Bushcraft Romance  

1 year married already…. where has that time gone? 

For our first wedding anniversary I set Flint a challenge because I always have to arrange everything; trips, days out, meals etc. So… we agreed some time off and a budget and then it was over to him. 

I was thinking he might book us a spa break or something luxury and when he told me to catch the train to Gloucester and meet him there I had no idea what to expect. 

He’d booked us a nice hotel and surprised me by having our dog Tilly with him (it’s ok the hotel allowed it at an extra charge) which was the best surprise ever! We spent some time in the pool and spa area and then had a nice dinner. So far, so good. 

Over our evening meal he revealed the plans for the next 2 days which were…. canoeing the River Wye and camping overnight. Luckily for Flint I was half expecting something outdoorsy and even luckier I was up for it! 

We had a good night’s rest and Tilly made the most of the King/queen size bed 


Our trip on the Wye was great, Tilly loved it 


and Flint even packed us some prosecco and smoked salmon to have on the river. I was truly impressed as we bobbed away eating, drinking (sensibly!) and chatting, feeling that my husband had done well. I then heard the beginning of what I thought was going to be a heart felt and romantic sentence on our one year wedding anniversary…

“For the rest of my life I want to…….study nature”

Haha what did I really expect?! 

We all know I wear the trousers…

Flint and I love skiing. We hadn’t been for a few years and we were so excited for some time in the Alps. 
Mountains and forests, what more could he want? 


And cheese, chocolate and vin chaud what more could I want?! 


Flint had something exciting planned for this trip, he’d made his own trousers out of buckskin and was planning to trial them on the slopes in advance of his upcoming trip to Sweden. 


He spent hours upon hours making them, scraping the skins, dressing them, softening them etc etc. Then came the patterns, the cutting and the sewing. At least we have kids I know he can make the Halloween and school play costumes! 

Bushcraft instead of Christmas 

Flint and I have always enjoyed Christmas and really he’s the one that made me love it. He always warms lots of mulled wine, and makes the Christmas cake for me to decorate (here is last year’s) 


We take an annual walk to collect foliage for our homemade wreath. Last year we did this as you can see below; 


We also choose the tree together and spend an evening decorating.  We tend to do the Christmas shopping together. 

This year was a little different….

Flint spent ALL of his time on bushcraft. He warmed mulled wine and lit fires and that’s about it. The rest of his time was spent mostly scraping skins (including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day). I’m so glad we had our kitchen done so that he could soak eggs in a bucket comfortably… 

I ended up making the wreath and had to buy the loop rather than having a home made willow one.


I think I did alright though? 


I also made and iced the cake 


We spent a lot of time in our cabin with Flint working on various projects and I got on with wrapping ALL the presents that I shopped for ALONE! 

I went and chose the tree and decorated it, then he put his home made snow shoes next to it 

Fortunately for Flint we had some trips booked to see family so he had to leave the skins for a day. We took our dog for a walk/basket ride (in a basket made from bark) because she had a bad leg. 

And he saved the day by secretly making me these sheepskin slippers with a fox fur ruff and reindeer antler buttons… 


Phew… He ‘scraped’ it by the skin of his teeth (no pun intended!) 

Next year it’s Flint’s turn to shop for, prepare, and cook Christmas dinner alone. Who knows what we will end up with. Venison I’d guess from all the skins about the place! 😜

Bushcraft at Xmas 

So far our Christmas has consisted of me doing all the present shopping and wrapping and Flint making things for his upcoming trip to Sweden. Such as;

  • Fox fur hat
  • Snow shoes mark 2
  • A canvas tent 
  • Tons of other stuff that gets him out of housework… 


We’ve been spending loads of time in our log cabin with the woodburner glowing and cups of tea from the fire. 


We love a good Xmas film and have been indulging in The Gruffalo’s Child tonight with Flint’s love of the woods and snow. 


Bloody annoying though listening to him pointing out that the fox’s prints had the wrong gait! Just shows that you can’t escape bushcraft! X

I’m a fire starter 

I haven’t blogged in ages, it’s mad really but things have been busy with House DIY and we definitely aren’t done yet. Today, however I was chatting to a colleague and we got onto the subject of fires. We both have woodburners and he asked if we have used ours yet. Well flint and I love a fire and so does Tilly so yes we’ve had a few! 

My colleague said he was going to have one yesterday but realised they didn’t have any fire lighters so they didn’t. I was outraged! ‘You don’t need firelighters’ I squealed and started chatting about the use of candles or cotton wool and Vaseline. I then talked about little twigs and then slightly bigger bits of wood until you gradually build up to logs. 

Suddenly I caught myself and realised what I was saying. Oh wow I’m giving someone tips on lighting a fire. 

WHAT HAS HAPPENED?!! 

Here’s my little step by step on how.

On the right is a bunch of thin pieces of wood which I split with an axe from the larger wood on the left.


I then added a small piece of scrunched up paper and a couple of thick branch bits from the garden which have been dead a while and are now dry.


I set the fire first with the paper and then propped up the thinnest pieces of wood around it 

I then set the paper alight with a match and gradually stacked the other bits of wood around the flames being careful not to crush them

 I kept doing this and added thicker pieces before putting the branches bits on top once it had gained some energy. 

 

Finally I added some small logs and shut the doors to the woodburner to control the air flow 


I’m sure there are better ways and I’m happy to hear them of course but essentially I lit a fire and it worked first time and we are now warm and snug so I’m happy 🙂 



I am definitely The Bushcrafter’s Wife and it’s great 🙂 nothing beats coming home to an empty house on a cold November evening and being able to light my own fire for Tilly and I xxx

What he wanted to get married in….

Now I consider myself to be quite a patient and understanding wife to the lovely Flint and I think anyone who knows us (or reads this blog) will agree with that!

However, even I have limits.

Early discussions with Flint about his wedding attire were, shall we say ‘difficult’

He’s not exactly into his fashion or clothing and would happily wear the same clothes for days if it wasn’t for my nagging!

I tried to make it clear from the start that this was the one day I’d like him to look smart 🙂 he accepted this but really wanted to wear a buckskin shirt. I wasn’t so keen. Then he talked about wearing buckskin moccasins which I was more comfortable with (because they wouldn’t be in many photos!).

Eventually though Flint came up with a much better compromise….

Flint: ‘I’ve got an idea about how we can get more bushcraft into the wedding’

Jo thinks: ‘oh great, just what every girl wants!’

Jo says: ‘ok?’

Flint: ‘why don’t we have a manikin dressed in all the clothes and items I’ve made?’

Jo thinks: ‘oh I dunno, maybe cos it’s a wedding and that’s weird!!’

Jo says: ‘hmmm yeah maybe…’

Flint: ‘it could meet people at the entrance, you know almost to show what I would have wanted to wear, my alter ego’

Jo thinks: ‘ah, I see, I need to play this cool. If he has a manikin wearing all the weird stuff that should mean I can have him wearing an actual normal person groom outfit. Seems a small price to pay….’

Jo says: ‘yes, that’s perfect. lets do that :), people will love it!’

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I have to admit, it was slightly more extravagant that I had in mind and included from memory;

  • buckskin hoody
  • wooden (long?) bow
  • a buckskin quiver full of arrows with actual flint or stone tips
  • a knife Flint made to cut the cake and held in a buckskin sheath
  • sheep skin mitts (or something like that?!)
  • a plaited bark belt
  • a bark quiver kind of container
  • an adze (?)
  • a grass skirt
  • a fox skin hat
  • birch bark goggles
  • moccasins
  • snow shoes
  • a moose ear pouch
  • a bark back pack

There were other bits I know, some kind of container and a thingy for when you shoot an arrow to protect your arm, and probably some other bits that I cant remember 🙂

Anyway, you get the point. He really took that opportunity of an understanding and accommodating wife and ran with it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Confetti

We wanted to have as much nature as possible in our wedding and really didn’t fancy metallic shiny confetti or even paper. We wanted it to be real petals and initially I was going to buy petals from the local florist. However, it is unbelievable what they charge!

So… the next plan, collect our own 🙂

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Bushcrafter’s gifts

Flint’s mum came for dinner last night. She’s a very thoughtful guest and always brings a little something; a bottle of wine, some flowers, something she baked etc. 

Last night was no exception and she arrived with a lovely bouquet of fresh flowers which I displayed in the lounge window – rooms feel so much better with a fresh display 🙂 


We went for a walk around the village after a nice dinner that Flint cooked in his hay box. We then went to the pub for dessert because I couldn’t be bothered to sort anything – lazy I know! 

Leaving the pub about 9pm we saw this lovely view of the sunset and it was a great end to a day off together. 


We walked home and Flint’s mum remembered a little ‘gift’ in the car. Ooo that’s exciting! 

Out she gets a dead garden snake that she found on her doorstep that morning. I’m… Well not that interested to be honest so I go upstairs to get in my pjs and leave them discussing this snake. 


I can hear them talking about what it is and why it was on her doorstep and then they are doing that typically British thing of ‘well you have it if you would like it’ ‘oh no, not if you want it’ until eventually Flint accepts the gift happily 🙂 funny how they didn’t consider asking me if I would like it… Strange that!! 

Flint’s mum lives quite nearby so we see her regularly. I am glad someone understands Flint but I am wondering what the next ‘gift’ will be!! X

Flint’s Handy Woodworking

Flint loves working with wood but most often its carving bowls or making work benches. This time though his skills were mega handy and a lovely surprise when I got home from work last night 🙂 

He made us a stand for our wellies outside the door 🙂 


He made me a jewellery holder 🙂


And the best thing he did was this doggy table for Tilly with her name burned into it and her favourite treat, carrot! Xx


Xxx

The bushcrafter’s garden 

Gardening… 

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!