FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

Big This Week

Recent Posts

Friday, 18 August 2017

Spanish Fiestas

Thanks to everyone that messaged and commented last week with their support.

After Last Week's Post (Suicide & Mental Health) I'm glad to say this week will be on a much happier note. Last weekend from Friday right round until Tuesday the annual August Fiestas decended on our sleepy little village in the middle of nowhere. For 5 days the population of this village went from around 100 to more like 1000 as every family and friend of the residents turned up for a celebration of gigantic proportions (compared to how small the place is)

A lot of the festivities take place quite late, between 12.00 and 2.00am, mainly to avoid the scorching heat of the day. Spanish people tend to let their children stay up a lot later than we typically do in the UK, especially during fiesta times.

We had Bull running on the Friday night to start things off, we didn't go down but it was held in the dry riverbed outside our house so we could see it all anyway. I don't really agree with it but I accept that it is their traditions, their culture and heritage so I can understand why it is important to them, and I must say that they treat the animals far better in our village than they do in many of the other places I have seen.

The following morning was the annual Gachamiga contest. (If you haven't tried it before we previously posted a Gachamiga Recipe HERE) Essentially the entire village comes together to cook Gachamiga in the traditional long handled pans over open fires in the middle of the road!

Gachamiga contest 2017 Cases Del Senyor
More and more families turned up to take part and filled the entire village with the smell and sound of sizzling pans full of Gachamiga. Passing cars just had to make their way around as and when they can but nothing is more important than a fiesta in Spain so nobody seems to mind the inconvenience they just accept it as part of life. Our fiestas and all of the events and activities are paid for by the local council and fundraising done by the community in advance, so everything is free of charge to everyone that takes part and is a great way for the council to give back to the community and really bring local families together in the community spirit that we seem to have largely lost in the UK. All the ingredients were handed out to participants for free and there were cases of wine being dished out for everyone attending to drink, all completely free and when it was over every family wanted to invite us to try their gachamiga and invited me Carly and the kids to come over and drink wine with them as we ate gachamiga for breakfast. The people here are always so welcoming to us as foreigners, I'm very grateful to be able to speak enough Spanish to understand and partake in basic small talk even though it is not something I have ever had lessons in I just pick it up as I go along.

Gachamiga Contest 2017 Cases Del Senyor
When everyone was finished cooking the Gachamiga was put on plates with peoples names on the bottom so that the judges didn't know whose they were tasting until afterwards.

The important people and village elders were called to taste test and crown the winners. Apart from bragging rights for the year the winners also got expensive legs of Jamon, Wine and even a weekend away in Benidorm!
Elders judging the Gachamiga contest

After that we had a foam party in the street, you can see Logan here up to his chin in it! Foam was fired from a cannon all over the place, although it was raining quite hard on the day so they cut the party short and came back for a few hours the next day to do it all over again to make sure the kids didn't miss out.

Foam Party 2017 Cases Del Senyor

There were bouncy castles, fireworks, music processions and every night the bull running. There was also gigantic pans of paella cooked to feed the whole village, musical processions, chocolate fountains and many other things that make the fiestas an incredible experience and I can honestly say the fiestas in this area are some of the best I have ever been to. 

Train!
On the last day there was a train ride that took the kids to the next village and back, playing music,  everyone clapping and singing along it was a great end to the fiestas for us, the kids absolutely loved it and seeing them so happy and getting involved with Spanish culture did my heart the world of good.

As great as the fiestas are it is also nice to return once more to the sleepy little village that we are used to, but we are already looking forward to the fiestas next year!


Hope you all have an amazing weekend, thanks for stopping by for Five on Friday


*******************************************************************

Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


Share:

Friday, 11 August 2017

Suicide and Mental Health


Did you know that the suicide rate for men is 350% higher than women?
And why is there such a stigma attached to male depression and mental health? Why are we conditioned to think that a man must be infallible? That he cannot have emotions, that he must be carved from stone and be forever the strong sentinel?

If you have me on Facebook then it is no secret that I intended to take my own life this week. Everything became too much, life almost got the better of me and I made the decision to opt out. Luckily Carly found me in the mountains tying the last knot and about to put the noose around my neck. Today is a day I might never have seen if things had been different.

My entire life I have held myself to societies standards, I have been ruthless, a strong leader and have never backed down from a challenge or a fight. By my early twenties I was the president of a motorcycle club, the youngest president in Essex, I took no shit and commanded respect. I have lived an intense Alpha male life and you know what? It's bullshit. No man is an island. It it's OK to not be OK. There is no shame in being vulnerable. I will not hide it, brush it under the rug nor apologise. I cannot thank enough the people that contacted me to support me, it makes me realise how much of an impact one bad day could have made.

If you cannot understand how someone can get to the point where they cannot bear it any more you are one of the lucky ones. But if you ever find yourself in that situation speak up and help will be there, I have been there myself and I will never be too busy to talk someone else out of making the ultimate mistake.
Stay strong, we are all beautifully imperfect humans and we are all in this together. Love you all x


I had wanted to sit and write something about mental health issues and the weeks events but this post is a copy of what I wrote on facebook, I am sure everyone undestands that at the moment I need to focus my time and energy elsewhere.

*******************************************************************

Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

















Share:

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Handmade Ferro Rod

I forgot to show you this awesome ferro rod I got from Rhode Knives

Rhode Knives Ferro Rod Fire Lighter
Yet another beautifully hand crafted item from Rhode Knives that is hand made in the UK. These type of Ferro rod fire starters are good for many thousands of strikes, work in all weathers and never let you down. Why settle for the cheap crap from china when you could have something as gorgeous as this that really earns it's place in you kit for form and function? And knowing that you are helping a small family business rather than a faceless company always wins hands down in my book.

If you want to check out Rhode Knives you can find them at their Etsy store on Facebook and also on Instagram.

Disclaimer: As always I have not been paid of incentivised for this post, you cannot buy kind words here you just have to cut the mustard and impress us!
Share:

Friday, 4 August 2017

Polymath Products

Happy Friday Folks!

I received a package with a few different Polymath Products items for my birthday that I am keen to share with you all!

A Selection of Polymath Products Items
I got a MEDC keyring First Aid Kit, a UCSK Ultra Compact Survival Kit, a pack of Atom Light micro LED torches and the Nav Bead, a glow in the dark compass, personal marker and pace counter.

The items all arrived in record time and I love that they put in some free kendal mint cakes with their orders!  As soon as I've been able to properly test out the items in the field I'll do a proper review on each one. If you haven't come across Polymath Products before you can find them on their website here



According to their site:
"Polymath Products is a UK-based business that specialises in innovative outdoor products, launched in September 2013 with the highly popular Ultra Compact Survival Kit (UCSK). Since then, Polymath Products has become a leading brand in the compact survival kit and EDC markets, with our unique products now being sold internationally.

Fuelled by our own enthusiasm for the Great Outdoors and gadgets, we strive to offer the most practical, well thought-out and exciting products to our customers, while also providing great value for money and exemplary customer service throughout."

Although I haven't fully tested my gear yet they are highly rated by many of my friends and high profile members of the survival community so I am confident enough in the quality of their items to recommend them as a company regardless.


Disclaimer: I have not been paid or incentivised for this post, you cannot buy kind words on this blog you just have to cut the mustard and impress us







*******************************************************************

Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

















Share:

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Rhode Knives Whittling Knife

My amazing mother has always enabled my passions so it is no surprise really that she got me the most thoughtful gift for my birthday:


Rhode Knives Custom Walnut Whittling Knife

I was treated to this GORGEOUS handmade custom whittling knife so I can hone my wood carving skills. As you may know my main go-to knife is also a Rhode knives custom and coincidentally was also a gift from my mother (I know right, best mom in the world or what?). That knife is called Thorn and is the most amazing quality knife, this one is no different!

It has a stainless blade and English walnut handle with brass and green accents in the hilt that are complemented by the green stitching on the thick, quality leather sheath. It is incredibly comfortable to hold and use and I can't wait to get back into carving, it's been at least a decade since I carved anything at all so no doubt I'll be a bit rusty but that's all part of the fun.

If you want to check out Rhode Knives you can find them at their Etsy store on Facebook and also on Instagram.

Disclaimer: As always I have not been paid of incentivised for this post, you cannot buy kind words here you just have to cut the mustard and impress us!
Share:

Friday, 28 July 2017

Friday Catch Up

This week has been so busy for us, it feels like things are finally starting to happen.

We have had our geotechnical study back which means we've been able to submit the plans for the house to the town hall for planning permission, which all things going according to plan we should be granted by september so that we can go ahead with the building! Exciting stuff

Sacha and Astrid 

The Two Rescue Puppies Astrid and Sacha are doing really well and are already looking much happier and healthier now that they are with us. They are a great distraction to have around and their little characters are so funny t watch as they bound around and play.

Carly and Astrid

I think the kids must be sleeping in bags of fertiliser because I can't believe how much they have grown up in the last year. All the homemade food, hikes and fresh mountain air have turned our babies into miniature adults already!

Aurora and Logan
Fresh Wild Rosemary
Rosemary in the nesting boxes

We're still spoiling the chickens with fresh herbs in their nesting boxes, although it has been so hot recently that the egg laying has dropped a little, which hasn't been helped by both our bantams going broody on us and refusing to leave the nest boxes for most of the day. hopefully after the end of august things will start to cool down a little and things will be back on track.

Khaleesi being a very grumpy broody girl


OK so I guess I've gone slightly over the 5 photos/things this week but I wont tell if you won't ;)

Hope you all have an amazing weekend, thank you once again for joining us for Five on Friday



*******************************************************************

Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


Share:

Monday, 24 July 2017

A Viking Spoon

I recently received a brilliant surprise in the post:


My Instagram buddy RebornFeral had sent me one of his hand carved spoons! 

This one held particular significance for me as a heathen since the handle is carved in to the shape of a giant Mjolnir (Thor's hammer).


It's a beautiful piece, hand carved from sycamore. Following him on IG has really inspired me to practice my own carving skills, something I have wanted to master for as long as I can remember. I will try my hardest not to flood the blog with photos of my terrible attempts at spoons that are sure to come!

If you use Instagram I highly recommend following RebornFeral for a breath of fresh air, he is an amazing parent, a great carver aswell as a rewilding and barefoot enthusiast!




Share:

Etsy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design Created by pipdig