Update on the Trip’s Two Antagonists: Giant and the Lion’s Mane

As the trip has progressed, my two antagonists – Giant and the Lion’s Mane – have continued their struggles to make my adventures more difficult (or arguably more interesting – depends on how you want to look at it.) For those interested, here is an update on our struggles:

The Lion’s Mane

One day, after a shower, I decided to let the Mane free so it could dry (rather than immediately putting it into a braid as I have been doing, since it was cold outside and braiding it means my hair stays wet for days.) Two hours later, the Mane had poofed up to mature male lion’s mane levels and had arranged itself in the most tangelled manner it could manage. Attempting to get a brush through the Mane was not easy that night – I am pretty sure I pulled out an eighth of my hair. Lions Mane = 3; Lena = -1 (because I gave myself a headache with that damned hairbrush).

Most days I am conscience enough of the Mane’s evil plans, so I keep it in a braid. But recently Ashleigh commented: “You know, the Lion’s Mane gets more poofy throughout the day…” Yes, yes it does. Why? Because it is trying its damned hardest to escape the braid prison. To my dismay (and the Lion’s Mane’s pleasure) I have to re-braid it at least 2 times at day. But the majority of the days I will have to more than twice – the wind and the zipper on my jacket work to Lion’s Mane’s advantage by pulling out strands of hair progressively throughout the day. Lion’s Mane has definitely won the braid prison battle since often I will end up giving up for a day or two – only to have to pull out half my hair with the hairbrush again later. 

Summary of the battle with the Lion’s Mane: It keeps winning, and I need a haircut. Desperately.


Since its so cold outside, and we have been traveling through countries where snow or rain are possible, I have been keeping my travel/rain cover on Giant whenever we travel. Which is a huge blue cover, that – as a new friend at the hostel in Zurich put it – “Looks like an overgrown smurf.” 😂 Thankfully most of the trains we have taken recently have empty luggage racks, so Giant doesnt have to have a seat to itself anymore, but every time we are waiting for trains Giant sits next to me on a chair (it is the easiest way to put it back on later.) As Ashleigh aptly put it:

Summary of the battle with Giant: Even after liposuction (my parents taking most of the stuff in it home), Giant is still bigger than me. And if Giant decided it wanted to, I’m pretty sure it could crush me….

But at least Giant is fun to cuddle with:

And so the battles continue….. 

PS Dad – I have lost the battles with the Lion’s Mane and Giant, but I am still alive.

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