And no, don't ask about the state of my car...
Ok, back to smugness (while I'm on a roll ...). Got our storm kettle working AND managed to boil a pan of milk on the top to make hot chocolate. Ok, so this was in the back garden and I could have just used the microwave, and the milk was full of ash because I blew in the hole in the bottom and loads of ash came out (ho hum), but this was FIRE! Crackly smokey sort of stuff that gets in your eyes and makes you smell like a Guy on bonfire night. And you can't poke stuff in a microwave (well, not with the same crackly smokey dangerous satisfaction and it's certainly not advisable to poke it with a metal fork unless you want to create your very own miniature firework display).
I don't think having a storm kettle will help our attempts at minimalist travelling. Whereas we used to just go out with a flask of hot choc and some cups (and a sack of other unrelated stuff which I wont list but would have fed/clothed/entertained a football team), today we went out with the storm kettle, a bag of dry kindling (it had been raining), a tabloid newspaper (to burn, not read), a tin of soup, a tub of hot choc, a tub of dried milk powder, a couple of cup-a-soup packs, plus a pan, tin opener, matches, cups, bottles of water, cloths to wipe everything over afterwards AND a camera and spare batteries to photograph the kettle in action. All I needed was a tent and a sleeping bag we would have been set for the weekend!
Do you reckon Ray Mears keeps all his gear under his shirt. Perhaps that's why he looks like he's built like a brick outhouse? Wonder if he's got a storm kettle stuffed up there..?
________________________________________________Just been reading this with regard to the latest government consultation...
Have included an excerpt, (possibly not the best bit, but read the whole thing for yourself)
28 January 2009 The coming war against Home Schoolers
"And as long as it was just a matter of a few retired hippies and eccentrics keeping their young at home, which it was until very recently, home schooling didn't matter. But what is happening now is that many parents are taking their children out of state schools because a) they are being horribly bullied in anarchic classrooms and playgrounds and b) they have begun to notice that many of the schools aren't teaching them anything much anyway. - despite years of propaganda, stunts, gimmicks, 'specialist status', absurdly glowing OFSTED reports and allegedly improved (but fiddled) exam results.
If all the plumbers in your area were no good at fixing leaks, and kept flooding your kitchen, you'd teach yourself plumbing and do it yourself. The results couldn't be worse. Why not take the same view with schools? Why not just keep them at home and do a better job yourself? Of course this is impossible for couples who both trudge out to work every day. But one way or another there is now a significant minority of households where this isn't the case, where homeschooling looks like a serious option and may take off. I suspect the left-wing establishment want to nip it, hard, in the bud. Though of course I'm not prejudiced, and will wait with interest for the report."
Ok, more stuff to blog about but it's getting late and I'm too tired to continue with this displacement activity (perhaps I should try sleep instead?)