If nothing else..

Early one morning

Early one morning

An aide memoire, a visual record and a reminder that the seasons are moving on so it feels. The effort to get out of bed this morning and go for my daily early walk proved well rewarded and I saw a beautiful but chilli sunrise bathing the land in a golden glow as far as the eyes could see. Runkeeper times are way behind but that will improve quickly.

The view kind of made me think of those post cards that have such views and the effort expended to get that one shot as the light changes so fast at that time of the morning and having known a photographer who takes these kind of shots and the gear he humps around it must be an amazing feeling when you know you have ‘the’ one. My attempts usually fall way short of the mark and even with all the technological assistance modern cameras give you I still manage to foobar most shots I take. Guess some form of learning/tuition might be added to this years todo list.

All through the winter months I think of being able to walk in t-shirts and not have 5 layers of protection on and remember the previous summers walks, lying by rivers and falling around on the moorland heather, now I’m squelching through the mud or skidding around on icy paths or smarting from a nice dose of windburn. However it does have its advantages and I stock up on the malts with this being one of my favourites. Nothing like a wee dram to take the edge off. And on that happy note I’ll sign off for Friday. Happy weekends..

E is for..

ELIMINAeisforeliminateTE!! Slowly working through it. Keeping my attention focused is hard at the best of times but I set myself the goal of reading for 30 minutes of the day as this seems to be what I can manage at the moment. I have never been a huge reader and am constantly told that I should read more. Yes I can see the benefits but then I get my knowledge and enjoyment from discovering, adventuring and learning online. The downside is that it can take up sooo much time and take away from actually doing! But I have gained more than I have lost in my approach. There isn’t any walk of life or interest that you can’t find someone in the world that has posted up on Youtube or blogged about and to me that is amazing. Want to change a plug, learn to fly a kite, pour aluminium castings, learn an instrument to language, now is the time. Do something different. I am I started blogging.

And on that note at 06:55 I am going to get up and go for my morning walk that I stopped doing late last year but am restarting today in order to get to (a) goal.


Just a quick post as not much to say really today apart from even more incentive to grab life after hearing a family friend is losing the battle to cancer. I don’t know whether its just we hear about it more no that we did or whether if you listen to conspiracy theorists that ‘they’ are doing this to us, but I think it lies somewhere in the lifestyles have changed so much even in the last 30 years and that we are surrounded by so many more contaminants. But what do I know its all just theories. No consolation to the millions of families out there that have lost or are losing a loved one to this gross mutation.

Note to self: just do it; for want of a better phrase.. I am trying to break the mould..

In other news

faroffWell it almost felt like spring this morning and managed to get out for the first proper walk in what seems like weeks admittedly I have been walking since the new year but rather sporadically due to rather grim weather. In fact whilst out yesterday pretty much had all forms of meteorology in the space of 30 minutes all the way through sun and snow. However today was the complete opposite and seemed almost spring like though we know not to get ahead of ourselves. Talking of weather on of the best ways to get the British talking is to strike up a conversation on the weather. You can be in any part of this fair land and to a complete stranger say “lovely weather were having” or something to the contrary and you will know doubt have found out the local news, gossip and probably the persons life story in a very short time. It never ceases to amaze me the levels of these types of conversation takes one to having recently experienced it myself on a train just after Christmas. The person sitting next to me turn out to be the husband of someone I worked with and in all the time I had know his wife had never met him, all from “looks like snow” comment.

Anyway I wander from the purpose of this post which is to say I picked up a very cheap dig-calipers this morning from an Aldi store we stopped by for some groceries probably not the best quality in the world but for that price.. You can never have enough tools in my opinion and I thought I had some when I last moved but the gremlins have obviously hidden them and as soon as I start using these then the others will turn up. I can now carry out accurate measuring measures!



One of the things I have been thinking about as a both a interest but also as a possible income is bee keeping though having put any real effort into researching the subject has rather made this a rather distant objective but seeing this has awoken that interest. I have no idea where and how I would do this but seeing things like this just makes me think that leap is a little closer.


Whilst dodging the snow showers and rain and a rainbow that I nearly got to the end of.. if only.. just a little further.. shame I could get camera out before it disappeared but it was one of the most spectacular ones I have seen I collected the final load of pallet wood. Thankfully just before the skies opened and snow started whipping around. It’s amazing how lovely a nice warm car is in such conditions, just took some time for fingers to thaw out enough to drive again.

So what to do with all this wood well bench top to start off with after slicing accidentally through the current one with a circular saw. The I have had a commission for building a dolls house stand this wood won’t be good enough for that. However I am going to build a workshop stool for those pondering moments with cuppa tea and a pencil stuck behind my ear. Then maybe some trays like the ones you were forced to make at school and that ones family thought was the most amazingest thing in the world ever until an uncle (engineer) tapped in on the side of a table and it fell to bits. There is a life lesson. I just need to find an outlet for them so I can flog some to fill ‘the’ jar up. Might have to see if I can inflict them on family friends first.

Wading my way through 4HWW as have not found huge amounts of time to read and reading at night especially in bed is a guaranteed way of falling asleep for me but I am inching way through it. In fact I have a stack of books I need to read and having got started I am actually looking forward to reading more again.


and as a final note here is a seasonal look at somewhere I plan to cross one day either boating or walking.

and loved Julia Bradbury’s programs.

Ones daily bread

breadThought I would have a go at something different and make bread so with the wonders of the interweb got the makings bashed it all together and had to wait a couple of hours, taadaa, ok well not quite that simple but really its just flour, yeast, salt and water with a bit of olive oil and some walnuts added. Wasn’t sure if I had killed the dried yeast by putting what I thought was too hot. I didn’t have any bread making tins so had to wing it and leave them round, however this just worked out fine. I have to say it is very very nice, No bread maker for me just good old fashioned elbow grease and it all cost a very small amount of dough It’s amazing what you can achieve with time on your hands. I plan to have another go at this and maybe make something a bit more exotic didn’t realise it was so easy, I fancy some Chelsea buns although I may have to give most of them away in order to stop me eating them all 🙂

Now where is the jam and a big cuppa tea.

Daily Ogle

The daily visit to this site is refining my view of what is out there and helping me think about what space I want and all the givens and druthers. I am starting to think that this form of living is going to be the best and most likely option for the short term future. Plans for an own build home are still the primary objective and reading around buying land and getting planning permission could take up to 10 years so the boat would be a good stepping stone and as I have said before some thing on the bucket list.

Still finding my blogging legs and working out what and how much to put down, I am wondering how many people use it as an online diary but it is one of the things that I wanted to do as then in the future I look back and see where I have come from both physically and metaphorically. I started out thinking that I would write warts and all but am realising that even I don’t want to read “today I got up and had a cup of tea” oh there’s an idea whilst slaving over a hot keyboard but I do want to keep the flow of thoughts and progress as sometimes it’s the small things that matter and the daily life is just as important as the big moments.

I have come up with the hundred pound jar (well I hope it will contain 100 coins) which as you you would expect it is a jar that contains one hundred pound coins. I thought that in line with the one pound challenge I would use it as a small starter project so that once I get to hundred I will pay it into a savings account and then carrying on building from there. Right where can I make my first pound!


Pallet Pile

This morning was spent collecting a pile of 7 pallets from a freecycler near by and managed to get at least 80% of it out in “good” condition the rest will go on the fire and as we live out in the back of beyond and the utilities can get piped gas here we are fighting our way through the winter on solid fuels and timber I can scavenge, really could do with a small chainsaw. The wood will come in handy for finishing off my workshop bench and building some more storage shelves and the drawers for the bench. If I have any left over I am going to look at making some little boxes to sell on to raise a bit of cash towards the starting a new life fund! I have my eye on some more at a local building site so will have to make enquires to see if I can lift them. I also need to build a pallet pal to help dismantle the pallets quickly and easily so I don’t end up slashing myself to bits.

I did wonder about building a house out of pallet wood but then this would be probably a foolish idea given the the climate better move on to more suitable materials or even alternative modes wonder how many I can come up with.

Bright ideas

LlangollenCanalSmallLying awake early this morning I have been churning around in my mind all the options I have been looking at since starting out on this journey and at times have felt overwhelmed but the sheer weight of possibilities and underwhelmed with my abilities to achieve the end goals but a couple of things that stand out and they are that owning land and building ones own home is a very lengthy processes that are not necessarily easy or successful however it is ultimately something I want to get too but in the meantime I am looking at alternative living projects. Another branch taken was looking into van living this however doesn’t feel a good fit for me and the levels of uncertainty and stress would be unacceptable, however potentially a motorhome on a static site might be an option.

Whilst visiting friends last year seeds were sown when they took me to a local canal and sparked off some thoughts of alternative living. At the time I was in the process of selling off my bricks and mortar house due to having to sell to avoid repossession and also wanting to downsizing my financial burdens at a time when I had/have no income. After an initial surge of optimism I came away full of ideas but without having any grounding or knowledge of living on a boat. I was taken with the slow pace of life and thoughts of summer cruising and on the down side pondered thrashing out winter in what I thought would be a cold damp cell. Whilst browsing around Twitter I came across this channel that has a lot of information that normally you cannot find and answering a lot of the concerns I had. One of my main concerns was being able to manage the boat single handed. However I now find that there are many resources not only online but offline too. One thing I have been considering is looking at volunteering locally well I say locally it is still a ways off, for the CRT as a volunteer lock keeper, I don’t know why but I find locks hypnotising and have been fascinating since I was a kid, as this would be a good introduction to the waterways without having to lay out hard cash where I could learn the ropes or should that be windlass.

This moves me on nicely to another filed topic that I heard on the radio earlier this month. It really got me thinking how could I start financing my future life. Hats off to the guy and an interesting story and something I have thought for a long time but never put into the practice. Although I don’t have the same conditions, there are always possibilities to create the conditions to generate income in such ways. Ok the night recedes and its time to get up and go go go.. well not maybe that much as tea is needed first.