tisdag 8 september 2015

Härligt avslut på Ukrainaturné

Nu pustar jag ut hos kollegan Anna-Lena i Moskva efter clownturnén i Ukraina: Knappt två veckor, femton shower, en massa häng i bussen och på hotell - och så några tusen barn som vi skänkt en stunds och ett minne av skratt och förundran.

Alla foton där ej annat anges: Sergej Berezin.
Efter Kramatorsk åkte vi till den mindre staden Slavjansk, vårsommaren 2014 kanske den huvudsakliga startpunkten för kriget som fortsätter än i dag. Vi lirade två föreställningar på stora torget där och det var hett och små publiker som vi i stort sett bjöd in på plats. Lite utmaningar i samarbetet med lokala partners var det. Ett flertal tv-team var dock på plats. Efteråt åkte tre av oss och spelade spontant på en internatskola för barn som har det svårt. Vi improviserade en miniföreställning och körde sen lek och lite akrobatik- och rytmträning. Både vi och barnen hade svårt att skiljas och detta besök stannar kvar i våra sinnen och hjärtan.


Sen var det 29 augusti och vi steg upp i ottan för att flytta till Severodonetsk, en ganska isolerad industriort längre inåt nordöst. Vi passerade flera vägspärrar i det böljande vackra landskapet innan vi kom till Lisitjansk, den historiska orten och därpå Severodonetsk, som först bara hette Lischimstroj efter kemifabriken husen växte upp runt. Likt de två tidigare dagarnas spelplatser var detta område under omkring två månader förra sommaren ockuperat av rysk-separatistiska styrkor. Vi anvisades ett soldränkt torg i en sömnig del av staden och oroade oss över uppslutningen, men de sista femton minuterna innan föreställning svämmade det plötsligt över av barn från alla håll!


Det blev två av de mest intensiva och uppskattade spelningarna, där vi fick vända oss runt för att nå barnen som satt precis överallt och flera gånger till och med ta paus för att bringa ordning i de skuttande ivriga leden av ungar. Våra lokala partners Terre des Hommes hade verkligen fått fatt i många internflyktingar och på andra vis utsatta familjer, det var nog över 500 personer på vardera föreställningen.

Om kvällen fick vi en spännande guidad tur av och till en minst sagt brokig skara av stadens invånare, som reflekterade dess tuffa bakgrund som avfolkningsbygd med sociala och ekonomiska problem men också civil samling under kriget och framtidstro.

30 augusti var en spelfri dag och vi åkte till en blygsam semesterort utanför Slavjansk där killarna badade och hängde i ett räcke medan tjejerna stretchade och försökte pyssla om muskler och senor i en lokal. Sen gick vi genom Slavjansk, via ett protestantiskt väckelsemöte på torget, till järnvägsstationen och for sedan till turnéns andra ben: centrala Ukraina, längre ifrån frontlinjen.

31 augusti vaknade vi på den mäktiga floden Dniprs strand och i Dnipropetrovsk gjorde först tre av oss en utflykt till en så kallad modulstad, ett litet kvarter av baracker som tillfällig uppehållsort för internflyktingar. Sådana finns i flera städer och finansieras av tyska regeringen. Vi anlände direkt med en parad bland husen och strax hade vi samlat ett tjugotal barn som vi ordnade en liten lek- och cirkusträning med.

Därefter spelning i ett fint gammalt kulturhus, klubb Sjynnik, med stor scen och ridå och ljus och allt. Glada barn även där. På kvällen for Ulf och Henna och hade en lång och intensiv workshop med en engagerad grupp lokala sjukhusclowner som hade ringt mig redan i Sverige och starkt uppskattade att få professionell coachning från våra duktiga pedagoger.

1 september börjar skolorna och vi var igång nästan hela dagen, minibuss med vår trogne chaufför Igor till Melitopol nästan vid Svarta havets, eller nåja Azovsjöns, stränder. Där fin park och härlig stämning när vi lirade och Röda korset delade ut skrivböcker och sådant till de behövande.

På barnsjukhuset i Zaporizjie hade några skadats i kriget och flera fick kika från fönstren. Foto: Maxim Sjtjerbina.

Nästa dag var vi i Zaporizjie, en tjusig stad som nog många utlänningar inklusive jag har svårt att stava till. Här kom vi för första gången till ett sjukhus och det var en stark upplevelse att komma nära barnen, föräldrarna och personalen, inte minst under det ständiga arbetet med att snabbt få in bilen, välja spelplats, packa ur, bygga scen och framför allt sittplatser för barnen, hitta omklädningsrum, placera barnen, leka med dem, ge intervjuer och så vidare och så vidare...
Ulf och jag talar med en tv-journalist. Många journalister frågade hur det är att uppträda för dessa barn och hur de skiljer sig från andra vi mött. Foto: Maxim Sjtjerbina.
Här var det en hel drös journalister på plats, kanske för att vår lokala partner här faktiskt var en journalist, en frilansreporter som dock hunnit få jobb och flyttat till Dnipropetrovsk men likväl fixat allt utmärkt.
Foto: http://photofact.in.ua/


Vår spelplatser, publiker och uppläggen skiftade rätt kraftigt under resan beroende på vem som var lokal partner: FN, TDH, lokala röda korset, frilansjournalister osv. Här är ett par tv-inslag om giget på sjukhuset:

Foto: http://www.061.ua/
Här finns därutöver lite text- och radioinslag (med tjusiga bilder!) och snart kommer ett längre tv-reportage hoppas vi som ett par duktiga killar från Hromadske tv satt ihop. Hromadske är förresten ett spännande relativt oberoende mediehus som blommat upp efter maktskiftet.








I Zap spelade vi i ännu en "modulstad", där sanden yrde mellan barackerna som i en Västernfilm, och sedan klämde vi in ett samtal med lokala psykologer om att arbeta med utsatta barn. De var olika proffs, samtliga kvinnor, som i tjänsten eller som frivilliga jobbade med flyktingar eller på andra sätt utsatta och det var ett rörande och givande möte för båda sidor.

Nattåg till Kiev, återigen svettigt och trångt men hjärtligt. Avsked från chauffören Igor som fick en clowntröja och bjöd oss på fisk som han fångat med sonen. I Kiev hade programmet kört ihop sig men fnurrorna löste sig allteftersom dagen gick och vi spelade på det stora barnsjukhuset i staden.
Foto: Iryna Jerosjko.
Ett andlöst möte måste jag säga med ett 50-tal barn från olika avdelningar, funktionshindrade, hiv-sjuka och så vidare. Vi fick spela lyhört och mjukt och jag tyckte det blev det kanske mest betydelsefulla giget.

Foto: Iryna Jerosjko.
Därpå i ilfart till stans dockteater, en anrik och sagolik byggnad på en höjd.
Henna kom nog närmast barnen, med sin oförglömliga karaktär Aprilli. I bakgrunden Jesper på diverse instrument. Foto: Iryna Jerosjko.
Foto: Iryna Jerosjko.
Tyvärr hade eldsvådorna utanför staden stängt skolor och många barn var hemma, men några dussintal mötte vi i en sprakande och sprudlande turnéfinal.

Från vänster jag, Henna, Jesper, Karin och Ulf. FotoIryna Jerosjko.
Enormt tack till alla barn, stora och små som mött oss, Sergej som höll ordning på oss och Igor som skjutsade, Unicef som samordnade shower och betalade lokala kostnader, tack TDH, Röda korset, PIN, FN Ocha, HelpAge, OSSE, svenska ambassaden, tack till incheckningen på Arlanda som lät oss slippa överviktsbetalning, Arlanda Express som bjussade på biljetter, Windcorp som gav rabatt på kornetthyra och Olle Granér som lät oss köpa hantverk till lägre pris (delades ut till många som minne). Och tack till alla CUG:s bidragsgivare och Louise och kollegorna på clownkontoret i Stockholm som ordnat och omhändertagit.

PS. Kan ni inte få nog av turnén? Kolla in Ulfs förstklassiga och tankfulla blogg i fem delar, och CUG:s egen sida för resan!

[Tillägg 16 nov 2015: Nu har jag hittat fler filmer från resan. Se en del av show nummer ett i Severodonetsk här och delar av show nummer två här, här och här!]

torsdag 27 augusti 2015

Barnhemskollo, bakgård och Folkets park!

Intensivt som sjutton är det att fara runt och uppträda för de drabbade här i östra Ukraina. Vi jobbar från bittida till sent och rullar hit och dit i vår stora vita skåpbil med föraren Oleh och fixaren Sergej längst fram. Längre bak sitter vi fem gränslösa clownare inträngda bland en massa väskor med musikinstrument, handståendestativ, kostymer, vattenflaskor och sånt.

Ett prunkande grönt Ukraina rullar förbi utanför, närmare bestämt Donetsk län. Vi for i går igenom tre militära vägspärrar och till slut en söndersprängd bro där vi i stället fick ta oss över vattendraget Kaznyj Tourettes (fri translitterering) via en pontonbro. (Skarpa tillsägelser att icke fotografera.)

I går ja. Först sniglade vi in bland en massa semesterbyar, "sanatorier", typ vilohem eller sommargårdar eller vad de nu kan kallas. I en, "smaragdbyn", stannade vi och hoppade in i en huvudbyggnad med mögelluktande auditorium. Vi bjöds på lunch (härlig husmanskost överallt, låt vara utmanande för tjejerna som är vegetarian respektive laktos- OCH glutenintoleranta) och uppträdde för barnen. De var föräldrarlösa ungar som dessutom evakuerats från barnhem i de nu separatistockuperade områdena.

Sen mer mat och vidare, till en härlig marknad som trollband cirkustruppen med mystiska burkar med bin, pollen, något slags malvaxextrakt och dess snaps, rosenhonung och så vidare. Men en timme till show och var skulle vi uppträda för denna föreställning nummer två? På en solig gräsplätt vid en trafikerad gata visade sig vara påbjudet. Bara att tänka om, akutläge: på. Vi kutade runt och valde en skuggig gångväg utanför ett hyreshus portuppgång.


Trappan fick vara läktare och vår scen inringades av ett tjockt rep vi hade med och bakåt av ett räcke. Alldeles nymålat tyvärr. Sen kuta runt igen och försöka bjuda in alla och envar samtidigt som vi dirigerade bilen, lastade ur, skulle byta om och sminka. Och hitta något att sitta på för de minsta. Vi slängde på Sofia Karlsson i vår tack-o-lov batteridrivna bärbara förstärkare och tog gamla tanter och ungar i handen och ledde till en bänk som var sidoparkett.



I området bodde faktiskt 5 500 internflyktingar hörde vi, så det var egentligen ett bra ställe. Och till slut var där nog ett 80-tal personer, exklusive de som hängde från fönster och balkonger. En helt annan slags föreställning än de tidigare förstås. Alldeles tätt tätt inpå. Familjärt och naket.


Sen in genom Slovjansk som drabbades hårt i kriget förra sommaren och var en av de första platserna att intas av Kiev-trotsande separatister. Efter att ha omringats av regeringsarmén retirerade dock de Rysslandsstödda upprorsmännen. Kulhål misspryder än fasader och skyltar även synliga för oss som bara svängde förbi, på väg till Kramatorsk.

Nä ack vad långt detta blir. Tiden räcker inte till för att skriva om dagens jobb. Vi spelade i dag två föreställningar i Folkets park här i Kramatorsk, en stad som likt Slovjansk ockuperades. 250-300 perosner på första, en jättefin dansbana med en härlig gammaldags öppen scen. Två gubbar hjälpte oss att ställa fram bänkar, jag förhandlade tre gånger med Unicefs olika funktionärer om att deras banderoll kanske inte skulle vara mitt i blickfånget igen eftersom turnén har många olika partners och i vilket fall är det clownerna själva som finansierar mest: uppåt 20 000 euro i efterskänkta arvoden.

Parkchefen Viktor Ivanovytj infann sig och bjöd oss storstilat till lunch och efter detta mys-pys gick vi till "pionjärernas hus", ett slags föreningsbyggnad där Jesper och jag gav en märklig intervju där vi intervjuade oss själva och samtidigt inledde stackars Henna, Karin och Ulf en brutalt krävande dubbelworkshop dit 70 i stället för angivna 25-30 barn infunnit sig.
Rask indelning i två grupper halverade utmaningen men ändå: Ställ dig inför 35 ungar mellan 6 och 12 års ålder, vars föräldrar förväntansfullt fyller väggarna, och försök att utan hjälp av språket försöka leka/träna dem på något meningsfullt sätt i en timme. Vår proffsiga trupp hade såklart förberett sig på förmiddagen men då just för 30 barn och inte mer än det dubbla.


Det blev dock fokus och bollande i par och samlande lekar i den ena gruppen och parakrobatik med balans, stå på händer, vifta med ben, "krokodilen" osv i den andra, varpå de bytte. En 75-årig före detta "Master sporta" i Sovjet, alltså erkänd idrottsman inom gymnastik, blev till sig och flög i kapp med Karin med benen i vädret.


Pust och stånk men redan började nya barn sätta sig vid scenen. Denna gång fylldes halva dansbanan till brädden. 500? 600? Det blev en elektrisk show med ett nästan fysiskt sus när Ulfulf tvekar med fjärde pallen på höjden, sånt där barnafnitter som öronen krullar sig av friskhet av när Henna viftar med gröna vimplar i baken på någon och jag brassade på med kornetten både i moll och diverse grymtande elefantbröl när vi jagade varandra genom bänkarna. Illa roligt och efteråt var jag faktiskt orolig för olyckor när våra funktionärer skulle börja dela ut ballonger från scenen och scenkanten utsattes för trycket av ett par hundra små ivriga barn och deras föräldrar.


Fotografera sig skulle alla och fantastiskt att få möta alla barn så nära, särskilt när jag ju kan språket o kan få höra vad de heter, det är ju helt sagolikt att prata med barn på främmande språk tycker jag. Något objektifierad kände jag mig också, inte minst var det ju "clownen" i kostym o rödnäsa föräldrarna prompt ville ha sitt barn i en bild till nåt album på, kändes det som. Efterfrågan var tuff och vi gömde oss lite i bilen och i ett förråd. Sen gick vi tillbaka till Viktor Ivanovytj och hans kollegor, som bjöd på mer mat och därefter insisterade på att vi skulle få gå loss i nöjesparken. Nja, njo, jo, okej då! Vips for vi pariserhjul upp över Kramatorsk trädtoppar och skådade dagbrott, nedlagda industrier, disig solnedgång över väst och öst, vänner och fiender som borde vara vänner.

video

Tack, djakujemo igen för dessa dagar säger vi. Beskjutningen av gränszoner har ökat de senaste dagarna enligt Osse, med ett par döda civila i förrgår. I dag ringde jag Anna på FN:s säkerhetskontor i Kiev som är en av våra försäkringar för att hinna iväg om drastiskt mer krigshandlingar tillstöter. Människorna vi träffar här har inte den möjligheten. Vi är glada över att få skratta, tjuta och göra stora ögon tillsammans med dem.

tisdag 25 augusti 2015

Nervigt och närgånget i Charkiv

Det har varit intensiva första 30 timmar i Ukraina. Vår trupp på fem personer landade i ett Kiev som firade självständighetsdag och genom hettan och vimlet på paradgatan Kristjatik såg vi både folklig glädje och - överallt - bistra tecken på kriget i öster. Fotografier på stupade soldater, affischer med hårdföra budskap inför lokalvalen snart och insamlingar till de stridande.

En bekant visade oss runt i staden och vår nationella partner Unicef, FN:s barnfond, skickade med oss en ung man, juristen och eskorten Sergej, som hjälpte oss att skuffa ombord vårt rätt saftiga bagage på nattåget till Charkiv. Dessförinnan hann vi med både en och två middagar och vår musiker, "barabansjtjik" Jesper, fann korvsoppan "soljanka" den godaste han smakat. I kupéerna var det bastuvarmt och när vi baxat upp alla väskor med pallar, käglor, högtalare osv var vi genomvåta av svett men hade åtminstone lyckats undvika att knocka våra medresenärer.

Väldigt tjusigt hotell hade Unicef valt men våra tankar var förstås på den första showen. Turnéledare Andreas har rådbråkat sin skalle och kommunicerat med dussintals personer i tre månader för att få till två optimala veckor här i landet - men det finns knappast några perfekta turnéer med så många osäkerhetsfaktorer. Till klockan tio skjutsade oss chauffören Oleh, Unicef-anställda Olha och Sergej till epicentrum: Charkivs anrika "Gamla cirkus". En fantastisk lokal från 1905, en av få stationära cirkulära cirkusbyggnader med äkta sågspån. De svårt nedgångna rummen kompenserades av personalens värme och glädje över att ha oss på plats.

Med ett par timmar kvar till premiär drabbades Karin av sin tuffa allergi mot pälsdjur. I den vackra manegen tränas ju varje dag hästar, zebror, åsnor, hundar och till och med björnar hade ju cirkusskolechefen Svetlana stolt berättat. Raskt fick konstnärligt ansvarige Ulf och vi allihopa ställa om programmet, korta lite och på Hennas inrådan slänga in en frågestund efteråt.

Omkring 250 barn, mest internflyktingar men också en del låginkomstfamiljer och fosterbarn, satt sorlande runt om i den magiska lokalen och röda strålkastare slogs igång. Jesper klev in och satte igång publiken med klapplekar och vips var showen i rullning. Det var trummor och tutor och handstående och poi och bollar och kornett och jakt och mer handstående. En kanhända lika omtumlande och andlös upplevelse för oss på scen som för barnen och föräldrarna, men inklappade blev vi flera gånger och när Svetlana sen förde ett samtal med oss kom otaliga frågor om cirkusträning och Clowner utan gränser.

"Vi tror att lek och skratt är ett mänskligt drag och reser runt ideellt för att dela med oss av det" sade Jesper med svettig panna och röd näsa. "Läkare utan gränser läker våra kroppar, men Clowner utan gränser våra själar" sade Svetlana.

torsdag 2 juli 2015

Granskar koleldad fjärrvärme i Norrköpings Tidningar



Norrköpings Tidningar har en ledare utifrån avslöjandet. SVT Nyheter Öst berättade om nyheten och gjorde en uppföljning där Eon säger sig vara på väg att fasa ut kolet. SR Östergötland gjorde också en blänkare.

Se mer: Miljögruppen Ekozasjtjita har gjort kortfilmen ”Fördömda” (2014, engelsk text) om situationen för urbefolkning i det största koldistriktet Kuzbass.

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Uppdatering 5/7-15: NT följer upp med lokalpolitikers åsikter, där det visar sig att många är överraskade och starkt negativa till Eons (och delvis kommunens) agerande. Även bland folk på stan märks skepsis

Kommunalrådet Lars Stjernkvist själv går in i ett kommentarsfält och skriver: "Efter NT-s avslöjande har vi varit i kontakt med företaget. Och kommunens uppfattning är mycket klar: Vi gillar inte ryskt kol, dels på grund av riskera vid brytningen men också då på sikt vill göra Norrköping helt oberoende av fossila bränslen."

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Här är artiklarna högupplöst: förstasidan, uppslaget och de sista två artiklarna. Läs genom att scrolla dit du behöver.




torsdag 26 mars 2015

Simon Dale, "hobbit house" builder, interview transcript

Interview with Simon Dale, Berllan Dawel, Tir-y-Gafel.
March 10, 2015. 
Raw interview transcript. All mistakes in the text lie with the interviewer.

AH: How would you describe your philosophy and thinking in terms of creating space for your life, for your family?

SD: I think we’ve had quite a long journey to get to where we’ve come to. We basically followed our hearts, we followed our natures and we’ve done the things which felt right to us at each step. The thing that focused, the thing that brought freedom, the thing that brought joy into our lives. So I think we followed nature and we followed our own natures and we followed… by being honest about our own natures and by inquiring into our own natures we’ve found that they are in line with the nature that we see out there, the nature of the world. So we’ve come to a life which seems very well to suit both our nature and the nature that is around us. The place we live is constantly becoming richer through our work, more able to support us, to meet our nature, to live our joy. And also at the same time that brings more of that wild nature, it brings more plants, it brings more animals, it brings more biodiversity. And I don’t think that’s any surprise that those two things come hand in hand. That’s where we come from.

It’s the modern world that pitches humans against nature. In some ways we’d be better off without the word. When we stop using the word ”nature” we’ll know that we are actually doing some decent ecology. Where the human ecology meets the wild ecology of this planet.

In terms of philosophy of creation of the structures then, so our nature is: we’re looking for an easy way. We’re looking for something which is not a big slog, which is not loads of hard work, and which is a process which is gonna feed our souls on the way. So we’re looking hard at our own needs, we’re looking hard at what’s going on in our lives, what is really making us happy, and how can we navigate more towards that. We’re looking very carefully at what our needs are, what do we actually need to survive and live. There’s lots of trappings of modern life which I can very happily do without and there’ s other things which are really valuable and really great. So we’re quite careful to identify our needs and also we’re quite careful to observe the world around us. And see ”well what is already here that can meet our needs”? Rather than ”I’m gonna meed my need in this way, I’m gonna go and buy this thing!” What around us can give us the shelter we need, what social situations can give us the need for play and friendship and family that we need? And so we’re always looking for the shortest route, we’re looking from the shortest route from the resources that are freely available to us to meeting our needs. And the world is rich! Whether we’re in the middle of nature, wild nature, and we’re surrounded by materials, wood and clay and stone, animals, all these materials, or whether we’re in an urban setting and we’re surrounded by skips full of loads of good waste for building and for making a life from. All sorts of surplus which is naturally arising there. Either place the approach is the same: ”What are my needs? How can I fill those with what’s available?”

AH: Can you…

SD: I could also say how that applies with energy, if you like?

AH: Sure.

SD: As a society we have an energy issue. We use lots of energy to run our lives, most of which comes from fossil fuels. It’s clear fossil fuels are not able to go on providing that. There’s climate change-type issues. There’s also peak oil and running out-type issues. We can’t endlessly support an exponentially increasing use of those fossil fuels. So first we’re asking: ”do we need to use that energy?” And then when we decide that we do want it, we are saying: ”Well where is that available in the resources around us?” And nature is full of energy flowing. Rivers running downhill. Sunshine collecting in little niches in the landscape and all these sorts of characteristics. So what we very much try and do is to orient… to design ourselves into the right place that we can use those energy flows where they exist. So we live on a hill and it’s fantastic, we start with things at the top, we collect our rain water at the top and then it runs downhill and it might run through our washing system, and then out to our grey-water reed bed and then it gets cleaned and then it goes on to the next bit of the water course. The energy flow is there so long as we can observe, identify it and design for it. So we try to… we use a design-intensive approach, and we use… That design comes from intuition and from you know ”hell yeah, it’d be fun to do that!” also it comes from quite rigorous design methods, particularly using the permaculture framework, which gives us some designing tools. We aim to put ourselves in the right place to use the energy flows that are already there, in the same way that we’re looking to meet our needs with the resources that are already there. So key: In doing that we are able to use that design input as a substitute for other energy sources. By having a good design and implementing a good system, we can say build a house which then stays warm because it’s facing south and it’s got lots of windows facing the sun and there’s stones behind it to hold the heat of the sun. Energy does not need to keep being put in, we can design to use the energy flows that are already there.

AH: Could you give some very simple examples about what you where saying before, in terms of looking hard at yourselves, and at your needs and at the expectations you have from life, can you talk about the processes you’ve gone through there in terms of what you need and what you don’t need, and also maybe: there’s two of you, if you could mention how important that’s been?

SD: I’d say we’ve been quite fortunate in that we’ve always kept a bit of space in our lives. We’ve never been working flat out at jobs, conventional jobs, and we’ve kept enough time to reflect upon our experience. And we’ve done that together and we’ve done that consciously and we’ve asked ourselves the question of what is really making us happy? And for me the answers are quite simple things: Family, friends. Time outdoors. Freedom. And so those are the things that we’ve aimed for and followed. And we’ve been careful not to adopt ideas of what we ought to be doing with our lives. We haven’t followed a lifestyle model provided to us from elsewhere, from advertising or from television or from all these other sources which tell us about the latest gizmos that we could be using to do this and that. We’re lucky enough to realise that we didn’t have to get just go and get full time big time jobs and follow a career to escalate wealth and social services. We thought we could have more fun being free and doing without some of those things which are quite hard work to get but actually weren’t making us much happier.

AH: Can you give some examples when you and [your partner] Jasmine said ”okay let’s skip this thing which we do not need or we need this thing which we do not have”?

It’s hard to think of a good example because we do it so subconsciously. Something that’s informed us is a global consciousness. These times are unique in that we have the opportunity to see how different people live around the globe. We were lucky enough to have to opportunities to go and travel a little and to see people and to live with people in other countries where there is a lot less to go around, where the resources are much lower.

AH: You were roughly in which parts of the world?

SD: Jasmine was a lot in Asia and Southeast Asia and I’ve been quite a bit in the Middle East and to North Africa. And other places. And we just asked ourselves the questions: ”Are the people who have more money, are the people who have more stuff, happier than the people who have don’t have more stuff?” And we’ve reached our own answers you know. To some extent it helps. There’s this huge assumption that quality of life is synonymous, is one and the same, with how much money you have available to you. At basic level it is true. There are some things which are really good, like basic medicine and education and things like this are great. But that doesn’t keep going forever.

<…>

We haven’t asked ourselves whether we need , we know. When the need arises we might do it. It’s waiting for the need, isn’t it? It’s not seeing ”there’s a thing that I could have and then I might be able to do this”. It’s more like this is what we’re doing, okay we’ve got to the point where we need this thing.

AH: Could you mention some points or some experiences in your life that have been pivotal or instructive in propelling you towards these realisations or consciousness?

SD: Yeah, I can think of a few points. My background point would be as a kid, playing out, going and making dens out in the woods with friends. Which I was doing when I as 10 years old, and I was still doing it when I was 20 years old. Another point was when I was in college and somebody to me said ”you enjoy these years, these’ll be the best years of your life.” That made a profound impression on me, I quickly realised I as not happy for that to be the best part of my life and to go downhill from there. That was one thing that really led me to question what makes me happy - being with friends, being outside, makes me happy, when I go into the woods and make a den with my friends and we hang out. and muck around and have a  bonfire and sing some songs. Those were the times which felt rich, those were the times when I felt rich. 

Yeah. There was another moment just before we had our first child and we’d both been traveling for some years and doing our little bits of work in different ways, Jasmine was freelance writing and I was freelance photographing, we needed to settle, we were gonna have a child, and we looked at houses to rent and we looked at pieces of land. We knew that we had a bit of a dream. cause I had this idea, I like being outside ith my friends so i’d built up a dream: what if we all went and lived in the woods? and we all built tree houses and lived in them! it was a wild…

AH: Together with your friends?

SD: Yeah, together with my friends. And that was a wild fantasy and a wild idea. But when it got to that point how are we going to settle now? How are we going to get the shelter we need? One option was to start renting a house and to get a fairly serious job so we could keep paying that rent and somehow try to raise enough money that we could get a mortgage and get tied in with that… or we had a dream. And I felt quite clearly then that if we didn’t follow our dream then, when were we going to follow our dream? When would be a better point? When would it be any easier. I’d lost my brother a few years before, five years before. And that was a good reminder to me. It might be over any day. There’s no point in saving up a big wad of cash in the bank and then falling over dead the day before  you start doing whatever it is you’re dreaming. And so we did it. And when you step forward, so many people have talked about this from Goethe on to loads of people, when you have a dream, when your heart is in something, when you follow that, the universe seems to move to help you in it. Yeah? And we committed, we said we’re gonna find a bit of land and we are gonna build a house on it. And we rang up some people, who had some land whom we didn’t really know. and tehy say ”yeah sure come, build a house,” and we went there and said ”okay let’s start building a house! How do we build a house? Don’t really know!” And some people came along and gave us some ideas and we looked things up on the internet and read some books.

AH: This is when?

SD: This is in… This is nearly… 12 years ago for us now. The day came to put the roof on the house and we didn’t know how to do it. But we’d invited 6 or 8 people to come and help. So we went to the pub to look for a roofer from the local village who might know. He wasn’t in the pub. So we sat and had a drink and we talked about it a bit. and the guy next door overheard us and he was a carpenter, he worked on building sites. And he liked the sound of it. And he came and gave us a hand the next morning and we raised the roof on our first house with bits of string. And this old wood we got off this demolition forest. And he stayed for two weeks. And helped us out and packed in his job that he was on. And we needed a stove and we said ”okay we need one of these kind of range stoves that we can cook on and heat the house with” so we got the free ads newspaper and opened it and sure enough - it was there! ”Stove, free to collect, come to get it!” ”How do we get that?” ”I don’t know, we must rent a truck.” ”Okay, we go rent a truck.” Anytime we could have said - ”Oh, I’ve never driven a truck, I wouldn’t…”, but with a bit of courage and knowing that it was our dream that pulled us on. Then one thing led to another. And every time we took a step into the unknown there was help and hands ready to guide us on and to help us with that. I think fear, fear is mostly what stops us.

AH: Technically, what are some key aspects that are defining of these structures? 

SD: We’ve had a few. I could talk about any of them. Or all of them.

AH: The most famous one maybe, the hobbit..?

SD: So we were starting out building, without any experience, without any training, without any knowledge, without any experts to help us. So we needed to do things that were quite simple. So we built small, started with small spaces. 30 or 50 square metres for a couple with young kids is a lot of space, it goes a long way. We started with the materials that were cheap and easily available to us, cause we didn’t have much money, we had 2 000 punds or something to build a house with. We used wood, that was in the woods…, and we build the house in the woods, close to the trees, so we could chop them down and dragged them a bit and tied them to our car and then dragged them a bit further til we got all the ones we needed. We dug in the ground and we found clay and we used that, you can use that to plaster the walls and to make up floors with. We used straw bales, straw bales are a very simple way to build, construct walls, which literally can be done by 10 year olds. And give you a really highly insulative, really functional building system. Which is really fun to do.

Yeah, we used these techniques, we used the wood in the round as we chopped it down, as we found it. For the most part we didn’t need to saw it. Some sawn wood we found in waste and rubbish. We found out that they were putting new hardware onto the power lines near us, we went to the place that they were burning all these boxes that they got all these new bits in, and we took all the box lids, they were huge 2 meter by 1 meter panels, and clonk-clonk-clonk, and we got wooden floors just like that. We took those things and we worked simply with them. And we found that it was fun, there’s a creative process there, a creative process that was not blocked by the technicalities that we could have got involved with. The technicalities that we would have realised and faced if we’d talked to architects and professional building technicians. And in that there is a naivety, a lot of freedom, there is a lot of play. The process itself is what we are doing, so that has got to be good. We gotta be able to enjoy that, otherwise it starts to become less meaningful. And we found that a lot of people would like to come and enjoy that with us and to share that experience, so over time and over different building projects we’ve had more and more people come and get involved. We play together, learn together, and we share some creativity together as well. That gives us another output. We are always trying to make sure that each thing we’re doing or each element we’re incorporating is having as many different outputs as possible to be efficient. We get the extra input of having help from people and at the same time we are having an extra output that they are coming, they are having a fun experience, they are going away empowered. Maybe a bit more likely to go and follow a dream or to know that they could pick up something new and do it, ’cause they’ve experienced that. So that’s an example of catching those energy flows again.

AH: Could you say, the reaction to, what happened when you put some images of this house on the internet?

SD: We had a very surprising experience then. We’d built this house, ”the hobbit house” as the world came to call it. We’d built it in a playful way, in a playful form, that fit tmaterials that we had and fit the site we were in,d and was fun to do. Laid out a bit of our free creativity. this house turned out looking a little bit like the hobbit house. We put a few pix to show people who had helped us with the building, next thing somebody had blogged it and that was, 50 000 people in that day had looked at it, the website had been shut down because there had been too much traffic, magazines interviews. We were a little bit surprised by this. we were having a million people a year looking at website that we enver tried to promote, we’d never tried to present it very well, never had gone into explaining ourselves and our ideas very much. Mostly it was just a few pictures.

AH: When was this? 

SD: 2004-2005. Thereabouts. After we built the hobbit house, after it was 6 months old. And we started to get correspondence from people all around the world about it.

AH: What was the most bizarre?

SD: We heard from everybody. We heard from native Americans who felt a resonance with that they were doing on their reservations. We heard form the guy who was a stock broker in London at 4 in the morning, he bent over his desk, he was in despair, he’d found this website and he was in tears about it.

AH: He wanted to get out of his life?

SD: Yeah, it hit him the contrast between what he saw in these pictures and what he was doing himself. And every time I think that those pictures, with just the barest words of our story, they were always pointing to something in the people who were looking at them. And that was what people were responding to. They weren’t really responding to our story, directly. It always seemed that they knew something about it, they had a whole picture, they had a whole pictures of a whole life and a life style that they had somehow reached through these photographs. And it always seemed to me from receiving all these correspondences, and taking some time to answer back to people, that it was something they knew, something that was in themselves, it was a dream they had, it was an idea about how people might have lived before, how people could live in the future. It was an ideal, a dream, a romance. The pictures of our house seemed to touch that for people. 

AH: Something common?

SD: Something common is all I can conclude. And I wouldn’t have said it before I’d had the experience of hearing it from so many people. But yeah, I’d say something common. Something common, a vision of living in contrast to the predominant modern Western model of living. A way of living which was in a greater relationship with what we commonly call nature, with the nature of the land and also with the nature of human people. Something which was for individuals. That was not product of a business or a market. Homes that are homes for people not houses that are the products of a building industry. A way of life which was more one’s own.

AH: How does it make you feel, the things your structures have set off inside people?


AH: Quite practically, what are some of the problems, practical issues you’ve come across. In houses you’ve built? Changes, learnings, mistakes?

SD: The largest challenge that I’d say that I’ve faced and that I’ve heard form other builders doing similar things in Western world is regulations. Our opportunity to do this is highly regulated. In Britain you need permission to buy a field. If you buy a field you can’t lie down and sleep there more than 28 days. Planning and building regulations across Europe and North America. They come from good place, access to good place, aren’t gonna fall on heads, give fresh air, conserve energy. Important things and each are totally embodied in everything we’ve build. But we try and do it in different ways, a bit different from usual. A system polices this and not geared up to different interpretations. To build inside framework of legislation can be hard work for people who want to use innovative methods. In Britain we’re allowed to but it’s hard, inspectors don’t know, and if they approve it they take the risk upon themselves. We have to satisfy them. Great if laboratory tested, but if you wanna do something nobody has done before, you don’t have any evidence. A lot of people do outside framework, that’s how we started, and that’s how we did it. Had we entered that framework we couldn’t have done it. Had to hire experts costing more than house itself. More expensive materials. Problem across the world, for people who are innovative.

AH: You would never have created the first one?

SD: I think it would have been too much. I don’t think we would’ve been able to cope with it.

AH: It would have killed the dream?

SD: Yeah. Now I can do it. Build I am building inside regulations. I understand the regulations and the law. 

AH: This is the first time?

SD: Second one. Our last was passed after 18 months of legislation. 

AH: This is what number?

SD: This is the fourth house. And help for other people. Things need to be… we were inspired by people living very simply. Before first house we met and came aware of people around Britain under canvas, in yurt or bended structure or very simple hut. orking ith bits of land, trying to be self-sufficient. We were inspired by simplicity and honesty and freedom. Simple things and ways of living . Like going to spring and collecting water in a pot, putting on fire to heat. You’re not allowed to do that under building regulations not allowed, tested, piped, automated heated, fitted by registered installer. Suddenly gone from so simple to thousands of pounds and a host of infrastructure and expertise and there’s a place for it, we’re gonna have that in this house, but that wasn’t what we needed to do to start with, if we 2 months before our first child , would have been too expensive and taken too long. This challenge I find more than challenges of actually building safely and well.

AH: In terms of techniques and physical stuff, what have been some mistakes or learnings?

SD: There’s always the question. What wrong, what learn. I struggle a bit for an answer. One of the reasons is that our process mitigates potential to make mistakes. We work slowly, small scale, with our own hands. The mistakes don’t carry on. You might start to do something wrong but then you understand what element meant and quickly get a feeling. If you’re a builder working to somebody else’s plans you don’t feel it.

AH: Nevertheless?

SD: I can see our buildings have become more and more sophisticated as time goes on. Right now 3-bedroom house to last for decades and decades. Very different from first house when we needed shelter for child in two month. Condensation is issue for high-insulation buildings. I can now deal with that with more sophistication. Deeper understanding of what we do.

AH: First houses - realistic?

SD: Yeah. The results very good. Really highly functional buildings for our needs, for us as individuals.

AH: Technicalities don’t really matter? Build well but don’t fear mistakes? Less fear?

SD: Yeah. All of those things. We should contextualise this and recognise background. In most of the world people do just this. of world self-built literally. Huts made of mud and sticks built themselves. Following tradition and simple ways, small and human scale. 

AH: For the average person reading this, can you name a few good resources?

SD: I recommend (1) The Shelter book, Shelter itself, which was probably the primary text which inspired us to start building. Which shows hand-made houses around the world, traditional and contemporary. (2) I could recommend Garbage Warrior, a film about Mike Reynolds who built earthships in North America. Trying something radically new and facing the obstacles of a world which has its vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The Shelter books, Shelter and Homework particularly and all their other books. (3) Fairy-tale stories, kids books, stuff of dreams and imagination. The Hobbit, go and look at the Hobbit films and reinterpret that however you like. That’s inspiring! Those sorts of things are inspiring. There’s plenty of books about technicalities, condensation and breathability and structures and stuff, they’re details to come later.

AH: Perhaps getting it right is not that important? The key to beginning is just to do it?

SD: Yeah, people solve problems differently. People in different situations and different needs and different resources. There isn’t a right way to do things and a wrong way. There’s different ways some are better for different situations than others. Sure, we’re not always gonna do things the best way but maybe that rightness is the spirit with which we go about doing them. About doing it because we’re loving doing it and enjoying it and being ready to change things, if things start looking like it’s not working or it starts fall apart later, you can pull it down and fix it. It’s not the end of the world. Some things are gonna need maintenance. We have a fetisch in the modern Western world with having the very best and standardising the way things are done. It doesn’t have to be like that. And with that there’s a whole story of disempowerment for people. There are experts who know how to do this or that or the other and if we don’t have them on our side, if we don’t pay for their service, then you’re putting yourself at risk. 

AH: Fear?

SD: There’s fear again. Yeah, I’m sure we’ve taken some risks with buildings and things but we’ve never had any problems that we haven’t seen and remediated as they happened. We haven’t done anything more dangerous than crossing the road.

AH: Some more advice to people? Something that can go in another list? 

SD: Here’s my list: (1) Know yourself. Be honest with yourself about what really makes you happy and what you really enjoy. Follow it without fear. And don’t listen to people who say that you can’t do things that can’t be done. That was another one of those defining moments: 6 months of working on a research academic project the way the boss said. Then trying it my way and making it work in 2 days when it hadn’t worked the other way. Just on an intuition. (2) Next point on the box: Trust yourself and your intuition. If something isn’t feeling good, then check - is it right? Usually it’s wrong if it’s not feeling good. (3) Observe the world around you, carefully, look and see what’s available to you, what help, what materials are available to you. Look and learn at how animals build their nests. Look and learn at buildings how they’re made and how they’re working. Look and learn at our world, which bits are working and which bits aren’t working. Keep learning and don’t be afraid!

We do this in life, don’t we: we observe and learn and look and analyse. That’s our in-breath. Then we breathe out and we create. There’s our creativity manifest in physical form. Or through people. And just keep that cycle. Watch and learn and then create and act.

AH: This is not at all restricted to homes, concerns family relationships, work, political affairs?

SD: Yeah. Building homes is mostly where I am but what I do is nothing specific about building homes. When we are really powerful is when we recognise patterns in things that we understand and then can see those same patterns in things that we don’t have experience of and come to understand how they work. I know how to mix a good plaster, because it’s quite similar to making a white sauce in the kitchen! Mix flour and fat, make white sauce or even pastry. Do the same: Take some lime patty and some sand, that’s your flour, mix them together. Straight away: Yeah I know how to make pastry, I can make plaster too! That’s when we can do anything, power, make sense of complexity in world. There’s too much to understand everything and know, there’s too much in building science to understand every part of it or to design a building and knowing each part where it’s gonna go. It’s impossible or gargantuan task, but when we start, feel into things, always have feedback, observation, learning and using understanding patterns and how they apply… Then we can one step at a time do what we want to do.

<…>

There’s the perfectionist. I’m more rough. Later painting, photography. Printed pictures perfect, again and again. That was great and there’s a real joy in that artistry in craft. My introduction to building anything, before we made our first house, was that I was in New Zealand, I had a tipi to stay in. And I was there for a while so I thought I was gonna make a wooden floor, two levels, with a little clay fireplace, drawers, drew complicated plan. Took it to guy who was living in the same place. He was a carpenter and joiner. And he said, ”no no no, forget that”, and he got a staple gun for making sofas and things, with long staples, and an electric circular saw. And he said ”look just put those, forget the plan, just put those there,” bang bang bang, and they kind of stayed together, and then we cut the corner off, ”that is falling over, prop it up”, bang bang bang! And it was done in first quarter of the time it would have taken. Then with our first house, the deadline was there, we only had two months, I couldn’t have been perfectionistic about it. I would never have done it. (3) And there was a liberation in not being perfectionist. Let’s have a box about that. And I think it’s fine to be as rough or as perfect as you want to be. But very important to be aware of what you are doing and choose it for yourself in any project. Still in dark room I’d work for perfection if I didn’t have a time limit. But when need house by wintertime I’m gonna go chuk-chuk-chuk. And try and be very careful to do everything to same quality. It doesn’t matter if it’s all rough and all going to fall apart in one year, but it would be crazy to build foundations to last 100 years and walls one. That would be a waste of effort.


SD: Yeah. And that’s coming back to ”What’s my honest about need?” Somewhere to cook, eat, read a book, have a friend over, make love. I’m gonna need space about this big and that big, and then I’d like it to be warm and dry. What more - window that opens for fresh air and light to come in...

AH: Obliterates distance between you and good folks here, living in very simple conditions? That’s closer than the next door house, the neighbours. 

SD: Yeah. Maybe. One way to find your need is to try something simple, that doesn’t fill your needs, start way down and then feel for what do I need. It’s more like whether we do need something. Right now we do need more space, our two children are gonna be in puberty and the teenage world, when you get cross right no you have to go outside. 

AH: But you could build another small house?

SD: Yes yes. That’s a good way to get more space. Or a green house or work shop to work in during bad weather.

AH: Final question? Where do you think this community will be in 20 years?

SD: In 20 years time I believe that I cannot know what the world will look like. We have a huge complex system, a chaotic system mathematically speaking. I don’t think we can predict where we’ll be in 20 or 50 years time. Maybe we’ll have nuclear fusion and 10 times more energy. Or might be huge and horrible wars and no petrol and oil, There’s no way we can tell. No right answers about what to do. I don’t say our way of life is right. What I can say is that it is right for us now, it makes my heart sing, and also I can say that we are able to live very well in way that consumes a very tiny amount of resources from the outside world. 

AH: Do you have a calculation of that? Can you quantify the energy consumption of your buildings?

SD: I know that the energy consumption of the buildings I’ve been building, to use them, is well below the contemporary target in Britain. And it is probably 10 times below the average for housing in Britain. And, and this is maybe more important to me, I can also tell you that the energy that goes into constructing the building is less than 5 percent of what goes into constructing a contemporary conventional building. That’s what we call the embodied energy. And that’s a very important factor and becoming more and more important. And it’s not something that’s manifest in any attempt to impose energy savings onto buildings. The focus is exclusively on what happens in the operation. You can save energy with heat exchanger unit, but nobody counts what goes into making that heat exchanger unit. How much resources go into that? How many people could have one of those? Is it enough to build one for every person on the planet? Probably not. And how many years does it take to pay off the energy that’s invested in that? Very important. I’m going into all sorts of ramble here. But this is a key point for me: I think modern green building aim to maximise the efficiency with which resources are consumed. What I think we are trying to do it so minimise our consumption of resources. And I think that’s the difference in perspective between a person and an industry.

AH: Do you have five more minutes? What about those who say that if you do things yourself you are bound to create less good environments physically, with condensation, heat, moisture, water, stability type issues? That if amateurs start constructing lots of houses it would be either dangerous or mean bad houses or loss of time?

SD: Okay. There’s some very sophisticated understandings of how buildings work, building science and technology. I don’t want to shun that. I don’t want to say it’s all a load of rubbish. Yeah, maybe, our amateur-built house might not perform so well as one that’s been designed really well by somebody who really understands the technicalities of it. Hoping that the builders carried it out a way well enough to meet the design. Which is not always the case when the builder is maybe pressed for time, money. I do know that the amateur who’s built his own home, when he sees a problem with it, he will have the confidence to change it, repair it, improve it. I think somebody who has bought a house from somebody else, who’s not had that experience, will find it much harder and be much less likely to do something about it. I also know that there are lots of dangers associated with buildings – some of them are to do with air quality and with structural stability and fire safety. And some of them are to do with pollution: air pollution, water pollution, around factories that created building materials, to do with social justice, how many resources are we gonna claim to build our building with? How are we gonna get them? Who are we taking those resources from? Are we sharing them evenly with everybody in the world or at the end of the day are they the result of armed occupation of some way or other? I think if our amateur attempts might be slightly short on some of these local safety issues I think we can do better at taking into account the further-away safety issues.

Another thing: I know that our house is not gonna be stuffed full of poisonous materials. Most of the pollution which we encounter in the world is inside buildings, not outside. Even in the urban area, you are safer, better air quality, outside than you have inside. Because inside is polluted with fire retardants, volatile organic compounds coming from soft furnishings, from paint, from the materials which make up a building, composite boards made with formaldehyde to stick them together, biocides you put into building materials in order to preserve them. Most of our rooms where that we live in are lined with plaster board sheet rock. You can’t even put that into the bin because it’s too dangerous! It’s contaminated with…

AH: The gips board? 

SD: Yeah. The gips itself is not bad but they put loads of additives in there, fire retardants and mould retardants. And they’re poisonous. So there’s another area of safety which is not covered at all. We recognise most of the poisons that we take in come from the buildings that we live in. They mostly cause cancers and things like this. But that doesn’t come under regulation. So that’s something I know I am gonna choose to address in my buildings. So I think we can address a wider range of possible dangers here and far away. And that we can make qualitative, even gut instinctive, judgements to balance those.

torsdag 15 januari 2015

Luttrad korre om boken: "tankeväckande" och "underhållande"

Författaren och journalisten Anna-Lena Laurén har som Rysslandskorre för SvD och finländska HBL (och tidigare YLE) profilerat sig med en vass penna och friska perspektiv. Därför blev jag glad när hon meddelade att hon ville recensera min "unika" bok.

Laurén skriver i recensionen (som ligger bakom en betalvägg - icke-prenumeranter kan möjligen komma åt den via hennes tweet med dagens datum som ni letar här) att hon knappt kunde lägga ifrån sig min bok, som hon kallar ett "strålande undantag" eftersom genuina berättelser inifrån postsovjetiska samhällen är sällsynta.

Twitter, 15 januari 2015.

Hon konstaterar att storyn kretsar kring ett "dödsdömt företag" där en tokstolle försöker reformera ett helt auktoritärt system. Med skarp blick noterar hon att det är förvånande att jag, trots uppenbart gedigen kunskap om området, agerat litet grand som om jag trodde att den opposition som tog över landet våren 2010 kunde och ville införa demokrati.

Jag tycker ibland att Laurén känns väl hård - inte minst på den här bloggen har jag löpande när det begav sig uttryckt att ingen i Kirgizistan undkommit den auktoritära kulturen, och varnat för allehanda brister hos och problem för de som säger sig vilja reformera. Men visst har jag ändå uppträtt som om jag tror att en annan värld är möjlig. För det tror jag. Så jag är gärna djupt naiv - så länge jag också behåller en del besk cynism.

Och boken är "befriande ärlig", det är "välskrivet, drivet, absurt" - men "också hoppfullt" skriver Laurén.

måndag 3 november 2014

"Kolossalt spännande"

Tidskriften som går under beskrivningen Sveriges största resetidning - Vagabond - recenserar min bok. De ger den fyra vita segertecken och ett rosa i betyg.

"En palett av lysande beskrivningar" tycker Helle Kikerpuu. Och Centralasien är "avlägset både geografiskt och socialt, men för varje vänt blad blir landets konturer tydligare."

"Det är med en klump i magen man följer [författarens] engagemang." Kikerpuu biter på naglarna.

Hurra vad trevligt (ja förutom för nagelbanden osv). Toppen för varje gång boken berör och vidgar vyer! Tack Helle och Per och gänget på Vagabond (som jag faktiskt tyckte var bra även innan i dag).

Dessutom skriver min gamla goda journalistkollega och vän Hanna bl a så här sen hon "sträckläst":

Att du tar fram det ädla i journalistiken, sluta aldrig

Jag blir rörd över att det du vill ha sagt, och det som är sant, är så mycket större än stolthet och självgodhet

Att vissa meningar är så slående, som "Vi tar i hand, ser varandra i ögonen och går åt olika håll, fast vi egentligen ska åt samma"

Eller "situationen är absurd. Men det är helt normalt"

Jag känner mig tacksam för folkbildningen om långtbortistan

Tack superfina Hanna, dina resonemang visar ju starkt att du om någon har journalisthjärtat på rätta stället.

Och så skriver eminenta Maria så här: "Sjukt spännande bok! Vilket äventyr!!"

Jaja. Låt mig som vän av ordning påminna om att BTJ faktiskt noterade att boken är långrandig eller nåt sånt.

MEN NU till nästa stora nyhet. Eller den enda i den här posten egentligen. Whatever: Statens Kulturråd ger "litteraturstöd" till boken! Hurra! BINGO! Jag vet inte riktigt vad det betyder, förutom att de tydligen köper in exakt 287 böcker och delar ut till biblioteken. Det är ju "mikit pra". Sen undrar jag om det inte betyder att de pröjsar en del av förlagets tryckkostnader också. Det är ju good on the publishing house, som en säger.

Schlutligen: Jag och min kära lilla bok används som exempel på att författare nuförtiden pressas hårt av sina förlag i ett stort reportage i branschtidskriften Svensk Bokhandel. Bra eller dåligt? Spelar ingen roll i skymningslandet. Live and let live som det heter, eller, som Ian Fleming skulle sagt: Live and letterature.

Tjo! Och här är hela Vagabonds recension: