I’ve just discovered a wonderful time-waster which I had to share; a write-your-own-news headline generator, where you can type in whatever news story you like and then download for free. You get a jpeg of your newspaper which you can email to a friend, or print out and turn into a card, as I did the story below which I wrote for my brother Tom as he picked up the keys to his first ever apartment;


Thoroughly distracted by now with the fun opportunities the headline-generator offers, I’ve been busy documenting everything over the last couple of days, tacking bulletins to the fridge and, like a true newshound, letting nothing go unreported.  Including, of course, the Fathers’ Day scooter race between Harry (3) and Daddy (considerably more than 3);


Do give it a go – but not when you have anything sensible you’re required to be concentrating on instead – just click on this link and fritter away hours practicing your cub reporter skills!

Before I sign off (and I’ll be back later in the week with a super-quick decor DIY), thank you to all those who reached out to check that I survived my wilderness experience; more details below …

Well, what can I say?  Wilderness Bob was a revelation, and I have returned brimming full of new bushcraft skills and survival know-how.  Most important of all though is simply that I have returned, despite the fact that there turned out to be a Sniper Skills training course happening in the very same forest at the same time.  There’s nothing like a distant ‘boom!’ and puff of smoke to focus your mind.

Still, I am feeling at one with nature after 8hrs without a mobile phone signal.  Some of what we learned brought back long-forgotten Girl Guide memories, whereas other things proved revelatory, such as the warning to never drink one’s own urine in a survival situation, despite what they show you in movies.  Apparently it has no nutritional value whatsoever, and boiling it will only attract bears and wolves to your woodland door. Needless to say, this hasn’t required me to rethink either my diet or my fridge contents, but I have filed it away as vaguely useful information should I ever need it.

We built shelters (see below; I’m very proud), and learned how to light fires using only a sharp stick, a cotton wool bud and some lip balm (or ear wax, apparently, if you have it to hand…).

bushcraft shelter

We set traps to catch feckless rabbits for dinner, and then quietly prayed that said rabbits were much wiser than that.  They were; instead we discovered how easy it is to twist your ankle by accidentally falling into it yourself in a distracted moment…


In the absence of rabbits I felt justified in secretly unwrapping my hidden chocolate bar.  I needn’t have worried; one of the other participants whipped out a smoked salmon baguette and a napkin.  I was torn between wild admiration and shocked disapproval at this decidedly un-wilderness like preparation.  She offered me a bite.  Admiration it was, then.

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