A Polar Night Blog



    December 3rd Day 9 continued

    As mentioned in an earlier post my eyes are becoming more fine tuned to the peculiarities of the non-animal bodies in this polar environment. One of these is the moon, who seems often to rise and set with me when everyone else is asleep; another kind of lonely body rolling around the number 28.

    0000 I stand out side at midnight watching the light being pulled and muffled as the clouds pass over the moon. I wonder how I might keep this moment in a drawing. How I might use my body some how anthropometrically to comprehend her distance from here and mark her passage across the sky at night. I think of my friend Emily Parsons-Lord back in Perth and how she'd laugh at me, here in the dark, sleep deprived in the middle of the night holding my bones up to the sky at strange angles trying to remember how to spell pleiades.

    I give up on trying to make myself part of this moment and instead just watch. Deciding I'll return to watch the moon set at 0346.



    A 'Dipper' bird

    Day 9 December 2nd

    wake time 1100 scheduled bedtime 0540

    1250 After yesterday's successful lake walk without falling through the ice, I decided to do my morning's run along the same route. There had been a bit of snow over night so the ice was mostly covered but I still wore my trusty shoe spikes to stop myself from slipping. In all my days of running, I'd say this would be up there with the most enjoyable. It certainly beat the current track to Norway along death highway (the one road into Kilpisjarvi from Norway covered by ice and snow with no foot paths, minimal street lights and many massive trucks).

    I ran up to the bank where the husky sled rides depart, and just around the corner discovered a quiet little river tucked up in the earth and flowing into the ice. I kept my distance but as I caught my breath and took in the surprise at moving water I saw a little dark dumpy bird with a white bib hopping about on the rocks dipping periodically right under the water. On returning to the station I confirmed my suspicions that I had seen a 'Dipper'.



    Day 8 December 1st

    wake time 0700 scheduled bedtime 0140

    The first day of the official Polar Night begins (for me) at 0700. Today I want to experiment further with the dynamics of using a water based paint to capture this environment, and I see no better location than the Kilpisjarvi lake.

    drying a pre-prepared pallet of gouache on the heated bathroom floor to transport out to the lake

    1130 The light levels are still quite high here around midday as the sun skirts the horizon. Creating a kind of janus headed sunrise-sunset phenomena.

    While observations of animal bodies are few and far between, my observations of non-animal bodies are becoming more fine tuned. In particular the body of water that is the Kilpisjarvi lake. While her vastness had frightened me in the early morning darkness on the 29th, the exact same same space felt serene and tranquil as I sketched it the following day.

    My fascination with the lake begun with her surreal and haunting sound scape that played at various tempos during my outdoor adventures, though yesterday as we sat at her solid edges she was unusually silent- a sign the ice had settled. I had been curious for several days as to whether or not she was solid enough for me to venture out onto further. I discussed the situation with my mentor, Leena Valkeapaa, here at the station and she asked a local who confirmed it should be safe only 'avoid the black patches- as they may be rivers, just stay on the white bits'. These conversations, combined with my observations (husky dog sleds, skiers and snow-mobiles on the lake) convinced me today to walk, with Josh, further from the shore and explore her surface in greater detail.

    Above: Frozen over ice fishing hole (?)

    Below: a long ice crack uncovered

    Below: Ice boulderAbove: Ice sheet broken then refrozen

    Below: Husky sledders on the lake

    The first half of our walk was consumed with a kind of childish wonder at all the textures, colours and forms that could be found in and on the ice. The snow on the lake was been blown in fine mists over the deep midnight-blue tracks of animals, and machines left on the ice. The play between the white settled snow and the white mist made it look as though the mist was deliberately following the tracks.

    Not long into our trip, Josh discovered a patch of milky green ice, which was slightly slushy. We didn't get too close but it looked as though it may have been a patch of river- not quite frozen and definitely not black as we'd been warned. I decide this is the best place to do my watercolour, an amusing revisitation of yesterday's play between human will and environment which takes around 30minutes. 

    Josh starts to feel very cold so heads back to the station and I continue on for another hour, finding a second spot- (which turns out to be the WWII ammo dump site) to do a pen sketch of the lake and mountains as the light disappears.



    30th November 1200                                     

    Rise time 0300 - Scheduled bed time 2140

    30/11/2013 Sunrise 1200/ Sunset 1250

    Today marks the last time the sun will rise before the polar night begins. Just before 1200 Josh and I walked out to the edge of the frozen Kilpisjarvi lake. It has been a relatively constant -6degrees C and today is no exception. Even though (according to the Fins) it was not technically snowing, there was snow in the air.. which was coming from the sky.. and being blown onto us and everything in our vicinity... but of course not snowing.

    The chance to bathe our closed eyes in sunlight looked pretty dismal but despite the clouds we knew this was the last chance we were going to get to see a sunrise for some time. Josh sets up his camera to attempt a time lapse of the last sunrise and I begin to draw from 1200 at the lake side.

    From 1200 to 1250 I sit in the snow and sketch the space where the sun is rising behind the clouds. Using watercolour pencil to layer up colours as they emerge. By 1225 I have all the colours I can capture before the sun begins her descent.

    Prepared with a plastic cup of clean water pushed into the snow beside me I begin in a race against time to dissolve the pigment I have laid down into a painting of this landscape.  For the next 25 minutes I engage in a futile power play with the Arctic air.  My body, media and aesthetic control is at the mercy of the ruthless cold. The water in my cup wants desperately to freeze so I'm constantly agitating the icicles apart with my paintbrush.

    All the washes I make freeze in motion, locking pigment in chunky patches and lines that I lose the fight in manipulating. My hands, feet and cheeks are totally numb. I notice my breath become heavy and laboured while my heart shifts into a lower gear. All the little survival red flags start warily raising their heads.

    At 1250 the sun has officially set. We pack up and walk back to the station. My fingers sting almost unbearable at warming and I'm cold to the core for another 2 hours.



    Drawn and written annotations of environmental light from an otherwise dark space: N69º 02.628' E020º 46.219 Elevation 483 facing NNE towards street and Mt Saana from Kilpisjarvi Biological station.

    29th November 0220 In an attempt to document the unique experience of the environmental light in my surroundings up here in the Arctic I have begun drawing in the dark. My first environmental light drawings were of the Northern Lights (0000 26/11/2014).

    The drawing documented here became more about the written record of my observations upon a looslely representative sketch of the landscape I was observing. The layers of written thought and observation were built over time as my eyes adjusted to the light.

    The focus of this work was on the artificial lights in this space; street lamps, etc. These are what they are, and they aren't going anywhere, but I am interested in how they change the natural landscape and perhaps how they pollute the vision and bodily rhythms of animals (humans included) who inhabit it.

    I decided not to look at the 'finished' drawing in full light. Instead I used my mobile phone to document it in patches. I found this splintered presentation of my own undertsanding (back to me) to be really interesting. Torches and mobile lights provide such a limited feild of vision yet are such a common way for us vision heavy humans to engage with darkness. Subsequently this really illuminates our nocturnal inadequacies.

    The act of drawing in the dark has allowed me to understand the significance of this environment in a way that I don't believe I would if I could see my drawing emerge. This is a process I will continue to build on through out this project, and soon any time of the day will be perfect for it.

    In addition to my explorations of light and dark through drawing I am becoming interested with the nature of memory when one is out of kilter with their natural sleep/wake cycle. One symptom of sleep deprivation is a lack of short-term memory. This has been the first and strongest change in my wake-time functioning so far.

    My inability to structure comprehensive sentences and linear trains of thought in conversation is markedly effected but, as I wrote in my journal (26112014_2020) when you write it's not so bad 'cause you can just look back and remind yourself where you have come from. The whole record of thought is accessible in one glance.

    I wanted to capture the chaos of my though process and communication in this strange mental twighlight zone through drawing. Depriving myself of visual access to my written or drawn train of thought served this purpose perfectly, as well as illuminating my dyslexic propensity. The layering of words and sentences upon drawn representations of space and one another wasn't intentional, though I made no effort to avoid it.



    Standing on the frozen lake edge sketching fox prints

    29th November 0900 As mentioned in an earlier post I am finding the pursuit, documentation and study of the animal tracks here to be really fascinating. Based on my morning's explorations of dark and light through drawing I decided to make some 'in the field' studies of some animal traces in the snow near the start of the track up Mt Saana.

    The physical act of drawing -as is so often the case- began to throw up different ideas about how I might continue to use drawing to describe this environment. In addition to this, and perhaps more importantly, the process of drawing in -6ºC also made me consider how the environment influences the process of drawing.On returning to the warmth I noted the significance of the act of drawing in this environment:

    fox tracks and poop by rock

    MARK MAKING to find animal traces in the snow to draw, I make my own animal traces in the snow, then I collect traces with traces on paper.

    BODY my fine motor skills are effected by the cold and restricted by the clothing I have to wear to protect me from the cold. My movements are blocky, simple and at times insufficient or over wrought in executing a desired action. I also get shaky hands which change the quality of my line work. I often can't see clearly,my eyes and nose water a lot and the condensation of my breath rises to combine with this forming tiny icey droplets on my lashes.

    TIME the time I have to make a drawing in this environment is limited by how long my body can stay warm and in particular how my hands can function at this temperature. I have to be very efficient in my set up, as I only can work for minutes at a time and every second spent on fluffing about is counted by my cooling body and one off my drawing time. The light changes so quickly too, that if I want to see what I'm doing I have to pick a very specific time of the day.

    Vole (?) hole with piss and shit

    MEDIA graphite pencil is hard to grip or manoeuvre with gloves but the style of drawing can change to compensate for this. I have started using crayons and coloured pencils too, as the colours here are fascinating and deserve attention. The fatty wax of the crayon becomes exponentially brittle in the cold and requires a very rough application to get it to make any marks. The coloured pencil works well, though, especially the soft 'watercolour' pencil variety. The fact that watercolour would freeze at this temperature too is fascinating and I intend to play with this in later work.

    Tomorrow 30th November between 1200 and 1250 the sun will rise for the last time before the polar night. I think this will be an appropriate time to attempt a longer drawing and experiment with watercolour media in sub 0.

  • Sunrise on Saana

    Sunrise on Saana

    0900 28th November the mountains started to turn blue again and I met with Josh to climb Saana. Today is the last forecast for clear weather before the darkness comes and I want to see the sunrise before bed.

    Maybe as a reward for my final realisation that 'life' here doesn't stop at the illusive fox, we came upon a little hawk owl on the way. No more than 35cm, with a serious set of eyebrows and inquisitively swivelling head which spins towards us at every rustle we made.

    At the top of the stepped part of the Saana walk we had a second 'new bird' experience of willow ptarmagrins- whom we had heard clacking, and burbling in the snow through out our assent. At first just one- but then as our eyes adjusted to the white we saw the snow was alive with tiny frantic bodies bustling about on urgent snow business.

    As the sun started to rise the sky on the opposite side turned pink along the cloud line. The lake below us was shrouded in mist, revealing shifting glimpses of all her frozen scars. We reached the top just in time to see the sun leaking over the horizon. At once beautiful and feeble- not this romantic 'eyes bathed in the life-giving light' that I'd imagined, but a humble and non-committal solar cameo.

    What little light there was, was delicious but the icey air cut us to the bone. I felt my body chill down fast and began to feel very very tired. We had hot water in turns out of the lid on our flask. On the way back I kept stumbling despite myself. Loosing my footing, forgetting how to step. I wanted to sleep in the snow and come back down tomorrow. But I made it home and that 'night' I slept the best yet.

  • Thoughts on life and lake

    Thoughts on life and lake

    Photo courtesy of Josh Crompton: wing beats in the snow

    0600 28th November In contradiction to my earlier fear of other beings out there on the lake, I returned to the station feeling a sense of deflation at the lack of wildlife I have seen so far. I write in my journal:

    There are no animals here apart from crows, tits [a type of BIRD] and two magpies. I am convinced that the foxes are made of the same snow dust that is kicked up by the trucks and left wrything on the highway. The tiny mammals who haven't left have frozen to death and their hunters have since starved. They have all become ghosts who go by in which ever parts of the night that I'm not occupying, leaving their wing beats and concave bits of feet in the snow. But the lake breaths and booms deeply from her belly like a bittern. Maybe I've been looking for life at the wrong frequency this whole time? I start to feel my eyes adjusting to the light. 

  • Animal

    When I set off on this project I was eager to use my new out-of-step sleep/wake cycle as tool to witness the natural life of Kilpisjarvi from different temporal perspectives. The concept of 'fox-watch' came and went and was upgraded to a less comfortable, but more productive series of excursions into the darkness on my own in order to observe what type of life may lurk by the lake at these non-human hours.The animal which revealed itself most powerfully and unsuspectingly in these adventures was me.

    0500 28th November , finding myself suddenly paralysed with fear out of no-where, standing alone staring into the deep blackness of the lake. Unable to see any one or thing near me and armed with nothing but a little torch in my pocket, I made the mistake of shining light into that vast mouth of dark- a flailing attempt at feeling secure.

    Such a tiny hollow of vision I could carve out for myself with this feeble tool that all I could illuminate was the sheer landless expanse of the cold icey plane before me, shuddering and moaning under my feet. Bouncing off snow and soaking into exposed stone I imagined my little light bouncing off bestial retinas out there in the dark. I felt chilled to the bone that I was no longer alone and my weapon, a tiny light suddenly became a beacon for my human vulnerability.I scampered up the bank to press my back against an empty building near by.

    Tachycardic like a little bunny and hot in the swaddle of my cold-weather gear (to stop me dying out here) I wait out the next hour in silence with my light off.

  • The Northern Lights (Kilpisjarvi)

    The Northern Lights (Kilpisjarvi)

    27th November 0000

    On my run I had noticed what looked to be the start of the Northern lights so after my midnight lunch I layered up and went out to see what I could see.

    What I saw was over an hour of spectacular northern lights twisting, dancing and 'needling' all across the sky in nebulous arcs stretching from the Kilpisjravi lake over to Mount Saana. The show was set against a sky contaning the brightest and most ubiquitous set of stars I've ever seen and the monotonous eerie booom-booom-booom of the lake ice shifting deep under it's surface.

    I stood in the cold with a sketchbook and 4b pencil making drawings with my neck cranked upwards. Next time I think I will try and use some different media, maybe crayon.

    Below: a selection of Northern lights drawings 27/11/2014 0030-0130

  • The true dark

    27th November notes from journal

    0300 alertness waning

             very lonely



    0340 v.v tired

    0433 shortness of breath

    0510 hitting a wall

     sick to death

    I honestly don't know how I will do this for a whole month

    0600 a dark hour

    0648 heart palpatations

    0800 walked back to lake. Ice booming. stars fading. lemming poo.

    I'll feel better 'tomorrow'

  • The sensation of being an outsider to my own body...

    26th November bed time 0540 - wake time 1500

    As before I only slept for about 5 hours, spending the remaining 4 hours and 20 minutes pondering the strange experience of being an outsider to my own physiology and how I might draw this. It is bizarre - when you physically experience your biological prompts (to eat/drink/excercise etc) decoupled from a 24 hour routine. They become kind of abstract sensations, requiring actual conscious cognitive assessment to decode.

    I tried to explain this to Josh after I returned from my 2nd 'morning'jog to Norway in the pitch black afternoon.I hadn't realised (until I looked at his perplexed-with-thinly-veiled-amusement face) that I have rapidly lost the ability to construct coherent verbal sentences.

    I'm starting to forget alot of things. My short term memory is almost entirely shot. I keep returning to my room and feeling like some-one has been in there- turning off/on lights, re-arranging my notebooks, plugging in chargers- but I know no-one else has been there in reality. I'm just doing things and forgetting. It's unsettling and I can see how people get paranoid when sleep deprived.

  • A review of 'day'... 4?

    A review of 'day'... 4?

    Above:'Fox Watch' a quick and dirty snap of self portrait sketched while trying to say awake 0440 26/11/14

    A review of 'day'... 4?  Bed time 0540 26th November - Rise time 1500

    'Fox watch' took place between 0440 and 0530 but produced no foxes. The extra 4 hours on the last scheduled bed time was pretty much excrutiating. In attempts to stop my brain from falling out of my head during fox watch, I stood in the dark at the window and sketched the sensations I was experiencing of my face trying to stay awake.

    Luckily, the earlier part of my day provided a jack-pot of new discoveries about this peculiar part of the world. Some of these took place 'in the feild' and some in the station library. In the morning Josh and I discovered a variety of bird houses (and birds) on site at the Biological station. We then walked along the edge of the frozen lake, investigating strange surface formations caused by the respiratory-like expansion and contraction of the ice sheets. In the layer of snow covering the ice we found another large collection of animal tracks, indicating this as a site worthy of ongoing observation.

    Willow Tit photo courtesy of Josh Crompton

    Above: Ice on Kilpisjarvi lake, photo courtesy of Josh Crompton

    Below: a seductively vast collection of ornothological texts

    Following our 1900hr Brunch (Josh's dinner my lunch) we discovered the library. Amongst a collection of fascinating inspirational texts on the the polar night and the biology of Arctic organisms Josh discovered this photographic gem (pictured below) and a book on animal track identification which we pawed over for some time (pun itended). We did our best not to be distracted (too much) by the bird books.

    Between 20:00 and 23:00 I was lost in research- and became particularly fascinated by a text on the Saami and their cultural concepts of time and seasonality including the significance of the dark time or skamba.

  • Day 3: Circadian Rhythm Intact

    Day 3: Circadian Rhythm Intact

    More about the Polar Night Project

    November 25th wake time 1100/ sleep time scheduled for 0540 November 26th

    Last night was my first real 'out of synch' sleep period, falling between 0140 and 1100 (25th November). Following a strict routine of exercise, food, caffeine and blue-light intake/cessation, while adhering to my adapted version of the rules for sleep hygiene, I was interested to see how flexible my body would be to this newly imposed non-circadian routine.

    By 0000 I was starving for sleep. The last 1 hour and 40 minutes dragged like 3am on a night shift. At one point I even tried to convince myself that I could do 'fox-watch' (a period of time before sleep where I have all the lights off in my room but the blinds are open so I can watch the goings on out side) from my bed...lying down...under the blankets. I don't know who I was trying to swindle.

    Despite my later than usual bed time (and previously elongated hours of wake) my body decided by 0750, that same morning, to be awake. I stubbornly stayed in bed- eye mask on- until 11am as scheduled before strapping spikes onto my trainers and going for a short jog to the Finnish/Norwegian border at sunrise (1109).

    So for now it appears my body is not convinced by this new routine. Tonight's bed time is 0540 (November 26th) I have been equally strict with my food/coffee/light/exercise/sleep hygiene- even having my first bout of active 'Bright Light Therapy' for 2 and a half hours at my midday equivalent. I will be interested to see the results tomorrow.

    For each 28 hour period I am monitoring my sleep/wake cycles with an actigraph based device while simultaneously performing qualitative assessments of my biological and physiological states. In a few days I hope to have collected sufficient data to begin building a picture of how my biorhythm has (or has not) been manipulated by 28 hour routine.

    Artistically my response to the bodily sensations of this project have been significant. My body's experience of the cold, the dark, the sensation of being so out-of-step with my own biological rhythm, the lust for polar opposites in both sleep and wake at their extremes have all been greatly inspiring. I will engage in a series of drawings to explore these over the next few days.

    Now I am so tired an my blue-light cessation time is nigh... counting down the hours til dinner, 'fox-watch' and sleep.

  • Day 2: a Polar Night Study

    Day 2: a Polar Night Study

    Photo above and below courtesy of Josh Crompton

    24th November wake time 0700 Today's main activity was to maximise our light exposure by taking a walk up Mt Saana to see the sunrise at 1101. The day was already pretty bright by about 0930, with the snow illuminating and amplify the rising rays and bathing everything in blue. At sunrise a wide jaundice band of light replaced the icey hues of the dawn sky which now became streaked with shades of lifeless grey and marshmallow-pink. The mist in the atmosphere caused the boundary between mountain and sky to dissolve in places. Even a perfect recreation of this would make the cheesiest watercolour painting.

    Along the way I became fascinated by the range of animal tracks embedded in the snow. Some meandered seemingly aimlessly while others displayed more dynamism, perhaps chase or play. There were several that lead into burrows under rocks and snowed over hollows. Each set of marks implied a partial narrative, some where elaborated on my the presence of excreta near by. I am interested in further investigating the tracks and traces of other bodies in this harsh environment and exploring the significance of mark making in snow through out this project. I will revisit and continue to document the sites of major activity (marked in my GPS log) over the month.

    Above: Tracks leading into a hole under a rock. Fox?

    Below: Lemming(?) hole with excreta and sinister termination of fox(?) tracks

    The snowed over record of a man (?) taking a piss off the side of the track (?)

    We had heard that snow was coming in the afternoon. We got 880m up before we lost sight of the trail beneath the snow, which we were falling into it at increasing depths as we trudged. By 1200 an ominous grey cloud began to approach along with a cutting cold wind (and deeper snow) so decided to make an overly cautious decision to wander back down prematurely.

    Eating snacks in the snow while Josh takes photos.

    My nuts are freezing

  • Day 1: a Polar Night Study (part 2)

    Day 1: a Polar Night Study (part 2)

    November 23rd 13:00 I arrive at the Biological Station on Sunday so it's especially quiet. It is minus 12 Degrees C outside, but the station is cosy.  The sun begins to set. My assistant (and boyfriend) Josh and I decide to take a stroll to the supermarket.The excursion is a 2hour return walk along a dark snowy highway. I roller-coaster between feelings of both ecstasy and disillusion at this extreme version of an otherwise mundane task.

    We were going to cook up a curry but instead we ate raw carrots and sat in my room gazing past one another with one-thousand mile stares.

    He will go to bed (next door) when ever he likes. I will go to bed at 21:40, as schduled.

  • Day 1: a Polar Night Study

    Day 1: a Polar Night Study
    A view from my room at the Kilpisjarvi Biological Station

    November 23 The project begins at 03:00.

    I was not 100% sure of the exact hour I would wake to begin my project even though the hour of waking would determine my schedule for the rest of the month. I vaugely considered rising at a reasonable hour- like 06:00- but my restless niece had other plans and so I have been awake since 03:00.

    I began my explorations into the wilderness at 07:00 with a short cross-country ski along a lit track at Salmivaara. My sister joined me- a kind of 'farewell' adventure. She's much better at skiing than me (having lived in the Arctic for almost 7 years now) so often had time to kill while waiting for me to catch up.

    At one point I found her waiting up ahead in a forest area where the track had become very gnarly and was no longer lit. When I caught up she whispered to me to be quiet, turn off my head lamp and listen.I did as instructed and heard a deep, almost subsonic groan echoing through the forest, followed by a drawn out crack- like breaking trees- then a vibratory boom, gurgle and silence.

    "What the hell is that?" I asked. She didn't know. We listened and heard it again wondering where it was coming from. At first it was coming from the south, then south-east then south-west. We decided that if it was an angry bear or moose we would have met it by now so stayed put in the darkness and listened, with hoar frost forming frames about our faces.

    "It's the ice" my sister suddenly clicked. "The ice out on the lake expanding and cracking in big sheets." We listened again and sure enough the sounds matched- the boom, the crack, the travelling sound, the slosh and gurgle of water. I shivered from the cold and from the utterly sublime nature of the moment. 

    We got back to our cabin just before the full sunrise, packed our bags and headed the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station where we said our goodbyes for the month.

  • Before the sun sets: Part 5 (Kilpisjarvi)

    Before the sun sets: Part 5 (Kilpisjarvi)

    November 22nd 11:00 My last day of a normal 24hour life for a month. The sun rises closer to 11:00 now and will be set before 14:00.I begin my project tomorrow. In one week there will be no sunrise at all, and if the weather changes in the next day or two this may well be the last time I see it like this again before the polar night. I am lucky to have my last 'human' day with clear sky. I will take every opportunity now to savour the sunlight.

    1 more sleep...

  • Before the sun sets: Part 4 (Kilpisjarvi)

    Before the sun sets: Part 4 (Kilpisjarvi)

    November 21st 16:00 We drove from Tromso, Norway to Kilpisjärvi, Finland. The sun set around 14:00 when we arrived it was completely dark. There is much more snow here than in Tromso and it is much colder too. Everything is covered in hoar frost. It is more beautiful, still and surreal than I could have imagined. This will be my home for one month. My project begins in two days but for now I have one more day and two nights of human sleep left.

  • Before the sun sets: Part 3

    Before the sun sets: Part 3

    November 20th Tromso, Norway I rose at 5am to go for a run. Showered, dressed, ate breakfast, drunk coffee, hitched a ride to the postal depot at the other end of the island and picked up my box of daylight- the bright-light therapy lamp which will be my life blood for this project.

    I began my walk home around 09:30 the sun was rising. My hands were freezing. When I got home I felt it was still 6am. 4 of my hours were suspended in time by the darkness and summed up as 60minutes by my lizard brain. I will make a drawing of this.

    3 sleeps...