Stage Two

More being in a city.

I was much surprised the other day to discover burdock root being sold on my local market stall for £4.50 a kilo. I would pay considerably more than that not to eat the stuff and normally only do so when very hungry, normally? I have only eaten it once and was so put off I haven't had any since. Mind you it does have all kinds of medicinal properties so it might be worth it for that. Apparently though the best time to harvest burdock root is in the spring when they are more tender.


Well I'm staying in London until the beginning of October, it's kind of a holiday and then I'm off to Spain for a couple of months to work, learn to fish and get used to being in a hotter climate. After that there might be something happening that will involve a few months of my time but would pay for the South America trip. If that falls through I rather think that I might get a bit fed up of trying to raise the money for South America and just fly to South East Asia where I know I can do the whole living in the jungle, writing a blog raising money for Rainforest Concern thing for a fraction of the cost of going to South America, this would also mean that I could get away by April, or thereabouts. There is still an awful lot to learn though and I was quite taken aback the other day to realise I would be able to build myself a jungle shelter right here in the UK. It came about when having a Japanese cookery lesson, I was preparing little squares of banana leaf on which certain dishes would be presented. As I was working away stripping long rectangles from a giant leaf to cut into shape I realised that I was working with something that I recognised from survival books and programs. Banana leaves, so I have read, can be used to make a quick and effective roof and banana plants are fairly common in the tropics, certainly a lot more common than they are in the UK. It had never occurred to me that I could go to an Asian catering supplier and buy a roof worth of leaves to practice with. Before the end of the month there might well be a banana leaf shelter out in the woods somewhere near Oxford, that will confuse the locals. Failing that there could well be a banana leaf shelter on the flat roof over the kitchen, again that should confuse the locals.

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2007 at 01:29 by Registered CommenterJam | Comments2 Comments


Having the ability to send emails to the blog from my phone is all very well, but where exactly does one plug it in?

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 21:11 by Registered CommenterJam | Comments2 Comments


Three days in the woods and I'm exhausted, tired to my bones I am. It turns out that living in a house with a bed, running water and all the rest of it is a lot easier than living in the woods with none of the above. That's not to say that being in the woods is not without it's rewards; yesterday I set my self the task of only eating food that I foraged and set out with the intention of picking some puff balls, berries and a few roots for good measure, but then I found a small deer by the side of the road that had recently been hit by a car and killed. I'm a big fan of venison but had no idea how I would cope with trying to butcher an entire animal, would I get too squeamish? Only one way to find out and that was to put into practice some of the things I have picked up through the noble art of book learning.

The first problem was getting the poor creature off the road, according to survival books the best way of carrying animals is to lash their feet together over a pole, one then carries the pole with one end over the shoulder and the other dragging along the ground. I had some wire in my pocket so I duly lashed the legs together over a ten foot length of hazel that I cut for the purpose and set about dragging the deer into the woods. It was not long before it had slid down the pole and was being dragged in a most ungainly fashion along the ground. I was at least away from the road by this point so I could get on with the daunting task of paunching (gutting) the thing, I have never gutted anything larger than a fish before so I was a little nervous. Fortunately though I had watched a short video on you tube showing how to prepare a deer only two days earlier so I had a rough idea of what to do. It was messy, smelly and messy and not the most enjoyable thing that I have ever done, all the flies in the woods seemed to enjoy it though as they came en-masse to lend a hand. That done the deer was quickly re-attached to the carrying stick and I tied it on properly this time and I was soon walking around in circles trying to remember the way back.

Once home I hung the deer from a handy tree and lit a smoky fire to keep the flies off and set about skinning it. Interestingly skinning it was relatively straight forward, I'm sure I didn't do a very good job and it took a long time but it was soon skinned and by this time the fire had died down sufficiently to be able to cook on BBQ style, and here was me with a deer to eat. A quick flick through my favourite recipe book later and I was rolling various inch thick cuts in freshly cracked black pepper and sticking them onto an old cooling rack over the fire. The smell was fantastic but the taste was out of this world. It wasn't long though before I could eat no more meat and I moved onto a pudding of freshly picked blackberries and a couple of apples. Perfect.

obviously there was a lot of meat left over and I would have liked to have tried to smoke it as a way of preserving it but sadly I have to work at a festival this weekend so there wasn't time. So in the end I had to joint the animal, wrap it up as best I could in the cleanest piece of tarpaulin I could find and take it on the bus to Oxford to give to some friends of mine.

Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2007 at 14:20 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment

Test email blog post. Does it work?

Posted on Monday, September 3, 2007 at 19:06 by Registered CommenterJam | Comments3 Comments

New Blog

Ultimately this blog will be written from the jungle using a jungle proof laptop, a satellite phone and portable solar panels, so far it has been written from libraries, internet cafes and friends houses but now I am moving to stage two of the operation. Among other things stage two involves the collection and field testing of various bits of equipment that will be needed for the trip, I don't yet have the jungle proof lap top, the sat phone or the solar panels but I do have a mobile phone with an internet connection and so I will occasionally be using this to write the blog with. For various technical reasons that are far too dull to inflict upon you the ever patient reader it is not possible for me to blog at the old blog address so I have started a new blog here. Eventually the blog will be solar powered and hosted on a completely new website for now though it's here.

Posted on Monday, September 3, 2007 at 14:08 by Registered CommenterJam | Comments1 Comment