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Friday, 23 June 2017

Thank You!

First of all I'd like to say thank you to all of the people that have kept coming back for Five on Friday every week despite me being a terrible host recently. I love everyone that gets involved every week and I'm going to find the time somehow to get around and visit and comment on everyones blogs if it kills me!

I'm also sorry if anyone was offended by the confederate flag in my last post, to be honest I didn't even notice it was there until people pointed it out in the comments as it has no real significance in modern British culture so I didn't even think about it. Although it is meaningless to me I can understand why it would upset certain people so I'll be sure to be a bit more mindful of it in the future.

I'm totally out of my routine at the moment but that should settle down by next week, we've got some exciting things to share with you about the land but I'll keep it under wraps, for now its pretty late on Thursday night as I type this so I'll share the last 5 photos from my camera and tell you what they're all about:

1 - Almonds
Almond Tree
 The Almond trees on our land are absolutely LADEN with almonds right now so I guess we will be inundated with almonds when it comes to harvest time. Not a bad position to be in I guess! I estimate we have around 250-300 almond trees so it will certainly take some effort to collect all of the nuts, I'm not sure how many we will yield but it is sure to be far more than we could need so I may throw a work party and people can come and help out and take away a generous bag of almonds for their trouble.

2 - EDC Pouch

Maxpedition EDC Pouch
 As many of you know I am a survivalist or as some people call themselves these days Prepper. I took this shot of my EDC (Every Day Carry) setup and thought you guys and gals my be interested in what is actually crammed in there. If anyone has any questions about it I'd be more than happy to talk about it. I use a Maxpedition pouch to keep it all in and from left to right it contains:
Lansky Blade Medic, Vintage Style Compass. Pen Torch, TacPen, Cable Ties, Ferro rod, Striker, Lighter, Scarab Multitool, CRKT Eat'n'Tool, Field Notebook, CRKT Edgie, Plasters, Mosquito & Insect Repellent, Glowstick, Afterbite and of course the bandana that it is resting on.

You'd be amazed at the amount of things a kit like this comes in handy for, I think everyone should carry one.

3 - Me'N'You Vs The World

Me N You Vs The World Tshirt
 This Tshirt was one of my Father's Day gifts from the kids, I absolutely love the biker vibe of the print (and their whole brand to be honest) so of course I had to get Carly to take a snap of me on my bike wearing it. The maker is a friend of ours and I can't recommend them highly enough if you want something epic, you can find them here: ME 'N' YOU VS THE WORLD


4 - Shirtless Selfie

Shirtless Selfie 
I took this photo first thing in the morning as I went to let the chickens out, which is why I still look asleep!
Until now you have never seen me without a top on. Most people that have known me all my life have never seen me without a shirt on.  All my life I've had issues with my body. When I was a teenager I was real chubby. When I was 13 I was at my heaviest and weighed 16 stone and absolutely hated the way my body looked. Since then I have been an unhealthily thin 10.5 stone, one way or the other I've always thought I was too fat or too thin.Now my weight is somewhere inbetween, the sixpack is firmly buried within the DadBod and I've stopped worrying about it. Truth is we all need to learn to love ourselves and others just the way they are, we don't need to be what the magazines tell us to be! 

5 - Viking Badges
Vegvisir, Valknut & Mjolnir

This last pic is sort of in the wrong place, I saved it to my phone so I could reshare it on the Thor's Threads Instagram but I've included it because I love the meanings behind the symbols

The black and white badge is Vegvisir, the norse compass, it is said that a person bearing this symbol will always find their way, and in this day and age I think there are more than a few people that have lost their way and could do with a magic compass to help get them back on track.

The red and black badge portrays the Valknut, the knot of the slain warrior, it is regarded as a symbol of Odin and the afterlife and is said to represent the 9 worlds and be an aid for reincarnation, cyclical relationships and in talismans to ward against evil. To me it represents the connectivity of everything, infinity and immortality.

The last one is a simple but bold image of Mjolnir, the mighty hammer wielded by Thor, God of Thunder. It is a symbol of strength, courage and protection and is widely used in modern Paganism due to Thor being the "God of the People" as he is the protector of Humankind.


I hope you've enjoyed this weeks post, Thanks for stopping by and continuing to support Five on Friday, we hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

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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



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Friday, 16 June 2017

Five Photos - Five on Friday

Happy Friday Everyone!

So as I mentioned last week I went back to the UK for the weekend to party with the Badass Dad Clan at the clubhouse with my brothers in the White Wolf Brotherhood Motorcycle Club. What a fantastic thing to be a part of! One of the best parties I've ever had, great atmosphere and full of genuine good people

Badass Dad Clan Meets White Wolf Brotherhood
It was amazing to be back in the UK for a few days and see my brothers, one of the hardest things to deal with for me since we moved is being away from the club.  I don't very often post things about my association with the club but here is a picture of me at the clubhouse bar. In the UK the club became my life, I was one of the founding members and was voted in as President when the last President stepped down. Every week we were out and about, going on rides, visiting other clubs and partying at our own clubhouse and the brotherhood side of the club is second to none, being away from it all kills me. A few of us have started the Alicante chapter now but I loved being around my Essex chapter brothers and having a laugh like we used to.

Wolfpack Forever, Forever Wolfpack!
You can see a bit of it in the photo above, but whilst I was in the UK I picked up another bit of ink from my favourite tattoo studio. This time I opted for a realistic compass, it took 4.5 hours and I am so happy with it! I guess now I will always know the direction that life is taking me in :)

My Moral Compass


When I got back there was something else very new and very purple that had materialised outside our chickens corral, a gigantic thistle. I guess I didn't notice it growing up being lost in a sea of green but it is so beautiful now that it has flowered, a giant thistle about 1.5m tall with a flower head the size of a fist

Purple and Proud - Thistle

On a totally unrelated note I have just released a new patch and for the very first time a pin badge too. I LOVED the Addams Family growing up and thought they were the ultimate in cool, so I suppose it was inevitable that I would pay homage to them sooner or later.

"They're Creepy and They're Kooky, Mysterious and Spooky...." (try getting that theme tune out of your head!)

Addams Family Pin Badge and Patch
And as if they didn't look cool enough like that, they really stand out when the sun goes down....

Glow in the Dark Pin and Patch
Boom! What? Glow in the Dark? I must dash now, I think I'm going to surround myself with them and turn off the lights to bask in the spookiness hahaha

Hope everyone has had a fantastic week and wish you all a wonderful weekend :)



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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



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Friday, 9 June 2017

Fantastic Friday

Today is a glorious day.

If you could bottle happiness......

It is the day we find out what happened in the general election. Since I'm writing this on Thursday I do not know the outcome yet but I genuinely think it is the most important election of my lifetime and eagerly await the results. But for us today is important for a very different reason, we have officially become land owners!

Yesterday we finally completed the purchase of our land, it has taken six months from start to finish but we are now the proud owners of 5 acres and can start building our forever home at last!

Today is also the day that I fly back to the UK so see my old friends, my brothers in the White Wolf Brotherhood Motorcycle Club for a party this weekend and to get a new tattoo. This will likely be the last time I travel anywhere away from the homestead for quite some time as we'll be  busy building the house and setting up the infrastructure on the land etc.

If anyone wants to get involved we will be building facilities for people to come and stay with us so they can help out with the build, anyone staying with us will also be able to attend the courses taking place free of charge. At the moment I believe there will be a straw bale building course, an earth plaster and lime render course and also a green roofing course. There will also be various other natural building courses and no doubt a few permaculture courses over the next couple of years too :)

So this week I'll talk about 5 things I'm looking forward to now that we own the land:

The Land
I cannot wait to get started with the land! To get to know every part of it intimately, to study the wildlife, the flora and fauna and feel the passings of the seasons and their impact on our ecosystem. I want to use permaculture and regenerative agriculture to put in place the systems that will not only heal the land but improve beyond that and create a thriving diverse ecosystem, a naturally abundant food forest.

The House
I haven't shared much detail about the house we are designing yet because I didn't wan't to jinx things before the land was signed off. We have been working with our architect to create a house shaped like an almond flower, drawing inspiration from the hundreds of almond trees growing on our land. It will be built from straw bales, with lime render on the external walls and earth rendered internally. this will all be topped off with a living green grass roof planted with wildflowers and a geodome that will light up an interior courtyard that will be used as a library and meditation space. I'll be putting up photos soon of our architects 3D model of the design

The Kitchen Garden
This is something that excites and terrifies me in equal measure! We'll be creating no dig beds and trying to supply as much fresh fruit, veg, herbs and nuts to the kitchen as possible. I'm looking forward to installing the kitchen garden and designing the layout but the scheduling and timing is the bit i'm not looking forward to as I'm not the most organised person, luckily I have some of the most amazing friends that have this type of thing down to an exact science so once I learn how to tweak things to our climate it should be a bit more manageable.

The Animals
We already have chickens but I'm so excited about the possibilities on our own land. I'd like to keep quail again, and some ducks, we've spoken about turkeys, and goats.......and pigs. OK OK I know, I just want all of the animals. I can't help it, I love spending time with them and getting to know their quirky little personalities is the best. Of course the fact that we are vegetarian now makes it easier knowing that I'm not making friends with these animals only to eat them at a later date!

The Family
I've saved the best til last, I cannot wait to go through all of the experiences of this adventure with our family, for the kids to see their parents and grandparents build the farmhouse, to learn about sowing and growing, animal and land management and all the ups and downs of the homesteading rollercoaster. I also can't wait to share it with our extended family, our blog readers and the people that touch our lives through social media. There are so many friends that have said they want to get involved and come out to help with the build and visit that I know we will have the time of our lives



It's taken what seems like an eternity, but things will finally start to REALLY happen now, watch this space!


Wishing you all a Wonderful Weekend, thanks for stopping by and joining us for Five on Friday :)







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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



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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Black Locust Beads


This week I've had the pleasure of working with an amazing wood, Black Locust.

Lansky World Legal making a start on the beads
 Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), as it has come to be called, offers AMAZING qualities. It's fast growing and fixes nitrogen, improving the soil as it grows. Because a locust's trunk contains mostly sapwood, it's strong. In drying, locust hardly shrinks. In stiffness, it outdoes hickory. Fighting decay, it outlasts white oak. Burned, a cord of black locust throws off the heat of a ton of coal. And machined and sanded, the wood takes on a high luster.

On the American frontiers people have found abandoned settlements where almost everything has turned to dust except the Black Locust fence posts still standing strong over 100 years later without ANY chemical treatments/preservatives.

It's such a wonderful wood to work with, having so many benefits and advantages I imagine many of you are wondering why you haven't heard of it before, why it isn't a mainstream timber any more?

The only answers are that it doesn't grow quite as large as exotic species, it isn't a "popular" wood so there is a lack of experience in managing and processing Locust forests. Lastly, in it's native range, the tree suffers from attack by the Locust Borer (Megacyllene Robiniae). None of these reasons should be holding back a tree with such potential, I will definitely be planting some on our land and encourage any one that strives for self sufficiency to consider Black Locust on their homestead

Beads finished up with an incredibly old Mora, ready to be pyrographed
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Friday, 2 June 2017

Five on Friday Jumble

May has been a total whirlwind of a month for us, I've only just realised it's June!

The Face You Make When A Palm Tree Grows Out Of Your Head

I've been a terrible blog neighbour of late, owing largely to the amount of travelling about we have done. In the last 6 months we've moved around more than we have in the last 6 years! Although I suppose that is all about to change because we'll be far too busy building the new house to have any time for travel. This week we have finally been told that the paperwork is ready to sign for us to officially complete on the purchase of our new land, it's only taken since January! So things will start getting very busy very soon after that.

Like Father Like Son

Last weekend we escaped on a last minute getaway a bit further south in La Manga to see the brother-in-law before he returns to the Falklands for work. Its a beautiful place with fantastic beaches and a great coastal atmosphere. It really reminds us of just how remote and rural we are where we live, the fact that we get excited when we visit somewhere that has more than one restaurant!

Two Of The Most Amazing Women In The World
It was great to spend time away as a family together, away from home and the businesses and our day to day lives. Carly especially has been so busy with Lucky Sew and Sew and releasing the new collection that we haven't had much time to all just have fun together. That's not to say we don't have fun, just that it always seems to end up that someone is working and misses out, usually Carly!



Breastfeeding Sat On The Harbour Wall, As You Do!
It was great to reconnect, to build sandcastles and walk barefoot on the beach, to re-wild a little. Aurora is at that age now where in one photo she looks like a grown woman and in another she looks like the tiny baby that in my eyes she will always be. I love the photo above of her and Carly breastfeeding on the harbour wall, as you probably know Carly is a massive breastfeeding advocate, not surprising since the core of her business is designing and creating hand made nursing bras.

I'll leave you with a snap of the view from our apartment that weekend, our little slice of paradise before the storm of building an entire house ourselves. Thanks for stopping by this week for Five on Friday, we hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Cheers To The Weekend

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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



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Friday, 26 May 2017

A British Institution - Five on Friday

There are not many troubles that Britain has not managed to overcome with the help of a humble cup of tea. It is the one stereotypical thing about being English that we cannot escape because it is 110% true. When I wake up first thing in the morning I want a cup of tea, before I go to bed I want a cup of tea and at any opportunity in between the kettle goes on. When someone visits they are offered a cuppa, when you go to someone's house they will invariably offer you one. When I was in the 9-5 world I used to drink so much tea at work I would sometimes be having 12+ mugs of tea per day!

So in these troubled times when everyone could do with a cuppa I thought this week I'd share 5 fun photos for making tea in a more traditional but still modern way.

I give you my tea strainer collection. You can enjoy a traditional loose leaf tea in these beauties or make up your own herbal infusions

Silicone Tea Strainers


I make no apologies for the battered mugs, they are well worn and have heard many of my friends sorrows and joys poured out in front of them. For my friends my door is always open and my kettle is always on for a hot drink and a good chat.

I'll start with my most traditional and least favourite strainer, the leaf:

Silicone Leaf Tea Strainer
The next one is a bit more common these days, wouldn't it be great to be as relaxed as this little guy looks!

This Tea Strainer Man Is One Relaxed Little Dude
The manatee is a quirky one, trying to explain what it was to a 4 year old resulted in me and Logan agreeing that it was "basically an ugly dolphin", but I think it's quite cute to be honest

Manatee Tea Strainer

And then last but not least is this hungry Shark that likes to chomp down on peoples cups, he is the kids favourite

Shark Tea Strainer
Thanks for stopping by for this weeks FAST Five, I look forward to hopping round visiting everyone else's blogs, have a wonderful weekend!

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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



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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Honey Stove

Since I've been using it a bit with the kids on our hikes recently I thought it was about time I showed you all the stove I use when out walking. It's The Honey Stove, available from the manufacturer Backpacking Light

Although I had seen them around and heard people raving about them for quite some time I was quite happy using my Crusader Cook Set, but then I received a Honey Stove from my secret Santa on the P2S forum last year!

Honey Stove Pack
Since owning one and testing it out in the real world I am now a convert. I love that it folds completely flat so is easy to find space of in my pack and that I can choose to use only some of the parts to make it lighter or take the whole kit if I need to cook for more than just myself. The fact that it can use almost any kind of fuel also makes it so versatile. If I run out of alcohol/meths/hexamine whilst I'm out this little stove will be just as happy boiling my brew with a handful of twigs.

It comes neatly packed away in a small ripstop bag that houses all the pieces and a little instruction manual to boot.

The Honey Stove package

You can use the panels to created a smaller stove if cooking for just yourself by assembling it in the square configuartion like this...

Honey Stove Square Assembly

Or if you need a bit more oomph from your stove you can use all of the side panels to utilise the hexagonal configuration of the stove

Honey Stove Hexagonal Configuration
The Stove comes with a food grade stainless steel grill grid that you can either stand your pot on or cook food directly on the grill

Full Honey Stove

And just in case that didnt give me enough options, it also has a plate especially to hold a trangia spirit burner when in hexagonal assembly.

Honey Stove Trangia Plate

All in all it's a fantastic compact stove that's perfect for hiking, camping or any outdoor pursuit, it is now my go to stove when I'm out in the wild.

Honey Stove in action out in the wild
So if you have been thinking about buying one I would highly recommend the Honey Stove, There are similare collapsible stoves available slightly cheaper but since I don't own them I cannot comment on their quality, from my experience with it the Honey Stove is incredibly robust and will no doubt last a lifetime. 
Cheers!
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Etsy

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