I'm a woman

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

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Sobibor, a hard blog. Stevie soft Haston.

As a new member of my country I decided to take part in cultural events. It wasnt to be that pleasant. There was an airing of a film about the death camp Sobibor, the Russian Culture guy came over, and a professional pianist and violinist did a little warm up so to speak. The film was so hard that I wish we had a tumbler full of vodka.


For those of you who dont know the Sobibor story, I'll just give it to you short hand, Sobibor was the only death camp where a successful rebellion took place. This very good film is a much watch, the one I watched was in russian and German 
, with english subtitles. If you prefer softer films, because you'r well, a bit soft, there are other options, but not about Sobibor.


250,000 were killed at Sobibor, in comparison the British armed forces in the Second World War lost 380,000 soldiers.


The Cultural minister said at the end of his little preamble that there was a rise in Nazism in Europe, this is an obvious statement, but he was polite enough not to point his finger at America as well, or mention Israel.





Some books about this horror story.
My little village hall was full of people who I think thought they were going to see sleds sliding through the winter snow around St Petersburg. Personally I know that I am a very spoilt sportsmen, who although have known a bit of hunger (self inflicted) and lots of danger, I was aghast at watching this reminder that humans are mad and cruel in the extreme. As a young boy a Jewish auntie showed me photos of victims in concentration death camps, and there was a family argument about them. I am not saying little kids should see this stuff, but we all need to wake up a bit.  

Monday, 12 November 2018

Towers on fire, by Stevie smouldering Haston.

California is ablaze, and there are still people poo pooing Global warming. There's a lot of deception going on. Some of our roads where rivers again here on Gozo, a half hours rain and there are rivers!
Still went for walks and managed a bit of climbing.


 This one is for Solly a londoner who came to climb with me, he is a fireman!


 This little fellow is 5, he was very keen, had trouble holding him back. I had to explain the stupidity of Hunters and the complete stupidity of them on a small island and them disobeying the law. More sense in a boy of 5 and one of 8 years old!

 Emma's foot, she wont climb with me she just free dives and scuba dives with me, then she breaks her foot when she isn't with us. Serves her right I said! I think she is secretly proud of her first broken bone!

 8b arms!

 Found this lovely bit of stone, it's on a terrace two thirds of the way up a very big cliff.


 Looking looking, "me climb you long time".

 Just walked thru a little arch what and what did I see.
 Hunters, I could hear the illigal bird callers 400 meters away and hunting had stopped hours before.


cute little reminder of something alive 23 million years ago.


 On another terrace under the rim.

 this layer is very soft unless it has some kind of harder coating

this one is on the rock , nice hand holds when you get them, this one was coated as well.
Anyway saw a few nice long routes to do.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Things go wrong, by Stevie right Haston

When things go wrong, it's time to sort them out! My life is about climbing, and the sea, and sometimes snow and ice, but they dont go right all the time. The sea has a habit of not listening to me, mountains often seem to have deaf ears! 


 The dog can't do this pose, he gets pissed off when I try it. I cant do it very well, but I keep trying.


Micro City 6a on a damp day, "too brill for you-just good enough for me", you must do Micro City a few times to know you must do it 100 more.


 The magic of this tree makes me wish I was this tree, it's in a little protected corner..how I wish I was thee.

 Magic tree....

I did a dive after I did a bit of soloing the other day... The soloing went real easy, and was just pleasant. The dive was every odd thing happening...and not good things, but I was good and changed the bad to good. The dive made me happy even though things went wrong.



there's a bit of nice soloing here, and a really good dive, or two below. The area is called Billinghurst cave, or Booming cave. I did the Bottle a bit further west, it is a bit more advanced as they say.
Making things right, when they go wrong is the correct thing, we sometimes forget that. Brexit needs a bit more thought, getting rid of bad leaders, we probably prefer the climbing wall to the north face of the Mount Whatever in bad conditions don't we?. My dive started off with bad murky conditions, then I wasn't in the right place when I landed at 66 meters depth, then I didn't know which way to go, there were two choices, then I was accumulating decompression time. Then I had a light problem........then my mask came off.
The mask coming off was a bit fraught as I had a nose full of snot from a sinus infection. There was no real alternative I had to make things work. I just slowly worked through everything, and had a good dive. About two hundred hunting jacks were there on some of the decompression.
Flowers are nice, being in reasonable control is good also. Coffee in a sea side cafe is great, but it's better when you really taste it! My dive log book (recent dives) recorded the dive as 113, do you think 13 is lucky, or not?  

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

I am not a number, by Stevie free man Haston.

This will be a short long read, for some.
You are not a number, you are your own. Wise people might say "yes" but the reality is you become a number, you are the product, you are the battery in the Matrix, you are most definatly the person who was and is complicit in voting Trump in! Really you say, I thought I was free. The only time we are really free, is when we threaten to tear up our masters  ownership papers on you my friend, and me. The only time we are free, is when we climb, but watch that petrol in your car-it's theirs. The Co2 is yours of course, our world is dying, and fast.


 Climb and be free, climb now, and work later, watch what you buy however, because some of it is a bit un necessary. Make some good choices, hell, make some bad choices, so long as they are yours, don't do what the government and the media, and sportsmen tell ya. 


This is me somewhere where fishing is banned, so guess what guys, there's fish there! 

 I read a scientific report that the sea is warming up at a greater rate than previously thought today. The sea is acting like a sponge and dumping heat into itself. I have been saying this for a few years now, but nobody listens to me, because obviously I am no paid scientist, I don't count. Despite recording a temp of 30° C in the sea this year and last year.
 But they listen to guys in the Guardian the New York Times, the Malta Times etc. A journalist called Monibot in the Guardian, who I am ambivalent about threw down a heavy bit of shit on David Attenboughers shoulders today. It's worth reading, it goes a bit like this, Sir David has been painting far too rosy a picture of the planets health. Yes he has, he has earned his entire money from portraying how lovely our planet is. Our Planet is actually a great big garbage heap!

 For  Katy, a Kirsty, and Laurence...and Alex and Ruth..



 This is rubbish we helped pick out of a small bay real small, theres two dives each year and some divers bring out other stuff. There is always more garbage, local builders, tourists, and fishermen dump stuff into this bay! Cow shit floods down into this bay and then it is shut for swiming for a few days till it clears, Great eh


 I may not be a number, but my ship is, tax and death you cannot escape. I have been British, I was French, and I even wanted to live in America once (still do if it was the republic of the Desert Four Corners region) anyway now, after long thought with many misgivings, and with crossed fingers, I became something else. I would love to say I became a Hobbit before the Ring appeared, but that option wasn't open to me. Ps I would love to become an Italian,  but clearly I am already italian in spirit and temperament. I forgot to mention the P word didnt I? Politics. Many people have suddenly woken up out of an almost life long slumber, and suddenly acquired questioning brains. Well done folks-but where does that leave us? To not be a number what do you do?



Walter Grivel- in another life I would have followed his trade, forged ploughs, no swords of course, just stuff to grow things, and the odd climbing fangs.



 I have retreated into climbing and yoga and the sea, but you have to surface and thats when they pounce, and gee whizz by 2030 we will hit the summit of the ridge between permanent heat increase, and death of our planet, or we survive.


 For Mandy, a fried egg jelly fish, no brain and it survived longer than us, and practically everything else, this one is very beau. 


Well here it is, I am now a Maltese citizen, sadly I do have a number, but we wont be sending soldiers to some phoney war any time soon. Yes we are the worst offenders of greenhouse emissions in Europe, yes we shoot birds, yes some of our politicians are crooked, like the hind leg of a donkey. But I repeat we wont send anybody to kill a brother, or a sister in some other land. To get our shit together I will vote here, but that wont be enough, because our system is rigged just like yours-so I will try to do more. I will support good people, I will clean my bits of sea, I will do my best, not because I love my country, I only own my skin after all,  but I will do my best because I love this Planet, and many of the people in it.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Mick Fowlers new book, No Easy Way, review by Stevie Haston.

Do people have climbing legends today, or do they seem just like adverts for product? Mick Fowler was voted climbers climber (what ever that means) years ago, but increasingly do we even have people who know what kinda climbing Mick is into? Here's his latest book and it is worth looking into as its a glimpse into the mind of latter day illuminators of climbing like Tillman, more than the new redbullshit grimpeur of today.

 Mick was very famous at one stage for leading the chalk climbing re-revolution, a mighty and very unscotish affair, which I amoung others thought was fantastic.

 Greeting Mick, Stevie here with some health food waiting to see you.


 In the book you will read about Micks last few climbs with some outstanding climbers, they often get forgotten in Mick's shadow, read the book and do them some honour. If I have a grumble about  the book, it is the lack of Maps, Vertebrate Publishing take note. It might not be the publishers fault as Mick often guards his next project well. He was always a very canny lad in seeing climbing lines, and ruthlessly pushing them through.
  
 Mick holding up some visa photos which clearly make him look like a right wing Cabinet member.
Is the book any good I hear you ask. Well yes, but because it is written by Mick it might be hard to understand how committing some of these routes are. Hyperbole is not Micks best suit. Sly humour, understatement, and the odd Fowlerism might have to do, there are no topos!

Photo Ramsden one of Micks mountain climbing buds.

I have to say when Mick takes time to come an see me an the trade shows, it takes me back to the Hairy Heart House in Sheffield! Probably no one remembers this seedy residence anymore, but now that Mick is safely retired from the Taxmans job which he went to sleep in, we can now talk about it. It wasn't quite the House of the Rising sun, but it was on the east of the Peak and debauched. Londoners like me could safely come and doss, care of Fowler and Stevenson, two London boys gone bad on the Grit. Early assents of many routes around the UK, and Scotland, repeats in the Alps, and then a bit later, the Golden Pillar of Spantek. He even became president of the Alpine club, nice to think the Lord of the Hairy Heart was in charge of Establishment climbing for a while, and by all accounts left it better! Anyway, I loved the book.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Broken Blog promise, by Stevie bad Haston.

Keep promising to do blogs, and I never seem to have time! I had time this morning because it's raining, so instead of a blog, I did yoga! Yoga is so important to me, not because it's spiritual, or essential to my climbing, but because without it, I cant move my neck, or the back pain gets too much. 

 Trying to find a route I did, and loosing it! To loose one route Mr Haston is etc, to loose two hundred routes Mr Haston.


 I think this is little Leo enjoying the Tower of Power!

 The magic of my Gozo is still there under the tourists, and a bit of winter rain.


Alex and the dog "doing downward dog" you guessed it! Alex is missing climbing, way too much work for her!


Upward dog from the dog himself, Diego goes climbing twice a week, but if it gets too hard, he just chases rats.


Spicy Gozo, Fossil shark tooth there, and I think a Dentex tooth in the chillies.


Down by the sea, Mandy and Christina at one of their cliffs.


We were on a hanging belay here, on the lip of a big cave, real cool place.


Christina after the hanging belay, exiting steep ground, "do your pull ups Christina".

The weather is strange in the Middle sea at the moment, sand winds from Africa for us, and floods in Italy. We also have some flowers flowering months, and months, before they should. What have we done to the Planet. I'll try to finish the review of Mick Fowlers excellent book for you. Promise...

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

People of the Book by Stevie have faith Haston.

This is a review of the White Cliff, read it and fucking weep, read it and laugh, read and feel your fingers digging into the cover. Just read it!
What Martin Farr did for Cave Diving with the Darkness Beckons, Grant Farquhar does for one cliff in a forgotton part of Brexit UK. Mind you it is perhaps the best cliff in the world! 


 This is not Gogarth but the Underworld, Christina coming down to pay the Ferryman. You must pay him otherwise he never lets you go. People who climbed on the magic cliff of Gogarth were never let go.


 Mandy landing in the Underworld. There must be so much of me that is actualy Gogarth, I eat the rock, bit the fucking dust and gave it my blood. The cliff came flooding back when I picked up the parcel, thanks Grant. My sweat came back, thanks guys who shared your stories and grip ups! This book on Gogarth is an anthology, and for me it is the best collection of writing that portrays climbers and climbs. Buy it!



 My own Private Idaho, my own private Gogarth.


 The magic munchkin Dawes on his and Graigs fab route, Onan the strong fingered.


 I thought this a bit silly and overdone, but then I read my own bit of writing in it and nearly cried!


As I said before ....unfinished routes there for me...


 Desroy, one of the actors,  more characters than in a hundred picaresque novels.


Two old mates , this book is full of old mates, some dead,  "brown bread". There are un wholesome tales, there are sweet tales..


Rouse, his magic, his vision, the crowd who loved this cliff and forever will know what its like to nimbly step from fluffy cloud  to frothy wave....his oppo Minks, solid madman tethered together on Positron prisoners of their own ambition and love for life. 
Wow what a book The White Cliff.