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Mittwoch, 14. Februar 2018

On the bench these days...

It has been quite a while since I last posted some projects, for a good reason. With all the human scum tango going on again I simply could not find the creativity and energy anymore to get anything done. I seldom if ever even get to the forge, and if, I don´t seem to be able to do anything worth mentioning. It has been a while since I finished the forging on the bushcraft blade, and it lay unnoticed for quite some time.

So I am glad that only recently I mustered some resolve to get something done. Since my forge time is very limited, I resolved to get myself a weekend project blade, just for motivation and for testing. It is a Roselli, the UHC version of one of my favourite whittling knives, the carpenter. It is said to be Wootz and Roselli claims it coming in an extreme hardness of 66-67 HRC. Now I know how 67 HRC shall feel: At this hardness a blade scrapes glass. I know, because file steel blades do have this hardness after a non-tempering quench, before the temper in an oven. Now do not get me wrong: The carpenter UHC is a very, very fine knife. It is sharp, and has a decent hardness. But fact is, it quite certainly has not a hardness of 67HRC as is. I would estimate it to a 61-62 max. This is well hard enough for me. Most of my knives have a hardness of 58-60HRC and this works best for a backwoods knife. I would say Roselli tricks you a bit by naming the hardness before the tempering process. As I said, it is a very, very fine knife, but this policy sucks a bit. The truth would be well enough. I also got myself a complete knife for horsing around with, and with this knife, just when whittling the ditch on a spoon, the first 2 mm of the tip broke off (no levering). Now you get a complete knife for 120 €, and this is an absolute bargain price for a Wootz blade, and I daresay it really is Wootz, for it shows the characteristical dendritic pattern, together with a simple, but well-made and effective leather sheath. But why the hell does soemone who makes decent knives spend time and energy to make up something that just cannot be achieved technically? Anyway, I already fitted a handle of reindeer antler, which will see some zoomorphic ornament carving as well as some adornments.

The other work in progress is a bushcraft blade I forged myself (120x4mm, convex bevel to zero, handle is 115mm long ), out of a piece of some mystery stainless steel, presumeably 440C or Niolox, a steel comparable to 440C but with a high content of Niobium, making for a finer grain. I am a bit proud that I achieved a complete annealing with an open forge and a fridge, as well as a selective temper. Some first testing shows a good flexibility and a hardness of about 58-61HRC. The holes in the tang are hot - punched through. I daresay it will get either the birchwood burr scales on the picture or some elk, reindeer or sambar stag antler scales... I will keep you posted. ;-)    

Mittwoch, 7. Februar 2018

These murky woods - thoughts on the civic duty of escapism

 I like to think that I am a thinking man. I like to think that I have a reasonable amount of common sense. I have a day job like so many others, and like so many others I only find space for dreams and things that portray meaning to me in a world where human society subsedes. Of course I like to read fantasy novels, mythology and fairy tales and tales of mystery and imagination. For instance, I absolutely dug the laid Ursula K. le Guin´s Earth Sea cycle and have read all of it with gusto.

But I always did so with a sense of guilt and shame. It did not feel right to lose oneself in tales and dreams, when there where actual creatures of Evil roaming the Earth. Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, that Turkish fucker, that North Korean fucker and all the other fuckers who deserve more than death. Yes, that´s Fimbulmyrk ranting. Yes, that´s Fimbulmyrk hate-mongering. Yes, and Fimbulmyrk hates those fuckers even more so because those fuckers brought him that far. There are about one thousand methods of torture I would inflict on, say Donald Trump if it made any sense. But it does not make any sense. Because all hope for a better world is lost for good and there will be ever worse tyrants. It makes no sense to kill the tyrants or even hate them, because the next ones in line will be even madder and far worse. I would gladly kill myself, but what for? Even suicide would not make any sense any more.

Enter the grand old dame of fantasy. Ursula K. Le Guin, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ursula_K._Le_Guin) who died on January, the 22nd, said the following:

https://scontent-amt2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/26994093_1630039517049054_7306356596252651897_n.jpg?oh=4e55dce1f95fa342c69f0ec3439dd5b9&oe=5B1B27F0
(source: https://www.facebook.com/authorchrisriddell/photos/a.857902824262731.1073741829.532119136841103/1630039517049054/?type=3&theater)

So many things are deemed escapist. My colleague at work says blacksmithing with children is escapist. Bushcraft is deemed escapist. Walking through nature is escapist. Spirituality is escapist, as is fantasy and literature and striving for an education that is not "push that button and shut up".

Notice summat?

People tell me that blogging is dead, and I was asking why. Because noone has time to read anymore and many people do not have the ability to follow articles that are longer than five lines, because they lack the span of attention required for more, they keep saying.

Many of the people in my acquaintance suffer from one or the other form of depression, most of them, to be exact. One of my friends who is in therapy right now, said she did not know the many things that are wrong with her before therapy, that she did not know exactly how deficient she actually was. So much for succesful therapy, by the way. Many of them cannot cope with the lack of any perspective in our world, with the ongoing warmongering, with the increasing pressure on the individual´s life, with the perverted turns of everyday life where nutrition is the new religion, and any other spirituality is absent and escapist and deficient.

Madmen are heads of corporation, and of city, and of state. Big-term business corporation own us all and do not even try to conceal the fact that they are the one who rule us. It´s not that they would kill you in case you don´t obey... you just do not belong any more if you do not play the game according to their rules. And the rules change like the weather and after unconceivable and absurd fashions.

That sheds an intersting light on the term "deficient perception of reality", innit?

And if you do not belong at all anymore, and feel left alone in the dark, then this post is for you. Because I want to tell you a secret.

They fear you.

They fear the archaic threat you pose.

They fear the twilight of murky woods. They can drive off darkness with the flick of a switch, everywhere, they can control nature to a frightening degree... but they cannot control the wilderness in your mind.  




They fear the other world. They fear God and the Gods and what is lurking beneath. And by belittling everything of real substance, crafts and art and fantasy, spirituality and belief, they hope to free themselves from the nagging doubts that grow like a cancer and grow and spread. They fear the werewolves and the spirits of the dark as well as the light. They are by definition, grey and Evil. They are the worsest of the worst.


The mist fell on ancient hills. After work, I set out for a bimble. So, you say, are you not afraid of wild pigs or wolves or racoons or foxes? No, I say. I am afraid of bankers and economists and politicians. No wolf could do that much harm to me. No wild pig would want to tear my soul apart and leave it throbbing with pain in a darkness that is no darkness but an abyss that defies definition. Then, you ask, are you not afraid, at least, if you are such a superstitious guy, of the spirits of the dark? Of what is lurking in the realm of twilight behind the threshold you so often mention?



But, in a world where light is only neon, and neon alone and thou shalt not relish in the warm flicker of the golden light of a candle, I have no shame anymore of unbecoming human, but something deeper and darker, with gnarled roots in the rock of the other world. I am a teller of secrets untold and unborn. I am the whisperer in the twilight. I am unbecoming human, and I am walking the masked path of twilight fury. I mean no bodily harm to anyone... but I know not shame anymore in telling the tales of the murky woods.



I have no shame in becoming the violent twilight. I have no mercy anymore. I have no guilt in killing with a word of power, a song of insanity, a sword I found in the other world, of killing the souls of the grey ones once and for good. For they fear, and I feed on their wrath and their fear to become even stronger. Yes, fear shall follow them, fear of the murky woods. Yes, peaceless by restlessness they shall become. Yes, they shall have no respite anymore, anywhere. I am a part of the darkness, I walk the masked path through the thicket of my fantasies... in stealth I tread to find a path into their dreams. There, at the threshold between wake and sleep, I will be lurking to ravage their soul. Care to join me?
 


And the most powerful weapon I have is being myself. A dreamer. A teller of tales, a whisperer of secrets, a part of the woods they so much fear. 

Try it. Sit by a stream in the murky woods. Listen to its song. And unbecome human. become the wildness of your mind instead, the clawed and horned animal that thrives in the deepest of the woods of your mind, the sorcerer, the maiden, the warrior, the mother, the child, and man and woman and beast alike. Scream the love of your live into the raging, ravaging storm - and become the storm, laughing as the absurdity of their ways is tattered by your breath.

Find the words that are the weapon of these songs, find the blade that is silence, find the tales it sings and tells. Do not harm their bodies - but strike back with the hardest force when they attack you. Escape from a reality that is not real, escape from a tyranny that is more than a tyranny of the body, but a prison for your soul. And fight. Always guard your dreams and never feel ashamed of your soul.

No, you are not perfect. Yes, you are dyfunctional. Yes, you are escapist.

Make it your sword, and always keep it shaving sharp. And protect your like and kind with every living breath and strive to take as many with you as you can.

Brief review of an István Nagyi Hungarian shepherd´s knife-the Laguiole alternative

 Also on the recent Jaagd und Hund expo I met with István Nagyi, who gave to me this beautifully accomplished Hungarian shepherd´s knife. Those who know me know that I am not overly fond of slipjoint mechanisms on a backwoods knife. This knife, however, is dating back to the 17th century and it is a time-proven design. It feels sturdy and is not very prone to snapping back in accidentally. Why, you ask? If you look closely at the dsign of the pivot you realize that the spring is part of the "guard" and the pivot is very off-center. This moves the pivot out of the center of the levering action of an accidental snap-in. Plus, the working hand gets to rest on the spring giving additional safety. Of course, it is still a slipjoint knife, aand you have to be more careful, but let´s look at the overall layout... it is no prybar in the first place. It is a knife for snacking and easy whittling and cutting tasks.
 The blade is handforged (!) from 440C and came, while not hair-poppingly sharp, with a satisfying sharpness. 1mm above the edge line the blade is just 0,4 mm thick. In the spine it is 2 mm with a high flat grind. Snacking is a cinch. You can cut thin slices of hard, dried sausage with no problems and make short terms with aged bacon and cheese, fruits and vegetables alike.
The handle, made from brass and beautiful red deer scales gives the hand very good support while lending a very dexterous feeling to the knife. The knife is a joy to look at, to use and carry. It came with a sturdy leather case with a strop.

No, it is not a hardcore tactical or bushcraft knife, but as a secondary carry for processing food and snacking, it is one of the best knives I own. The Yatagan blade is reminiscent of a Laguiole design, but the handle gives far more support to the had than a Laguiole, as good as this style of knife generally is.

You can get this style of knife from many makers in Hungary-go get yourself one and enjoy! ;-)

Bold copyism with an advantage


On the Jagd und Hund expo, which took place last weekend, I bought a bold copy of oe of my favourite bushcraft folders of all time, the EKA Swede 90. It is made by a corporation named "Ed Mahony" and produced in China. I got it way cheap, of course, and with a blade out of 440C it is not THAT bad, and the culprit is, EKA has stopped production of this knife. Might be it was too durable... mine now has some 15 years upon its edge. Anyway, the knife is beautiful with a handle which is made from Olive wood with next to no grain, unfortunately.


What you cannot see is that there are steel liners set into the wooden scales, somewhat recessed, other than the original, which has bronze liners. Both knives have a very sturdy lockback locking mechanism and a Scandi grind, which is modified by a secondary bevel on the Ed Mahony. The latter came "ouuta the box" hair-poppingly shharp.

An issue was that I had to adjust the screws on the Ed, which are made from stainless steel. A big bonus is that you can adjust them with but a coin. Adjustment was not that easy, because of bigger tolerances on the Ed which made for less of a smooth action and less room for errors. I will have to use Loctite blue on the screws to ensure a lasting performance.


 Both blades are some 90 mm long. The knives both feel sturdy and rock solid in the hand and allow for long and hard working. The 440C blade is a bit softer at an estimated 56-57HRC. The EKA has a defined 59HRC, which is very even along the length of the blade.

I really regret that EKA has cancelled production on this knife, but the copy is, while not exactly up to par, actually quite good and even will allow for some pimping... ummm... contemplating... ;-)

Donnerstag, 21. Dezember 2017

Luzie and the sica... ;-) a Yuletide post

 Those who know me know that I have been growing ever more fond of the Dacian sica. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sica). This is a weapon / knife that dates back to the iron-age geto-Dacians, an Eastern tribe with presumeably Illyrian and Scythian roots, and which was feared and respected by the Roman empire even after their defeat. The Sica came in several sizes, the largest being resemblant of the Greek Makhaira (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makhaira). Technically a type of sickle, the Sica offers a more pronounced tip and it makes for a very effective cutting motion. 
 This is a Sica I made from a piece of steel I found in the woods. It is stain-resistant and has a hardness of about 63HRC with a selective temper. This steel is frightening me a bit... for it also offers a very fine edge.
 Forging was a bit awkward, though.
 This is another one I made, it´s called Úlenkláwe in Nether German (Húljankrampja in Dhiudha na n Iampárai ;-) ), made from old crucible steel, also from my local woods.
 There´s a legend involved in the making, and for me the Sica always portrayed meaning in itself.
So I asked myself: Might it be that the Sica had a sort of apotropaic meaning in itself, or is it just wishful thinking? The fact that many of the artifacts found were richly decorated, often with circular patterns, raven etc. might hint of a somewhat symbolic meaning. For more contemporary examples read more at : https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/34961-thracian-sica-dacian-falx/

At https://i.pinimg.com/564x/c7/47/1e/c7471eb86ac0c940ddbece82760daf6b.jpg I found an image of the insigns of a Saturnic grade of the Mithraic mysteries (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraism)

Mosaic of the Orientation Grades. A mosaic depicting the seven stages of initiation from the Mithraeum of Felicissimus in Ostia. Detail of the seventh rectangle: the planet Saturn (sickle), Pater’s degree, the hierarchy’s supreme one (Phrygian cap, Mithras’ hat), with the command stick and patera for libations.

The Saturnalia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia) in ancient Rome was a festival taking part from 17th of December to 23rd of December. Gifts were given to the rich and poor alike, and the toga, a symbol of Roman citizendom, was set aside in favor of more colourful festival clothes (or none at all ;-)). During this time, Saturnus or Dith Pater, reigned supreme, one of his attributes being a scythe or a sickle which bore a close resemblance to the Sica or Falx Dacica (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falx) 

(https://www.google.de/search?q=Falx+Dacica&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi7rqO92JvYAhULfFAKHQR6Ba4Q_AUICigB&biw=1680&bih=919#imgrc=u8XiKszDJemxxM:)

According to Plinius the elder the Celtic druids cut the mistletoe with a golden sickle. So, in fact the Sica does have a lot to do with Chrismas or Yuletide. The fool king had to die, Uranos was emasculated by his son Kronos (the titan of time), presumeably with a sickle (this is a speculation, of course).

In Germany, there is a Chrismas demon named "Bluadige Luzie" (Bloody Lucy) playing a role in Bavarian Catholic folk customs (http://www.ausflugszielebayerischerwald.de/wo-kann-ich-eine-rauhnachtfeier-live-erleben/). It is a witch cutting open the bellies of naughty kids with a sickle or scythe and filling them with stones. The scythe of Death ends life; and the life of the year is ritually ended with the solstice: With the longest night the year ends to be born anew. The sickle or Sica plays an important role in the harvest / death myths all over Europe. The myth has thusly survived from the iron age on to modern times.

I wish you all a good Yuletide, Chrismas, or whatever it is that you celebrate. The year will die on the darkest night, and in the darkest night it will be born again and hopefully be prosperous and fertile for you all. May a light be with you always, especially in the darkest hours. And may a Sica be by your side to end what is dying.

Sól invictus esse!

All the best to y´all. 


Mittwoch, 6. Dezember 2017

Krampus, Yule time, skóggángr and penitance of the wicked



 Whether you call it Chrismas time or Yule time, there is no denying of the fact that these are special times. Being fed up with the clash of religions and all the ranting and self-entitlement going on on the web and elsewhere, I took some time to contemplate: What is it that makes this time special, and what do all the opponents have in common? The answer is quite easy. Remove the names and all that paraphernalia and you have one fact. Up until the 21st of December, which was the original date for Chrismas eve, the nights become ever longer, and the 21st. December as the winter solstice is the longest night. It is the triumph of darkness, if you so will-and its ultimate defeat. But darkness and light are both necessary sides of the same coin... no winter, no summer, no death, no life. The birth of the light unfathomed (Sól invictus) was allegorically transponed into the birth of Christ, but contaminated with a lot of ancient pagan beliefs, customs and traditions, one of which is the "Chrismas demon". In the Alps and in the South of Germany, there still is the figure of "Krampus", a word which derives from Old High German "Krampa"/ "Krampan", Old Gothic: "Krampja", meaning claw /claws, a horned spirit with a load of fangs and claws.

Bild könnte enthalten: eine oder mehrere Personen
(source: Mörk djevels, Ennstal, Steiermark, Austria)

While in Christian times everything with horns on is evil, the Krampus actually acts as a bringer of morale, even in a Christian sense. Krampus is a part of St. Nicolas host, something like the minion who takes the evil children to hell. Krampus was said to be a descendant of Loki, son of Hel, but also derives from the horned Gods of nature. One aspect is the holly king.

Kein automatischer Alternativtext verfügbar.

(Source: https://scontent-amt2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/1743556_234785993373145_1520561743_n.png?oh=671d55cc72782d00bd00ca3b777a65e3&oe=5AD1FC17)

The holly king is the "green man" of English folklore and shares a lot of similarities to Cernunnos, the horned god, Herne the hunter, Robin Goodfellow and others.

Image result for Robin Goodfellow
(image source: Wikipedia)

Back to the figure of Krampus. He is never depicted as outright evil, but as a kind of negative psychopomp and acting as a cautionary mythological figure. The Krampus is a wood sprite (said to live in the deepest woods) in some traditions, and stands for the violent forces of nature. In a different place on this blog I have already referred to my presumption or theory that the Norwegian "Trolls" might have something to do with the "skóggángr mannar", the wood-walking men, people who had been banished from society due to a sentence, denying them the privilege to be a part of human society any longer. With the Krampus, however, I found a striking example of a Mongolian shaman costume:

Image result for mongolian shaman costume
(image source: pinterest)

This costume shares a lot of similarities to the Krampus costume. These are: Horned mask, sound-producing implements, a "shaman´s whip" (in the case of Krampus the bundle of birch twigs serves the same purpose besides being used to punish nasty children), staff (often a Krampus also holds a staff with bells on), shaman´s sword:

Image result for Mongolian shaman´s sword

(image source: pinterest)

bells and drum. The shaman in Mongolian society, while being called a holy man, often came to shamanism via a mental illness or any other character trait that distinguishes him from the norm. He is ab - normal in a purely descriptive sense. Often he is a person of higher intellect and education, but not necessarily so. In most cases he lives away from the community of other men. Robinson (1985) postulated a correlation between introversion and emotional intelligence, just to mention it along. In any way, the shaman is seen as someone sitting on the hedge between the worlds. Having had the privilege to converse and make closer acquaintance with a genuine Mongolian shaman several years ago I can say that this quite certainly distinguishes a genuine shaman from all those self-entitled morons running around selling their so-called dream-travels. That gentleman was extremely practical-minded and saw his spirituality in much the same way in which he put up to everyday tasks. He was actually quite down-to-earth, but also had the capacity of having "one foot in the spirit world", as he put it.

In Mongolian society, the shaman is living apart from human society, not because he is despised or in any way banished, but because he is dangerous in a sense, dangerous because of a power that elevates him from human society. He is not entirely human, but able to share characteristics with spirit and animal. He is the one who talks to the world of spirits. In Saami culture, there are stories of shamans you could only look at through an iron ring to be able to survive their gaze.

The Krampus is something that lurks in the darkness and stands for the dark half of the year. Like trolls and dwarves, like elves and dragons, like white women and death itself, he stands for the uncivilized, for the woods, for the counterworld of civilization. In Arthurian romance we find the hero venturing into the woods where adventures, monsters and fair maiden dwell, to test his fortitude and then return as initiated to the court. It is a rite of initiation. 

 The light dies, and the forests are covered in twilight. Moonlight reigns supreme, and if you really venture into the woods in actual these days, chance is, you will be faced with darkness sooner or later. It is quite realistic that even on a short bimble in winter you will be having a problem with falling dark. Now I love being outdoors in the woods, and I also do it in winter, and I long ago learned that a handtorch is of little use in nocturnal forests.
 There is something soothing as well as terrifying in the falling night in the forest. The terrifying thing is that things awake that were asleep at daytime. The trees move and creak, and, being rapt of other notions, your stimulated hearing makes a show of even the faintest of noises-of the rustling of dry leaves in a breeze, of the hooting of an owl and the stealthy stride of the fox.
 You can still see the faint outline of light, but the forest grows ever darker.
 And in the twilight, unseen wonders emerge.

 The message of the Krampus is that there is terror lurking beyond, a terror that is not evil, but violent in its magnificience. It contains wonders unfathomable by man and not made for man to hold. Like the fairy gold or the elf - shit at the end of the rainbow ;-) as a positive connotation, there are monsters hiding in the darkness, spirits like the wood - devil. They belong to the dark side of the year, into winter and autumn. They are dangerous to even look at, but come with a message.
 In our world, however,we have lost this balance. We have banished the dark forces of nature from everything and thusly also robbed the force of light of its power. We know not how it is to huddle besides a fire while outside the wolves and winds howl through the chimney. We like to have a hot drink in winter-on the couch, while watching TV. But we do not know anymore how it feels to have a fire going in a cold winter storm and getting warm and closing one´s fingers around a steaming hot mug of cocoa while around one the storm is driving snow against one´s lean-to. We do not know anymore how it is to walk through a dark forest, when your imagination and your mind lead you on a different path.

To me, Chrismas season, or Yule tide, if you so will, always was a war between the dark and the light forces. The message of the winter solstice is simple: Do not despair-after the darkest night the light will return again, and a different year is born anew.


Now our society puts a lot of emphasis on stating that we are the good ones. We are praying to the forces of light, we bring other cultures the "light of civilization", the enlightenment movement has convinced us finally that there are no gods and no god at all.


Let me put it this way: St. Nicholas and Krampus do not agree at all. ;-) What we have done to nature and our fellow human beings, and what we are doing even now as I write, is worthy of the worst of the bad guys. We do not need to fear any devil anymore; we were better to fear ourselves.


 But there are good news-or bad, that depends on your perspective. The old myths currently somehow rewrite themselves. Somehow old Krampus jumped out of the box this year, being all the rage (pun intended). If you listen, he might have a message for you.

I personally feel that Krampus has a lot to do with Skóggángr. Having had a hearty fill of mankind just recently, with all the frustration and shitstorming going on as usual, I was feeling disgusted and again I thought the fault was that of the others. My shitty job, my shitty employer, my so-called friends that turned out to be absolute morons again, all their fault, isn´t it? But it´s not. It´s all mine. I thought I was a social guy and did a lot for others and forgot myself as usual and still got mobbed. Now I get mobbed since I went to a Kindergarten, and ever since, with no exception whatsoever. All by perfectly normal guys, and it does not help me any that I always was right in the end. The truth is, I do not belong into the enclaves of mankind. I grew up in a forest. The terrors of the wildwood are soothing for me. I talk to spirits and dance under the moon. I am wild, and I always was. I walk paths in moonlight that others would not dare even considering in broad daylight.


No, this is not braggery, but merely a fact, and a fact I could live without or maybe not. In fact, I cannot be anyone else than I am, with the exception of the many things I have to work on and work on.

 This is my world, the world of twilight. I do fairly well in the world of daylight, but this is where I belong.
 I walk out of their world deliberately, and I return to tell the tales, as I do with this post.
 That Mongolian guy laughed hard when I asked him to tell me what I was, what he saw in me, and he just said that I would see in time.

"Sympathy with the Devil", if you so will, but is it? I daresay Krampus can take you for a wild ride. He will die, and his death is right and righteous and necessary for the birth of light, but he is the psychopomp that can lead modern man into the woods still, into the actual woods as well as into those of your mind, where fairy tales are born. Oh yes, some get lost in the process and chucked to hell... but even hell is a far more agreeable destination than the world we are about to create. And the hell of legend always is a purgatory, a place of initiation. Skóggángr is something that somehow occured to me. The term just fascinated me, and I daresay there is a lot more to it to be discovered.

Become a creature of the wildwood. And walk the world of man to remind them that you´re dangerous, not because you mean harm to anyone, but because it is your very personality and character. Become dangerous not like a mass - murderer or lunatic is. But because you are one with a wolf, an owl, or winter. Be Yule, and Yule will reward you with the gift of light in the darkest hour.

And remember to fill your boots with leftovers from the feast for Krampus and put them outside! You never know... ;-)


Donnerstag, 23. November 2017

Alive. Just so. Hobbit Day 2017 galore impressions



 Hobbit Day 2017 was a HUGE success. It is only natural that the chairmen of the club decided to cancel the layout for 2018, making it a slightly medieval crafts fair in actual. I was really fond of a lot of people contributing, and I post this to give them a big "Thank You". One of the biggest thanks goes to Stefan Dieke, chief instructor for www.alte-kampfkunst.de, an  internationally renowned HEMA school in Wuppertal, who gave us valuable insight in fighting with a longsword after the Liechtenauer system.


 He had us training in pairs, and it became abundantly clear very soon that swordmanship is not at all like the stuff you see in movies. It is a highly complex martial arts.
 The moves we learned were basic... and still, yours truly really got confused with leg work and sword coordination. This was only partly due to a slightly Eastern background, so to say, but to the complexity in the first.
 Jonas apparently had fun learning...
 Olaf had dropped by, with his son. I learned last week that Olaf has died from a heart attack. He called me brother, and I tried my best to be a friend, but I fear did not do enough. He will be remembered, so much I can say. I like to think that he was happy in the smithy... he will not go to Vallhalla, as he so much yearned for... but I hope, his soul will find a way to another golden hall. He would certainly deserve it. #rememberolaf
 Two cuties who would bang the shite ouutta me for calling them cuties... Tina and Ben dropped by, as well as my lovely magic troll. People from all over Europe came for the event.


 I was really astonished to see Irmi and her man coming over from Wien, and people from all over Germany. The magic troll came from Marburg, as well as Ulrike and Siggi and Doro,Tina and Ben from the Westerwald region, Erich and Danuta from Bavaria, and other people from Ireland and Czechia were thinking about coming, and while they did not manage this time, they are still thinking about it. This means a thing or two.
 Jonas etch-burning a sign for the reenactment camp.


 Our lovely Homie band, Amulett, www.amulett.jimdo.de, came over and played for us.
 De Coggenmakerey, in person of Dietmar, came from Lüdenscheid.
 Tina was offering leatherworking tutorials.
 Harald from Lüdenscheid proved the good spirit of the encampment, always laughing, always willing to help, and a big help at that!
 But the most important attraction of all the days was the Bingo lottery. Never yet seen before. Prominently displayed. Professionally organized.
 Jürgen had his goodies on hand. Jürgen is a beeskeeper from around the corner, a good-natured fellow with lots of ideas.
 A big and fond personal "Thankyou" goes to Doro, who gave me two lovely Khukhuris as a gift. They had a very personal meaning to her, and I will value them and hold them in high esteem. Your true friends you find on a battlefield, and a battlefield it was for me. Don´t take me wrong: It was a cool event, but due to many adversaries and adversities I had to face, it was burning me out. Thanks go to Erich, danuta and my beloved magic troll for just packing me up after the event, and for Doro for offering me  a drive back home from Prichsenstadt.
 Nick preparing the pig roast.


 Thiemo helping out.
 Piggy ain´t feeling too well... ;-)






Senior blacksmith and Kaetzler clan.





We roasted the pig Asado -style this year.


Did not work that well.
;-)
 Danuta, upon arriving, headed straight for the swing... slightly irritating the elderly persons... ;-)

 One thing with this beauty is...
 That her beauty lies in things like this. The magic troll was one of the few reasons to stay sane that weekend.
 Ericxh showing off his new oldtimer car to Harald...
 ...and the van...

 Piggy wasn´t feeling well...
 ...so resolved to the bottle...
 ....
 When all was running more or less smoothly I headed for the woods to do some foraging.


And nearly needed a scythe to harvest all the ´shrooms!


 With that stuff I made a stew for myself, since noone cared to join in.
 ...and soup for all...
 Morning coffee by the fireside...
 ...or morning beer... everyone to one´s liking... ;-P
 A man´s meal. innit? ;-)

Piggy was feeling even worse in the morning....

 Erich preparing the pig´s head for stew...
 Nick and the magic troll preparing stew...

 A lamb´s leg with rosemary and garlic, honey and whisky.








 More impressions from the tutorial.












It was a very arduous weekend for me. I had done a lot of work beforehand and was on my feet 14 hours each day, constantly facing adversities, abuse and disrespect.

But there´s a learning effect involved.












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