Sunday, July 8, 2018

It's been a while....

More then 3 months since I did the last post. A time during which a number of things happened, but mainly a time during which I battled with a depression. Something I go through every year around the march/april-period, but this year was quite different.
The usual springdepression kicked in rather late this year. I guess due to the lengthy winter, where we had a lot of snow far into april. The severity of the depression was accordingly. And then we went from winter to fullblown summer within a few weeks, not even a month and summer stayed up till now; hot and dry. Extremely hot and extremely dry actually. And I do not do well under such conditions. I become lethargic, tired, listless. This most certainly did not help with my condition and the next blow came at the end of may. I lost my job. Which felt like a real loss, despite it, in hindsight, draining my energy.
I pretty much just caved in..... Having in the meantime found a new pasttime, politics and social issues, really did nothing to make things better. Au contraire.... things just got worse. The dark vortex of doom and gloom once again opened itself up with utter despair looming in the depths of its gaping mouth. However I also found something valuable in all this, Something worth while. Something that, despite all the problems we face today, offered a glimpse of hope as social and political scenes are changing rapidly and profoundly. I also found wisdom and help, whilst browsing the various sites and youtube. I stumbled onto something that has become know as the "Intellectual dark web", a group of free thinkers
But, equally important, I found friends much closer to home. Friends that share a common interest in the outdoors and all things related. During these past few months we met up a few times; twice as a small company and once under the guise of the annual nation bushcraft Sverige meeting. The small meetings were balm to the soul, especialy the one surrounding the experimentation-theme, but I regret to say that the national meeting actually was quite disappointing and appears to have led or is leading to a rift or maybe even a break up between the local group we have and the club in general.

My experiment consisted of natural fabic dyeing. In this case an old Swedish M59 pair of pants, dyed with onionpeels and walnutshells. Rusty metal was use as a mordant. Because of time limits I had to do the 3 steps all in one go, meaning mordant, naterials and pants in the boilingpot.
You can see the outcome, which remains even after washing.

With each colour I added a tuft of wool to show the results more vividly.
From natural to onionpeel to walnut.

As for our homestead, my depression and the following heat and drought has led to a near complete standstill, when it comes to growing crops. We were very late with sowing, an afternoon of strong winds with even stronger gales lead to the premature death of our tunnelgreenhouse. The breaking down of equipment made that I seriously got behind in cutting grass and weeds, thus keeping them in check and right now the claysoil is rockhard, being thoroughly dried and baked. Working the soil is all but impossible.
More problems have occured. The heat made that our chickencoop saw an explosion of some form of infestation. Some form of lice, but these were effectively dealt with using some predatory bugs (Hypoaspis), so now we can enter the coop again without being swarmed by these buggers and feeling itchy all the time afterwards. An addition of diatomaceous earth (kiselgur in Swedish) in their earth/sandbath took care of the rest.
Another one are forestfires! They are popping up all over the place and the firebrigades are kept rather busy. They usually respond fast and adequate, so so far real extensive damage has been prevented, but we had a good scare when one broke out 7km to our north..... with the wind blowing in our direction! Keeping in mind the large forestfires we saw to our south 4 years ago, bug out bags were packed at once. We need not have, but it was a stark reminder and a good drill.
The cause? Someone thought it necessary to still have an open fire, despite a complete fireban in the entire province!! About now wide areas of Sweden actually have implemented a complete ban on any form of open fire.

The location in question
picture; Christoffer Olerås.

But all things eventually come to an end and I can see the end of this downperiod approaching. I am feeling better, less down and angry and motivation to get things done is returning as well. My apetite for reading is back full force and I am also in the process of picking up other hobbies again.
So I feel it maybe is a good time to pick up things here too.

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