I'm a woman

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

Monday, 9 December 2019

Climbing versus Crooked Politicians, by Stevie Haston

The weather is perfect, the sea has been benevolent and warm, the rocks also. But instead of deliriously happy, I am more than half sad, and half angry, that's more than my cup can bear! The greed of politicians is allowing 700 million eu a year to be lost to corruption, a little bit of that would help kids enjoy sport in the sea, or on the rocks-call me a simple old fool, but corruption doesn't normally benefit kids unless they belong to crooks, or politicians.

Denis my friend is nearly alway happy, here he is coming down from his first 7a, he is even starting yoga a seemingly small thing, which has thrilled me. When ever some one starts yoga, the sky smiles little.

Malta is famous for brilliant scuba diving, brilliant climbing, and history that goes back past the Pyramids.  Above are wanted photos of crooks, murderers, rich guys, and politicians in no particular order.

Daphne was a journalist who was murdered by a conspiracy based on getting rich
A big demonstration fo the smallest EU country.

These bank notes were thrown around the sitting house of Parliament, the governments reaction was to shut parliament, start the Xmass holidays early- such are the tools of democracy
Denise threading the cheap belay chains we have here because we are self funded on Gozo while the money disappears.

It seems I am apologising for my continuing paucity of training advice but seriously we are drowning in corruption on our little islands. I promise to get back on the right track, but at the moment the right track is a bit of politics and attending a demonstration (above) to surport my fellow climbers and their nations battle against thieves.

As a tit bit of training info for you, my typical day might be morning yoga and Pranayama 30 mins to 2 hours then maybe a swim a dive or climbing. Lots of internet which I hate and find damaging, lots of mails  and text messages, which I don't much like. Best thing last week was a classic day for me, yoga from before sunrise, sea side communication with nature, free diving, then a new route, a beautiful new route that one day people will enjoy and love. Yoga is dance some times, but if you dance above the green sea, and under the blue sky, you can find a level of peace that should be humans norm.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Pull ups and Politicians, by Stevie pull up Haston.

I have to give my readers an apology, I am very sorry I haven't been blogging well, my excuse is that my country for the last few years has been going through a shit storm of corruption. Doesn't sound like much, that probably sounds normal to you if you live in Britain, or America, right? Or India, or jesu Cristo and all the Indian gods, many many countries are up shit creek with out a paddle and with a gaping hole in the bottom of the boat! You are thinking yes we know Stevie, some of you do know but your not that engaged or turning a blind eye to it all because for one thing you are exhausted! Don't be, courage, take a rest and do something positive, get on the case> If you are in Britain vote Labour, I don't want to be political (but obviously everything is politics), climbing is about enjoying your life and potential, Labour at its best will help you, its got a good manifesto about Climate change and the environment. Think of doing something for Extinction Rebellion. Engage and help  in our dying planet.

 Are these members of the Maltese Cabinet? No they are far nicer!

 I climb therefore I'am.

 Sorting a dump of litter at the most popular cliff in the Maltese island, hunters were threatening people there on a regular basis this year, what is being done nothing.

Happy Xmass, not that I am a Christian you understand, I am just trying to be nice, happy winter solstice is better I suppose, anyway I want for Xmass now that my Prime Minister has been forced to resign, I want the time to train and climb and swim and enjoy my poxy life please!

Part of my personal philosophy is to wake up in the morning and do my yoga, then my breathing exercise, then I thank the universe for the good things in my life, then through the day I try to be nice. This last bit is a real ball breaker! How can you be nice to horrible people, well nobody said it would be easy grasshopper get going, go climbing. Now that the Prime Minister is gone the fight is not over, but it is certainly a better chance to clean this dump of litter off our country.
On a personal note I hope to climb well again, I miss it, I want to help more people get more from their climbing swimming and Freediving. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Training instead of messing about, by Stevie serious Haston.

Just a quick blog to get back in the routine. I did an interview once, and the guy/writer/fool asked me whether I trained? Where do they get these people from?
Nothing I have done well, and its not much that I have done well, I have trained for!

 Training my breath in the pool, I have trained my breath for years and if I hadn't I would not have done very much well. At the moment I train about an hour a day breath its normally combined with yoga, but sometimes I do more, On the days when I do a proper hour of controlled breathing I can even tolerate idiots! 

 This is a hook, Mr Peter Pan, be careful one day you will be old and sick, and I will catch you with my hook.

 A very interesting flower, my reward is normally the top of a route or a clients smile, possibly a friends smile but I don't have many because I tell friends to train!

 These Kites are very big 6 meter kites, they were flying near a cliff we were on.

How much did I train? Answers on a postcard. Most good climbers train 15 to 25 hours a week, as a runner I often did 100 mountain miles a week. When lazy people look at good performers who claim to do nothing, they are buying into a lie. Nowadays I don't train very systematically or well, that's why I only climb low grades, but I do my yoga every morning religiously, I swim etc. Hopefully I can train systematically soon, I would like to do better. If I had my time again, I would train perhaps a little more wisely, but a man should exceed his grasp to know what he can span , and something that which is just out of reach, is the sweetest fruit. Train.  

Friday, 18 October 2019

Red October, by Stevie Red Haston.

Hello guys there is a donation button on my page at the top, its for bolts, new routing, keeping paths clean and the odd of bit maintenance, if you don't donate very little is done. Thanks, especially to the guys and girls who have donated more than once, yes the money is really important, but so is the moral support, I really feel like giving up a lot. It's October one of my fave months, wish it was a 365 days long month!

 Getting ready to sink like Red October, a 30 meter swim through, Soli the London Fireman did it just after me- good for you Soli.

 Simon, and Soli on the ledge of Kings a fairly pretentious name, but it is a good spot.

Simon's first time in the Underworld and he did great, such progress, but he is an ox, if he did some stretching he would improve more, his 85 kgs broke two holds in one go, but he still hung on!

 Oscar the strange lazy cat, he likes to stretch and walk across slender branches, natural born psyco.

 So found my totem at last, I look at the holds on routes in search of one of these! Two students have found them on my routes! This exceptional 26 million year old sharks tooth was under a place where 10,000 divers have been, It winked at me. It is so fine you can see the serration on the edges!

 Photo Tina. thnx Tina Watson!

This is with Jon, talking about stone and sea, Jon is a very good climber -better than he really knows, you need to let it go and climb two grades harder!

Photo Tina Watson.

The lovely little roof. You pass fossil worm holes and tracks, it's very exposed, and if you don't feel butch it will  mess with you.

Photo Tina Watson
Behind me to the right is a thing called Bridge of Sighs, around 8b, it will be in the new guide book, coming out early next year. I need to finish off 50 routes before the new guide, any body who donates will have Gozo climbing eternal gratitude.
So you are probably thinking, a blog without political comment! Yes, I am exhausted with it all, gear will cost more if Brexit goes through, this year already there have been hardly any British climbers coming over, the assault on real democracy goes on at an ever increasing pace in many countries, I have nothing to add. Maybe one thing, I support Extinction Rebellion, yes you may be inconvenienced by them, but your grand children will be flash fried, and will never see flocks of birds, insects, or shoals of fish, and will be hiding under factor 6000 sunscreen in northern Scotland. Good luck folks, climb, dive, run through the trees and flowers, have fun and success. 

Friday, 11 October 2019

Redesigning the climbing body, by Stevie redesigned Haston.

There is probably the most perfect climbing body out there some where, but hey it's not yours, and by next Tuesday it will have changed. Bodies are like the breath, or the wind -probably a bit too mystical for you, so we will drop the gobbledegook, and get back to training, you guys out there understand the word training, or do you?

The dog thinks the rabbit is his girlfriend, I am not sure he needs to know it is a rabbit.

As a young man I had a good body for climbing from working on building sites, and a bit of yoga, plus a little running. So far so good. My mind however which controls the body, was fairly rubbish. I was a bit like a car without a steering wheel, I was even like a Ferrari, but no steering wheel-a crap car or a good car still needs a steering wheel. Not too mystical for you, I hope.

 Soli the London fireman, decending to the Underworld, a place where he discovered the properties of Elvis leg on a route called I love Elvis, a route incidentally that a Magazine editor also learned how to loose control of his body and love Elvis-great route which teaches well.

My success in climbing has never really kept up with my potential, but as my body declines success is beginning to become easier, albeit at lower levels. Why have I taken over 50 years to squeeze a bit more juice out of the old lemon? Because my mind was always up to some strange antics, either making me scared, or distracting me. How to control the mind-now there's a question! 

 Simon in the rain on a recent addition to Xini cliff.

I have controlled the mind, or tamed it by love, by authentic desire, by distraction, by breathing, by my old switch off technique, which worked sadly only some of the time, it was a cross between In Shallah, and a Viking mind yell, did I ever try the Vulcan tricks, who knows. I tried whatever was to hand, there was no drivers manual. What works for you? 

Simon decending to the Underworld for his first taste of life after death.

My long journey with climbing. is like my long journey with life, it's been full of ups and downs, but it's slowly up nowadays despite the body going to hell in a hand basket. Learning to climb is wonderful. For a while now diving, and yoga have helped me climb. How so? Focus the breath and you can control the mind, which sets your body free. A simple message that gurus have been teaching for thousands of years. There once was a boy called the Slate Guru, he did some nice routes on the Slate rock around Llanberis in North Wales-he was I-funny eh. That boy did a bit of yoga and a bit of running and a fair bit of pull ups.

Soli and I learning to breath, breathing is obviously easier to do above water, but is also surprisingly hard to do while climbing.
Do your pull-ups, do you're breathing, maybe swim, or run to calm the mind, find the guru grasshopper. Have more fun and success.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Politicians don't climb or free dive, by Stevie Haston

If you have ever viewed Parliament in the UK you might be excused for thinking you were looking into a Kindergarten playground. When I was a young curly headed full of hope young man, I was honoured to see Harold Wilson as Prime minister answer questions-he was nothing like our new dictator. Today I can't even read the papers or my Face Book, it  makes me sick and I think I need treatment-this partially explains why I have not been posting. But hey guys we all need to engage, we need to connect, and get things done. Boris must go. The good guys need to grow balls and stop singing the Red Flag, and get that Churchill impersonating dildo out.

 Getting rescued from the Eiger when I was a young man taught me that I was human, naturally I hugged my rescuers and thanked them-I grew up a little that day! Politicians should spend a few hours at Death Bivy and stare at their lying selves for a day to reconnect with reality.

The responsibilities of a climb-feed your self and others who are hungry, rescue them if necessary.

This is how I see Boris, this is how I want him.

Swimming through this hole in the rock you become free of politics, but unfortunately you have to return. The word Politician and the word Journalist are not nice words anymore, they are not honourable professions.

 On a clear blue day one thinks everything will go on forever, but the Planet will not be in a great way soon , it is suffering from our abuse. I am obviously fed up with banging on about global warming when nobody does anything about it-but I will keep it up. One of the things that has shocked me the most recently is the hatred pointed at Greta the Activist-what is wrong with you guys- stop being jealous little pricks!

saving up my carbon for a visit to the sea, I have a very low carbon footprint and will use my advantage to see some sea in the winter. The politicians are the people to sort out global warming not tiny little things that we do like recycling, today a bit of recycling by a few percent of people can not off set the fact that we build more cars and get tomatoes from heated green houses and the fly veggies around the world, And please don't get me started on eating meat-meat may be murder to animals but if you dont see it now as murder to us all you are indeed beyond any sense.
By the way my shoulder is better and better, looks like some climbing ahead, yoga works!Yoga, and climbing, and Freediving should be compulsory for political office, but don't hold your breath (little joke eh). My own advice to myself is read the news late, if you read it early it spoils your day! Go climbing, go swimming in the sea, go running through the trees, love people, all though its a bit hard at the moment, take big long breaths, but not near cars.    

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Train in vain, by Stevie Haston,

Training for what? Training against the boredom of a very boring life perhaps! Anyway my life is flat, its pacific, its ordinary, its ok. Hows the training going, its flat-shoulder is not co operating. I decided to do what lots of men are doing, I decided to get tattoos, I decided to grow a beard, I decided to volunteer to launch Boris Johnston to Neptune along with a few locally grown politicians.

 Then I found this, I found it on a long swim, mostly one handed, or no handed, because of zee shoulder. On finding this I gave up on the idea of tattoos! I recommend finding big caves rather than painting your skin with your old girlfriends name and sea anchors or dragons. This cave is 40 meters to the lip, then a n overhanging wall to a steeper lip. It's just what the psychological doctor chap recommended. 

 An easy but very good looking line.
Such a fine line, I'll hate to see it go!

The groove just in the shade has a crack at the back and doesn't look too hard, it looks class though, 3 or 4 pitches.

 The swim was 3 and a half hours, plus 35 mins walk up the hill home, result = fitness of sorts in one bang for your buck. Do I recommend this kind of training? No I don't! Something a bit more rational is in order.

 Training my sun flower!

A little dumb bell work never hurt any one.

Climbing with a couple of divers recently, dad, had climbed out door but son hadn't, very happy to show them a little of Gozo's best.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Never enough, by Stevie Haston.

The death of humans looks very much on the cards at the moment, temperatures of 38 degrees have nearly wiped out my garden! The garden that is the habitable world for the lucky rich people will rapidly shrink, what to do? There is no solution, better kiss your ass goodbye!

Dolphins were a very common sight when I was a small child, now they are very rare. At the moment I am trying not to think about the downside in my life but look at positive things-I go climbing and have a vegetable garden, and this causes me pleasure. That's my mantra! A bit head in the sand, you might say. You expect more of me I know, but I have to let you down and just go climbing! 

Me and zee dog, Mandy and Christina enjoying the good thing that life is, nobody around a little rat for the dog to chase, and fantastic 25 to 30 meter climbs.

Christina at the top of this superb chasm, only one on the island to be so grandiose.

Inside the chasm are another 2 routes which stay cool in the hot times.

The hot times for the world are just starting, crazy Prime ministers, Presidents, making poor people pay for the rich peoples mistakes is the end time. Go climbing.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Climbing first and second. By Stevie Haston.

I climb 4 days a week on average, its enough. More would be less, less enjoyment, less time to do some important things. What are the important things, first one is looking after what is left of myself, there isn't much left, no need to show off, a need to be content, a need not to push the envelope but envelope nice things. Indeed pushing the envelope is a strange sounding thing isn't it, you might as well push a pea nut down the road with your nose, as push an envelope!

 my garden has lots of courgettes, and toms, and peppers, onions, salad, the need to rub my toes in the soil and know where my veg is coming from is strong in me

Do I want to climb more? Do I want to die? Do I want to even flirt with danger? I don't want to hurt my little body anymore, I want to walk up 8a like it was a path, but hey ordinariness has shrouded me in its awful cloak. Yes climbing is still fundamentally important, but it's complicated, no money, lack of fitness, motivation is so much easier when you have a big wad of cash to burn.

 My latest climbing pupil is a natural. Training is going well, I expect a breakthrough in cat grades shortly.

 The local religion calls for a public display of your sins and punishment, yes it is a bit medieval, I always fancy doing this but they don't have chains long enough for me. Several years ago, on Easter Sunday I did the biggest roof I had ever done, its a 50 meter pitch through a horizontal roof, motivation was easier then, plus I didn't have a garden, I didn't drink and did my finger boarding religiously. Fitness should be your religion, but so should vegetables, so should swimming in the sea...

 Cant wait for the white turnips, can't wait for my shoulder to take a bit of a heavy set of pull ups, want to do *a again before I die.

 Smiling people after a days climbing, very few things are as good as a great climb or 10, what do you say Paige?

Friday, 10 May 2019

Training for ever, Stevie Haston.

If you have had the privilege of an interesting and wide life , you might have seen some of the wonders of the world. Some people think I am one of the lucky ones, but I beg to differ, and I will explain. Please have patience with me.

 I used to see Dolphins nearly every time I went to Comino (a little island near mine) but that was over 50 years ago! I n my life time, around 60% of animals have disappeared! From my perspective I am not lucky, the demise of all that diversity and joy of life is gone, most probably never to return.

Life is a thin cord easily damaged but we are actively hacking at it with a machete. Why is our greed killing us?

These are Tuna bones, Tuna can be huge, I have seen a few big ones swimming lately because there has been a ban on fishing them and they are recovering a little, maybe that's only here. But there is evidence they are poached, because of course humans are like that.

I love cliffs and climbing please liberated cliffs, they are one of the few places constricted humans can have some joy. There are many restrictions on climbers and walkers and nature lovers, ranging from mad hunters to people wanting to protect things. Protection is wonderful but come on, we can't even get into the country in some places, because of Grouse hunters in the UK for example, or some other crazy idea like there is no right to roam.

We need to climb over some fences, to get to what we need in life. This particular fence is made of plastic, it lasted a week before the sea broke it! Humans arnt very clever, we are using our planet like a toilet, and flushing it back into the sink.

The cat, is a hunter, my new cat will have a collar with some colour on it to give the birds an extra chance of escaping, birds  are dying here, loss of habitat, and yes CATS.

 May you all have cool sunsets, but be careful they arnt because of pollution like in some places. 

Train hard for climbing, train hard for life, please train your kids to take control of these crazy run away governments.

Climbing is ace, but if we live like mice in a treadmill and climb our lives away on plastic in dusty rooms arnt we missing out?

The march of feet, the march of time, the march of over population. Please stop having children, please do some thing about climate change, please please train yourself into opposing the powers that be in this insane march towards death of this wonderful world.