steamy windows

steamy windows

t.z. | Thursday, 9 July 2015

Closeness. Being away from you regular comfort zone can be the closest thing you do. Comfort zone as in „indoors“, behind windows and walls. The sky is outside, I am inside … damn. I need to get out - and when I do so I try o be as "close" as possible .....

I fish in and live in Norway. I chose that place as it beautiful - and one has the right to camp wherever one wants. So I use a small tent when hiking and sleep as close to the water as possible. They sell very nice tents here. The best I had - I had to give it to a friend in New Zealand as he liked it so much - did only weigh 980 grams and was good for two people (given they like each other very much).

Living - let the term „living“ melt on your tongue - also includes campfire. I sometimes think that I actually love fishing so much because of the campfires. Isn´t that the best thing one can do? Sit by a campfire, watch the flames and cook simple, fresh food and coffee.

What would this world be like without coffee?  ... and coffee cooked on a campfire is by far the best coffee one can have. I learned a good method from the Norwegian flyfisher Eivind Berulfsen - he enhances the coffeetaste with pine.

Pine enhanced coffee:
First brake off a small branch from a pine tree. Clean the lower end of the tick from the eedles and set in your coffee pot while coking the water. Take it out while the water is boiling. Add rough ground coffee and stir with the branch. It is best to clean off the bark first though. Boil the coffee 3 times and let the coffee sit for 6 minutes. To keep the coffee warmer set the branch into the pots nozzle. After the 6 minutes pour half a cup cold water into the coffee. This process cleans the coffe by sinking the coffe "particles" to he bottom of the can. Done.

It´s a very nice ritual. The smell and taste is amazing and the pine takes all bitterness away, so you can make really strong coffee.

The other thing I learned is proper "tenting". The most iconic norwegian tent is called Lavvu. It´s actually a Sami term. Sami are the indigenous people of Norway, mostly known for Reindeer herding. There are many reindeer about in the areas I fish. Very interesting animals.
One very astonishing fact I learned was that they taste really bad when they have been under stress. The herders therefore  are very careful when harvesting.

This got me wondering why we have tastebuds. It must be a survival mechanism. I mean caveman did not go dining and Italian food was not invented back than. So identifying bad taste did protect us from eating rotten or bad food. But what has happened since? Why the heck do we accept all hat crap that is placed on our tables? Farmed animals like pigs, cows, chicken and salmon? I was very lucky getting the chance to recalibrate my tastebuds. I had the chance to taste reindeer, moose, proper sheep and wild birds and selv caught fish. Since I really have a hard time eating produce farmed in a very industrial way. Some stuff my body even refuses to hold in. Basically I had to become almost a vegetarian. Simply because proper food isn´t available anywhere. I am not unhappy abut that since I feel much healthier since I eat "proper".

Back to that Lavvu - it´s an interesting experience to use this tent. There are some ancient rules how it is organised. The fireplace is in the middle, firewood has it´s pace as well as where the cook, the head of the family and guests are placed inside the tent. Food is prepared and handed around clockwise … It just makes sense in funny way. Rites which have developed over many, many years are easy to understand and accept. I feel a certain closeness to our ancestors. Such a Lavvu serves as a good base for tours and is good when one is a group of 4 or more.

I mostly travel alone or together with Konstanse. My car is a Renault Kangoo, formerly used by the NorwegianPostal services. We call him Postman Pat. He is "very" red and people in rural areas sometimes stop us to hand over packages to carry on. :-)

We just try to get lost mostly and find places and love to just stop somewhere by the road, which often is a dirt road in the woods. So what I did is to convert my car into a small camper van. I had the idea after having seen Pauls attempts of converting a car into a camper. However, I wanted something more flexible, and maybe a bit more "civilised" than the tough bushman approach. I played around with some ideas and by the end found a manufacturer actually making what I had in mind. (* again - there is no new ideas - people are people and think alike) The one I found is called „ququq“. A simple box, manufactured by a rock´n roll casing company. That simple box converts the car to very convenient camper including large bed and a kitchen. They have a website of course - Very good service and response from the folks there.

My main point - being mobile and flexible helps with closeness on many levels.

We are having a blast getting lost.

Enjoy. /t.z.

the whole camper-van conversion kit
his is how they ship it

installed in seconds

2015-06-09 22.52.43
unspicious looking Postman Pat

silence (of the lamb)

on the road

2015-06-27 16.25.12 HDR
 two happy anglers


picture by Al Pyke

Thomas Züllich, or - “t.z.” as most call him - is a German flyfisher & flytier living in Norway. His flydressing is based on old traditions as well as very modern and innovative methods of creating flies. You can book Thomas for guided trips, flytying classes and presentations. He regularly gives speeches and demonstrations at fly fishing fairs. Thomas is member of the ProTeam at Partridge of Redditch as well as Regal Vises.