Sunday, 13 February 2011

A night in a yurt

I went to see a good friend of mine last night, who happens to live in a yurt! He has managed to achieve something many people spend there whole lives dreaming about; living in the woods. He is what is most easily referred to as a 'social forester' in that he takes groups of kids out into the woods and teaches them woodland skills, in an attempt to broaden their horizons, more often than not these are 'troubled kids' who have not had the best of upbringings and in turn struggle with society. My friend makes a huge difference to their lives, even if its only in one session a week. Many of them have never set foot in the woods, never sat round a campfire, never whittled a stick (often just turning a big stick into a slightly smaller pointier stick!) This is something I struggled to comprehend as my whole childhood I spent playing outside in the countryside and woodlands that surround the farm on which i was brought up. But I had to remind myself that growing up in an inner city school is a world away from my upbringing, even if these kids wanted to play in a woodland, where would they start? how could they get there? So what these programs offer them is a chance to experience the kind of thing that I have always taken for granted.

Its interesting to think how much the environment you were raised in affects the person you become, if I were raised in an inner city would I have the passion for trees and woodlands that I do today? how much of a different person would I be?

Whilst there I got to have a look at a Gransfors Carving axe and I've got to say I was instantly taken with it. previously I have been using some old axes that I re handled to do all of my carving, mostly because of funds and the fact that i quite like making things with tools that I have made.

Some of the tools I have re handle/restored, the middle hatchet is what I currently used for carving
Although now I have felt the quality of the Gransfors I think it will definitely be making its way into my arsenal of tools!