it somewhere or made it up. We have actively made choices in our careers that gave us that work/life balance, moving to the South of Scotland, going part time, moving into teaching etc. so that we could balance work and family time as the kids grew up. We cut our cloth to suit as they say. Now we are at an age where play time is becoming more of a priority than work.  

Steve Moira Camper Van Is there anyone who inspired your love of the outdoors?

We have to both say Cameron McNeish. Not only does he have some great adventures and is taking a real political stance on access to the outdoors and the impact of increased tourism on our landscape, but we can now relate to a white-haired man tootling around Scotland in a van!

Do you find that spending time in the outdoors has a positive impact on your well being and mental health?

Err, yeah! No one can hear you scream at the top of a mountain! Neither of us can imagine a day where we aren’t strapping on our boots or throwing on our waterproofs and getting out with the dogs! We have just come back from a week in the Outer Hebrides where we got totally battered by the weather and couldn’t put the roof of the van up, but we still got out there and we absolutely loved it, because it makes us feel alive when you are that connected to nature. And our landscape and weather are what has inspired so many authors and artists in Scotland. Makes the times when it is dry so much more appreciated!

What is it about walking that you love?

Are we word-limited? Whether it’s climbing a hill, traipsing through a forest, or walking barefoot on a beach, it’s all good for the soul. The sense of space and stillness, the changing views, the appreciation of nature and general sense of freedom is a way of finding peace in our manic-digital-obsessed lives. And we don’t have to talk to each other……

When did you discover FINDRA?

We knew FINDRA before FINDRA was even FINDRA (good luck if you follow that!) Alex and I (Moira) go way back to when she first came into an innovation clinic and she described her ideal customer which I recognised as me – a grown woman who liked being outdoors but was fed up with looking like a man-boy in dull clothes. Totally knew she was on to a winner. Now Steve probably has more pieces of FINDRA clothing than I do and has stated that his retirement wardrobe will be more FINDRA than any other clothing line!   Steve Moira's Dogs

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Oh, we are very good at not taking anyone’s advice which is why we live in an old lodge we have practically re-built with our three rescue dogs and two rescue pigs.

How would you inspire our followers to get outdoors more?

Just do it. No excuses. We’re all just small expressions of nature and the five elements so if we don’t connect then that’s when we start to store up problems, physically and emotionally. And it doesn’t have to be about paddle boarding down the Ganges…. even just sitting in a park listening to the birds is enough. Although you would have to be wearing FINDRA for it to be a complete experience! Facebook: @Yoga with Moira  IG @yogawithmoira 


Favourite Book: Far From The Madding Crowd/The Mayor of Castorbridge by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy Books

We both love anything by Thomas Hardy, but Steve would say Mayor of Casterbridge, and I’d say Far from the Madding Crowd – his is about a man who sells his wife and daughter, mine is a romance. Enough said.

Favourite Recipe: Carbonara


Carbonara – not because it’s an iconic dish but it’s the only thing Steve can cook that’s usually edible so has become a family joke. My 5-year-old great niece was praised for eating a carbonara Steve had made on a camping trip recently and was asked by him if she liked it. “No, I didn’t, but I ate it cos I was really hungry!” Out of the mouth of babes…

Carbonara made easy… You need:

  • 200g pancetta lardons
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g spaghetti
  • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  • 35g parmesan, grated

To make:
  • Fry the pancetta in the oil over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until golden and crisp, then set aside.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes. Drain and return it to the pan, then add the eggs and stir so that the heat from the pasta cooks the egg. Mix in the cheese, the lardons and lots of black pepper, then serve.

Favourite Film: Field of Dreams

We both immediately said “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner. The whole “if you build it, they will come” quote still gets us to this day. Crazy, as a joiner once asked me to hide Steve’s tools as he’s useless at DIY and I couldn’t build anything to save myself so it’s probably not the best quote for us as a couple.

Favourite Music: Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Andy Williams

We were the first people to have their wedding reception in the People’s Palace in Glasgow Green cos it was cheap (at the time!) and we had very little money. Steve wore a brown suit, and everyone thought he was the hired hand, and my dress was made of curtain material by a friend, but it was a fabulous day. This was our first dance song which we still love to this day and I can see us still dancing to it when we are in the Care Home. I defy anyone not to sing along….

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