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Author Archives: ruben


  • Posted by ruben
  • 11 November 2008

this is our woosh jacket.

It's been around for a while now but since the BFJ came out, I feel that it has been a little bit overlooked in the jacket department.

It's kind of at the other end of the scale from the BFJ.

Very light and very small. You can pack it in your bag and forget it's there.

But when you get off the train and realise it's a bloody cold day and the wind is stripping all your warmth away, you'll be very glad you have the woosh with you.

Because even though it's small, and light, it's very windproof and surprisingly warm. It stops the windchill and creates a protective shell around your jumper or jacket, helping to keep the warm in and the cold out.

It's also a fantastic jacket to wear for biking, fell running or any other activity that gets you outside in the wind and the cold.

Me and ade love ours. And we think it deserves just as much attention as the BFJ.

Check out the men's here and the women's here

Oops . . .

  • Posted by ruben
  • 10 November 2008

I went out mountain biking with Teri, Tom, David Hicks and a few others on the weekend.

I don't usually ride mountain bikes, and I don't have one, so I borrowed David Hieatt's.

We went up to Brechfa and rode the Gorlech route.... the weather held, and it was a great ride with some beautiful scenery.

My ride went really well... right up until near the end, when I came out of a berm a bit too fast, left the trail in a rut and hit a stump.

I went over the bars and landed pretty hard on my arm and leg.


So, with an impressively bloody leg, torn jacket and a sprained wrist, I got up and limped back to the bike.

And then things got worse...

Sorry, David.

I will get this fixed!

peak oil/economic troubles

  • Posted by ruben
  • 7 November 2008

I just watched Chris Martenson's 'crash course' on the economic, environmental and energy crises which are emerging in the world today. 

Chris is a finical observer and scientist with some pretty interesting and insightful thoughts about the world we live in and the problems we are facing. 

I highly recommend that you find time to watch his videos in order, they are fascinating.  

But it can be kind of terrifying to think that the wonderful economic system that supports our modern lifestyle is based on generating debt that assumes the future will always be larger and more productive than the present, but ignores the fact that we live on a spherical planet with finite resources.  

Follow this link if you're interested: http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse

(this might be an interesting blog for people to try out the new comment features on!)


  • Posted by ruben
  • 5 November 2008


After my blog about the overabundence of cereals I found in the supermarket, I received this lovely e-mail: 


Reading your blog on breakfast cereal & porridge I thought I should come to a (semi) defense of ready brek - namely that it makes possibly the best flapjacks in the world!* Making a batch of flapjacks a while ago, and having run out of enough proper oats, I ended up sticking some ready brek in with the normal flapjack mixture - I'm not sure what it did but the flapjacks were some of the best I've had. The recipe's now become a staple of my "cycling diet", so I thought I should share the goodness:

350g porridge oats
50g ready brek
A 250g pack of butter
8 tablespoons of demerara sugar
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
6 tablespoons of golden syrup
2 tablespoons of molasses/treacle

I sometimes stick a handful of chopped up dried apricots in too. The method's just to mix the butter, sugars and syrup/treacle and melt gently, then stir in the oats & ready brek. I bake them at 170oC (fan oven, so I'd guess around 190oC for a normal one) for about 30min.

Have a great day,


*well... maybe in Mid Wales...'

Thanks a lot for the tip, Myles, I will try adding some ready-brek to the next batch of flapjacks I make!

Turtles All The Way Down?

  • Posted by ruben
  • 5 November 2008


... all the way down to what?

oats and milk

  • Posted by ruben
  • 4 November 2008


i happened to find myself in a supermarket this evening, the malevolent name of which i shall not mention, and while pondering the subject of tomorrow morning's breakfast (i strongly believe in planning ahead when it comes to hunger), i took a stroll down the aisle where the breakfast-suited food is kept.

and then i encountered a problem.

in front of me stretched thirty feet of shelving, displaying a mind-boggling array of alternatives for the would-be breakfaster. cereal of all kinds, with or without nuts, raisins, dates, apricots, bananas and/or honey, fat, sugar, chocolate.... as well as cereals for children that come in different boxes depending on your kids favourite pop hero of the moment.....

in short, my problem was variety. sometimes you don't want to have to pick between 30 different 'buy me! i'm the right option for YOU' packages before you can get home and eat, or whatever... the supermarket environment makes me even less inclined to spend the necessary time to make decisions like this, and even less inclined to spend money.

i have this same problem every time i need a new toothbrush.

in the end, i couldn't decide which cereal best suited my personality and current mood, so i decided i'd just go home and have porridge.

put oats and milk together and make them hot.




New Catalogue

  • Posted by ruben
  • 30 October 2008


Just got my hands on a sneaky preview of our Winter catalogue.

It makes me proud to work at howies every time I see one of these new catalogues arrive.

And I have to say, I think this is one of the best we've ever made.

Well done to Nick, Pete, Aron and all the people who helped make the Winter catalouge happen. You guys did an amazing job.

You can order your copy of the catalogue here

more of ice and sun

  • Posted by ruben
  • 29 October 2008


It hailed during the night and my car had an inch of ice on the roof this morning.

After scraping the windows and mirrors off and feeling glad that I had the foresight to put anti-freeze in my windscreen washers, I set off to work.

The sun was up and it was that kind of sharp, cold, bright morning that makes early winter so enjoyable. (for me, anyway)

Part of the drive in was along the top of a hill, with great views down into the misty valley.

I had to stop and jump out of the car to have a proper look around.

I took a photo, but it doesn't really do the scene justice.

I was torn between wishing I was on my bike and wishing I had a big old large format camera in my boot.

Further along was another amazing scene with swans in a flooded, misty field.

But that was a busy bit of road and I couldn't stop for that one!

Big Fat Jackets

  • Posted by ruben
  • 28 October 2008


It was cold this morning.

Very cold.

In fact, when I got into the office, my hands felt slightly numb.

I was envious of Hollie's colourful half-finger gloves with mitten flaps.

To warm up a bit, I went and grabbed one of the BFJ's from the sample rail, and ten minutes later I knew I wouldn't want to take it off again.

Hollie, Hayley, Emma, Pete, Madelyn and me have been wearing these jackets all day.

We love them. It's like wearing a hug.

And if you're starting to notice the cold weather creeping in, I think you would appreciate the BFJ as well.

Go and have a look! : Men's and Women's

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