I'm a woman

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

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Stiff as a dead butchers dog? By Stevie Satan Haston.

Something was very stiff on waking up. At my age you’d think I’d be happy, and that Viagra brand muesli works. But no, it wasn’t the ‘Hampton wick’, it was, my hamstring. I think the pencil stub behind my ear, and the chip on my shoulder, are giving me a painful muscle imbalance. Yesterday I became the hundredth voting person in my commune. This made me happy, as I felt I’d done something constructive and positive for myself, probably deluded eh? I now have a one hundredth say in my commune, which if you think about it is more power than an ordinary voter in Britain. Democracy is pretty dumb when you think about it, one vote in tens of millions is meaningless, still it’s good for fooling you into thinking your important. I have always been fond of benevolent dictators, as they save me the trouble of being concerned about stuff. When I was a child (okay younger, if you are a hater), I was asked to do a presentation at school about someone special, someone that any man should want to be. I chose an Emperor of China, and gave a few good reasons for my admiration, but unfortunately concluded with the real reason. The thought of his 300 concubines, nubile, lithe, with those slanted sexy eyes, and masterfully trained to that exotic, and erotic pinnacle of sexual expertise, had some how clouded my adolescent tiny brain, and absolutely won my turgid vote. I was thrashed with a bamboo cane, as you were in those barbaric times by a man in a pin-strip suit who smiled afterwards. Before he caned me he whipped the cane thru the air a few times to get me scared, I chuckled. I used to practise that chuckle assiduously. That little chuckle cost me dear, but his blustering, spittle flecked wobbling chin was a gas. He was the first person to address me as Satan, a gifted math teacher, but hopeless as a headmaster, possessed a very good swing, possibly missed his vocation as a golfer.
Two litters of baby rabbits today. Here is a photo of a different litter, older kittens, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Temptation of Saint Anthony by Stevie Haston

Hello, I set myself a few rules when I started this blog and I don’t know whether I’ll keep them. The first was to try and keep this blog free from the usual advertorial stuff, the second not to boast too much. Now then boasting is an integral part of my psyche and it is something I have no wish to deny. I like a pat on the back and it helps with the training some times, but and it’s a big but what is truly worth a good pat? Doing great routes is that worth a pat, a small pat? By great I mean grandiose, gorgeous to the eye, and maybe tricky like a difficult piece of music. So, I can’t sing, I sing in private because it is so bad I don’t wish to inflict it upon the ears of the non deaf, awful singer would be a compliment, on the other hand I climb passably well, especially this year. Is it worth a pat? Many people in my family are artistic, a disproportionate amount in fact, there hands seem to just make things materialize out of thin air. Not me, an average artist, I used to draw well but when I looked at the others work I would tear mine up. Do you like colour? I love colour, I dream in colour and hear the most beautiful music too, do you know how sad it is to be nul at the things you adore. Can you imagine Van Gogh flipping burgers, or Pavarotti working in a machine shop, Noureev brewing and consuming moonshine. There are cliffs so outrageous beautiful that they make me cry just to look at them, to climb on them is the supreme gift and joy of life, to climb well on them is ambrosia, the food of the gods. I used to snowboard a lot, most winters more than a hundred days, my climbing sponsors used to go ape with me. I used to do a couple of mixed climbs a winter (good ones admittedly to keep my sponsors happy and then bugger off looking for powder, the light fluffy stuff off dreams. Waking up in the morning my legs would feel the swell and roll of the snow just like a sailor has his sea legs, to cut through a meter of powder on a long board is like looking at Van Gogh's painting of sunflower while listening to Beethoven’s fifth 5th. There was the odd day on the Grand Montet on the Hearse during a storm so the norms would be huddling in the cafeteria, when the loon riders would come out, the guys who you just wanted to watch in awe at their majestic raging speed. So switch to climbing and go to one of the great cliffs and catch the show, watch riders of the huge roofs, aerial kings, gibbons. That’s a pleasure as good as any, If you ask one of these acrobats of the anti gravitational art if its worth a pat on the back they will probably shrug and say ‘yea training went good this last year and I m on form’. Shrug and smile. In Italy you sometimes get applause instead of a pat on the back , or get called Maestro Italy a lovely place, home of the sincere compliment. So what’s my boast today then? Well I have been climbing for ever, and love it to death, and still search and pray for those days when training and desire are matched with fury and passion and you do your best, and you are in the zone that makes magic possible.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Mixer, harder than Mort? By Stevie Haston.

Yesterday was a disaster, building is just like I remember, chaos mixed with sweat and horrible dust. I am the gaffer and guess who had to work the mixer. It should have been young Alphonse’s job, but Alf doesn’t know how to use an Australian screwdriver, lets say he’s not technically minded. It was cold and there was spindrift, just like Scottish mixed, and about as enjoyable too. My builders crack is coming on nicely, and I have adopted that Scottish swagger more normally seen in the Clachaig Inn. I am not sure it convinces my co- workers that I know what I am doing. Is the Mixer harder to work than doing Mort? So far it is proving harder than any mixed route I have ever done, and as toxic as the Padarn public bar used to be on a bank holiday. Today I am going climbing, the day after I teach Alf how to make tea. Apart from the money, there are a few other perks in being a builder. The diet is a bit different from a sport climbers, maybe five times the calories, and I get to wear a pencil stub behind my right ear as a sign of seniority. The conversation is a bit limited, Rugby, and dead-fit birds. Oh yea, check out the dead-fit bird, it’s a bloke but I know alotta you folk out there in Web land are gay, so I thought I’d be cool.

There was a good bit of good news yesterday, another big rope length of overhanging fantastic climbing went down to a non builder. Thanks to the boy from Santa Cruz, ‘pull em down’.
Bar humbug and to others seasonal greetings.

Friday, 18 December 2009

To hell with climbing by Stevie Haston

Dear darling, Blog, it looks like you have failed me. Far from paying your way I am poorer than ever. Why pretty Blogesss, oh why have you forsaken me?
Yesterday I ageed to start some work as a builder, a totally insane thing to do as I am in very good climbing shape, and not really cut out to be a builder. However as a builder I get payed well, and idiots don’t insult me on the web. As a supposedly sponsored climber , I cant get my car MOTd and owe lots of money. I could write a book on training but my book wouldn’t be a long read, would it? ‘Get strong , Fool’, might be my title. What about the job of training the British Team, Britain might get the odd medal then, eh? Yep builder it is. Next weeks Blog might be, how to start a petrol cement mixer in minus 8 degrees.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Eyless in Gaza by Stevie Haston

So, I woke in the cold of the night, fed the rabbits and watched the dawn paint the mountain behind the house. I was happy-ish so I sang.
I’m a bitch
I’m a lover
I’m a sinner,
I’m a saint
I’m a climber
I’m a fool
I’m an alpinist
I’m a tool
Never be rich
Just the industry bitch
Videos for free
So you can adore me
This was done badly in an east end rap, but I did have rhythm cos I was swaying under an hundred and ten pounds of barley, in a tearing sac. Yesterday I went climbing, didn’t ‘crush’ anything, didn’t ‘send’ anything, and got worked in the cave of justice. In fact, it was I who was crushed, soundly , severely and severally by the fat gut that’s clingoned to me. Last night I watched free videos on the web, climbers stupidly doing stuff for free, risking sever injury or death, wow thanks lads, but wake up and charge a bit of money next time. Last night sleep evaded me. A big mountain covered in powder poked its head into heaven and screamed snowboard me. Its Nanga Parbat, 8000 meters high and has a huge drop of 4500 meters to ride, it’s the perfect ride, worth dying for. Can you imagine great swooshing turns on a really beau luminous day in the lush powder. Feeling like Odin for a brief time. That’s what I want from Santa, give me the dosh dude, I want to ride the white death. Or as the singer Seal sang, ‘ In a world full of people Isn’t it crazy that only some people want to fly’.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Bonne Grimpe

Hello folks, this week I have had alotta demands from web sites for free information and photos. Well you know, much as I’d like to oblige, and make other people rich, and provide vicarious pleasure for others, I thought I”d decline. There’s a few obvious reasons, like I’m busy, I need money just like everybody else, and I’d rather spend my time in the garden, with my farm animals, or going climbing. This blog (I hate the word) might not come to much as I don’t have much to say that is important and I rarely do any climbing that I think is significant, but I will try and see if it is to my advantage. One of the reasons I might keep this "golb" up, is because there is so much rubbish in the climbing press and web. Nobody likes to say anything, because for the most part they are spineless fameheads, and are too busy imbedding themselves up the posteriors of the media.