Saturday, 12 November 2011

Operation Christmas Child

http://www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk/about
Make a difference to one extra child this Christmas, send a Shoebox Gift and know that you have made a child happy for Christmas. We are sending two boxes, one boy, one girl. Please check out the website for how to help, but you only have until 18th November so hurry. Thank you. xxx
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy-fSxHuqck&feature=player_embedded#!
 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Fire Spinning - Staff and Poi

A little time ago, Sara and I decided to try a different kind of hobby, something we could do on our own, and be entertaining for us to do.

We went to a local kite shop and bought… No, not a kite… but a fire staff and a set of poi.  The idea is to spin the staff when its on fire around your body and create nice patterns in the air and relax, and likewise with the poi.  We had never ever done this before, but watched a few tutorials on YouTube, and then tried it out for ourselves, without the fire to start with hehe.

Wow!  It was great fun and I remember the both of us saying how much we ached the day after.  What fun we had dropping them all the time and hitting ourselves, but we stuck with it, and we got better and better.  




I decided to set my staff on fire for the first time one night and I felt a bit worried, but started to spin the staff.  Faster and faster it went until the staff and I were one.  I felt at peace and remember feeling great.  So the first spin had gone well, and from then on I used the staff with fire.  I did burn myself a couple of times, but nothing bad, and even put the fire end in my trouser pocket once.  Boy did it leave the pocket fast.  Lol. 




We decided to do a fire spinning show for friends and family one bonfire night at my parents house, and we let off the fire works and then did a few spins, which our friends enjoyed.  I don’t spin a lot these days due to other hobbies, but still love doing it as a way to relax.




Hope you like the photos, and perhaps you can challenge yourself and learn to spin.


 
Remember to keep a first aid kit and wet towel handy.   :O)

Take care and be safe!

Jase


Thursday, 22 September 2011

A Birthday to Remember!

On the 7th of September, I celebrated my 37th birthday by travelling to the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil.  It was also to celebrate my Dad’s 70th birthday, which had been a week or so earlier.

So we decided to take my Mum and Dad and Sara and myself too - hehe!  We set off early in the morning and arrived around 11am.  It was great to see my Dad excited about it, as he served in the RAF and used to fly Phantoms, and they had one there, which was going to be a big surprise for him.  We started to look at the planes and went up a level and then down a level in a lift, as we were trying to avoid a noisy part as Mum’s ears could not take it.  Now, Mum and I hate lifts, but at the end of the day we found them not too bad. LOL.

We took lots of photographs and had a great time, and when Dad saw the Phantom his face lit up and he wanted a photo or five taken.  This year we all spent the day together and I loved it, and thought it is not often I spend a whole day with my parents like that.  I think we will do something the same next year, as it was a birthday to remember.  I had some great presents from Sara too, which I love.  I got a new GPS, and Maxpedition bag and wallet.  Awesome!!

Hope you like the photos.

Enjoy time with your family!

Jason








Weather Forecast

video

Friday, 16 September 2011

Archery For The Win

Sara and I have been wanting to try Archery for years and never had the time to do a beginners course, so we kept putting it off.  This year was a little different.  We found that we were able to take time to spend the time!

We both wanted a challenge that would benefit our health and something we could do on our own as well as a couple.  I was always used to team games and sports where people would work together, but we decided we wanted something for ourselves to achieve and do this off our own backs without help from others.

So we decided to sign up and do the beginners course in June, which lasted for 3 weeks.  We thought  at the time that we would be rubbish at it, as the targets seemed such a long way away, but were just at 20 yards at this stage.  We meet with everyone and were shown the ropes and had great help from our tutor Ray, along with all the others at the club.  With a few laughs thrown in along the way, we felt so at home and maybe for the first time in a long time we were happy.

At the end of the course we had a small shoot out competition, where I got first place out of the men.  I was so happy to have won this, as it was the first thing I have ever won on my own for myself.  Sara said we should carry on with archery and we decided to join the club.  We were able to use the clubs equipment for a while which was nice, but then we decided to get our own bows and equipment and now we are kitted out.  Yay!

 
We have gone on to achieve white, green and black badges within the club competitions,  and we hope to have just achieved our national 3rd class ranking.  All this in just a few months.  People at the club say we are doing great and they encourage us every time we go, which boosts our confidence.
 

 I would recommend Archery to any one out there it is great fun and you may think it looks boring, but there is so much to learn and achieve if you just try.

Take care and have fun.

Jase

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Recipe for ‘Pizza’ Flan

This is my recipe for a pizza type flan.  I think some shop bought pizzas are tasteless, so decided to make my own.  This recipe is very easy and quick to do.  I hope you like it.

Prep Time:      20 mins
Cook Time:    20 mins

Preheat oven at 200°C/Gas mark 6

Ingredients

1 roll of JusRol puff pastry sheets
3-4 dessertspoonfuls of tomato puree
6 medium mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
2 large slices of ham, cut into squares
1 small tin of pineapple chunks, drained
100g of grated cheddar cheese
Beaten egg or milk to glaze
Seasoning

These are our favourite ingredients, but you can obviously use any you like.  Try it with peppers, red onion, pepperami, and cheese maybe.  You could even make a fruit flan with a jam type base.  Yummy!




JusRol puff pastry comes as a box of two sheets, rolled up.  You will need to take out one roll and leave it for a couple of hours at room temperature to defrost.
  1. Unroll the puff pastry sheet onto a baking tray.
  2. Spread over 3-4 dessertspoonfuls of tomato puree sauce, leaving a border to allow the pastry to rise.
  3. Spread over the sliced onion, mushrooms, ham and pineapple.
  4. Sprinkle over the grated cheese and any seasoning.  I use a dried seasoning which contains sundried tomatoes, garlic and sea salt, but you can use whatever you like.
  5. Brush the border with the beaten egg or milk to glaze.
  6. Pop it into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Sara

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Brecon Beacons Walkabout

Here is a video of me while walking during a stay in the Brecon Beacons, Wales.

 

My Survival Gear

I just wanted to show some of my favourite gear I sometimes take with me when I go camping or bushcrafting.  Everyone has different gear to suit them and when outdoors the greatest asset you can have with you is common sense, and to be adaptable to your surroundings.  You should also be aware of things around you that you could use in a survival situation if things go wrong.  Over the years my gear has changed.  I have had heavy rucksacks and light day bags, and have believed that I should take everything apart from the kitchen sink, but it can take its toll on the body, and now I have had a leg injury, I have to pack light and be sensible about I really do need with me.

In past years I have just used British army gear, such as combat trousers, smocks and burgens, and have found this gear to be hard wearing, quick drying and good to keep yourself from being seen in the woods.  However, if I were to get lost or hurt in the woods, then it would be very hard to find me.  So I have had a drastic change and have decided, out with the army gear (although I do feel lost without it), and in with hiking gear and maxpedition gear, and touch wood, so far so good.

So this is my main knife, the Timberwolf, which is a small knife, but very sharp.  I use it as a bushcrafting knife and have used it to batton a few logs too, and it is holding up well.  The larger knife is a Mora knife which I have as a backup and it is a real sturdy knife for most outdoors jobs.


 
 
I also have two different types of axe, one wood and one full metal.  Both cut logs well and have not let me down.





This is my wood saw.  It is a cheap saw, which is great to cut small logs for the camp and for pruning trees.




My new Maxpedition Jumbo bag, which I have just used for Geocaching.  I filled it up with food and drink and other items, and carried it for a whole day with no problems at all.  I can see this being my best bag and most used in the future!





My map case is waterproof and great to carry, and very useful as I found when I was hit once by a horrid rain storm.  :O)  I was able to navigate without the map going soggy.  Happy days!






I could go on and on with more gear, but I don’t wish to bore you, so I will stop here for now.  All I can say is, always be prepared for any event that may happen.

Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions about any of the kit that I carry.

Jase

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Our First Day Geocaching...

28 August 2011

Yesterday Sara and I went Geocaching for the first time.  We have been thinking about starting a hobby that would give us a bit of adventure, and get us out in the great out doors, and with the added bonus of leaving a gift for someone else to enjoy and signing a log, we thought we would give it a go.

We set off early in the morning, around 7:30am, and loaded our co-ordinates into our car satnav to see if we could use it to find the cache we wanted to find, and hoped that we could use it for future Geocaching.

So armed with the satnav and a few clues to help us, we set off.  We took a bag with some coffee and munchies, and some items to put in the cache and we began to walk across a large field heading for a hill towards a castle.  We knew the area roughly, as we live nearby and know how to get to the castle, so when the satnav failed to help us at all, we carried on up the hill regardless.  I was quite cheesed off at the fact it was no help to us, and thought our chances were slim at finding our first cache.





We got to the top of the hill and were met by a little dog jumping up at us and covering Sara in mud.  We waited for the dog and owner to leave before we began to look, as we did not want to give the hide position away to a Muggle (someone who is not a geocacher).  We found the cache easily after using the clue.

I did not think I would get excited about it, but it was a great feeling to find it and felt great to open it and see all the things other people had left.  Although it was just a small container, it had a log book and notes and cards from people, and a few gifts which are used to exchange (you leave an item and take an item of the same value), but we decided to take nothing and leave two items.  We left an alien and a small magnifying glass and signed the log book, and sealed up the container and put it back where we had found it.





I was sold on the idea of doing more geocaching in the future, and as we sat and drank some coffee I felt relaxed and took a few photos and thought about how great it was to share this with Sara, and share the moment and views too.




We got home and logged our find and decided to buy a proper handheld GPS as this would be great to help us in the future.  We are looking forward to doing more geocaching in the future, and can’t believe how many caches there are to find.  We are going to be very busy  :O)

Jason


29 August 2011

Jason and I went on our second geocaching trip today.  We knew we couldn’t rely totally on the car satnav, and are still waiting for the new GPS to arrive, so I had a good look at the clues on the Geocaching.com website, so I knew the approximate area in which we would find the cache, and wrote down the clue.  I didn’t tell Jase where we were heading, as I thought it would be a nice surprise for him when we actually found the place.  I have lived all my life nearby to the park where the cache was hidden, but I didn’t even know this particular place existed, so I guessed Jase didn’t either.





We set off, following the satnav in the car until we were nearer to the cache site.  Then we parked up and began our lovely walk on a path through the woods.  It was a beautiful clear morning, and we met lots of very friendly dogs and their equally friendly owners.

When Jason spotted the main area of the cache site, he was surprised.  He hadn’t been there before either.



We had to wait until the coast was clear and there were no muggles around before beginning our search.  After searching around for a while near the house, we still hadn’t found anything.  The satnav by now, was pretty useless, so we couldn’t get a lock on the exact spot.  I had looked at the photos on the cache’s page and had seen people poking around on a wall behind the house.  We looked everywhere, but couldn’t find anything.  Jase was searching high and low, while I stood on the path ‘spotting muggles’.  Eventually we gave up and decided to come back and look again once we had the proper GPS to help us.

As we started walking back to the car, I suddenly remembered the clue I had written down.  I stopped and pointed out a big tree to Jason.  We checked the coast was clear and Jase searched around for a little bit before he found it.  He nodded excitedly to me when he spotted the cache.  He grabbed it, and we took it to a nearby bench to examine it.



There were lots of little bits and pieces inside.  We signed the log book and took some badges, leaving some small toys.  Jase rehid the cache, and with big grins on our faces, we headed back to the car.

Sara

Monday, 15 August 2011

Why ‘Barking At Rainbows’

The Barking At Rainbows name is really a tribute to our wonderful dog, Sam.  Sam is 15 years old, and we have had him since he was six weeks old.  He is not just a dog to us, like many people who own a dog, he is very much part of the family.

Sam likes to bark at things.  Hey, he’s a dog, it’s his job right.  It’s just that Sam likes to bark at odd times.  He woke up in the middle of the night once and started barking at his pillow!  On a walk besides the Ystradfellte waterfalls in Wales, he stopped to bark manically at a rock in the middle of the river for a good five minutes.  Nothing would move him.

Sam once barked at a rainbow!  It’s just the way he is.

We love Sam to bits, and he is the best dog in the world.  He will come over to you and put a paw on your knee.  That means he wants something.  You get up to follow him and he will take you to the front door if he wants to go for a walk.  He takes you to the back door if he just wants a pee.  He will lead you to the fridge if he fancies a drink of milk, or the cupboard if he wants a biscuit (his own) or a chew.  He even lets you know when he is tired and wants to go to bed, but he expects you to follow him.  He says please, and licks your hand to say thank you.  He nips you very gently on the nose to give you a kiss.

Sam is 15, so he’s getting on a bit now.  That’s 105 in dog years, and we treat him with the respect that any old fellow deserves.  He is partially blind and deaf, so when he does hear something and starts to bark, I get excited, just to know that he heard something that excited him.  He is very clever.  He knows that Jason is due home from work at 3pm, and he goes to the window to watch for him.  Sam gets so excited when he sees him coming up the path.

Sam sleeps a lot now.  At this moment he is sleeping on his pillow at my feet, snoring away.  His legs are jumping.  I think he’s dreaming about running across fields.  Or perhaps he is chasing that rainbow.



Sara

Faith's Friends

If you have a Facebook account, you will know that you sometimes get lots of requests for you click on this, that or something else.  I was sent such a request recently, but it turned out to be one that touched my heart and made me cry, so I would like to share it with you.

Faith was 7 years old on April 19th when she was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma in her left deltoid and shoulder.   The request was that she wanted 9,000 friends.  As simple as that.  If you read the info page on the link below, you will understand just what Faith has had to endure during her short life, and you will be touched by her bravery too.

Please follow the link, and perhaps send her a postcard to let her know you are thinking of her.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Faiths-Friends/120764287940176?sk=info

Thank you.

Sara

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Capturing A Sunrise



Often in our every day lives we get stuck in a rut and feel like our life is not our own, due to work and family commitments, and sometimes we can be doing the same thing over and over again, without having a chance to recharge our batteries.  We do things so fast that we fail to notice the beauty in everyday things that are all around us, and we ignore our feelings and those of the people around us too.  I have often found that I just didn’t have the time to relax.  Many people were telling me to slow down and relax and chill out, but to me I was just doing things as normal and just carried on, failing to notice the tell-tale signs of my body getting tired.

This was all until the day my life changed totally, and I came back down to earth with a massive bump, and realised I was not indestructible any more and I could break!  Most of my life I have been in good health and have had few accidents, but this was the start of something big for me.

I used to do medieval sword fighting for about 15 years or so, and I was practicing for a festival and slipped on some mud.  It all happened in just a few seconds.  My leg snapped out away from me at a right angle, and I heard a loud snap and fell in great pain to the floor.  I then swore for a few seconds and then I guess I felt nothing.  I looked at my leg and decided to try to put it back, along with my knee cap.  Now I am no expert, but I did manage to put things back quite well and then everything started to swell as I sat on the floor.  My friends were all looking at me as if I was messing around, but my wife Sara, knew I had actually hurt myself.  We were in the middle of some woods and I could not be moved, as our first aider said it was best to stay still, even though I still thought I could walk and get back to the car park.  Who was I trying to kid?

The ambulance staff arrived about a hour after my accident and rushed me off to hospital where I was given gas and air while they moved my leg about and x-rayed it.  Ouch!  The gas and air didn’t seem to work very well.  I left the hospital a while after on crutches, with a leg brace to keep it all still and safe.  My knee was the size of a small football and my ankle was the size of a tennis ball.  I had to then wait until the swelling went down before going to have a MRI scan to see what damage I had done.  The results were worse than I thought.  I thought I would be off work for a few weeks, but I did not return back to work for over 10 months.  It turned out that I had a patella dislocation and fracture, ACL and MCL ruptures, a sprained ankle and nerve damage.  I had to learn to walk again and build my leg muscles back up, as they had wasted away because I could not walk for months.  I had so much pain and discomfort and had many challenges to overcome, but I remember watching summer go by out of my window and wishing I could be out there in the sun, or even in the rain.  



I thought I would never walk again.  But I did my physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, and got stronger, and now I can walk again and enjoy the sun and rain once more.  I still get pain and swelling, but I am just happy to be able to walk and do some of the normal things I used to do.  However, I can’t do all of the things I did before and can no longer do the sword fighting.

One thing I am able to do is one of my most favourite things, and that is camping and survival training.  I have been able to take people to Wales and show them how to do simple things, like lighting fires, identifying wild foods and how to survive in the wild, and it gives me a great sense of wellbeing and peace.  I have been interested camping and survival, and have been visiting the beautiful landscapes of Wales, since I was 12 years of age, and every time I go out there, I feel free and my life slows down again.  I recently went over with friends and set off early in the morning on my own as they had decided to stay in bed.  I wanted to capture a sunrise and I sat and ate porridge and drank tea and felt the warmth of the sun on my face once again.  This was my first real hike since my injury, and made me feel I had completed a great challenge.  I remember feeling that I was glad to be alive and despite my injury, I had made it and life was great.  Maybe by reading this, it will get you thinking about your life, and how you can slow down and relax, and notice the beauty around you, and avoid an injury!

My life had changed so much.  I have lost friends and made new ones, and I have started new hobbies and became closer to the people I love, and I fell in love with my wife all over again.  So don’t wait until you have the time to look around you.  Stop now and act to appreciate what you have and those close to you, and how you can make life better for yourself.

Hugs

Jason