Honestly: Etseri, Svaneti


One of those weeks. Where do I start on this rollercoaster ride?

We have the vanguard of yet another work team here with us now: old friends come to prepare the way for the rest who arrive at the end of the week. Then two more weeks of pottery, including firing it in the big ol’ Svan stove, and other art activities, chiefly for children but by no means leaving out any parents who want to participate too. Photography, snow sculpture, music, perhaps some origami, we’ll see what works. Should be awesome; the children are already excited and waiting for it all to start, like it did last year at about this time. They were being not only permitted, but encouraged, to get their hands into wet clay, and they loved it, and made all sorts of cool things, both by hand and on the visiting potter’s wheel! This time there are two wheels for twice the fun.

However… a cold snap has left us without half our water upstairs; at least downstairs it’s running fine. But two bathrooms for 12 people might be a squeeze. The weather will soon warm up a bit, and things might thaw out up there. Frustrating thing is, the very day before the advance quad’s arrival I tested everything upstairs: all running just fine. We’re stretched for heaters in rooms, but putting one in the main offending bathroom overnight might give the needed result.

Yesterday, I got the news that a LONG-awaited publication has just happened, of an article of mine in a recreational mathematics magazine which had humbler beginnings in three issues of GT in November 2017. It’s about a family of infinite sets of tiles of squares and triangles, and can be found online here now: www.content.sciendo.com/configurable/contentpage/journals$002frmm$002f6$002f12$002farticle-p49.xml (Please note, the novel word “farticle” near the end of the link is not one I chose, but is probably intended to be short for “fractal article”.) So that at least was some highly encouraging information. Now we’ll see what happens as a result, how long it takes for someone to take the gauntlet and run into further infinity-ward findings based on what I’ve begun.

Today, I was returning on foot from picking up a small frozen food order for the shop, the 1 km from the highway to home, backpack laden. On the way down, I only met a couple of sharp barks from a pair of dogs known to be bothersome on the road. Walking back up, it was just as well I had a stick with me, as they both attacked me at full volume and fury, even trying to bite the stick out of my hand. I yelled even louder and more furiously for the master to call them, tie them up, whatever: the owner of such aggressive canines has no business letting them be loose. I’ll feel sorry for them later: at the time I was only regretting not having taken my pepper spray, not that I usually do but maybe I should! It’s more the owner’s fault than theirs—are they not just being themselves? One of these times, a child is going to fall down and get mauled or something.

Now the sun emerges, and it feels like things could be worse. But the emotional ups and downs of daily or weekly life sometimes could do with describing to help one free oneself of them. Done, and I hope the rest of the week will even out a bit. And that yours, dear reader, will be more highs than lows or terrors.

Tony Hanmer has lived in Georgia since 1999, in Svaneti since 2007, and been a weekly writer and photographer for GT since early 2011. He runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with nearly 2000 members, at www.facebook.com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/

He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri: www.facebook.com/hanmer.house.svaneti

By Tony Hanmer

13 February 2020 17:15