Thinking About Exmoor

Having returned home this afternoon bearing the cloak of embarrassment, I’m setting my sights on a potential camping trip to Exmoor before this returning summer sun completely dissipates. A chance for redemption. Although, some might say that spending 3 days exploring a largely unknown mass of land is the last thing I should be contemplating after today’s walk; in which I led a group of fellow ramblers up and over the Quantock Hills with an excessive dosage of confidence [map ignorance]… I knew I’d taken a wrong turn but I hadn’t anticipated arriving back at the cars an hour early and 3 miles short!

Highland cattle at Quantock Lodge, Somerset, earlier today.

I’m currently torn between one of two camping sites right in the heart of Exmoor, which would provide me with car-free walking opportunities for each day. Now, I’m going to use this post to start planning and setting out ideas for ways in which I can pass my time there pro-actively.

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Dorset Coastal Walk (Part 2)

At the end of Part 1, I’d reached Ringstead Bay, at which point I decided to stop and finish off my lunch before negotiating an inland return route and hopefully getting to cross some hills. The temptation to trek back along the same line of the Jurassic Coast was great (in spite of those cliffs) but as someone who spends most weekends climbing mounds much closer to home, I wanted to discover what this patch of Dorset had to offer.

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Dorset Coastal Walk (Part 1)

We’ve had some good weather recently but it has to be said that it’s been a little cooler than we could expect for this time of year. A month ago, things were quite different, especially down on the south coast where I was exploring the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. Today, I’d like to begin recounting that walk which followed my first night’s sleep within a tent.

Lulworth Cove car park – 9am on a Saturday.

My intention was simply to walk west from Lulworth Cove (where I’d parked) to Ringstead Bay, which is around 6 miles. From there, I just wanted find a return route. I didn’t thoroughly plan anything in advance. It was more to do with finding sites of possible interest on my map and aiming for each in turn.

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Christmas 2013

I do hope that everyone has had a great Christmas so far. I don’t like to think of it as being ‘all over’, even two-days after the main event but 2014 is only moving closer. Despite not feeling at all ‘festive’ in the run up and not desiring anything more than the usual additions to my annual chocolate stash; for me personally, this has been one of the best Christmases. In a word, it has been UNIQUE

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When you’re heater’s not working, it retains other uses for display.

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Autumn on the Mendips?

My blog’s not as busy as it has been in the past but I do expect that to improve over the winter. Behind the scenes (as it were); there are lots of little things going on and I do have one or two big, half-expected announcements to make between now and Christmas… All in good time. My blog will always continue, even if the content happens to vary. Likewise, with my other social networks and of course, my YouTube channel; I will endeavour to keep them all alive.

Searching for autumn up on the Mendip Hills

I took some overdue time off work this week. My initial plan was to get out and to do lots of walking (it’s good for the mind and body) but with a consistent downpour until Wednesday, I felt defeated but eventually got around to assessing a couple of areas and making some tough decisions. Anyway, on Tuesday afternoon and in spite of the grey clouds overheard I thought, ‘Sod it!’, donned my waterproofs, grabbed my bag and went off for a short afternoon walk.

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Walking Backwards

If I’m going to make a better effort to include some of my other interests on this blog then, I may as well start by giving you a glimpse in to some of the walks I went on and places I visited in 2012. There’s a basic ‘list’ of twelve in the slideshow below (enough to inspire someone to visit one a month) but there are several more I’ve not included here. I don’t intend to go back, digging through all my photos to write about each of these in the past tense. However, I do expect to revisit many of these sites (and more) in 2013 so, I’m sure you’ll get to read more of them in the future, if not now. 🙂

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Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have about these places. Most offer free parking facilities nearby; others may be run by the National Trust or a similar organisation. I’d quite like to go back and shoot some (brief) video footage of some of these places and I do wish I’d thought of that ahead of my birthday walk this past weekend.

I’d also like to send a reminder to all woodworkers near Somerset in the UK that Yandles’ annual Spring Woodworking Show takes places this weekend, on both Friday and Saturday. I’m planning to make my way down there on Friday afternoon and, if I can remember to grab my camera, I’ll take some photos of my own and perhaps also some video footage of various demonstrations (it’s usually very busy and crowded though).

Thank you. 🙂

28: Unwrapped

I’d like to start by saying how refreshing it was to write a post on this blog that wasn’t about woodworking. It is a hobby and interest that has consumed so much of my life for the last few years but in 2012. I don’t mean that in a critical way as it’s largely down to my personality (we all make our own choices). In 2012, I began to break-away from the isolation and to explore other interests and I would encourage other ‘wood bloggers’ to be more open and rounded in their approach to sharing on their pages. If nothing else; it’s a great way to keep the content flowing while you’re unable to make sawdust and shavings, for whatever reason.

…”Happy Beard-day”??

It was Easter Sunday, it was also my birthday and I greatly enjoyed the day. Now, I’d like to share with you some of the items I received yesterday; material possessions that has less relevance compared to the value of things like true friendship, which I have also discovered within the last year.

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Tee-Halving Joint

At work today, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I haven’t done a video for over one month now; how much I want to make the most of what time I have left in my workshop; how I need to crack on and finish the mobile base I started for my table saw, weeks ago… All whilst banging nail after nail in to small sheets of wavy birch plywood!

So, I was home by 17.00 and, after briefly stopping in the bathroom, I grabbed my camera and headed straight out to the workshop! Evenings have been almost mild this week (even though forecasters are now forewarning the threat of snow to follow this weekend – just when we were opening our arms to welcome the spring!). In two hours, I managed to get the following filmed and also, I made some good progress on the mobile base, which I’ll share with you another time.

This is something that I originally intended to film and publish about a month ago during Get Woodworking Week… I also have a ‘Valentine’s Gift’ idea that I’d like to film at some point but, it looks like I’m going to sail straight past Mother’s Day with that one as well! This video’s all about cutting a tee-halving joint, which is a traditional form of lap-joint, between two pieces at 90°.

I hope you enjoy the video. I’m incredibly nervous and fast-talking infront of the camera but I welcome all and any comments people may have. It takes a good hour for me to upload a video of this length and I do now try to keep them brief… That also means compromising a little on the finished quality but then, I’m only using Windows Movie Maker, which is a free program.

If I was to use something paid-for (like Camtasia), would I able to experience faster upload speeds?

Ideally, I’d like to have one short video to upload once each week. In fact, from the video I’m sharing with you this evening, I could easily have cut a section from the end and published that under its own heading.

Thanks both for reading and for watching!