Epic Summer 2015 – Autumn Shutdown

I have to say guys, I’ve had some great use out of my Stripes this summer….

Back in June I was the first woman ever to take part in the Jester Challenge, sailing my 22 foot sail boat single handed from Plymouth to Baltimore (in Ireland, not Maryland ;o). Bit of a kerfuffle near the end where, in tricky conditions I accidentally put out a distress call on my SPOT tracker as I closed the Cork coast and was towed into Courtmacsherry by the RNLI. You can see one of the press reports here. It was pretty disconcerting to arrive in Ireland to the flash of cameras I can tell you, but of course I am very grateful to the RNLI. I did then make it on round Fastnet Rock and into Baltimore successfully completing my challenge, so all’s well that ends well. I was alone at sea for 4 nights, and boy was I glad of my Stripes!

In less dramatic times, here’s a little video I took during one of my preparation passages, early one morning off Start Point after another night at sea:

So, on to my next challenge: I’ve now left Bristol and have bought a run down cottage in the West of Ireland, and as Wild Stripes is what they call a “home based micro business”, the plan is obviously to take it all with me. However, I haven’t yet worked out the final details of this as there are a good few ways we can operate. Also, the cottage needs some pretty serious work to make it habitable for me, let alone Wild Stripes, so I need to shut the website shop down for 8 weeks to concentrate on that while the fine Irish weather is as good as it can be (though we of course all know there is no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing!)

I have turned off the shop functionality so we can’t take any orders but I have left it so you can still see all our products and info.  But, we’ll be back up trading online fully by the 5th October, and I plan on doing some shows in Ireland this coming winter.

Until then, have a great end to the summer!
But of course, stay safe.
Claire
xx

Last Posting Dates for Christmas 2014

Last Posting Dates for Christmas

To make sure you get your stuff in time for Christmas…

Wednesday 3 DecemberAsia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand
Thursday 4 DecemberAustralia
Tuesday 9 DecemberCanada
Friday 12 DecemberUSA
Saturday 13 DecemberWestern Europe (excluding Greece, Poland)
Saturday 20 DecemberUK 

And remember, we offer hassle free exchanges and a no quibble money back guarantee :-)

Win Munro or Duet Long Johns and Neck Gaiter with Motorcycle News!

Win Wild Stripes Base Layers

Calling all Bikers!

We’ve teamed up with the ever popular weekly paper MCN (Motorcycle News) to bring you a competition to win a pair of Long Johns and a Neck Gaiter in one of our new colours; either Munro (orange and purple stripes) or Duet (navy and teal)

It’s a sweepstake on their new ‘Winit’ competitions page, so all you’ve gotta do is give them your email and keep your fingers crossed.

Enter here: http://winit.motorcyclenews.com/

Good luck!

 

Wild Stripes Walk on the Beach

Join Erin and I for a walk on Sea Palling Beach in Norfolk next Sunday 16th November!

We’ll be at the top of the ramp onto the beach at 11am, unless of course it’s tipping it down (Erin really doesn’t like to get her ears wet) and we’ll walk for about an hour and a half so not a massive expedition, but hopefully we’ll see some of the resident seals. The postcode for the sat nav is NR12 0UH and there’s lots of parking (costs £1 all day).

Hope to see you there! Bring your dogs, bring your friends, bring your grannies …and of course bring your Stripes!

Wild Stripes Walk on the Beach Sea Palling

 

 

Joe Beaumont’s Journey ‘In the Frame’

Joe Beaumont In the Frame

In March 2001 Joe Beaumont fell from a Lake District crag and suffered life threatening injuries including severe compound fractures down his right side. He also shattered his elbow and lost his tricep. He was saved by the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team who got him down and airlifted to hospital where he began a long and painful recovery, including 12 months in an external fixator (aka The Frame).

In July 2013 I heard about his plan to cycle from the lowest point in the UK (Holme Fen) to the highest (Ben Nevis) and then climb the mountain itself, whilst still in the frame. His story touched a nerve with me, as I myself suffered an “orthopaedic trauma” when I was 17.  I dislocated my knee cap, and then went on to have about 25 more dislocations, 4 operations and many months in pain and on crutches. It also turned my life completely upside down as it put an immediate and unequivocal end to my dream career with horses (I was at the time at Agricultural College).  I totally understood why he needed to do something like that and I wanted to help, so of course I spotted him some kit.

Since then he’s become the first person ever to complete a triathlon in an external fixator, tentatively started climbing again, cycled the 600 miles to Holme Fen to Ben Nevis… and eventually made it to the top.

He’s made a film, called ‘In the Frame’, which is premiering at the Kendal Mountain Festival (which is running from 20th to 23rd November) and it’s pretty darn inspirational.  From dark days in intensive care to the summit of Ben Nevis, In the Frame is a tale of rehabilitation, determination and re-discovery against all odds.  How do you redefine your identity when everything you feel you were has changed forever?

You can see the trailer on the BMC website here. Jo wears Britannia.

Well done Joe.

Onwards.

Follow Joe on Twitter.   Find him on Facebook.   Check out his website.

Ocean Film Festival

Ocean Film Festival UK

I was lucky enough to catch the sold out Ocean Film Festival this weekend here in Bristol.  The vision of the festival is to inspire people to explore, respect, enjoy, and protect our oceans and it’s a collection of 10 beautiful and inspirational short films put together for a feast of diving, swimming, surfing, rowing, whales and waves (and 50p from each ticket sale goes to support Project Aware, Surfers Against Sewage and the Marine Conservation Society!)

Originally from Australia it is now touring the UK and there are still a few dates left at Cambridge, Malvern and Birmingham, but most dates have sold out so be quick – check out their website here.

I recommend it!

 

Travellers

We Are All Travellers Wild Stripes Base Layers
I took this picture of Erin at the beginning of last summer, when we took a few days between the Scottish Bird Fair and Keswick Mountain Festival and went to Fort William for some walking.  I had intended to try and get up Ben Nevis… But it still looked pretty snowy, no place for a whippet, and there are plenty of other walks nearby.

So this was taken on our way down from Cow Hill Summit, which is a great walk, with stunning views of the glen and Loch Linnhe.  That’s Ben Nevis in the background.  I was on the path and Erin chose to walk along the top of the bank that runs parallel to the path.  She doesn’t actually like having her picture taken, and usually turns her head away like you’re trying to take her soul.  But there was clearly something interesting on the wind and she kept stopping to sniff the breeze.  It was a blustery and showery day but the sun conspired with this shot. It is one of my favourites, and it was a really good days walk.  Thought the quote was apt. Do you agree?

We did the Dun Deardil Fort the next day, if I remember right…

 

Wild Energy Bites Recipe

Made these the other day for a little walk and was really pleased with the results! Raw, vegan, no added sugar, full of vitamins and minerals, they are packed full of healthy energy and really portable so would be great for snacking on the go anywhere! (And so much healthier than a chocolate bar!)

Dead simple to make, you just need a food processor and once you have the basic recipe you can add any flavours that take your fancy. I’ve used cocoa and coconut here but dried cherry or dried banana and cocoa would be yummy too, and next time I’m going to try adding a little grated orange zest for a zing.  I used mixed nuts here but cashews, or almonds would be great too…

Makes 10 Energy Bites

10 Dates, covered in hot water and soaked for 10 minutes
1 cup Mixed Nuts
1 heaped tsp Cocoa
Dessicated Coconut to roll them in
1 heaped tsp Goji Berries (optional)
1 heaped tsp Chia Seeds (optional)

Wild Energy Bites

I have one of those mini-blenders/choppers. (It’s not that the dates are MASSIVE!)

1. Soak the dates for about 10 minutes in some hot water from the kettle

2. Blitz the nuts until ground.

3. Add the drained dates and blitz again until it makes a sticky paste.  I added chia seeds here too. You might need to add a little bit of the date water to help it mix.

4. Use a teaspoon to spoon out the mixture and roll into balls.

5. Roll the balls in dessicated coconut to stop them sticking together (I also rolled some in ground almonds and coconut flour)

6. Decorate with a goji berry, put in a box and head off for an adventure!

Wild Energy Bites

Should make 10… There are only 9 here. Nom nom…

 

 

Happy Dogs

Erin and I are just back from an extended Bank Holiday Weekend down in Weymouth and I keep seeing this fab video in my feeds!  (It is kinda like how it was yesterday evening on Weymouth Beach, with Erin running wild in the surf with a Lab, a Greyhound X, a whippet and 3 lovely Collies!  Much fun was had (though the wind was a little cooler)

This video seems to be fast becoming a viral hit with over 3 million views since it was uploaded on 1st May.

Inspired by Pharrell William’s International “Happy” Hit! it is loads of happy dogs having a good old romp on the beach, with a special appearance from “DIDGA” aka ‘Worlds BEST Skateboarding Cat’!

Watch it (if you haven’t already!)

Claire x

 

 

Wild Stripes Loves Wild Garlic

If you go down to the woods today you’re in for such a stinky treat!

As sure as Spring follows Winter and sunshine comes after the rain, around the time of the chiff-chaff call, a few woods round here are carpeted with prolific wild garlic (and bluebells too! How lucky are we?)

Wild Garlic

Got this little haul walking the dog one morning: That’s lunch sorted!

I love the stuff but I’m always amazed how many people say to me as I emerge from the woods, (usually muddy and wellington booted) clasping some kind of makeshift receptacle of verdant stinky foliage, “But I wouldn’t know what to do with it?!”

It is so tasty, I love it, and who doesn’t love free food?   So let me tell you a few secrets…

To keep it really simple, treat it like spinach and sweat it off in a little butter.  It’s awesome with eggs, either poached or folded through scrambled.  Once it’s cooked the flavour mellows, and like spinach it goes to nothing, so you need a big bag per person.

It’s also lush with roast chicken, either as a side or I like to stuff the cavity of the bird with as much as you can get in there for the flavour to gently infuse and sweeten as it roasts.  Makes a yummy Spring lunch with new potatoes.

However, my absolute favourite thing is to make a pesto with it.  It’s really zingy and livens up everything, but I especially love it instead of normal basil pesto in Pasta Liguria (pasta with green beans and potatoes and pesto).  Make a batch and it will keep for a good few weeks in the fridge (especially if you cover the surface in the jar with oil)

This is the recipe I use (from Rivercottage.net):

100g wild garlic leaves, picked over and rinsed off well (I also like to include the budded flowers if they haven’t opened (they’re a bit more bitter when opened)
50g shallots or spring onions chopped
50g walnuts
200ml olive oil
60g finely grated parmesan
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp sugar.

Put it all (except the cheese) in a blender and blitz for about a minute until it’s all finely chopped. Then fold in the cheese and put it into clean sterilised jars, pressing down well to make sure there’s no air pockets left and cover the surface with a little more oil to keep the air out and stop it spoiling.

Foraging tips:

  • Wild garlic is really easy to identify.  Bright green oval leaves with a distinctive garlic smell. Some people worry about confusing them with lily of the valley, but just use your nose on a crushed leave and you will be able to tell the difference.
  • I wouldn’t pick right from the side of the road, and make sure you wash them well when you get home.
  • Pick responsibly, ie not from a nature reserve, and I like to take only a few leaves from each plant rather than the whole plant.  The more tender leaves are better anyway.
  • Leave the bulbs to grow again next year, and they are really small anyway
  • The flowers can be eaten, but I think the buds are better than the open flowers. Try them J
  • Don’t eat bluebells. They’re poisonous.

 

Get out there,

Claire x

New Product for Spring 2014

Dog Long Johns

 

After the phenomenal success of our Dog Jumpers last year, and extensive field research with Erin, we realised that there was a massive gap in the market. Not just figuratively, but also literally; as although our dog jumpers cover Erin’s tummy and front legs, she still suffered cold back legs!

So, after more field research, we are very excited to announce the launch of our new Dog Long Johns!

Click here to find out more! 

Claire Meets Theo Paphitis!

Wild Stripes Founder Meets Theo Paphitis #sbs

If you’ve been with us for a while, you may remember that this time last year we won Theo Paphitis’s Small Business Sunday Competition on Twitter (AKA #SBS)

Well, finally after what seemed like forever… it was time to go and collect our certificate at the 2013 #SBS Winner’s Event!

It was a really inspiring day, and great to meet other #sbs winners and hear their stories.  We had a great Q&A session from the (ex-) Dragon himself and have come back super motivated for bigger and better things!

Thank you Theo for a fantastic day!