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pictures by Layla & Sasha
text by Layla

A year later, we returned to Babje, whose population has grown, once again:
The horse Senelga had room-mates in her barn: a goat with her kid.
May has grown into a beautiful Collie.
And little Afanasij, who was born the previous summer, joined the 3 older knights.

When we arrived, we were surprised by a friend from Tver, Tania with her two daughters Lada and Lialia miltsov.org/travel/photoswe were together on the 1st of May kayaking trip in 2000) who were visiting.
From left to right: Ira, Lada miltsov.org/travel/photos8) with Lialia miltsov.org/travel/photos1), Liouba miltsov.org/travel/photos7) with Bandit, Tania.

Ira, Lionia, Liouba with Bandit, Lada with Lialia, Tania miltsov.org/travel/photosfrom left to right)

Pavel, Sasha’s younger brother, the baby-uncle of Liouba and Tania with Lialia

Going for hay. Ira said that now that they have a goat with a kid in addition to the horse, Senelga, they need more hay for the winter time. So, they spend 4-5 days in the summer, first cutting the grass in the fields near the forest, leaving it to dry under the sun, and then collecting it. We joined them on the spree to rake the dry hay and discovered that one day of work in the field – on all parameters – beat a yearly membership at the most prestigious health-club in any city. The sun, the birds, the bees, the sweetness of the earth and a healthy work-out, even if only for a day or two, bring the feeling of happiness and the desire to live and with that comes health. I always found it torture to toil out in closed, sweaty gyms or to madly inhale chlorine doing laps in noisy warehouses full of water and dampness, called swimming pools which rather bring the feeling of depression.

I believe that the “sports” and “gym” culture is necessary to perpetuate the sado-masochistic tendencies in civilised people, so that when people refer to certain arduous, painful, and downright unhealthy activities as “leisure”, “relaxation”, or “pleasant” they end up believing in that these activities are good for them that they love doing them and end up loving them. Doctors push these kinds of sports, which ensure them and the pharmaceutical businesses a stable revenue from selling drugs, including vitamins and anti-depressants, to combat the “side-effects” of sports, such as allergies, weakened bones, asthma and other pulmonary problems, manic-depression, etc. Without the synthetic replacement of sun-light by vitamin D, steroids, antibiotics, surgical interference, in these crowded, stressful conditions people, as history has shown, would have perished from crumbling bones, destroyed immune system, and the various plagues.

It is amazing that so much less effort and resources are needed for a simple and joyful time somewhere in the wild.

May came along to help

The kids played hide and seek in the hay and jumped up and down on it.


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