I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Big Audio Dynamite by Stevie Haston.

When you do a really good route, that you know is going to be enjoyed forever, well that pal, is a good feeling! 

 Simon looking happy placing a belay at the top of one of my old classic routes, its called "Spunky arete"6b+ or 6c depending who you talk to, or whether they fell off it, or not!

Can you just see Simon? Just in the middle there! He is on one of his classic routes in this new sector called Elephants Head.

 I am at the bottom of a route here, getting zapped by a wave!

Can you believe rock like this?
The route I did is 5a 40 metres and 6a 35 metres, for a truly classic two pitch climb!

 In this photo you can see an overhanging arete which isn't very hard, but is as exposed as you can get without being on the end of an Apollo rocket. My little sweet route is just left of this arete, and although not as exposed will still make you wet your pants!

A cold day, it was windy, and it rained to finish. Anyway the cliff let a few of its secrets out to me today. Despite having traversed this cliff on a 2 kilometre traverse, I still cant work it out very well. Anyway it's a pearl, with a bit of work it will be pure pleasure.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Still smiling , still standing, by Stevie Haston.

So no politics, right? Got up, thought I got a couple of hours to kill befor my mate comes around to go climbing, So I do my mail, text zee girlfriend who is away, and try and stay away from the papers, or the internet! You know it just aint gonna work, but this is about climbing so no politics. Anyway my mate comes around and we start messing and joking, so I reckon the biggest joke is me insisting that we have Titanium bolts on the islands because they dont corrode-so whats the punch line I hear you ask? Well the bolts should last 50 years minimum! The bad news is we have only 12 years to sort out global warming!

Kayaking and swimming around these cliffs was great not today, a heavy swell and Butt freezing (for Gozo) temps made it a wooly hat day.

Simon packing two rucsacs a rope and a smile. 

 Whats he so happy about our islands are being sold to developers and the Prime minister wont allow drowning people to be put ashore! No politics!

Non political red sunset.
I am safe at home with a big cut in my head because a block of rock fell on me. Now normaly my head being hard, and some of our local rock being soft, the rock normally breaks, and leaves me unharmed. Well I must be getting soft cos I got a cut! Or is it a plot? So what did we find ? Routes-Golden routes Simon prepared 2, and I found four! I think one will be one of the best 6a's I will have ever done. It goes something like this. Abseil down towards the sea not believing that it can only be 6a, stare upwards, swear at the guy who put it up, swear at yourself for being conned, try to get your buddy to lead it. Piss your pants, shake and do an impression of mrs May doing an egyptian when she has had too many port and limes, and a big line of Coke.  Arrive at the top in a glow of beatification, swear to buy me a non tee total beverage and give me money. Goodnight, thanks for listening to the non political broadcast from Radio Gozo.   

Friday, 4 January 2019

The Ponzi Tunnel to Gozo, by Stevie Ponzi Haston.

I live on a small island, the island will soon sink under tourism, and a new population. The government wants to make this easier by a faster connection tunnel rather than the already fast ferry service, why? Votes as the wise man said! Does Gozo need more tourists? No it doesn't, we have too many! Does Gozo need better connections? No, not necessarily, people need access to hospitals and jobs, but they certainly don't need more cars, more people, less parking, less beach space for themselves, and just need less noise, hassle, and confusion. Do the people of my island want to be slaves to tourism and sacrifice their own happy slow life, and little island at the alter of servicing tourists, and the mighty euro?

What happens when your dives have too many people in them? Do you move to another country? Not everybody can move, eh?

What happens when there are too many tourists on your climbs?

 I am nowMaltese, was I ever British? Most people can't change their passport, they can't even change house!

 Lets change reef Said, ok? Well not really, that isn't easy when most hotels own the reef in some countries. Some hotels in Malta seem to exclude locals from common ground!

Peace and quiet, well not really, there's bird hunters and we had to really work hard to get away from everybody.

 Hunters excluding walkers!

Solitude costs more than you think, for most people solitude does not exist.

My own private bit of rock, how long before the Vandals, the Hun and the Pink skinned Brit invade.
There are a few issues here, there is mass tourism, there is immigration, there is the locals right to live in a reasonable way without their own government treating them like a theme park, and there is For Feck sake we are running out of land and space!

Thursday, 3 January 2019

New Years Rubbish,and Gifts by Stevie Haston.

Easy to make a resolution, not easy to keep. Is there any point in making a New years Resolution? My usual thoughts go around my..(continued lower down)...much lower down, ignor my advice to train!

A km out on the reef-whats below Said? Said my friend stay healthy strong and happy!

A project I wont do unless I pull not just one finger out, but lots! Train! It doesn't matter if they are New Years Resolutions or even if you fail- just try, have a go. Get off the sofa.

Alex looking happy on a expensive boat on a reef in the middle of a still breathing sea! Train Alex, there never is a next time, there never is a better time!Always say NEVER!

Alex looking aghast on one of the thousand of stretches of the Red sea covered in rubbish. We picked a few bits up, felt completely destroyed to see this over and over, but we always picked up a bit, remind me that my middle name is Sisyphus.

 My White cliff has rubbish thrown down it in several places! It's a warm winter cliff, looks like I am moving to be closer to this, it loose and 140 meters high.

Inspiration from a while back, thanks Jonny and Craig.

 Wind eroded soft limestone-hard to climb, easy to break!

Normal sunset at the moment!

Train at something everyday.
Finger Boarding along with climbing with some you can watch, and learn from, is the way to improve. Your character I cant really help.
Hello Said. greetings, train your breathing! .

befuddled head, pathetic!I am over weight, old, feeble, arthritic, with lots of small to large mental issues-yep I think I will resolve these by being young again, having better DNA and being King Canute's clever brother who knew about Tide Tables. Why not loose weight? Why not get fitter? Why not be kinder? So you fail, so what?  Why not try. "Sugar" as my dad used to say, "I have to try hard to get out of bed of a morning". In truth my dad used to use foul profanity, he also had a lot of trouble getting out of bed, he was parralised down one side, had a missing leg, undiagnosed stuff like a balled up hand getting worse, and  very little working inside his head-along with his usual demons. Tourettes wasn't a problem. Sometimes there was a shadow in his eye, where a thought or two of remorse would push out a tear, he was wishing he was better, less angry, could speak, tried harder, sometimes it worked, most times it didn't.

My resolution is to save some carbon and my own scant pennies, by eating local, using less "petro chems", so that I can climb, and swim in a few different places!

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

A Dawes Darkly, by Stevie Haston.

Just read a brill little interview of Jonny Dawes in UKclimbing! It was very sweet, it celebrated his success on an 8b+ slab, now then for me even at his age of 54, I don't find this a great surprise Jonny is a whizz on slabs! The big surprise was he has found some health, as he has got a name to his problem and found some solutions. Anyway its a good little read about the big small man!

Mr Dawes lost some flab and clearly climbed well, but there was an underlying tale of joy, joy is important in climbing, joy gives us wings! Well done Dawes, fly up some more routes.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Tin Tin climbs Tin Tin swims, by Stevie Haston.

Being tired, it was hard to get up for the delivery of a lost air line bag, but it had two sets of regulators and some climbing gear in it, so we got up. The previous day we had traveled 900km on a bus, zipped around Cairo in its polluted fog and managed to nearly miss our flight. Next we changed flights at Istanbul Airport, where with out some rugby like tactics from me against some very patient travellers in a mind boggling collection of waiting people we would have missed our connecting flight! I elbowed people aside very gently while apologising in various languages, some people even had the temerity to argue with me, these were ignored and we got through the line and ran to our plane-we got it! Politeness is a virtue, but some times elbows work very well, that line was over an hour long we did it in two mins. 

Today I went climbing with these two and had a great time, they hadn't forgotten anything and their  "months rest" from climbing had somehow put a bit of accuracy into their foot work.  A lovely mornings climbing. We missed the rain which just started after I walked up the hill to our flat-brill climbing -loved it. Mind you it didn't hurt that I'd lost a few kgs of lard with all the swimming.

Two hobbits at the bottom of Everlasting - a big pitch of 45 meters!

This photo is for Said, ZiZoo, Achmed, and Abdulla, it's of friendly Maltese Jellyfish. 

This is my new friend Said, we are a bit off the coast, looking for a spot I'd found with some sharks, he thinks I am joking, but I don't joke sometimes.

Do you like Dolphins? I like Dolphins and they like me! I saw three in Cornwall last winter but they didn't hang around much. I swam once in India with an uncountable number of them, the sea was alive and the air was too, they where everywhere, that was unforgettable, but old men can forget, and I am old, so it was good to do it again. These are on this last trip, they were all around me, you are not supposed to touch them so I didn't.

you need to do certain things-you need to go where the eagle soars, you need to go where the Dolphin jumps and plays, and you need to climb. I saw some lovely mountains in Egypt, I would like to scramble up some ridges there and stare across the desert.
I need to do some pull ups. Instead of swimming a Kilometre I want to climb a kilometre. Time to do some finger work. If any body is interested I did four sets of pull ups after climbing; 25, 20, 15, 10. I need to do that with a 20 kg weight belt. But hey my friends I need to go back to the sea and talk to the fishes. 
So if any of you guys out there need to learn something about climbing, or do some adventure swimming, or snorkelling please contact me. I need money to be with the Eagles and the Fishes.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Injury free in the Red Sea. by Stevie Haston.

So I have had a bit of a shoulder problem for a few years which has got worse. My advice was to have it operated on, this I was very reluctant to do. It has caused me so much pain that it was hard to enjoy climbing, but how can you not breath, how can you not be?

 The last time I climbed well, Bernd 8b+.

There is hardly any pain now! I don't want to Jinx it but I have done the odd set of pull ups and can swim for hours on end. Fingers and shoulders crossed. Anyway I was in the Red sea for a month, talking to the fishes, swimming at least 2 and a half hours daily. Back in Gozo now and raring to climb! 

 One of my grandchildren, notice she is wearing a helmet!

 In a roadside cafe near the Sudanese border! Wondering what rocks are around!

 We went Scuba and free dive, both good.

 A giant Moray, bigger than a good meaty thigh! 

poor eye sight, no shoulder problems.

"I have seen things" says the sad creature that is the replicant in Blade Runner. But I have, and I am grateful. From Kestrels to the biggest vultures, from snow leopards to Bin cats in Malta. But if you haven't climbed a good ice fall, or seen Red sea Coral, what use is it "standing on the shoulder of Orion". Red Sea Coral is a drug, a very powerful drug. I swam with sharks, and dolphins and, and, and.