February 3rd, 2008

eliphas, napping

Good Weekend

I slept a lot, wrote 3500 words, cooked dinner, watched Dr Who, read half a book and some fanfic, and missed two caves.

Thursday and Friday I had to be at work at 6:30 am, which sends me into a "must catch a plane!" overdrive which requires a large amount of coffee to keep up for nine working hours. Friday there wasn't enough coffee in the world, I crashed and stumbled home around 4 pm, fell into bed, slept for four hours, and then felt up to do something useful with the weekend.

Saturday there was light snowfall, nothing that even reached the ground. Today, the weather was cool and perfect and I decided that I could do with a large amount of fresh air. So I drove into the hills for a short walk. With the sun and no wind, it was warm enough for a T-shirt, until I got back into the forest where there was still frost on the ground. The rock grottoes had icicles. For some reason (too busy taking pictures of icicles, I guess) I missed the fork to the cave I had wanted to see, so at the next cross-roads I took a path to another cave. Only to get the wrong fork again only a few hundred metres from the cave, because the sun, setting behind the hills on the other side of the river valley had shone in my eyes. With the sun down, I did not track back

Currently, I am reading an interesting book about wilderness survival, which has useful models of Why Shit Happens and Why People Do Stupid Things. Very useful if you want your heroine get through a situation where she's entirely out of her depth by personality traits alone. I thought about it while I was following that path which had signs ever twenty metres, but what I thought most about was the complete lack of anything remotely resembling wilderness around here. There are ruins of castles that have been built on the ruins of older castles, not to watch or defend a border, but to control land which has been fields and pastures and managed forest for longer than the castles have been there. Boulders along the paths have groves, worn in by generations of women who set down the water barrels they were carrying up from the valleys to the villages uphill. The small town where you leave the Autobahn to drive up the river valley was the seat of a king a thousand years ago. The first hill rising from the valley has a chapel build on the ruins of a chapel built on a holy place build on the remnants of a fortification. This land hasn't been wilderness for at least fifteen hundred years, but with its overgrown rock formations and cliffs it manages to put on a good façade.

On the up side, the most dangerous life forms you are likely to encounter (except for homo sapiens and canis familiaris) are ticks. The largest predators are cats the size of a big and bad-tempered housecat, but shy. No "Beware of Mountain Lions" warning signs here.

I never noticed it that much until the half year in California, where, at the edge of town, the world just drops away and you are in a very different place. Oh, well. If I wanted to live dangerously, I could take up rock-climbing.