FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

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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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Friday, 19 May 2017

Amsterdam Five on Friday

Five on Friday Time Again! It seems to have come around especially quick this time since we've been away.

This week I had hoped to share with everyone the many wonderful sights and delights of Amsterdam, but my phone had other ideas. On our last day there my phone died a death and so far I haven't been able to get it on or get it to play ball with the PC to retrieve them :(

Luckily between the few photos I uploaded to Instagram and the ones Carly shot on her phone I can still share some of our experience with you:


First off our flight got cancelled by Easyjet 2hours before we were due to leave, luckily we managed to grab the last 2 seats on a KLM flight but it meant that instead of getting to our apartment around 7 oclock and going out to explore we didn't get in until almost midnight so we lost an evening of exploring Amsterdam. The next morning we were ravenous so went in search of the best place Haarlem had to offer (according to tripadvisor)

By Lima
By Lima is simply amazing, I'd say it is the best breakfast I've ever had in my life.

Outside By Lima
 All of the food at By Lima is vegetarian and almost completely sourced fresh locally. I had the breakfast platter which consisted of strawberries, hazelnuts and chocolate spread on toast, old farmers cheese on fruit toast with avocado, a pot of chia pudding and to top it off freshly squeezed orange juice! A real great start to the day :)

By Lima Breakfast Platter
 Carly had "Cheesy Eggs From the Oven" which is fairly self explanatory and she thought it was so delicious that she had it again another day,

Cheesy Oven Eggs at By Lima

The Apartment
Our apartment overlooked one of the beautiful canals in Haarlem, we found it on Airbnb and for the low price it was a beautiful place to spend a long weekend

Haarlem Airbnb apartment

Carly lounging in the window seat
Art & Architecture
We visited the Rijkmuseum in amsterdam, home to some fantastic works of art, including several pieces of Rembrandt and a few Van Goghs too.

Original Self Portrait
 Opposite the museum is a fantastic old Dutch house which looked too good to not take a photo of

Beautiful Architecture
Tuschinski Theater
We booked a fancy "love seat" lodge booth at the tuschinski which is a fantastically decadent way to enjoy theater, or in our case King Arthur in 3D (best film I have ever seen to date)

Pathe Tuschinski Theater
Coffee Shops
I thought long and hard about whether to include this one, I'm sure there will be those that would disagree with what we do in our personal time but I do not feel the need to hide who I am. Yes we visited the coffee shops, yes they are fantastic. Not only can you buy practically any strain you want over the counter but the list of other products is almost never ending. Cookies, Brownies, Muffins, Truffles, Energy Drinks even Ice Cream loaded with the good stuff if you prefer edibles to smoking. I personally fell in love with the truffles we had on our last night, mind blowingly strong, I've never been so high in my life!
If you don't want to sit in and smoke at the coffee shops you can even buy pre-rolled joints to take away that come in little plastic tubes made from hemp plastic!

"Takeaway" joints in hemp plastic tubes
Warning, injecting just one marijuana a day can turn you into a Hippy Hempo

I hope no one is reeling from shock at the news that the dreadlocked hippy biker partakes in the occasional herbal high, I think if more people were honest about it cannabis would probably have been legalised decades ago! The dungarees I'm wearing in this photo are Levi Silver Tab and came from an amazing little vintage shop in Amsterdam called Episode, well worth checking out for a vintage bargain or three.

Thanks for stopping by for 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



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML
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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What's in Your Wallet?

The Humble Wallet

Your humble wallet/purse goes with you practically everywhere you go, but it doesn't just have to be relegated to carrying your cards and coins around.

There are a plethora of credit card gizmos you can get these days, from a swiss army knife card to survival cards that contain arrow heads and fishing hooks!!

I don't carry anything quite that James Bondsy, but I do keep a few things in mine that help out from time to time.

Wallet EDC
Wallet Ninja
The wallet ninja is a great take on the credit card survival tool, it has pretty much everything you are likely to need in an everyday situation and is well worth the credit card slot in your wallet that it will occupy.

Wallet Ninja Card Tool

BooBoo Kit
Sooner or later a cut scrape or headache threatens to ruin a day out. We carry a fully stocked First Aid kit in the house, the car and in my backpack, but to cover me for the times when I am not immediately near one of the kits I also have a couple of plasters and a couple of aspirin in my wallet. I don't normally take aspirin for headaches when we're at home, but after reading that it can save the life of someone suffering a heart attack I switched to carrying aspirin when out and about in case, gods forbid, the day comes when it might help someone else. The plasters seem worthless carrying as an adult, since if I cut myself if it is minor enough to be solved with a plaster it can probably wait until I get to the nearest first aid kit. The reason I carry them is because once upon a time Logan fell over and scraped his knee, nothing serious but he became pretty hysterical (he was barely more than a toddler at the time) and our plasters were in the car kit quite a distance away, luckily a helpful stranger had plasters on them and instantly stopped the tears. Ever since that day I have carried plasters with me everywhere as much for other peoples children as my own.

Wallet BooBoo Kit
CardSharp
I had seen the cardsharp doing the rounds online and never thought much of them, thinking them to be flimsy gimmicky junk. To be completely honest they ARE flimsy gimmicky junk! I was given one as a gift from a friend who had ordered a boat load of them online, and once you accept them for what they are the Cardsharp isn't all that bad. Sure, I wouldn't want to rely on it as my only knife in a survival situation, as somewhat of a knife aficionado I have plenty of tried and trusted quality blades, but would I rather have the Cardsharp than nothing? Of course! You're not going to be processing firewood with it, fighting off bears or carving wooden cups with it granted, but it is a very sharp piece of steel that is excellent for slicing things open and doing light duty tasks when there is nothing else available. Better to have it and not need it that's what I always say.  Just be sure to remove it from your wallet before attempting to board an airplane!

Card Sharp Credit Card Knife
Fresnel Lens
It weighs nothing, it costs next to nothing but what actually is it?
A fresnel lens is essentially a lens that has been engraved in to a thin piece of plastic, essentially turning it into a lightweight and flexible magnifying glass. These are great for reading small text, inspecting bugs with the kids and also if you REALLY REALLY need to then yes you can start a fire with them too using the sun (if you're lucky enough to have sunshine!). 

Credit Card Fresnel Lens
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Friday, 12 May 2017

Checking in For Five on Friday

It's that time of the week again :)

Hiking
I revisited Camp Echo with Logan and this time we took Aurora along with us too! We set the stove up and had a Chocolate Mint Tea and some snacks whilst overlooking the stunning mountain views
The coolest hiking companions I know!

Logan enjoying the great outdoors

My mischievous little madam
I think the more that kids can be outdoors the better. So many children these days spend the majority of their time indoors on computers, I think it's important to find a balance between technology and the outdoors/old ways. 

Technology
Whilst our little ones are not allowed to spend all of their time on computers we are not complete technophobes (far from it since our businesses rely on the internet and social media) however we make it clear to the children that computer gaming is a treat and use game time as a reward for good behavior and completion of chores. At the moment the Xbox has died so I've taken it apart and ordered the parts that I believe will fix it.

Here's what's under the hood of the Xbox 360
It all looks very complicated but to be honest the hardest part about this type of thing is getting the casing open in the first place because it has built in security measures, the rest is child's play.

Play Time
Being unable to play Lego Marvel on the Xbox hasn't stopped us from being superheroes though

Spidey and a very hairy Captain America
Moving from one spidey to another, ee've also been playing play dough a lot recently, usually animals and insects are in high demand
Play Dough Spider 
And I must confess that sometimes I get carried away with it!
I'm a Snek!


Big Boys Toys
My latest bit of kit is the beauty of a knife below, a F√§llkniven F1. Made in Sweden it is one of the most highly regarded knives on the survival/bushcraft circuit

Fällkniven F1 Knife
Mixing old with new in this photo, I've had the SAS Survival Handbook since I was a kid and even left it out overnight in the rain once and after carefully peeling the pages apart and drying it it is still here 20 years later. Anyone that is in to survival/preparedness should own a copy and if I had my way they would hand one to every school kid as a coming of age gift. It covers things like how to light a fire, build a shelter, sharpen a knife, hunt, fish, read animal tracks and build traps etc and really is an incredible read if you're in to that kind of thing.

Birds
This is one of the many houses in our village that is uninhabited:
uninhabited...or is it?
Except it isn't completely uninhabited, on closer inspection it has some unlikely tenants:
Birds in the eaves
I believe they are swifts but would like to hear from someone more informed to confirm/correct this.

Tomorrow Me and Carly are off for a long weekend in Amesterdam to celebrate our 7th Anniversary last week so no doubt next weeks Five on Friday will be Amsterdam themed.


Hope everyone has a fantastic 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



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





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Friday, 5 May 2017

Anniversary Five On Friday

Happy Friday Everyone!
We're back for another edition of Five on Friday. This week is going to be a little different, Monday was mine and Carly's 7th wedding anniversary so I'll share with you some photos of our wedding all those years ago, when two childhood sweethearts tied the knot and dived head first in to what would be the beginning of their happily ever after story.



Signing our Marriage Certificate
With our parents who have always supported everything we do
God we looked so young!

Everyone Loves Confetti right?
 
One of my best friends as a child was my Nan, who has sadly since passed away...

...such a huge character and influence, I will miss her for the rest of my life
 
Back to the happy stuff here we are with the parents again

and with The Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
The Bride and Groom

And all good stories should end with a kiss!

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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



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

Etsy

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