ok, so this blog hasn’t been updated in absolutely ages. Why you might ask?
Well, like many other people, with the possible end of Covid in sight, I set myself a series of projects and goals (with a 100-day countdown).
Just to show what is possible, above.
Built by my old friend Andy Ogden and his family, a superb garden beach bar, made from pallets and the like during the first lockdown.
I don’t pretend to understand joinery, but even I can see how impressive it is.
So, the theme of this month’s blog is what projects/jobs I’ve been doing. Some of them are useful and some a bit wacky, I’ll leave you guys to decide.
My goals have been a bit more modest.
This one for example involves me learning to tie 3 new knot’s every day.
January and February is usually the time I go through my outdoor gear and prepare for the adventure season.
I decide to replace/upgrade a few things and also treat myself.
I’ve had various lighters over the years (I’ve never been a smoker, but if you’ve ever made fire from friction, you know why).
This is an authentic Zippo. It’s engraved with Trust No One, just like the one used by the Cigarette Smoking Man from the X Files.
It’s also modified with a USB chargeable plasma igniter, rather than the normal petrol one which makes it a lot cleaner and a lot more reliable.
I’ve treated myself to several new things from the Rohan shop, including their Flex Jeans, which they say are the most comfortable Jeans you’ll ever wear (and I agree).
Additionally, I’ve upgraded my travel washbag. I take a bigger wash bag on longer trips with stuff like insect repellent, but for shorter trips I just take the basics.
This is the one I now use for short trips – it’s is the same size as my old one but opens out like a tray, rather than the traditional “hang up” ones.
When I was 17 there wasn’t much going on in my life, but I got hold of a book called The SAS Survival Handbook – by John “Lofty” Wiseman.
It had loads of stuff about Deserts and Jungles (places that were impossible for me to visit at the time, but I had my dreams and my enthusiasm).
It inspired me to make a tobacco tin “survival kit”.
I got hold of a tobacco tin and with help from my Grandma I was able to get needles and thing for the sewing kit.
The local fishing shop helped me with the fishing equipment and my mum advised me on painkillers and imodium.
I spent ages getting it perfect and even lit candles of different diameters to see which would light for the longest.
During the lockdown I’ve completely re-created it. I don’t know if I’ll ever need it (I’ve done so many Bushcraft courses I can improvise most of the thing in there from the forest) but if I do need it, it’s there in my pocket.
“Lofty” also talked about knives and cutting tools and went into great details about something called a “Parang” (pictured above).
I learned it was basically a native machete used in the Borneo Jungle.
I’ve been in Jungles in 4 continents and used various practical cutting tools like this.
During the lockdown, I’ve setup a high shelf in my kitchen with all 4 of them on display.
One thing I’ve been pleased about, is my work.
Although I work in IT, I’m classified as a Construction Industry key worker. This has meant I haven’t missed a single day’s work throughout the whole of the lockdown.
After my experiences in 2009 I can’t describe how much of a relief that’s been.
Speaking of work, some of my friends and colleagues noticed a delivery of tennis balls was left on my desk (I’ve never expressed an interested in sport, so they were a bit surprised).
They were even more surprised when, during lunchtime I proceeded to cut them all in half!.
They needn’t have worried.
Nikki and I are going camping soon and I’ve upgraded us to some camp beds.
In order to protect the tent floor, the “half” tennis balls go underneath the legs of the bed.
Since I’ve spent a lot more time at home, I’ve been upgrading my wall “real estate”.
I’ve got a new X Files – I Want to Believe Poster, bought a new picture of the Fighting Temeraire and an amazing poster of Escape from New York.
My Alan Turing news article from the MEN in 1997 has been reframed along with my “Jane Smith” picture of Crib Goch.
I went over to Liverpool for an evening at my old haunt the Town House, where I had a few drinks (and some chips, which I bought) with Matt and Mike.
Also met up with my old mate Nick from Newton Heath. Out of everything I think the thing I missed most was going to the pub with friends.
Can’t wait to stand up and walk about in the Lock Keeper after the 19th of July.
A regular fixture during lockdown was a streamed comedy event, we watched most Saturday evenings at 9pm.
Just the Tonic productions – Working from Home, had some brilliant comedians and lots of short sets so constantly switching tone.
One particular comedian I really enjoyed was Marcel Lucont. Playing a witty, aloof Frenchman, I howled with laughter.
Best thing, he’s actually appearing at Theatr Clwyd in a few weeks and we’ve booked to go and see him.
I’ve caught up on a lot of reading.
I was fascinated by the story of Bernie Madoff who recently died in Prison.
One minute he was the go to guy who everyone wanted to work with, the next he appeared in court in a bullet proof vest.
People lost billions of pounds due to his Ponzi scheme over several decades.
Interestingly, after appearing in court for the first time, he was allowed bail and returned to his Penthouse.
One of the people on the ground bellow, held up this sign !.
Well, thanks once again for “tuning in” to johnsunter.com.
Near and far, the search for adventure continues…