Making fire and longing for spring…

I am longing for spring.

It always happens to me around this time of the year. Not because winter isn’t beautiful, but rather because spring releases something in me. It is a physical thing, as well as a psychological/spiritual thing.

The days open up and lengthen with a soft green light.

New life is everywhere- every leaf, every lamb, every bracken shoot is a bursting with hope and potential.

And I can start to linger again in wild places- perhaps in my new camping hammock! A present from Michaela for Christmas. I am still not sure exactly how sleeping in a hammock under a tarpaulin will compare to a tent, but I am looking forward to finding out.

The other essential ingredient to such a trip is this one-

Here in Scotland, as opposed to England, sensible and sensitive use of small campfires is permissable- check out the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This is a controversial issue- as in high pressure beauty spots such as Loch Lomond, the mess made by weekend revellers is everywhere.

Trees ripped and damaged, charred paper and disposable barbecues strewn around- and always some idiots who think it is possible to burn bottles and cans in wood fire and as a result leave a welded mess on the otherwise pristine shore line.

It has long been a point of argument between my friends and I as to which one of us lights the best fire. I maintain that my ‘chimney’ technique, where combustible material is stacked above the source of heat in a collapsible, self feeding tower is the best way. But the reality is that none of us are really good at it.

I have never successfully used one of those spark making fire steels, let alone rubbed sticks together to make flame.

So to help us dream of long evenings under the spring stars- here is a bloke who knows what he is doing-

Canoes, bonfires and marshmallows…


Today Emily and I took our canoe out on Loch Tarsan, having packed the stove, the kettle and some marshmallows to toast over a fire.

It was a lovely day, and the head of the loch was shallow and warm (ish) so we also had a swim. Not a soul for miles, just the two of us, and wild creatures- an eagle overhead, and fish jumping at flies.

Store it up in the memory.

An ordinary day, me and my girl, loaded up with blessings.