Friday, 31 August 2007

Unrolling My New Blog Roll

I’ve just reorganised my blog roll, and I thought I’d tell you a bit about what I think is cool about each of these writers.
I correspond with some of them, and join in the discussions on their comments sections.
Bloggers: If you didn’t get a mention it was either because you don’t post often enough, or that I’m saving you and your blog for a day when I’ve got very little happening in my own life, but fancy doing a post.

Bushcraft and The Big Outdoors

The American Bushman
Kit reviews you can believe in, and if you were wondering about the rising price of steel, its because its all been made into knives and he’s bought them all!

Pablo’s Nature, Wildlife and Bushcraft
Very cool blog with lots of great content. Pablo’s posted regularly since 05 and has taken some really nice pictures of plants and animals. His bushcraft and web design skills are very good.

Mungo Says Bah!
Set against the backdrop of Canada; the adventures of a chap and his dog.

Dynamite Skills
One of the first bushcraft blogs I started following. He took a course with Tom Brown’s school and it changed his life. He’s not posting as often as he used to but is still well worth a look.

Living Off-Grid

The Hobo Stripper
A great blog with an unusual mix of stuff, in any given week she’ll be talking about anything from home canning Elk meat to the psychology of getting bigger tips when dancing in a strip club, and everything in between. If she can post as often as she does, while living in a truck in the woods, what possible excuse do any of us have?

The Adventures of Urban Scout
He’s young, he’s idealistic, he’s opinionated, he’s unafraid. And if you were ever wondering what bushcraft and blogging have ever done for anyone, they’ve brought him the affections of Penny Scout.

Adventures in Feral Failiure With Penny Scout
She tells many of the same stories as Urban Scout but from her perspective, giving you that soap opera vibe, but with a bushcraft twist. PS. She’s cute.


Urban Fly Fisher
Urban is stretching it a bit, (just look at the photos on his site - not a building in sight) but he certainly fly-fishes a lot and has a very entertaining style.

Mike Ladle
Doc Ladle is THE MAN for fly and lure fishing in the UK and in the Caribbean.
The perfect counter point to the ‘technical’ fishing writers, his philosophy is to use as little gear as possible and to have a really good understanding of fish behaviour. Clunky site with fantastic content

Sea Fishing Blog
A chap called Jamie fishing the Cornish coast mainly from a kayak. People send him fishing questions and he gives good, clear advise on how to catch more fish.

A few people post on this one. Have a look at this article on hiking in to Colorado’s Gore range to fish for cutthroats, adventure fishing at its best.,13355,1566070,00.html

My Neighbourhood Bloggers

The Boudica of Suburbia
She’s very funny.

The Greenwich Phantom
Current affairs: if it moves in Greenwich he knows about it
Local history: if it moved in Greenwich............
Very, very well written.


The Hog Blog
Prolific, well written and most importantly, he gets out there and does stuff, creating a window for us suburban types to gaze longingly through.


The Gun Nut
After twenty five years writing about things that go bang and spit lead David E Petzal knows a thing or two about the subject. The discussion board is often hilarious. Sometimes intentionally so.

Check 'em out

Those Thirteen Little Words Every Dad Wants To Hear

If you read the discussion boards on the Outdoor and Hunting/Fishing sites you’ll be familiar with the problem so many of us are wrestling with: how can I pass my enthusiasm on to my boy, get him to share in my obsessions?

During our recent adventures in the Languedoc region of France Bushwacker jnr and I wandered down to the bank of the Canal du Midi which connects the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of France. While we were feeding the ducks we sat on a drain outlet were rain water (and being France probably other kinds of water) ran into the canal. A four-inch perch (?) swam into view, exposing itself in about three inches of the clear warm water. It looked just like you could reach in and grab it.
My lad kept trying to, and to his frustration Mr Fish kept swimming off.
His frustration built up as Mr Fish kept taunting him by coming back, and swimming off, coming back, and swimming off.
On our third visit he said
“Dad, I don’t care what I have to do, I’m catching that fish”

I know that feeling little dude!

Canal du Midi on wikipedia

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Sofa King Whacked

It’s that time again: your pal SBW was forced off the sofa and the TV remote prised from his chubby little hand – “Off to the running club fat boy” said Mrs SBW.

And oh what torture it was, Greenwich Park is steep, way steep, and the guys from British Military Fitness had us hopping, (yes Hopping, you know travelling on ONE foot!) up the hill before we were allowed to run up the hill, it was murder. But as mentioned in a previous post at least it keeps the existential angst at bay.
I’ve taken to asking other victims, I mean participants, about their motivation. “ I just don’t want to be last” is quite a common one – myself I’m too busy not wanting this to be my last breath to care about anyone else.

After the hill-climb came the long jog, I’d have thought it was a long walk, but no we ran – well for most of it anyway. As we jogged we passed a rosy-cheeked young couple, enjoying the warm evening air, sitting on a park bench, happily drinking what looked like a bottle of whiskey. As people ran past they shouted encouragement. “You can do it” and “faster you’re winning”. I like to think of myself as the master of the witty retort, but all I could muster, through gritted teeth, was a “that’s easy for you to say” as my hart tried to leave my body.

The thought of tromping the hills of bonny Scotland with a pack and rifle in search of Red Stags and then later more of the same with a compound bow in my sub arctic search for the Elk of my dreams was all that kept me going. I’d rather die now than face coming home with no meat due to general laziness.

When I got home Bushwacker Jnr was eagerly awaiting my arrival: “Hey dad there’s a new film coming out, mum says you’d like it, its called Run Fat Boy Run!!

You’ve gotta love ‘em haven’t you? It’s not legal to use them as bear bait!
run fat boy run trailer

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Friday, 24 August 2007

Battue: French For Bushwacking.

Battue: Whacking (or battering) bushes to flush out game animals.

I’m back, the sojourn to southern France is over and I’ve a few tails to tell you about, some of them fishy and some of them boorish.

But first the bad news; bad news for the boars, the french boar-hunting season gets under way next week and there are more double express rifles heading into the woods than ever stalked the African plains. And it’s bad news for me. I’m a long way from the Languedoc. Bah!

Like most things french, hunting ‘french style’ is very different to the aristocratic traditions of their english neighbours. Airs and graces are unnecessary, as are bespoke red coats and pedigree horses. No one is wearing a necktie. Where (and whether) you went to school is of no consequence. This is hunting ‘come as you are’. In France la chasse (the chase) is a great leveller. It’s for the rich and the poor, its enthusiasts are from the town and the country. The doctor with his exquisite double rifle stands alongside the barman with his great granddaddies under and over. While people with American hunting experience will recognise the camo and the slug guns, the french attitude to health and safety during le Battue will leave you, if not shaken, certainly very glad you brought along that blaze orange vest.

For la chasse there is no need to hang a tree stand and get to it before dawn, in france the hogs and bucks come to you. Every Sunday during the season at 8am, you down a couple of stiff drinks in the village square, then a drive out to the forest. The hunting association for the area will have elected a captain, and he will nominate who takes up position in the line, where the guns stand and wait, usually about fifty yards apart on the edge of the forest, and who runs with the dogs in le Battue or the team of beaters.

The beaters follow the dogs, which like their masters vary in temperament from the highly trained pedigree terrier, to the farmyard mutt. Brambles and bushes must be whacked, spiralling french horns are used for calling and despatching the hounds, with more blasts to signal to the line. This is hunting for the cooking pot. All game is fair game so as boars, rabbits and stags break cover they are turned towards the guns. Some of the beaters are also armed to insure nothing gets away. Chaos reigns. As the beaters near the line, and hopefully no one on the line has been shot this week, the horn blasts to tell the beaters to stop shooting and the line to turn to follow the fleeing prey.
Then its back to the village restaurant for a massive lunch with anything upwards of four courses and lots of wines and spirits before the whole thing begins again.

The season lasts until February – There’s still time to get out there. Wish me luck.

Asterix models