Montag, 16. Mai 2011
This knife cost me 18€.
I got myself-oh, what will it be... an artifact to be announced;-), from Khalil, and we both were very happy with the trade;-).
It was a long day of working, but an even longer one for my coworker. It was the tenth flea market event in Schwelm for her in a five year´s row, and she always works at least 24 h non-stop in the process. I want to express my respect for that. We might not be agreed all of the time, and often times she could kill me ( and me her;-)). But we work together nonetheless. I worked for 13 h non -stop, and then rode home some 20 km. I was all finished, but I now have a day off. My coworkerhas not. Hats off for her!
So, I normally test my knives to the max. With this knife I am somewhat reluctant. I love its beauty, and the extreme cutting prowess. I even used it to shave my facial hair, for it has all the properties a good razor has, too! It cuts onion slices so thin you can see your dinner dated girlfriend through... can´t see why noone wants to date me...hmpf;-).
Dienstag, 10. Mai 2011
I had not said a word about my fears, must I mention that? Then he jumped up, said: Your bike is dirty. You must not ride a dirty bike! I answered: I rode through the woods, it got dusty, and will again on the way home. He grinned and started to wash it. I could not stand that, and did it myself. Then he looked at me and said: Did you understand?
I did. And will not ride a "dirty bike" anymore. Nor a "dirty train", as I have stopped early in my life. Viktor is a very rare man indeed. He appears a bit over the edge sometimes, he drinks too much, as many Russians do, but he has every right to get any respect I owe him. He knows to make EVERYTHING himself, from tools to Vodka to perfume, to medicine. He cut out and treated his maligne melanome he discovered one day himself. In Kazakhstan he pulled out teeth, as was the custom that blacksmiths did, too. He healed horses and people alike, what we call "bushcraft" is a commonplace to him. Making damascus: Just take some springsteel, forge it out, put a file in, weld it with new steel a thousand times, and then "bitteschön" you got some quality blade... He´s a farmer, a hunter, a fisherman, oh yes, and a major in the Russian army, and I heard he had something to do with the Speznaz, too. I will not ask him directly, for the Afghanistan war has hurt him and traumatized a lot. He taught me to make cancer soup and what herbs fit best and what you can do when no pot´s available. All this in some two hours time!
We talked about harvesting strawberries, about mowing the lane, about forging, woodworking, about philosophy and literature, about blades and tools and making coffee.
That´s the knife Volker started. he messed up a little, so I helped him out and made this Viking style tang for him, quenched and tempered it and did the grind.
Oh, and what might be hidden in the flames;-).
This En-Nep-style blade out of spring steel...
It´s always a wonder what people I meet at that smithy. It´s a place deeply connected with my life, deeply rooted in my heart, not only because of the opportunity of forging there, but for the people. I am very grateful for that.
As they grew, the woods were used to feed pigs and smaller lifestock (sheep, goats and the like), but also cattle on the underbrush vegetation. When they had reached stock height, the trees were cut, but only so that they would drive out again. Around the stumps, wheat or oat were sown, and the crops were harvested. The hardwood was used primarily for charcoaling, but also for fences, building timber and many other purposes. As the trees drove out again, it was animal farming again. The vegetation is still influenced by this crop rotational system. Mainly red beech, common oak and other hardwoods are to be found, the underbrush consisting of blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and heather, plus multiple sorts of grasses.
Of primary interest for the forager is that there are also many, many edible herbs along the way;-). That´s a butterfly, all yellow with black dots I could not make out which one it was;-).
This is a cliff where some wild rock carvings are to be found. Yap, that, in principle, qualifies as vandalism, but most of them are extremely well made.
A triton carving.
That is a charcoal kiln commonly in use throughout those woods for ages up to the 20th century! In a central fire funnel out of big timbers a straw and light wood (needle wood) fire was lit. timbers were erected around this central funnel, with some tiny air channels left on the ground. Then it was covered with earth and clods of grassy soil to achieve a reducing atmosphere. One of these babies burned for about ten days. The coaler lived beside it in a coaler´s hut out of branches, birchbark and leaves, their quality ranging from mere shelters to solidly built cabins, depending on the site.
Found some lady´s mantle (alchemilla vulgaris, in German: Frauenmantel) and took it home for tea and salad. It can be used in wound antiseption, against head- and stomach aches, menstrual problems, cramps. It was used as a magical implement, too, but I could not make out for what;-), when in doubt, take it against witches. Almost everything is against witches;-).
And that´s some root on display. Some strange people with long hair live in a house in the neighbourhood, making fire, cropping herbs, building laavus and a sauna, and using knives in public... saw a car with a Finnish numberplate on the parking lot, a battered old camper with peace symbols on;-). Witches, if you ask me;-).
That´s how the trail stays for kilometres on end. Love that. Love to ride it by bike, too! This one is near the Krenzer Hammer, a smithy in the Ennepetal still making tools aftter ancient patterns.
Oh, and an assembly of goose on the way home. Found it sort of funny, how they stare in one direction. What´s missing in my opinion is a black one staring to the opposite direction;-).
I went home on foot, this is the trail leading through the hills towards my home. As usual, I was quite exhausted, but with a bag full of treasures (found the lawnmower, the herbs and loads of impressions).
Mittwoch, 4. Mai 2011
Works with jack-by-the hedge, too, but I prefer wild garlic.
7 tablespoons oatmeal
1/2 tablespoon baking flour
3 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons almond splits
1 coarsely chopped apple
1 knifetip salt
1 teaspoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardomom
1 teaspoon nutmeg
water to make a thin dough
vegetable oil for frying
I mixed it all to a thin dough, thin enough to pour, all the while heating the frying oil in a small pan to sizzling temperature. Then I turned down the heat, waited for half a minute and poured the dough in. Baked it golden brown from both sides. The dough gave three thick bannock cakes, great for a long, long hike!
I love bannock a lot. It´s cheap, it´s nourishing and it tastes great to boot!
I am about to decide, what handle it will get. I am thinking of elk antler, reindeer crown with a carving, oak, birchwood burl or pepperwood (Corse juniper) burl... maybe bronze ferrule and cap... I am still thinking, as I said. ;-)
Will make no po´man´s sheath, though;-), but one from leather, maybe with Molle straps or so... we´ll see...
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