Ed & Will play Ankle-Tap

In Marazion, beside St Michael’s Mount, after 6 months walking in 2007, here we are in friendly amateur combat.

We discovered ankle-tap only a few weeks before, in a little town called Lostwithiel. The rules are simple: Tap the leg of your opponent beneath the knee, and stop your opponent tapping your leg. Always keep two hands on the staff.

You need space, a friendly antagonism, and a good pair of staffs.

An ancient childrens’ game, which developed into a set-piece format in the years following the Norman invasion of Britain, when Saxons were denied from carrying weapons. This is the historic context that gave rise to Capoiera in Brazil, Escrima in the Phillipines, and Morris in England.

The singing was in a family’s house in Lyndhurst, in the New Forest, 2 months earlier.

Video: Cave song – Gower in Wookey, day:6

Day 6: video of song in cave.

Recorded in secret caves near Wookey, where the paper mill had produced vellum – cotton paper – for 400 years. During the US civil war Wookey Hole paper was used for banknotes. It closed 5 years ago, alas. Each vent had a ladies’ name.

Now Wookey Hole has a very different central industry – entertainment.

Somerset’s best bowling green – “a lawn like glass” – was last year dug up for pirate themed crazy golf. Council are prosecuting, but lazily. Pirates are pretty popular.


All our website videos, here

Hello. This post is a summary of all our videos made so far. Just in case you missed anything so far. We know the website can be tricky waters…

On our next walk, of which we’ll speak soon, we’ll be focussing on video-making as a main method of sharing information.

So we thought it a good time to bring together all our disparate web videos, to make viewing them simpler.

Please enjoy these videos responsibly.

Press more to see them all:


Secret Britain

Sunday 15th August, the BBC broadcast the first in their new series, called Secret Britain.

Here is the clip. If you’d like to hear more about the filming, and the things left out, please press READ MORE.

The songs sung were: My Son John, Harvest Song, and Sorrows Away.The first 2 are available on the CD album, and the second may be on our next album (more said soon).


Bodging a Three-Legged Stool, with Ginger

This is where Ginger shows us how to make a three-legged stool, with all speed and ease. With the then weather warming, this stool kept us out the mud, and prompted a spate of replicas to be knocked out.

Thank-you Ginger.

Tools required, are:

a saw (chain or cross-cut) to cut the seat from a log.
A bar-auger (and sharpening file) to put in the angled holes.
A splitting axe (and comedy mallet) to split the legs.
A sharper axe (and chopping block) to make the legs fit the seat.
A mallet for hitting the legs into the seat.

And that’s it.

The Ways of Barney Spoon

A Video Series on How to make a Wooden Spoon, really well,

with Barney Spoon.


How to split hazel, with Hopper

This video shows how to split a hazel rod.

Hopper had already taught us the rudimentary techniques of hurdle-making (CLICK HERE), and in this video he shows us how to split hazel rods.

As well as the practical techniques of splitting, Hopper also shows how to measure the height of a tree, with a stick. Interested?

There’s also an interesting discussion, on recycling, universities, and Martians. And there is a very blunt billhook, the inadequacy of which led Hopper to loan us a nice sharp replacement.

The video might take a short while to buffer, but please be patient. Hopper is worth the wait…

Short film of arrival in winter woods

This is a first attempt at video editing by Will, who is neither skilled nor trained in the art.

It is a series of clips from our first days in the woods last November, when we trolleyed in all the canvas, hand-tools and books that we felt necessary.

The track soon bogged up thickly. And once we’d done the many runs each, to bring in all the bits, we found a shortcut through a sheep field that would have saved us hours.

The film also shows the first part of building the A-frame, which was our immediate shelter while the main house went up.

And the fiddle tune was recorded by a doctor in a stone circle in Cornwall, on an earlier walk. It is a Breton tune, called (trans.) “the jumping chicken”.

Morning…Wake Up (Wales Walk 2009)

This is a short video of one morning’s immedaite view, on waking.

We’d like to make a 10 second film every morning, on our next walk.

This video starts with a misunderstanding, and ends when the unintentional filming was stopped by the attempted photo-taking.

The tower is called Paxton’s, and we were sent here from Llandeiloes, where we should have stayed longer, but were fairly dragged to the end of our journey, we believe to preserve (in some measure) our health and sanity, which were beginning to shake for various reasons.

The night before had been spent in tipi valley. a long-running and beautiful Welsh community. Very few tipis still stood, and we soon learned why. What is good for the often dry and open American plains, with uninterrupted winds, is not so good in a blustery oft-damp valley. The winds blow from all directions, and if you want a fire, the rain gets in. We ended up having to string up tarps within the tipi.

So the next night, we followed directions to here, Paxton Tower in Carmarthenshire. Good land. We were told there was a stone fire-place we could cook on, but it has been bricked up since our advisor last came hear.

Anyway, this is Summer is full in, we are accompanied by Rose, and have not yet met Holly puppy.

Good morning.

Ed, Will and Ginger animation

This fantastic little animation to the song “Staines Morris”, was made by our friend Rufus Herbert.