The Improbable Blog

No.27: Radley Lakes


It started as all weekends should, with a trip to Lego Land – magic and fun for all of the family – especially if you are 1-6 years old and love queueing in 30 degree heat… Like this one


I was supposed to go on a wild-camping adventure with my brother this weekend but he was struck down by summer man-flu, so we had to settle for a day trip on the Sunday – I say settle, but we weren’t exactly slumming it…


Radley lakes are a picturesque group of fishing lakes just outside of Oxford, popular with dog walkers and – sadly – people with motocross bikes.

We set off around the main lake with light packs, it isn’t a particularly gruelling walk but it does lead you into some pretty amazing little bits of woodland, with spatters of urban decoration


After we’d done some exploring, we started looking around for felled wood because my amazing brother had bought us both a set of ‘whittling’ knives – meaning that we could, in theory, sit in these pretty surroundings and  carve ourselves some wooden spoons or butter knives… Or at least something that mildly represented any of the above.


After finding some Silver Birch (I think) we split it in half and set about shaping and working the wood in the shade of the tree branches while looking out over the water of one of the lakes, after ten minutes I had managed to get it into a basic spoon shape… Kinda


All that was left to do was a few hours of whittling away the handle, carving out the bowl of the spoon and then carrying it home to be sanded and treated – it was going swimmingly until I hit a knot in the wood… Slipped… and sank the knife into the fourth finger of my left hand


It was a teachable moment and I’m now fully aware of the importance of a first aid kit on these trips! – I also learnt what my tendon looks like on the fourth finger of my left hand, and what it feels like to have a tendon washed with raw alcohol – thank you to the NHS who were, as always, great.

From Lego Land to severed hand –  the second half of the year has kicked off with a bang!


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<BIG NEWS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I’m doing a charity fundraising challenge in August to raise money for CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably – a charity that is dedicated to providing support for men with mental health issues. To find out more, please visit: and donate where possible.

Robin xx

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  1. Dan Q July 11, 2018

    This write-up makes the whole adventure sound even more-badass than it did when you told me about it as you came into my house with a bandage around your finger.

  2. Tom Varley July 12, 2018

    Seems pointless to repeat this, but rule one with edge tools is don’t have any part of your body (or other persons body) in the path of the tool (think quantum tool)

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