Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Defrost The Freezer

Sometimes the excitement in my life knows no bounds. 
One of the first jobs I did this year was to defrost the freezer that stands in our dinning room. 
As you can see from the picture above it was long overdue, drawers were hard to open, there were things in there that I had no idea what they were, a polar bear had taken residence in the top box - it was time for a sort out!

I took everything out, sorted through it all, chucked away some old stuff, shuffled it round so I knew what we had, stored the good stuff in the other freezer then set about defrosting it, towels at the ready. 

Not sure why I put it off so long, it's so much easier now I can see what everything is and can get stuff out of the back of it. Before it was like my dirty little secret, I'd try to open it so people didn't see in!

Anyone else have a freezer that looked like mine or is it just me that lets things get this bad?

Monday, 16 January 2017

40 Years Isolated

Just a short post today. 
I came across this story a few years ago but think it's so incredible that I tend to read it again every year, it's about a Russian family that, to escape religious persecution, disappeared into the heart of Siberia. 
What helicopter pilot saw 150 miles from the nearest settlement
They grabbed what they could and in 1936 headed off into the wilderness. They lived in such isolation that they didn't even know about World War 2 , it was a full 40 years before they were discovered. 

What I think is really incredible is just their shear survival, growing what they could and living on the brink of starvation, saving just enough seed to grow food for the following year and eating the rest. 
I'm sure many of you have come across this story before as it has been shared on many blogs (I think I came across it first on Gorges blog many years ago) and news sites but if you haven't then the article is well worth a read. 

What other stories of survival do you find amazing?

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Log Circle

This is something I've been meaning to do for a while, but with my eldest daughters party next weekend I decided to get out there and make a log circle. 
I've decided to make it in our little willow coppice area. It's far enough away from the house to be an adventure for the kids when we use it on an evening and away from all my machinery for the party! 

I had my two helpers helping with the layout and building a little fire to christen it. they loved collecting sticks and building it up in the middle.
 My eldest was explaining the rules of the forest school that she does at school to me and her sister. She was very sure that you only walked inside the log circle if an adult was with you or told you to do so - very sensible rule when fire is involved. I think it'll be great to keep some of these rules going with them and it should make the party easier next weekend as her whole class already knows these. I plan on asking the teacher, getting a list and following the same rules if they make sense. 

We finished off with a little fire and roasted some marshmallows (be rude not to) whilst we chatted about the sunset and had a cuddle around the fire, walking back when it was dark. 

Hopefully I'll be able to teach them some bush craft skills and cook out there occasionally. I'm planning on planting a few more trees in this area this year, buying some in and using willow cuttings to increase the future firewood area.

Anyone else got an area for a fire outside? Do you use it much?

Friday, 13 January 2017

Light Sleeper

I've always been quiet a light sleeper, I think it comes from nearly always living in the countryside away from main roads and noise.
I remember being in my early teens and hearing glass smashing at about 4 in the morning. I was out of bed like a shot, straight into mum and dad, to give them a mild heart attack, before going down stairs with dad. Him in front me behind (not sure what I would have done). 
"Sorry!" The milk man rather sheepishly said as he raised his hand. It took a while to go back to sleep after that!

Not much of a snow storm

I'm the same now, I have no problem falling a sleep and do so in a matter of minutes, but I'll wake up if a squirrel farts in the garden!

My wife is the polar opposite however.
Last night was a perfect example of that. 
I woke up around four as it was blowing a gale and I could here something bashing around outside. I popped down stairs to see what it was (the meter cupboard door for the electric had come open) and then decided to just go outside and check nothing was blowing around in the extension (wellies and boxer shorts is a good look for a night time prowl in the snow!). I then went back upstairs and to the loo where I rather clumsily knocked a pack of tissues into the bath, it made a terrible racket, woke up the boy who then cried for 5 minutes before settling back down. I got back into bed and my wife hadn't even stirred! 

Who else is a light sleeper? 

Or who could sleep through an earthquake? 

I think it's a good trait to have when you're looking after your little homestead though.

Dinosaur Cake

After a few less successful birthday cakes, a few of my friends cruelly wait with baited breath to see what I'll "create" for the next birthday.
My little boy loves Dinosaurs or anything that goes "raaa!!" 
So I made a dinosaur cake for him. 
I'm certainly not going to give up my day job (if I had one) but he and the girls loved it and it has a certain homemade charm to it. He did try and rip his eyes off when he got near to it though!

I've got to make another cake for my eldest who turns five at the weekend - any ideas? She keeps changing her mind on what she wants (last request was a cake shaped like a strawberry)!
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