Category Archives: holidays


Thank you woodcraft folk


The woodcraft folk are a group of peace loving hippy types I was introduced to as a young boy. They took me camping, helped me develop my confidence and independence and a general love of the outdoors and environmental issues. I am also happy to say they, arranged for me to protest at Greenham Common, a US air base where nuclear weapons were stored, as part of the CND hold-hands-around-the-airbase protest. I was only 10 at the time I think, upon requesting to go to the protest my mum asked me why I wanted to go. Apparently I replied that I wanted to be arrested and put into a police van! My mum agreed on the basis that she didn’t think that was too likely. And as it turned out she was right.

The woodcraft folk taught us how to put a tent up quickly so it wouldn’t fall down or leak in the night. We put up tents of all shapes and sizes and were timed to make sure that we cooperated together to do it quickly. They showed me how to take a tent down and clean the ground sheet as we packed it away, so it didn’t rot the tent when packed away in the bag for months. They also delivered survival skills courses, taught us to read maps and use a compass, and how to build a shelter out of forest material to protect from wind and cold in emergency situations

Altogether this was heaven for a small boy who wanted danger, but whose mother didn’t.

I say thank you because recently the wonderful miss g and I bought ourselves a tent and went camping in Wales for a few days. I found I remembered all the things that I was taught, and used many of the skills they taught me to look after us both and our equipment.

I hope to have the opportunity to continue to pass on this knowledge onto young people, as I have done on several occasions at Quaker camps in years past. I am toying with the idea of investigating current woodcraft groups in our local area, I think I would gain much by rolling back the years and being involved with them as an adult organiser.
So I leave you with some images of our beautiful tent, and, if the iPad gallery feature works on this gadget of mine, the woodcraft folk badge.

I will have to try and dig out a green shirt I once had with badges sewn into it …




Catpain’s log

Writing from the 14th deck of a luxury cruise liner, moored in Naples in the blistering heat, with a pint of wife beater in my grateful hand, is, unsurprisingly, a new experience for me. I can confirm from my experience so far that sunburn provides a welcome distraction from sore back muscles, and that neopolitan pigeons have hairy legs!

We disembark any moment, I think for livorno, where we will be set loose upon the supposedly gorgeous Florence and Pisa, of leaning tower fame.

Being the geek that I am, I am loving taking pics with my iPhone, even if it let me down just as James martin, chef from Saturday kitchen was posing with me lovely gurlfriend. The resultant picture makes him look like a waxwork and me the bad photographer I am, however, the moment when I load the pictures onto my mac back at home will be special, as places in iphoto will map the locations of the images, which is desperately cool!!

Steve jobs, you f’in genius.

Cleopuss goes on holiday

Cleopuss is officially on holiday. She is taking in milnrow and a particularly special French window to look out of for 7 days. Milnrow is also home to the stairs of any cats dreams, she is in kitty hiding heaven. The puss decided a cruise was a bit much and, being no lover of water anyway, the thought of spending 7 days floating on the stuff was one she passed up happily.

Cleopuss and I would both like to thank auntie julie from the bottom of our hearts for feline room and board for 7 days. Incredibly hospitable as ever, a palace for a very grateful cat and her bestest friend.

Much love in milnrow .. Much love