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! 

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where does the centipede hide his shoes? 

We love taking Tilly for long walks and now Spring is here we will be going out more and more. On Monday it was bank holiday and we went for a wander…


First stop was the little patch of woodland near our house where we found this grumpy looking tree! 


Haha looks like me when I catch Flint using our saucepans for bushcraft things! 


Anyway whilst wandering Flint told me about the little shoes hidden in white dead nettles. Yes shoes! 

It’s a story about fairies hiding the centipede’s shoes and how he decided to hide them in white dead nettle so they wouldn’t get them. 


White dead nettle doesn’t sting but the fairies didn’t know that! I found this blog www.tentsandfestivals.co.uk telling the story which is very cute!  I checked it out for myself in the nettles and it’s true!!! 

Foraged Hogweed and Prawn Curry

Yes that’s right a weed in the dinner 🙂 I’ve tried it before so I know it’s ok, a bit hairy at times but ok!

We planned to have a curry tonight but didn’t have many greens in so we took Tilly out for a walk in the fields and foraged for something to ‘green it up!’

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Running out of time 

We get married in 85 days, I counted just now. That sounds quite a long way off I think? It’s not though, it really isn’t.

For ages I’ve been wanting to start running again. I’ve never been mega mega fit but when Flint and I first met I would run about 3 times a week and normally for an hour or two at a time. Since then, I’ve done nothing except one run in October 2015 with a good friend of mine. Unfortunately even the thought of that colour run approaching didn’t motivate me to train and resulted in walking most of the route – shame!

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A walk with Flint and his Bushcraft Absences

Flint and I had a day off together on Tuesday after both having worked the weekend.

Random mid week days are great because there is no one around and we can just wander off into the fields with Tilly. The sun was shining, and it was a great day to be out.

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When out walking I tend to be thinking of other things i.e., the approaching wedding, the imminent house move, things going on with work or plans for the weekend. It’s a shame really and I need to get better at enjoying the moment….like Flint does…..

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Bushcraft – My way

This blog is about peeking into my mind a little bit and how I make sense of the world around me.

Flint is really into his plants, trees, stars, etc. To me it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense a lot of the time.

He regularly amazes me with his breadth and depth of knowledge about all things nature. One of my strategies for remembering what on earth he is talking about is to re-name things!! It drives him mad!

Some examples;

1 Greater reed mace (typha latifolia)    

AKA ‘Sausages’ – I think this is pretty self explanatory since they look like sausages on sticks!

2. Greater reed mace (Typha latifolia) when pulled apart

AKA ‘Fluffies’ – again, they’re fluffy when broken apart and used for tinder

3. Getting an ember with fungus and flint   

AKA ‘doing an Otzi’ – strangely enough I had the book ‘The man in the ice’ on my bookshelf before Flint and I met.

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4. Hide work

AKA ‘Scrapies’. This refers to both wet and dry scraping. Although wet scraping is most certainly restricted to the outdoors!

 

5. Lyra

AKA my least favourite constellation. I don’t like this constellation because when Flint and I first got together and he was away in the woods he would tell me he was sat gazing at Lyra and she looked really good tonight! You can imagine my relief when I found out Lyra was just a bunch of bloody stars!