Gazebo and Woodshed (Altanok a Drevarka)

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This year’s big work about the house was to build a woodshed as last winter saw us woefully unprepared. We had the wood but because there was nowhere to cut, chop and stack it, my sons and I had had to go out in literal blizzards to chainsaw metre-long logs, then chop them on an […]

Wolf, Boar, Snake

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I finally realized another of my life’s ambitions whilst on one of our evening walks outside the village. My wife and I spotted a small herd of Red deer hinds and fawns on one of the hillsides and they bolted into the forest. Thinking they’d picked up our scent we carried on walking. 20 minutes […]

Croatia Trip 2019

croatiasunsetspalanici

It wouldn’t be summer without a 13 hour drive to the Croatian coast. This year we booked an apartment directly on the sea in Šparadići near Grebaštica, Central Dalmatia. It wasn’t our usual sort of place (there were actually people nearby) but I was pleasantly surprised. Plus, after a month of building a gazebo and a woodshed […]

Austrian Alps Trip 2019

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My daughter wanted to see Hallstatt in Austria so we booked a hotel in the Alps and, following a week’s break by the sea in Croatia, made a 12-hour drive through Slovenia and via the incredible Loblipass to Tauplitzalm above Bad Mittendorf. At 1650 metres (5413 feet) above sea level, we were woefully unacclimatized to our […]

East Slovakia Motorcycle Season Opening (and Monastyr)

harleyblackandwhite

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. This year’s season opening (under Wild Horses MC) was placed in the hands of my club, Tilters, to host up at Svidnik airfield. Hoorah, we thought, as sales of beer and cabbage soup would refill our coffers after a particularly expensive 3-day jaunt […]

Zborovský hrad (Zborov Castle)

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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

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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

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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 […]

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