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  1. slowworm

    Bike recommendations

    I currently ride an old mountain bike that I've tweeked for the road (mud guards, narrower and lightly treaded tyres etc). It's ok but I'm looking for something more suitable for the road. I don't want a out and out racing bike as the roads around here are muddy, gritty, potholey etc. So, I...
  2. slowworm

    No cook main meal one packet options

    Occasionally I meet people who are camping and hiking in the area without suitable preparation. I've given them food and water but I'd like to find something a bit more suitable as a main meal. The main problem is finding something that doesn't require cooking. I'd also like to find something...
  3. slowworm

    Waterproofing a sweatshirt

    In my quest to find something easy to work in but showerproof I've been wondering if it is possible to waterproof a jumper. I have a couple of poly-cotton sweatshirts that are a very tight weave and I wondered if they're take a wash in or spray on waterproof? If so would it actually waterproof...
  4. slowworm

    Work coat pattern

    I've been after a light coat / work jacket for a while and can't seem to find anything suitable locally. I've seen a few online but I find sizing is always a gamble. So, my OH has offered to make something and suggested the following pattern...
  5. slowworm

    What beekeeping related activities did you do recently?

    By popular demand a thread about all things to do with or related to beekeeping. Like many others here I have a few colonies and I keep them for all sorts of reasons. The main one was simply just to have honey bees about the place as we had not seen them locally. They have gone one to produce a...
  6. slowworm

    Working ash for tool handles

    After finding one of those rare 'round tuits' I've finally managed to make a shave horse (christened Wilkinson for obvious reasons). So, I can now start making some tool handles for the various hammers, axes etc that need new handles. I find green ash wood much easier to work so can I rough...
  7. slowworm

    Brades 419 cleaver / chopper / thingy?

    I've just been cleaning a small cleaver type tool I picked up cheaply. It turns out to be a Blades 419 but I can't find out what it would have originally been used for. Anyone have any idea of its proper use? I had assumed meat cleaver but could it have been sold for chopping kindling or...
  8. slowworm

    Peas

    Next year I'd like to grow a pea specifically for drying. Just wondering if anyone does this and can recommend any variety at all? I'd like to try to grow our own protein and rather than growing something like soya beans (which we found rather variable) I know people are growing peas to replace...
  9. slowworm

    Vinyl / Leatherette restoration

    Maybe a bit off topic for the site but anyways. I picked up a small wooden trunk for a project and it is covered in a black fake leather. I'd like to give it a little clean and then try and look after the covering some how. I don't want it recovered or made to look like new, just for it to not...
  10. slowworm

    Hen of the woods

    I found an old hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa) today in our woods. It's old and had rolled away from the tree it was growing under so I'll not try it. However, does anyone know if it's likely to grow at the base of the same tree again? I would assume so. Also, has anyone tried it, I gather...
  11. slowworm

    Hazel nut variance

    Does anyone know much about hazelnuts, Corylus avellana? I've been collecting plenty of nuts this year for eating and decided to keep the largest to grow on and plant up an area around our home. I'm curious about the huge variability of the trees I have, many produce small nuts but I've found...
  12. slowworm

    Candle lantern

    I've been looking for a well made candle lantern for ages but can't seem to find anything suitable. I do not mean something like the Uco lanterns but something much more robust. If I could design my own it would have two or three glass sides, a back reflector, and be made solidly out of metal...
  13. slowworm

    Filet-O-Grass snake

    Wandering around my woodland today I found a dead three foot long grass snake. Well, I found the last couple of inches of it's tail and the rest was just the bones as if something had filleted it. I assume some animal has carefully eaten the rest but what animal would be able to keep the entire...
  14. slowworm

    Gardening in the forest

    Those of you who own or have permission to use some woodland, have you planted anything useful to make the woodland more productive? I'm mainly thinking food plants and trees but interested in anything that you've done. I own a bit of recently planted woodland, so anything I add is not likely...
  15. slowworm

    Mystery axe help

    I've found a little axe whilst clearing out an old workshop. Does anyone have any idea what sort of axe it is and who made it? I've given it a light clean up and can't see any makers marks. It looks like a small rescue / firemans axe but not like any I've seen. The checkering on the handle...
  16. slowworm

    Plant archiology

    Does such a thing exist? When all visible physical remains from human habitation disappear is it possible to trace usage from what plants are left growing? I ask because I've found a hop plants growing down here in Devon where I've not seen any wild hops growing, and it turns out it may be an...
  17. slowworm

    Mackerel

    Has anyone been mackerel fishing around the UK at all this year yet and caught much? It's been very warm and sunny during the day I'd have thought there would be loads about in the SW, but the nights have been fairly chilly.
  18. slowworm

    Hornet behaviour

    Does anyone know much about our European Hornets? We often see queen hornets about at this time of year, you often hear the low buzz first and feel the windows rattling (I maybe exaggerating on that last bit, slightly). Now I like seeing them but they keep surveying our roof and sometimes pop...
  19. slowworm

    Laying hens - what do you feed yours?

    Following on from the egg thread, those of you who have hens or help look after them what do you feed them? To avoid going of course we'll ignore the topic of kitchen scraps. Ours will have access to grass and garden fruit and veg waste etc but I'm more curious to know what corn/layers rations...
  20. slowworm

    How many eggs...

    can you get through in a week? We're hopefully going the keep some hens again next year and I'm trying to work out how many eggs we'd use. We do all our cooking and baking and can get a rough idea but wondered how any other people use?