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  • Good-bye 2015 … Hello 2016

    2015 is all but over already … we saw good times, bad times, stressful times and everything in between.

    I had some fantastic outdoor times in 2015 with some great folks that I’d met through YouTube.  I can’t wait to do many more camps with them in 2016.

    Watch this slide show of photos from over the last year (not too many of them I promise)

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    We’d also bought our first house in 2015 and made a big move from Cottenham (where we lived for 10 years) to Swindon.  It was a huge change for us, but all in all I think it was a good change.  It certainly put me closer to the places I wanted to be for my camps.

    2015-12-30 23_43_33-Photo - Google Photos
    Our new house, but not our car

    Lisa also joined Scouts in 2015 and she’s been loving it.  First with the troop in Cottenham and then joined in immediately with 1st Stratton St Margaret right after the move.  The transition was pretty easy for her and she fit right in pretty much from the start.  I also got much more involved with Scouting myself first as an occasional adult helper in Cottenham and now I’ve started the process to become a Scout Leader.  More news on how that goes in 2016.  We’ve done several scout camps this year and had an awesome time at each and every one of them, and looking forward to many more in the years to come.

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    Lisa getting invested into 1st Stratton St Margaret Scout Troop.

    Emma has also moved from Brownies, which she really didn’t like.  She just didn’t get out of what she wanted.  She’s now in Cubs and will move to the same Scouts Troop with Lisa and myself sometime early in 2016 (once she’s about 10 1/2).

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    Emma getting invested into Cubs

    Work life also saw loads of change, some good, some not so good.  Certainly an increase in stress levels, that has not been fun at all.  But it pays the bills so for the time being I need to just accept it.

    So, what is planned for 2016?   Well who really knows haha I don’t have many plans for the new year but one thing is for certain, I plan to do a lot more camps and get out a lot more.  This includes going out alone more, with groups like the MTFU and Camp Shaky folks and of course camping more with the family (we have a new big tent that we need to use).  I’m also planning to do more training in bushcraft and primitive skills in 2016.

    I’ve already booked one course in Flint Knapping with Hands On Bushcraft and looking forward to that.  I’m also booking a full weekend (Thursday – Sunday) at the 2016 Wilderness Gathering.  Really looking forward to that.  We managed to get there for the day this year and the kids had a good time.  Lots to see and do, too much for one day.  So, next year we’re doing the entire weekend.   I also plan to attend more of the various weekend bushcrafty kind of things in 2016 and take the kids along as well.

    So, now I’ll close this post along with closing out 2015 and wish everyone a very happy new year and hope that 2016 brings so much awesomeness to everyone that they don’t know what to do with the excess.   For everyone I met in 2015 and spent time with, thanks for the great memories and can’t wait to make more in the new year.

    robert-mckenzie_logo
    The logo for my YouTube Channel

  • Camping Trip – Day 1

    Posted on by rob

    We started out a weeks camping by leaving the house about noon on Sunday. The drive to the camp site, Brickyard Farm Camp site (Banham, Norfolk, NR16 2HQ), was only about an hour or so from home. Even at the reduced speed we had to travel at because of towing the trailer. After a stop at Sainsbury in Thetford for a few last minute supplies and lunch as well, we arrived at the camp site at about 1400hrs, plenty of daylight left so we could take our time getting everything set up.

    Lisa and Emma immediately found the horses in the fields to go and see plus a swing set to play on as well. I was a bit worried for a while, there were no other kids around. Then, a family came trooping back into camp. They’d been out to the Banham Zoo. It’s about 1/2 mile down the road. Anyhow, Lisa and Emma quickly became acquainted with Hanna, 7yrs old. They spent the next 3 or so hours playing all sorts of games and running around the farm.

    The camp site itself is a small family run business. It’s run the brother of our neighbour, very nice folks. They popped around to check on us and see how we were settling in. Quite layed back, they haven’t asked for money as yet. The site is, as I mentioned, small. Only about 6 or so pitches, most with electric. We didn’t bother with that, I’d brought the 120amp battery with us. More then enough power for the week to run a laptop if needed and charge the phones. I brought a 12v florescent lamp as well but likely won’t need it.

    The kids are knackered. They’ve had a busy afternoon that’s for sure. Tomorrow we’ll be walking to the zoo and checking out the animals and whatever else they have there.

    Well that’s about it from here tonight I think. the big people are knackered too and ready for bed now as well.

    Watch this space for the day 2 report. I won’t be posting pics on the blog, but check on facebook, flickr and mobypictures and of course Twitter.com/m1xzg for updates.

    Btw, this is all from my phone, there are likely spelling errors, I will fix them later. Don’t think I have a spell check on here.

    Posted by Wordmobi


  • Rest in peace ..

    Click to see full size image

    This morning Yuki got word that her Grandfather, 张福林 (zhang fu lin) on her mothers side had passed away. 

    He passed away while at home in 齐齐哈尔 (qi qi ha er), he was 75 years old.  Early last year he suffered a massive stroke and has required constant care since. 

    This is a photo taken last year when the girls were all back in China on their holiday.  Zhang fu lin is in the middle in the blue PJ’s.  This was taken at the hospital on one of his “good” days.

    He will be missed by everyone, Rest in peace!

    Yuki will also be posting something on her blog as well in Chinese.. Yuki’s Blog


  • Out with 2007…

    …. and in with 2008.

    What a year it’s been too, eh? The girls have grown loads this year, especially Lisa. The girls all went to China this year for just over 2 months.. they had a great time there. Lisa attended a pre-school much of the time while she was there so her Chinese really improved with that. Had to teach her a little English when she got back haha If anyone hadn’t noticed from the pictures of Yuki, she’s no longer wearing glasses! She had laser eye surgery while she was in China.

    After the girls got back we started doing some camping.. albeit only a couple of trips, the weather this past summer was dreadful. Way way too much rain. But they needed it here. There’s been water restrictions in place for years, I just can’t figure it out, England is an island, how can you run out of water 🙂 (yes I know all about it, don’t get all technical on me and try to explain it.. it’s a joke son, laugh!)

    There hasn’t been anything big for me this year really. I’ve just plugged along with life.. living and working and working and living. Wish I could do a lot more living and a lot less working haha but we haven’t won the lottery yet so .. it’s back to work on Jan 2nd for me.

    We would like to thank everyone that’s stopped by to read the blog in 2007 and hope you’ll come back around in the 2008. Now that the site will support comments with very little fear of those bastar.. er spammers it should help you to interact with us more, once again.

    Happy New Year!!

    Emma, Lisa, Yuki and Rob