Saturday, 17 February 2018

Tarps and tents and shelters oh my...

So, working on any project that demands quite a lot of cheer, planning on buying something truly magnificent for the fee is half the victory. Since I bought, tested and found perfectly satisfactory a single studio light (and the General bought me a few more, simple construction lights for 1% of the price, just as effective is someone holds them for me and moves as I ask them...), next thing at the very top of my list is an ultralight hiking tent. 

And here's the funny bit.
I've been looking through top10 lists and recommendations for months now. In fact, from the moment I saw the Gossamer Gear The One, I was hooked. And here is what I noticed.

See, this is a so called 'tarp'.

This is a 'shelter'.

And this is a fully fledged tent. 
.. Or, you know, this ...

 .. but let's stay realistic... This looks like, if someone is going to try and rob a tent, this would be the first one they go to ...

The curious bit is, though I love the idea of a tarp the most, I am simply, for some odd reason, too afraid to dive straight into tarp travel. Silly, isn't it? The thought of sleeping entirely outdoors makes me uncomfy. I didn't used to feel that way, I just grew into it. I want, if we're setting one up at all, a proper man cave. I wonder if that makes sense. Is it the snakes or the bugs or what? Could be mosquitoes and stuff like that. Or the feeling I'll be warmer in a tent or safer in a tent in a rainstorm. I just don't know. I only know that Gossamer The One, for some intuitive reason, though it isn't making any top10 lists, remains at the top and I am simply looking for a better option.

Things that catch my eye instantly are features, such as - how many ropes, pikes, poles and hooks do you additionaly requite to set the fucker up? Is there anything blocking the entrance? What does it feel like in case you have to spend all day inside, waiting for the weather to stop stressing? Does it weight around 600 grams? Is it seam-sealed? Does it blend well with the nature? How much of a nightmare condensations is?, etc ... So far this last bit is the only negative I can find regarding the One...








Shark week alert :D

LoL, our bodies. I'm dreaming I'm Claire Underwood from House of Cards, wearing a red dress. The husband guy gets shot and his secretary old guy and myself smear ourselves with the blood to fake ourselves being shot as well. The old secretary guy even kind of fakes getting between my legs to abuse my corpse before his time is up. I'm waking up slowly, the body constantly - constantly, sending me the : red alarm ... RED alarm ... which part of REEED alarm don't you get? :D

I haven't had my period in half a year, so right now I'm on my way to the bathroom, leaving a trail like I'm stabbed :D It's gonna be one of those that feel almost unnatural anyone can survive this. That said, body, dreams, thank you. The bed's been almost saved :D You did great.

Sunday, 11 February 2018



I am in suuuuch bad shape :D Fat, slow, getting older by the minute … My ear aches, my ankle tendon won’t unclench, my knees are shit … The moment I decide to hike somewhere, everything starts to hurt. If I just go on a dog walk, then it’s perfectly fine. Or a five hour hunt. Or an hour one way to McDonald’s. But a small hike? I feel as if I’m about to come apart at the seams.
Today was a brilliantly beautiful morning – it wasn’t announced, so it pleasantly surprised me. G was away on a meeting and I thought: perfect weather to test my latest ‘overdoing it’ gift – ‘city crampons’. I grabbed the dog, packed some snacks and bought a warm vitamin juice, then offed to the most frequented hill in the area. Granted, most people drive right up to the edge of it and then drive back home once they descend, but I was fine warming up for those 20 or so minutes, listening to pompous epic music :D I didn‘t take the camera, because it was too cold. Didn’t play the wee Pokemons during, either :P
Such a lovely walk. Starbark sort of kind of helped to pull me up, as much as a beagle can drag a 200 pound meatball, and I had one trekking pole, since I lent dad the other. That was a good combo. When the north-facing parts of the path were slippery from ice, the crampons were awesome. I got up without a hitch and sat down to have tea, but the waitresses were busy with hundreds of other people, hikers and skiers. Way down was slightly more trying, because uneven steps of crampon-enforced shoes test your ankles further and mine are already touchy. I was super tired by the time I got down and after a while G came to get me. I told MyMaja how old ladies sped past me up and down, some literally jogging on ice – sans crampons! – on a 45 degree terrain, and she said – yeah, they always do that, everybody knows that.
So ye, I need to get in better shape. I need to do all those hikes I told everyone I will do two years ago. Following the discussions of FB groups, people venture out to such lovely places, so carefree. Just walk, explore, pitch their minute ultralight shelters, then carry on until they get bored, when they go home. I always go so desperately, planning so hard it brings me to nigh tears when something goes amiss.. Wish Starbark wasn’t as a neurotic dog – I’d love to have her along, but she won’t let me sleep outdoors and if we meet a dog out in the farmlands, it’s usually very unpleasant :/

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Winter poems :)







Almost made it to Poetovia :D Almost! (Got snowed in :D )



We made it to the charterhouse... Hermes was signalling us hard - or was just messing with us - you never know with these little fuckers :D  First we stopped to help a woman, whose car got sent off the road and onto snow, and when the wheels finally touched ground a massive spray of muddy snow was sent all over the General. We drove on and saw another car in the ditch. It began to snow some more. We broke the exhaust pipe off the car (now sounds like a Porsche :p ), then finally decided to turn and go see G's parents. I took some pickies of the winter forest :D It was majesty. Once we got home, though, the sun of course began to shine and the roads melted. That's field trips for ya.





Tuesday, 6 February 2018



Taking it chill this week. G is on leave, though with him it's usually sick leave, as he is one of those alpha idiots who only get sick on leaves.. He's got the sniffles, but of course that's Man Flu, the only illness worse than cholera or ebola, so most of my plans to go hiking over snow-covered wonderlands have fallen through. He's studying, though, and from time to time he takes naps in hot boiling water in the bathtub while I read him Moomins. February 8th is our national culture day, meaning all museums are free to enter and this time we’ve plans to go check out what Petovia lot have been up to. Rockstar is coming, too, as I think that was the first museum we went to together, some 11 years ago. He was, like, 8 or so :D Partially the attitude  got from the elder women of the last shoot has discouraged me, which is just as well. Winter is not for photos. I’m drawing on. Partially the attitude I got as feedback for the sketches has discouraged me from the drawings as well, but I have such big plans for the payment coming. I just can’t decide! What will it be? A glorious ultralight 1-woman tent? A new camera bag? The other half of studio set-up? Ahhh, so much can go wrong when you plan, so muuuuch! The bank across the street got robbed. I'm watching old silent movies. Like is as usual, bleak midwinter mode.
The dog’s a little sick, too. I think she ate snow and got a tummy ache. She seems to be getting better, but she’s still despondent, bordering on obedient. It’s scary. 

Petovia old castle museum, around a decade ago :D

Sunday, 4 February 2018

All the money in the world

Watched All the Money in The World ... I've never hated classical art before. It's portrayed as a villain here. It seems cheap and ugly. The movie tries several times to make you feel something other than disgust for the old man, but it's just not coming. Marky Mark was an odd casting choice - I'd have rather seen anyone else in that role, but everyone else was good. Especially the replaced Kevin Spacey - that old guy was a diiiiiick. We're talking Denethor-level diiiiick. This was such a messed up situation. I dunno how often the word money is used - as the crazed drive that drives Americans - but it's often and I don't know whether it's our socialist upbringing or just ... I dunno, but most of the people I know wouldn't do much for money. There's just nothing I could buy I don't already have with money. What? A slightly newer car? Another dog? I don't really need anything more in life other than more books and more buttons - everything else I know how to make money for or do without (travel, post photos on Internet, chase my idiotic cats around the house when they steal my socks....)

Had I been the woman, in the end, I'd have packed small neat packages of C4 around that fucking house, step aside a little and spit my rage onto the fuse.I guess in the real world donating it all to the museums is just as well. 

Romain Duris was great, though. I haven't seen him since Populaire. He brings it.


Thursday, 1 February 2018

Take one well-talky nutjob, followed by lots of morons, make some babies and add guns. Shockingly, it all burned in the end.

Watching Waco. It's waco.



The general, having now taken apprenticeship with his father, is starting to go to apitechnical lectures - stuff you kinda need to know so all your bees don't die.
      It was great. We drove - his dad, G et moi - to an old castle's renovated stables, where they now have a near-border centre for cultural and agricultural development, to listen to this guy talk about how to handle the bug that's been killing the bees these past few years - the Varoia Destructor. He started the lecture by saying lotsa young hipsters these days buy a couple of hives and play at being beekeepers, but know butt none of how to actually work the hive around the year and end up simply producing the abundance of the lethal parasite, which then spreads to all their neighbours.
      G and I sat there, thinking fuuuuuuuuck.
      It was a two hour lecture, and a great way to make you understand even now, way in, we know almost nothing about what we're doing. It's good G's dad is a 40-year veteran of this kind, because even he is amazed of all the new things you learn every time.
       The lecture was actually really good - he had this PowerPoint with funny, illustrative memes, stressing some stuff. Like a very thin lady, saying 'a bee like that in the start of winter will only last you until the new Year's dance'... and a photo of a pleasantly rotund lady next to her, and he said: 'But this, fat winter bee, this will bring you well into a healthy spring next year' ... :D
      This makes me a winter bee.
      We're thinking of moving a couple of the hives to pastures where my parents are - there are no beekeepers in those parts and the bloom is abundant. I know I don't want to take care of them on my own, I am not ready, but I'd love to add an observational hive to the lot and just allowed them to exist...

... In hopes of not ending up with a nest of fatal parasites.

Poor mum. She'll end up being the only one constantly stung for sure :D

I almost did a good deed today … But then I panicked. An older man was at the store in front of me, buying a very small piece of chicken meat… In fact, he asked the butcher to cut the small piece in half and then wrap up the smaller half. I stood there, thinking of the time we were so fucking poor that at the end of the month we ate old potato our parents gave us. I twirled a 2 euro coin – the price of the chicken meat – in my pocket, thinking what to do. I had three options.
1 – slip the coin into the man's pocket. But. Someone could see me and think I was trying to pickpocket the poor guy.
2 – tap the man on the shoulder and say – excuse me, sir, I believe you dropped this. But. He would probably argue in honesty and then someone completely different would insist they were the ones who dropped it.
3 – I could pay the man's tap in advance at the cashier. But. The woman at the cashier – I’ve had bad experience with her before and I didn't think she would either understand me or do as she promised…
So …. Thinking of the words ‘no good deed goes unpunished,’ I let the moment pass.
:/