As I have pointed out before, we at Hatman Mansions are very fond of extreme cooking. Recipes, like rules, should be ignored at all times.
In fact, we enjoy extreme sports of any kind. So when a video popped up on Facebook this morning offering “extreme shepherding” it instantly caught my eye. Well, what remains of them after “Phuza Thursday” at the Bush Tavern, an integral part of the stellar panoply of hostelries purveying the Umdloti Vibe. That was an interesting selection of words in that last sentence, wasn’t it?
I was just testing my brain to ascertain exactly how many synapses were indeed sparking after last night and, I am unsurprised to report, the Brain-o-meter is pointing steadily at the region marked “Very Few”.
But, you are right, I digress. As did these Welsh sheep farmers, who instead of sitting in front of their fires and sipping Ovaltine with their Gwyneths while watching repeats of The Vicar of Dibley, decided instead to watch their flocks by night… running around with a load of LED illuminations on their backs. I kid you not. This is clearly how they roll in Aberystwyth.
So, without even attempting to nudge in any weak jokes involving the words “wool”, “eyes”, “pullovers” and “Welshmen shagging sheep stories”, please allow me to introduce a right rollicking little, er, clip produced by the, um, “BaaaStuds”…
Tell me you didn’t enjoy that. No, you can’t, can you? I have filed this under “Inspirational Videos”. It shows what can be done if your ambition in life extends further than sitting in front of the fire, sipping Ovaltine etc.
All you need is a whole field full of sheep, a bunch of LED lights and live somewhere really boring like Aberystwyth or Cape Town.
We at Hatman Mansions are huge fans of extreme sports. Especially extreme cooking. Why, you should see the stuff that gets served up in the banquet hall of an evening. But I’m not here this evening to make you sick to the stomach. I’m here to make you forget that you have a stomach.
Which is what will happen when you see what Dean Potter does. Dean does freebasing, something that the Hatman Mansions people, as liberal as we are, usually draw the line at.
But this is different. Dean, bored with just climbing up some of the highest mountains in the world, and then base-jumping off them, free-soloing, highlining, baselining and just about anything else utterly nutty that one can do up at a height we normally only frequent in an aeroplane, has found a new rush.
Dean Potter drops in on some startled deer who were pretty much just minding their own business
Freebase climbing. What’s that? Well, I have a video full of gobsmackingness to show you just now… but it’s climbing up the most difficult side of the Eiger with only his fingers, toes and a 6lb parachute. And then falling/jumping off. Awesomeness overload. In fact, it’s even more than that. It’s spiritual. Please notice how Dean stops to meditate before falling 9,000 feet in about three minutes.
Listen to what he says between sublime acts of derring-do. He talks of how he used to associate falling with death but now it’s not about dying but flying. You sense his kinship with the cliffs, the rock-faces, that he drags himself up with just his fingers and toes. And then the adrenaline which does indeed freeline throughout his body while falling and flying thousands of feet through thin blue air. This is a seriously spiritual vibe Dean’s got going here, bru.
Come, let’s plug into that vibe…
Total radicalness or what? I’m not sure he would have the guts to conquer one of our Hatman Mansions dinners but, still, I’m quite impressed. I had such an attack of vertigo while watching Dean chuck himself off the Eiger that I had to sit on the floor for a while. But, all in all, that was nice work up there, Dean (read more about the great man here). Cool bits of soundtrack too.
So, tomorrow I’m tagging along for the last-ever construction tour of Durban’s new World Cup 2010 stadium. I’m hoping to get on that funicular which rolls up one side of the magnificent arch and leaves you standing 106 metres above the freshly-laid pitch. I’ll think of Dean Potter while I’m up there. So if you see a body freebaselining or whatever it is off the arch, you must know that Dean inspired me to get over my fear of heights. I just hope somebody will have a video camera to record it all. And that I remember how to open my ‘chute.
I’m not much good at extreme sports. I do extreme cooking that would make Jamie Oliver faint but I don’t think that counts.
It’s not that I’m too frightened. It’s just that other people are petrified to be around when I attempt them.
So I’ve kept it all pretty tidy since that time I wiped out 12 very genteel skiers rude enough to be crossing my path to get to the restaurant to have their lunch. It was my second day of learning on the snowy slopes of Meribel in France and perhaps I shouldn’t have tried out a red run when I didn’t really know how to snow-plough.
It ended with me having to steer myself into a tree to avoid going over a cliff. I escaped with third-degree bruising. The Genteel Skiers Party wasn’t quite as lucky. Their very French tanned-nose-in-the-air-with-not-a-hair-out-of-place vibe was horribly punctured and, after enduring some uncontained cackling from already-seated lunchers, they stared daggers at me through designer sunglasses and muttered Frenchieisms, many of which included the word “merde“.
I still can’t understand how they didn’t see the funny side of it. But then I am a South African.
So friends go to great lengths to keep me away from surfboards, skateboards, snowboards, blackboards and anything ending in board. Which is rather unfair as I often like to get my “Extreme Scrabble” game out of the cupboard.
But, hey, it doesn’t mean I can’t admire the total radness of a totally rad dude doing something totally rad in an extreme sport. This is where I introduce you, if you haven’t already been exposed to his total radness, to local lad Greg Illingworth. He rides bikes (bicycles) but not quite in the manner in which you might have seen people using them to gad about Amsterdam.
So here’s a mindblowing vid (Jedi web edit for The Riot) shot by Jimmy Reynolds, one of Umdloti’s finest creative sons, of Greg taking a leisurely Sunday cycle around a shopping mall and environs…
How did that feel? Nice? Not a million miles from awesomeness overload, hey? How was that drunk woman who stumbled out of somewhere to find young Illingworth whizzing past on his way to get a book out of the local library before 5pm shutting-up time?
I liked it. I like it so much I’m going to pester Jimmy into making a lekker movie of me doing the same thing. He might want to shoot it with a mega-zoom from the top of a very tall building. That’s cool. But maybe not for any Frenchoids promenading around in search of a nice, quiet lunch.