Paul Kirtley at Rough Close (May 2012, picture based)

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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2011
My 'Mrs Doyle' Weekend went wonderfully... here's some of my camp-based pictures as I was having a wonderful time making tea and biscuits mostly!

I was delighted with my tarpmaking development touches- shock cord pull outs was massively helpful for increasing room, DIY seam sealant not so successful but luckily, completely uneccesary as it was a beautiful weekend weatherwise.

Despite being very busy on the course, everyone kindly spent a generous amount of encouragement and advice my way... much gratitude, folks! Rolly and Addo helped me make a woodland vice to facilitate handle sanding :) Dig the woodland stilettos... :rolleyes:

John was delighted to volunteer his chair for the bushcraft desk project..... ;)

Pauls' instruction was clear, consise and engaging for all levels and abilities, with additions both instructive and humourous from all the participants which made it informative and fun for everyone. He's a great teacher and top bloke!


And of course a little humour is a welcome break from the serious business of science!

John relaxes while soaking in the mathematics... the concepts came thick and fast but Paul checked our understanding often with sensitivity, was more than happy to explain again in different terms until we all had a good grasp of the logic behind natural navigation.

The whole weekend had a brilliant balance with enough time to do the odd project, watch the site's lovely Sarah chainsawing fallen trees and doing that natural bushcraft clean up and reuse of all the lovely resultant wood... Addo was in his element and it was sooo instructive to watch him work!

Despite dowsing the fire with the boiling teawater many times, I managed to keep the home fires burning and the kettles topped- it was grand and I'm so grateful for the opportunity both to listen in to Paul and to watch and recieve the wisdom of the Rough Close Meeters.... thank you all very much for the support and encouragement on my knives project, too!


Full Member
Sep 4, 2009
uk mainly in the Midlands though
Was an Awesome weekend, great instruction and even the morning call of the crows could not put a damper on it. learnt so much and now have a lot to practice and further reading to do. :)

Top Bloke Paul and many thanks to Steve for organising it. The food done by Bodge and Sally was top notch :), on the Second day we almost tracked down Paul who got a second helping of the Oat cakes, only think it was the the lack of coffee that slowed John down :)

Many thanks to everyone there had a great time and glad the weather held for us


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jun 15, 2008
Another quality weekend was had, thanks to Paul for his instruction and banter. Thanks to Steve for arranging it, Phil for sorting the venue and Sally for keeping everything flowing so well. Bodge's oatcakes went down a storm as always and everybody was brilliant company. Lots to learn in a group like that, it's amazing how so many can bring skills to the table. All in all a fantastic weekend, thanks to all that could make it!

Ogri the trog

Apr 29, 2005
Mid Wales UK
I really must try to get along to one of Steve's weekends, I hear nothing but great reports from them.

Looks like a fine time was had by all.

Ogri the trog

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
A great weekend - many thanks to Paul for the instruction (well paced and plotted) and Sally ( lemon biscuits... Mmmmmmmm!) Bodge (Oatcakes MMMMMMMmmmmmmmm) and phil (joke...what joke?) and everyone else for making it one of the best catered, most informative, fun and DRY meets I have been to in one heck of a while!
Special thanks to Sally for the photos - I have nicked the sensitive portrait of a mathematically challenged, fat, bearded, mercenary for my files.... and in the other photo of me - what IS Carl doing to provoke my reaction??????


Full Member
Oct 15, 2010
Thanks to Paul for his instruction top bloke. Thanks to Steve for arranging it, Phil for sorting the venue, Bodge for the oatcakes and the dinner and Sally for keeping hot water on the go and biscuits and for helping with the oatcakes and dinner.
Fantastic weekend.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 8, 2006
I can only echo the comments of the others. I had a brilliant time in great company.
I'm still finding bugs in the kit as the little fellows were raining down from the trees in all shapes and sizes, so the birds must be doing well.

Thanks for the pictures Sally, everyone laughing at Karls "item" is a good way to remember the course along with the excellent instruction from Paul.

Cheers, and hope to catch up with you all again a bit more often than of late. I have a couple of pictures to add later.

Paul K

Apr 29, 2003
In the woods
It was indeed a great weekend - a lot of laughter and learning (by me too)

It was good to see old friends and to make new ones. It's wonderful to spend time in the woods with such genuine, friendly people.

Can't wait until the next one.

Thanks again to all involved.



dr jones

Full Member
Feb 21, 2007
west wales
Thanks to Steve for organising another excellent weekend really enjoyed myself , again. Fantastic work by the catering corp. cheers Bodge and Sally and as always thanks to all who were present for your great company , and lastly a big thanks to Paul for another superb course , even if the Natnav Maths made my head hurt by the end I really enjoyed it all especially the tracking .
Cheers Rolly


Anyone for sailing?
Mar 5, 2008
~Hemel Hempstead~
I had a great time as well over the whole weekend. It was made extra special with the company I spent it with :)

It was made even more memorable for the fact that Decorum actually made a joke that was truly funny!!! :rofl:

As for the weekend activities it was really interesting and enjoyable. Paul is a excellent instructor and I always enjoy time spent with him and learn loads as well :)

Special thanks have to go to Sally for her camp duties and biscuit making :approve: and Bodge for the catering... the food was superb :cool: and to Phil for his facilitating :)

Here's some pics I took of the weekend

Our base for the weekend

Breakfast Saturday morning

Paul talking about the differences between ordinary nettles and dead nettles

Looking at fresh tracks

Badger was one of the species we found

Dr Jones hunting down new tracks

Trying some fresh leaves... Wayland just wasn't convinced :)

Back at the chute for talks on tracking and natural navigation


Then off to the field for a demonstration on how people can't walk in a straight line when they can't see where they're heading for. We were blindfolded then pointed in the direction of the big pine tree and told to head off... The results were highly amusing as well as surprising at how much we varied in our deviations from the original bearing.




That's just about it for my pics

Just have to start planning the next weekend with Paul :D


Full Member
May 2, 2007
Thanks to everyone who came along and made for a fantastic weekend. Although I was only unofficially there, it was nice to see people mixing fun and learning (Going off on a tangent? Us?).

Special thanks go to Steve for giving folks the opportunity to take part, to Paul for agreeing to come along and for being an all-round good bloke, to Bodge for sourcing and sorting communal foodstuffs and Saturday's Oatcakes, and to 'Mrs. Doyle' for making sure that there was always a hot one on for a brew and for getting the evening meal on.

Pic pretty much sums up the course atmosphere ~ fun and learning (And watching John go boggle-eyed with his little grey cells trying to exit stage left :eek: )

>>> and phil (joke...what joke?) <<<

Will you ever be able to sleep on your belly again? (Or, at least, to admit to it :p )


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2011
Wow, its wonderful to see your pictures of the actual course, Steve! I heard about the Wandering Pine and tracking but seeing it is tremendous :) SUCH a good weekend, especial thans to you for organising and Phil 'facilitating', as everyone has said :)

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