Mittwoch, 31. August 2016

Snufkin ride and that bastard cellphone

 Feic, how I needed to get outside. But sometimes it´s hard to get your lame butt off the couch, as many of us know... so I was a bit late for a hike. So I originally had decided to cancel everything altogether and just call it a day, until I realized two things: I have a mountainbike, and I am an avid mountainbike rider. I tend to forget it these days, what with all the stress going on even for the simplest everyday things and a load of other stuff I am doing. I often forget to tend to myself over caring for others. So I had a laugh at my own stupidity and packed some water and grabbed some grub, and off I was for the hills, and the sun was shining oh so bright...

I brought my phone, of course. I always do. There´s a first aid pack in my backpack, and the cellphone sits right in there, for you can never know. And I know I SHOULD have turned it off, but with the organization of a big and cool event we are planning going on, I thought, yap, better safe than sorry, and left it on.


I received some 57 calls from people who wanted to attend the event we are organizing, and roundabout 30 of them were about who does not like whom and why this and that one deserve more attention than the other f***er who also wants to come. I don´t know what people are up to at the moment, but if I have to work as a children´s caretaker, I´d love to get paid as one. At least, but turns out, it´s more of a psychologist´s work, and I´d love to get paid THAT much.

And the rest of the calls were from people who wanted to know things they already knew but were too lazy to look them up in their email account. In fact, most of them told me they were too lazy, and that it would be my obligation to inform them, because they would want me to, for they were so important I could not do without them, implying the fact that I would not get them if I did not do the full-on-wellness-package. I had a not very polite and quite corny reply for them, and then I did the only thing that is sensible to do on a Snufkin day: I turned off the phone. There is a message hidden somewhere inside this rant, and I daresay one can find it quite easily... ;-)

That said and done, I was able to finish the lame ride on the lane to head to the hills, still on a road, but it was fair enough with very little traffic. 
 Roe deer were grazing calmly beside the road... and it was absolutely hilarious, what their expression was, when I took out the camera, just like "what´s that guy over up to? Girls, look pretty, he´s taking photos!". I simply smiled....

Beside the road there was the constant murmuring of creeks and tiny waterfalls even. Some few birds were singing, and apart from a rare occasion, when a car passed, there was no other sound than the gentle rustle of the wind in the trees...

 Then I was passing the "Brenscheider Ölmühle", an old oil seed mill dating back to the 18th century and closed down in 1950 or so. It is a really cool place with a garden overflowing with the colours of wild flowers.
 There also was a signpost with a plaque on it with a poem by Christian Morgenstern:

But the trail led ever on and on, and I followed. I was fond of my body, in spite of my profound lack of training, did what it was supposed to do, and really enjoyed even the uphill. In fact, there was a lot of uphill that day... I rode from sea level to... we´ll see... ;-) further on.
 The first ´shrooms were ´shrooming, in this case shaggy ink cap, coprinus comatus, in German: Schopftintling, which is edible when young. You should not take the one on the right, so to say, but could enjoy the ones on the left.
 The trail was a wonderful garden of light and shadow, and while I was labouring along in my granny gear, I really enjoyed the radiant light that soothed my soul.
 There´s a reward... on top of things, the shadows diffuse and you can see the clear, blue sky.

And further up I rode until I reached the ridge between the Mesekendahl and Großendrehscheid in the vicinity of Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde.

 And further on I toodled, now over the gently rolling hillsides far above things.
 This is the old coal and iron ore trade road I was on, and it was at an elevation of roundabout 520 m at the highest point.
 Then I reached the Border of Hagen city, at roundabout 438 m over sea level. This was an important checkpoint in old times.
 I loved to imagine the traders of that time, tinkers and carters, stopping by in an old wayside inn, and looking over the hills while their wagons were checked and having a sip of dark ale. It is quite safe to say that there was iron traded from the Siegerland region, and quite arguably also the famed Breckerfelder steel quality was taking this route into the world in the earliest of times. The earliest evidence of this route is a coin excavated, which dates back to Roman times.
 This is home to me. Standing on top of a hill and looking over the hillsides. Far away from where this picture was taken, in the vicinity of that big white chimney you can see on the picture, there somewhere lies the house I live in; and yet I feel more comfortable on this hillside than in the clamorous, overpopulated cities.

Then it was time for the reward, and I was taking the technical singletrail down into the Volme valley.

 Again there was the play of light and shadow swirling around me, and beside the trail the speedflowers bloom.
 Then I reached the road and hauled home... but what remained was...
The light on a dust-ridden hilltop.

Oh, and the phone?

Sometimes you just have to switch it off. Try it. It works.

New sheath for a snack and allround bush knife

This is another simple sheath, for a snack and utility knife (the one that got stainless by accident ;-)). Nothing fancy, really, just plain vegetable tanned leather, lacquered with violin veneer and hotwaxed and wet-formed around the knife. It goes on a belt, and works with a snap that keeps the knife in quite good, even upside down.

Progress on the sheath system for Úlenkláwe

Here´s an update on the sheath system for my Sica. It will be some kind of shoulder harness rig. I fitted the Paracord just for measure. The actual system will be made with handmade brass or steel fittings. I was informed that the actual kind of carrying "system" for this style of knife, namely by the "Sicarii" who wreaked havoc on the Roman empire´s judicial system might have been quite similar, but maybe less "eloquent", for there would have been just a pouch stitched on the inside of a tunic or overgarment in those times.

Another example might be the famed Scottish "sgian achlais" or "mattucashlass". See also

Anyway, the finished system will provide the possibility to carry it slung over the shoulder and will maybe even incorporate a small pouch. Maybe it will also offer the option to carry the sheath and pouch on a belt, but we´ll see how it goes... in any case I will keep you posted! ;-)

Donnerstag, 25. August 2016

New sheath for Úlenklawe

 Here it is... I made a new sheath for Úlenkláwe, my "black handled knife". It is a dangler sheath to date, but may get some more attachments to be worn like a sgian achlais.
3 mm vegetable tanned leather, hardened with a mixture of dragon´s blood, alcohol, beeswax and resin, yet to be hot-waxed. It is wet-formed around the knife and keeps it in with a snap. I´ll keep you posted!

The quest for the Brakkersfelders Knopmetz and a lovely weekend with lovely people plus some morons on top.

It was long scheduled and thoroughly planned. We had arranged a lecture at our favourite ruin about the history of the local language, a dialect of Nether German, the "Plattdiütsch" still spoken by elderly people and some sorry few younger ones. To achieve this, we originally had planned a crossover concept. I had contacted one of the greatest teachers I ever had, and a man I strongly admire, Mr. Prof. (em.) Dr. Heinz Menge for the philological part, and Ms. Friedel Hillner to contribute with some poems and stories in the dialect. We had planned a discussion, over some good food and wine, and meant the best, and, although we were being a bit sceptical due to our experience, we still had a go at it.
But it came to no surprise when Dr. Menge cancelled his appearance due to health problems, and one might suspect he had an inkling about what was to come. But sick is as sick does, and a cough is a cough is a cough. So my lovely and utterly competent companion and soulmate, the magic troll, put up a lecture with a bit of contribution on my part in but three days (and nights) course, which is a feat I encourage anyone to try. Of course we got mad at each other in the process, and of course it did not change anything, and of course we love each other even more for´t. So, even though even Dr. Menge said it could not be done, we did it, and we have another stinky finger to point at the world.
Off to the smithy, looking forward to the rewards that were to come, and hoping for the best. My beloved mother and her partner, the always helpful Fritz, who has taken me out of a lot of fixes already in this life, fetched us by car, and off we were. Entering the yard of the smithy, we were instantly greeted by Ewald, the owner. Of course, he had granted we could use the beamer and of course he came over and stated the light bulb had burned through only but yesterday. I did not believe a word, but chuckled away at it, for it was that obvious. Ms. Hillner were there already, and I welcomed her personally and expressed my gratefulness and apologized for the improvisation that were to come.
I then read through the lecture, for the magic troll did not take much to improvising without the material at hand (which I obviously understood, for I did not like it that much, either). I held the lecture, Ms. Hillner read out some poems, we had a discussion, and we invited all of them along for food. I asked Ms. Hillner if there were anything we could do better, and received her "heartfelt compliment" and she made her excuses she could not stay for dinner and took her people with her. (Last week I learned she is telling everyone the lecture was just for academical airheads and it was the worst thing she ever listened to, as well as the fact that Ewald admitted that he was lying to me about the light bulb, and gave me another tall tale about his brother-in-law not wanting to give him back the beamer, which of course I cannot verify or falsify.)
So, too bad, but begone, the people worth our attention were still there, and good food galore.  
I had prepared some lamb chops with rosemary and garlic, and there was some homemade salad. I cannot help the language dying out and the ruin crumbling even more, so I do what I can do: Enjoying myself and contributing to an enjoyable time for the people around me that deserve it. Those that do not deserve it will eventually take care of themselves. I do not need to hate them, they will die anyway. I will die too, one time, and so I do not want to give morons permission to waste my life time.
Nick enjoying a brew and having a good talk to Gudrun.
...while Henning did a good job at the BBQ.
There were few people, but the company was great and diverse,
and we all had a good time despite the adversaries...
...oh, maybe a little grievance: They simply don´t make mugs for mead! ;-) We split up in the late evening, making for home...
The other day we met again to do a lovely little hike over old hills and far away. We started with a very nice custom of miner´s culture provenience: We met at Käse Deele trailside café for "Buttern" (having a snack before work): We had a coffee, and soup, and cake, and lots of talking. And it was somewhat funny... when we got into the dairy shop to get us some more cheese and sausage and butter milk for snacking, the lady selling the goods looked at us, and with a longing sigh said :" You are one heck of a homelike troupe! I´d love to join you!" She said this so sincerely that it really went down into our heart of hearts. She then told us she was going on a holiday soon to do some kayaking in eastern Germany and we had a chat with this good - natured person. We did nothing special to deserve her admiration, just bought some snacks, but something must have radiated off us. But what is it? Nothing special at all. It does not need much money. It does not take much time, nor equipment, nor this or that. Just friendship, love and a hike that does not need to be rushed.
We climbed up the hills on an ancient wagon road that also is the St. Jake´s pilgrimage trail. We enjoyed the scenic vistas and feasted on raspberries and collected some herbs on the way, all the way submerged in good-natured jokes and talk.
Always there are wonders beside the trail for those who can see it. It can be as simple as a fallen tree...
...or fields of chamomile.
I loved Nick and Kathrin´s snack box... much in fact, that they kept calling me a foot blogger...
...anyone know what they mean with that? Anyway, just in case, this is a foot.
Along the creek we went through trails in the sunshine...

...until finally we arrived at the city of Breckerfeld. Now my faithful readers know that I am nearly obsessed with the thought of one day doing an accurate reconstruction of the famed "Brakkersfelders Knopmetz", a knife that made the Hanse community of Breckerfeld famous for their knives, sword blades and daggers in the whole of medieval Europe.

This sculpture in the city relates to this history, and it is outright hilarious. I have browsed the internet, museums and libraries for a picture of the knife...
...and it has been there, right under my nose. I cannot even remember how often I passed by this sculpture without noticing it... maybe the figures come alive and tried to hide it from me ;-).
YEAH, I AM TALKING OF YOU, HANSEL! This is a representation of a Hanse merchand...
...and a medieval smith selling the knife to him.
Unfortunately he did not want to hand it over to this faithful colleague of his... I tried to wrestle it from his hands. ;-) Turns out, he did not want to give it away, and while I am writing these lines, I slowly recover from my black eye and all the bruises... ;-), so I should say I have to forge one for myself.

All in all, it was a weekend that started out really shitty with foul characters playing dirty tricks on us... but they can eat their own shit, as far as I am concerned: They did not succeed in ruining our days.

Advice: Trust no one but your friends and family, but do not let it get that far that it ruins your day. Failure is a part of life. Try again, if you succeed one time out of hundred, you are successful still. And no one can take from you the sun on your face, and the wonders by the trailside, the joy of good company, and good food. Take everything as it comes, and they will kick the bucket while they feed on their own bile.

Where I wander in silence there is no significance

 The world has gone mad. PERIOD. I do not have anything else to say about this fact. Everyone knows it, and no one cares.

And I find I get ever more detached from the madness. I simply cannot find it in me anymore to muster any more hope or despair. I don´t care about those madmen like the Turkish dictator, or the Russian one or those American ones or the German ones. They are but flesh, and it is rotting while they jibber and jabber and scream and fight and writhe like a can of worms. Even if you go down below the ranks towards communal politicians or even my fellow humans, some few exceptions notwithstanding, and if you are not completely addled in your brain, you cannot but shiver with disgust.

I do not want to bore you with the details of a childhood of being mobbed, a hard time at Kindergarten and school and apprenticeship, and how I overcame the fuckers at the university because I was the best. You know the details of me offering my help and getting driven out of the projects I started, even my own club I helped found and all the smithies except the Bethaus where some fuckers wanted to drive me out. It is happening again, of course.

But it is of no significance.

The sun shines into the twilit woods. And twilight, the namesake and the name, calls me, violently. No, I even do not need to rant on about how the twilight soothes my soul. It does, but it is of no significance. The words do not make any difference. Words are the utterance of a species about to die out, fortunately. My soul will wander on, and I look forward to the freedom of unlimitedness, of space and time, of becoming a new kind of species. Do not get me wrong; I am really enjoying my life, and it´s good to feel alive. And while it feels alien to me, to become so detached from all this foolishness, it actually feels good. For my sentence is not spoken by their behaviour anymore. They can affect my life, true, but I will manage, as I have always done. But they will ultimately kick the bucket. And not because some obscure deity will smite them down with lightning, but because they organized their own rout by their shortsighted greed for success. But even this is of no significance.

Words do not make any sense here.  
 There is a creek. It murmurs silently.
 It flows, hidden in the thicket, and a song it sings. If you listen and do not need it to give you any significance, it starts to make perfect sense. It pulls you, and takes your spirit away to tranquil worlds where the cogs still fit into each other... and the secret is, that those are the worlds that create ours, not the worlds of human makebelieve where people put lots of energy and effort into hunting illusions, and buying and selling them.
 No pokemon whatsoever, see? But see the sprites?
 This world of trees is full of light and shadow. Sometimes it is cruel, and pain is an integral part of it, but so is joy... and since both of them are of equal significance, they lose significance... while gaining sense.
 The forest does not care about what it grows over. It simply does so. Significance is not even erased, it has no part in it. Yet sense has.

 Maybe it can be said that way: There is a cauldron full of swirling subsemantics, hurling, swirling, whirling about like a wildwind. We live in this cauldron called life, and speech and social consent have been the vectors for us to find a direction in the subsemantics. One by one, these vectors have been corrupted by lunacy and madness, and we are left with fear of the subsemantic, of the spaces deep, where dark things lurk... we have no longer faith or a belief, but religions that tell us what to do. Even mammonism is a religion, and Mammon reigns supreme. Death-in-life is his gospel, and to achieve this, he feeds us lie after lie, illusion after illusion. The mind is the destroyer of reality, but the mind is all that is permitted to believe in.

There actually IS a way out. It is a leap of faith, but it´s still here. If you are brave enough to jump into the abyss of the subsemantic, you can find sense still, not significance.
 And the forest grows silently.
 It is still solemn, and silent, and yeah...
 ...I have learned it can provide even for half-mad humans. ;-)
 And hope and fruitfulness prosper in the twilight.
 You can find herbs to cure depression...
 ...and flatulence :-)..
 Under the leaves of the strong-armed guardian of the gate, might find rest on St.Mary´s bedstraw.

A lot of sense, and healing-but no significance.

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