Zborovský hrad (Zborov Castle)

zborovcastle

On Saturday I managed to get a little riding in. Scarlet needed her engine turning over so I took her out, although with the heavy side-winds and a temperature just a little too cool for the gear I was wearing, the ride felt more like a chore than fun. I also haven’t changed her tyres […]

Fencing, O’Toole-style

otoolefencing

On Friday, a shiny new pair of Red Dragon Armoury HEMA fencing masks arrived via courier, setting our plans for the weekend at the house. It was great to finally be able to fence without worrying about losing an eye, although it will take a while to relearn not to block the face with the […]

Diversity – First Spring Weekend 2019

redsquirreleating

On an extremely spontaneous impulse we decided to stay the weekend at the house for the first time since leaving it on New Year’s Day. It’s been a long, harsh winter this year and having a couple of days of heat and blue sky was too irresistible. Unfortunately, the interior of the house is still […]

Folie au deux – Steam Fencing

uhlmannfencingfoil

It appears to be that time of year again when swordsmanship becomes a central focus of conversation between my eldest son and myself. Last year we tried battling it out (after a suitable length of self-training) with shinai, the Japanese split bamboo weapons used in kendo. At my son’s 18th birthday party we faced off […]

Livovská Huta – Minčol Hike

rustysnowhill

Yesterday, my friend Rusty met me in Bardejov, East Slovakia to take me hill walking. I left my car and got into his Toyota Hilux Kingcab, then we headed off on the Stara Lubovna road until turning off onto progressively smaller and worse condition roads until ending up in the incredibly middle-of-nowhere, end-of-the-road village of Livovská […]

Červený Kláštor – The Red Monastery

cervenyklastor

Having finally bought a new car after our other two became unreliable, a Dacia Duster we’ve named Liška (Fox), we decided to take her out on her maiden voyage and do an old fashioned roadtrip as a family. Cerveny Klastor played a large part in my early years here as it is very close to […]

Svidnik/Stropkov Regional Art Competition 2019

stropkovartcompetition2019a

This year I decided to submit a new piece for the regional (and ultimately national) art competition, with the first round being held in my town and its surrounding district. Last year I didn’t submit and the year before I had a skin painting off on its travels for 6 months around the country, eventually […]

First Motorbike Ride of 2019

scarletbmw650snowslovakia

Last night was bitch cold. It was only about minus 5 but because it’s damp from all the snow melt it felt much colder. But daytime temperatures soared to about plus 7 and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I’d wanted to ride a month ago as traditionally I try to ride at least […]

Still in the bleak mid-winter

snowsunsetplane

It’s been quite a while since I last updated my blog, since well before Christmas in fact. It’s been a strange period with several ups and downs and much reflection. We stayed at the house in Eastern Slovakia over the Christmas and New Year period, which was both hard and amazing at the same time. […]

Global warming, my arse…

icefalls

A few weeks back I got really sick of hearing people tell me that, because of global warming, we’d have a warm winter this year. The start of November was incredibly warm – I was doing our evening walks wearing a t-shirt. However, you could smell the oncoming cold in the air, and then it […]

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