The bushcrafter’s garden 


It’s not something I’m great at but I am interested in getting better and learning. 

Our new garden is bigger than the last and with a veg patch and greenhouse I could really grow some stuff 🙂

Before that though I wanted to get some flowers in and something for the birds 

Flint on the other hand has other priorities. Let’s play a game of spot the bushcraft… 

Here’s our messy, not yet organised greenhouse and in it we have a large deer skin drying in a frame, 

Some rabbit skins I think

Some bits of bark – that’s the limit to my knowledge!  

And some kind of herb or plant hanging out to dry

These little discoveries led me to look around the garden for other signs of a man addicted to bushcraft. 

Such as this huge pile of Flint rocks and homemade seat

And these coils of bark

I also found this little bushcraft addict sitting processing string. I’m not sure what it is and I dare not ask!! 
Finally, in a tree by the brook our card box from the wedding turned into a bird house 🙂 

He certainly keeps things interesting and I haven’t even looked in the new workshop yet! 

Hungover foraging 

Bushcraft seeps into every part of our life, it’s official! 

Flint just can’t get enough of it and sometimes I think it’s really really great. For example, Flint made a really cool gift for the bride a groom at their beautiful wedding. He carved a spatula and spoon from sweet chestnut wood and pyrographied (if that’s a word?) their names and wedding date. A really thoughtful gift I thought 🙂 

Whilst at the wedding Flint was recruited for wood splitting for the fires and he made sure the party had plenty of fuel. A bus man’s holiday! 

It was a great day and night with lots of laughs and we are feeling pretty tired coming home. However he wasn’t too tired to make a quick bushcraft stop at the side of the road to pick up some long plants which I am reliably informed are rosebay willow herb. Apparently this makes cordage which of course is very exciting…

We are travelling in my car and I can’t say I’m all that impressed by the mess he’s made! 

1st job for him this afternoon needs to be cleaning my car! X

Men are from Mars 

Our honeymoon was always going to be about compromise as you may recall from ‘the bushcrafter’s honeymoon’. 

I love water and heights, always have. My ideas for the two weeks included both of these; 

Venice – the city on the water

A hot air balloon flight 

Plitvice national park and Krka national park

Natural thermal spa

A water park 

Swimming in the sea on Krk island 

Flint is a lover of mountains, forests and bushcraft so his plans included;

Via Ferrata in the Dolomites 

Visiting Otzi 

Hikes up mountains in both Croatia and Italy 

Walks in meadows and forests looking at plants and trees!! 

Each evening on our honeymoon we would look through any photos we had captured that day and it became really apparent from the pictures who was enjoying which activities! 

Flint with his arms folded and looking distracted on a water ride compared to me absolutely loving it! 

Me sunbathing and loving the sunny weather and water at the thermal spa. Flint in the distance napping in the shade! 

Me enjoying some gelato in the sun, Flint desperate to climb something! 

Flint splitting wood and me drinking wine watching our food cook! 

Flint legging it down hill like a mountain goat and me very ungracefully slipping and tripping over each rock and being described by my loving husband as a constipated penguin due to the way I walk! 

Like I’ve said before, it’s all about compromise 🙂 x

Meeting Otzi 

Now you know about our little link to Otzi you will understand why I was more than happy to accommodate the romantic rendezvous to Bolzano Museum of Archaeology. 

Flint was so blooming excited, I swear he dressed smarter for Otzi than for me on our evening meals out! He has been aware of Otzi since about 2003 whilst studying in the Lake District and always wanted to visit. 

Friday 24th June 2016 was the day Flint would finally meet Otzi! 

He almost ran up those stairs! 

I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did but it was really cool. I found myself understanding a lot about what I was seeing because there were so many crafts that I have seen (and smelled) Flint doing at home! Birch bark containers, natural cordage, bows and arrows, hides, animal furs, bone and Flint arrows – loads. 

You aren’t allowed to take photos inside apart from delegated areas like this one of Otzi as they believe he would have looked back then.

I had a go at cordage making in the kid’s area but I was rubbish! Look at my pretty wedding nails though 🙂 

I find it amazing that this man died (well he was murdered actually) up in the mountains about 5,600 years ago and had no idea that people the world over would be studying him all these years later. It’s very cool and I can see why Flint was so keen to visit the museum. There is so much knowledge to be gained from this man right down to what he ate, how he made his clothes, what his health was like etc. I had no idea you could learn so much this many years later – incredible! 

So all in all, it may not have been romantic in most people’s eyes but for us as a couple it was sentimental and for Flint it was a collection of his loves and interests. He took so many notes and little drawings. The 24th of June was the day of fulfilling long standing ambitions…. 

A honeymoon with Otzi the ice man 

On our recent honeymoon we enjoyed lots of activities, some my choice, some his and some both of ours. 

One of Flint’s choices was to visit the Bolzano Museum of Archaeology and observe Otzi the ice man whose body was found preserved in the Italian Dolomites back in 1991. It may sound like an odd thing to do on a honeymoon and you can be forgiven for thinking I wouldnt want to go. 

What you didn’t know is that our relationship has an odd link with Otzi from back in 2012 when Flint first visited me in my flat. It was the night of the pigeon and we were still getting to know each other.

By this point I definitely knew he was different and had unusual interests as well as loving the outdoors. I hadn’t really spent a lot of time in the mountains, Flint however coming from the Lake District lived and breathed them! Would we have enough in common? 

It’s funny how lives can correlate. I had this weird morbid fascination with crime and also with mountain disasters. I’ve always read criminal non fiction and enjoy reading about murders (odd I know). In addition I have always read things like ‘into thin air’, ‘touching the void’ and ‘miracle in the Andes’ – anything non-fiction about death/danger. My mum knowing this about me had found a slightly odd book at a car boot a few years before called ‘the man in the ice’ and had given me it to read, which I had. 

On this April evening there it was sat on a bookshelf in my flat amongst my other book loves, many by Jodi Piccoult. Flint was scanning the titles with a look of disappointment and boredom at what a wet flannel this girl was. Then suddenly his eyes lit up like a small child’s at Xmas or Tilly’s when she hears the fridge open. 

‘Oh my god, out of all the books in the world you could have on your bookshelf I cannot believe you have this!’ He said grasping the tatty old thing with wide open eyes and a massive grin!

I think that might have been our forever moment or was it a few months later when he had me sifting wood ash for animal skins after camping in the rainy Lake District?!