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

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! 

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?! 

We’re in!! 

It’s one week today until the big day and we have finally moved house 🙂 honestly it feels like the weight of the world has lifted! It still didn’t happen smoothly and at won’t point it looked like we weren’t going to complete yesterday after all, but we did. Phew! 

Flint is working this weekend so after lifting all the heavy stuff he disappeared off after lunch and I’ve been getting on with it! My mum came over for the afternoon and night and spent ages helping clean and unpack boxes. We now have a reasonable kitchen, lounge and bedroom 🙂 

A real blessing with this move is the summer house which allows us to store everything and then just gradually find places for it in the house. 


Another huge benefit is the fact that it can hold all of Flint’s bushcraft and outdoors stuff and it doesn’t need to come into the house – yey! 

All those skulls, bits of bark, animals skins, bits of wood, bows and arrows, climbing ropes, tools, chopping blocks, cordages, oh and flintstones, can live in there 🙂 

The summerhouse was a big pull for both of us when we viewed the property. For very different reasons….

I recall walking toward the house and seeing a light on in the summer house and it look cosy and sweet. We were shown inside and there was a large sofa, bookcase, table and chairs etc – a great place to relax and have friends over I thought. I imagined it in the winter and looking out at the snow snuggled up or in the summer with a bbq just outside.

1 guess what Flint was thinking???!! 

‘Wow, what a great workshop this will make’. 

Hmmm no! We’ve had many a ‘discussion’ about this and have finally decided on half each! His side will be full of bushcraft and tools while my side will have a comfy sofa, a desk for my crafts, buttons and beads in jars on shelves and wool and fabrics in baskets – lovely 🙂 

It’s going to be a real mash up or our personalities and hobbies and actually I really love the idea the more I think about it. For now it’s a mess but we are both excited about what the future will hold 🙂