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Doodlecat's Homepage

Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

I would love to be able to say that Doodlecat is all my own work, but it isn’t. Much of the outdoors content is courtesy of the splendid people who participate in the annual TGO Challenge (there is a section entirely devoted to this unique event) and many others.

To help in tracking down that elusive morsel on Doodlecat, the search facility under the title bar above is tailored to help you find it, either on this home page (Doodlecat's Blog) all the rest of the site (Main Site) or – if all else fails - the internet!

So have a rummage around the old cat basket and enjoy your time with us!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spice up your sausage rolls!

No need to buy special sausage meat specially blended with exotic herbs and unicorn droppings. Good quality plain meat will do just fine. Here's a tip from my old mum. When making your sausage rolls, add half a tablespoon of medium curry powder to each pound of sausage meat and mix it in well. Then make the rolls as usual.

The result will be absolutely delicious sausage rolls, not with a curry flavour but an indefinable extra something that makes them very more-ish. Mmmmm.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Outdoor Stereotypes No. 5

The Gear Guru


 His superfine merino base layer, Montane trews and Innov8 shoes give the impression that Gavin is about to throw on a jacket, pick up his sack and head for the hills. Yet although well known in hillwalking circles as an expert on navigation, gear and gadgets, few have ever actually seen him on the hill. In truth Gavin’s only real connection with the outdoors is his broadband connection.

Once a promising Queen’s Scout, technology seduced the teenage Gavin and he slowly mutated into a gadget and gear guru. Now, as an unofficial (and unpaid) reviewer for “Trudge” magazine, he not only owns an example of almost every type of GPS receiver made since 1997, but publishes highly detailed accounts of how to modify their software on his outdoor blog “Wilderbytes”.  Withering about Windows, offhand about Apple and firmly anti-Android, Gavin extols the virtues of the most obscure and specialised navigational software from small “cottage industry” producers, who tend to go bust and disappear within weeks of his review.

As well as being a technology expert, Gavin is highly respected as a pioneer in ultra-lightweight backpacking. In his home made vacuum chamber a chemical balance is currently weighing rival toilet tissues to a tolerance of 0.01 mg. His dedicated readership awaits his recommendation with bated breath and clenched buttocks.

Under piles of Pizza boxes, discarded phones and Coke bottles lie the remnants of Gavin’s previous experiments in ‘lightening up’. A Scarp tent (with the groundsheet cut out and guy lines removed), a tarp (reduced to the size of a large handkerchief by over-zealous remodelling) a Gore-Tex jacket (with the sleeves, hood and torso removed) …  and an unmolested pair of home-made cuben fibre trousers  … but thanks to Domino’s excellent delivery service, Gavin outgrew them long ago. Not that it matters. Gavin doesn’t get out much anymore.

Deep in the gloom of his bedroom lit only by the glow of a screen and flickering LEDs, Gavin Blogs, Twitters and Tweets with the cream of outdoors elite. There is little he doesn’t know about the great outdoors, from extreme mountaineering to gentle country rambles. No outdoors blog or forum can escape Gavin’s well informed advice and comment.

It’s easy to scoff at this indoors outdoorsman, but Gavin deserves the respect of all who aspire to a green lifestyle and care for the delicate ecology of our wild land. Creating zero path erosion, leaving absolutely no trace and with a nil carbon footprint, Gavin is truly an outdoorsman for our time.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Possible break in service

Doodlecat is not a UK citizen. His servers live in Dallas, Texas. Owing to several power outages at the existing centre (or center) the servers are being physically relocated to the Databank in Dallas over the next couple of week ends. This may result in loss of service for 2 - 3 hours until the new center (or centre) is powered up.

As the moves are scheduled for the early hours (12am to 3am EST) it should be all over by the time we've finished breakfast here in Blighty ... but if there is a glitch and Doodlecat disappears, don't worry, the old moggy will be back very soon.

And for regular readers wondering where the next "Outdoor Stereotype" has got to, wonder no more. The next ones are coming up very soon.

Oh yes ...