Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Foundry R2

I had totally forgotten that it was round 2 of the foundry comp until I recieved Alain's text. Checked with Ned (not that I didn't believe Alain, but people are occasionally wrong) and sure enough it was on. I was in two minds about going as I wanted to go back on the board. I reminded myself that the board would still be there tomorrow and I really should go to the comp. Caned it home, had a coffee and some food and headed down to the wall.
Mondays are a funny night to climb on. Although you should be all full of beans following the weekend rest its as if the shock of getting up to go to work makes you more tired than you should be. Anyway, I felt off the pace. I think I should have cut my fingernails. They weren't really long enough to warrant cutting them (or so I thought), but pulling on small holds made the ends of them hurt.
There were only three problems that required serious application, and two of those should have been steady. Ned and Tony Mussels were in attendance and despite sporting some form of lurgy, Ned was unflappable and ever strong whilst Tony just didn't fall off. A paltry 126 was my final score. Of the three I didn't flash I should really have done 2. I ought to have flashed the one on the board - but was trying to be Ned, and the other I could have done had I had about a million goes, but I knew I was capable, which is frustrating. The one problem I don't think I would have done wasn't the hardest one there - I just couldn't do it. It involved bridging into the bomb bay and a teetering match on a slippery sloper. Both unpleasant and terrifying - left it. Think Ned will have submitted at least 132? Tony did the one I couldn't do in a million years, but didn't do the one on the board which I did (in two goes), so I would have thought he will be 130-something too.

Monday, 26 November 2007

The great weekend of lard

Its not been a great weekend in health terms. Friday we were tired, so we went to the chippy for the first time in years. It was nice. Drank beer, went to sleep. Saturday started with a lard based cooked breakfast, then down through the Peak to Congleton for a wedding. Next feed was at about 1600 - full wedding scran. Nice but had direct result of giving me toxic pumps (at one point I farted on the dancefloor and cleared quite a large area), then a bacon butty at about 10pm. Much alcohol consumed, and attractive red wine teeth to boot. At least the new suit was good. Slow day yesterday culminating in kids tea in the evening. This week I shall redress the balance.

Friday, 23 November 2007

11000000 10101000

Thursday is my work from home day. Its a good day to work from home as by that point in the week I start to tire and need a lie in. I still get up at 8 but when you regularly get up at 0550 even that feels like a lie in. Went to see James at lunchtime to deliver sandwiches and captains of crush #1. Was delighted that I could easily close it still. Its been ages since I have even been near them, so that was a pleasant suprise. Rich the Mad Hatter turned up in head to toe lycra and a flash Omega Seamaster watch.
I felt like I was going to tear the board down when I arrived. It was cold, I was psyched - had great energy and was full of beans. James and I had discussed that my 'warm up circuit' was perhaps a bit long and might be impacting my actual delivery. Cut it in half but felt unprepared and started falling off. Actually, I dont think it was just that - I was typing on my laptop between goes and I think I was getting pumped from that! Once the rot had set in and I thought I was rubbish I lived up to my expectations and acheived nothing. Bumped into Alain and the Mosenator. Roy has super fly mountain bike - I cant wait until I get one (January). Still cant run because of this wierd achilles tendon injury, so biking will be my CV exercise...
Paul has done a new iteration of the book, which looks ace. A nice new feature is an extract of all that is new pinned to the board. Am pleased that the book is in safe hands. He is in font and wants to know whereabouts at Buthiers Atomic Playboy is. I dont know (having only been twice), but I will endeavour to find out.
Finally. Keith issued a challenge to Paul. He said that he had a blog but that noone would find it. I took an educated guess and found it. I linked it here, and now everyone is taking the piss on UKB. I should have kept it under my hat. Sorry Keith. There is another argument, which is that if you post piffle then you can expect piss taking. You could also say that none of us understand as it was too high brow for us. Ah well. Sorry Keith.
Finally, big wedding this weekend, so no climbing for me.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Florence Nightingale

I went to see James last night. He has been potted yesterday and is now sporting a natty hot pink (non weight bearing) cast on his foot. We discussed many pressing issues of the day, including the price of fish, james Pearsons flashing 8a+, what a nice chap ed robinson is and the machiavellan training he can perform during his enforced lay off. 6-8 weeks off work, the cast is on until Jan the 8th. The baron instructed me to deliver a kiss between the bum cheeks, but Lauren came back. Anyway, its just occured to me that I could take that old weight bench from the school round and we could turn him into a lou ferrino lookalike!

Tried to do all the comp problems at the works. Felt wrecked before starting, but hoped that I would loosen off. I didnt, just got pumped. Chatted to Travs who has hurt his back just before a trip away. Rubbish.

So want to go to Switzerland. Mentioned it to the monster and she says to go if I want... Am thinking of end Jan. Roy, Rob and Andy are going on the 5th of Jan, but thats just too early for me. Ed Brown is keen, Lee Anderson and Ned are interested too. Will be cheap as chips. Anyway, day off today, then back to the board with fresh skin and psyche tomorrow...

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Project initiation

Amoeba assassin is well hard. There's a move in the middle that involves pinching a screw on foothold with the left hand and making a hard stab up to a reasonable DR hold. Its a 1 in 3 or 4 move (i.e. success is as frequent as once in 3 goes), so I reminded myself how to do it, then I went back to the start. Thankfully, the start is steady, but taking the pinch and moving off it is different to setting it up perfectly and then moving off it, not massively - like on some problems, but enough that it adds something. I have also learnt to hold the swing off the DR hold and again, thankfully, its mercifully easy from there to the top. It remains a project.

Started seriously looking at Stuey 5 bellies last night (a problem Jerry does on the real thing), and for the first time did it from green pinch c12 to the top (I know this isnt the crux), but more interestingly, dont think I am that far from being able to take C12. Its going to be all about the left foot paste I think. That too remains a project.

Poor James Foley. He is going to be out for ages. He reckons between 6-8 weeks off work! has all manner of scans and stuff booked in, so his rehab could not be better assisted. I intend to pop round on Thursday. He has started a flickR stream, which has a massive 8 pictures on : http://www.flickr.com/photos/21056869@N06/. Better go, I need a poo.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Bad Karma

It kind of worked - the not over analysing thing I mean. I say kind of, because although i didn't succeed I got really close, and it really should have happened. I don't expect to see anyone else at Rubicon at this time of year, but there was a familiar face warming up. Familiar enough to say I recognised him but didn't actually know his name, anyway, he was out to do low left. The sun was fully on the Kudos wall but for once there was a light breeze which made all the difference. Mystery man did low left on his first proper try which was a good effort. He was doing it the go again off the sloper way, which I briefly tried but found hard. When you have invested a lot in a sequence and you know you can do it your way, its nearly impossible to change late in the day as you won't try the new way properly (unless its loads easier). Had a ranging go, felt ok. Ned, Dan Variable and Kev from Leeds turn up with a small dog in a tartan coat. I have an amazing rinse out selecta go, having first emptied my mind and I climb positively to the top position, my left foot stabs to the smear but I scuffle off it and weakly slap at the jug but its not even a serious go and I am off. Have a rest, the others get involved with various bits and pieces and I have another amazing go, getting a finger over the finishing jug but not holding it... the disappointment from Dan Ned and Kev is palpable. Dan or Ned suggests God is punishing me for something (perhaps its all the bitching?). Having come so close I know I can do it. I've not tired by this point so it could still be in the can later on. I take my shoes off and have a rest. Two other guys who Ned knows turn up, one of them to try Tsunami. I roll my eyes subconciously, as I know the sloper doesnt cope well with traffic. This guy is dead keen but miles off, and he has greasy tips. The sloper becomes unusable - I give up and go do Caviar instead.

Cafe favorites tip of the week - Cafe Ceres on Sharrowvale road. Dont go if you are in a rush, as the service is leisurely, but the food is ace, and if you have time its a nice relaxed pace. Out to a lesbian dance club in town for someones birthday in the evening, back at 0330 - drunk. Sunday did bimbling jobs. Today is a board day, tomorrow possibly the works with Ned - or maybe even their board... weds dont know, thurs and fri doing something, as we have a big wedding next weekend, so I wont be out.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Zen and the art of crimping

I reckon the answer could be to totally empty your mind before making an attempt. I shall try to be zen today, not to notice anything other than what I am doing. I'm not going to think about the what I am doing later, what I will do if I do it questions, just the doing it.

Watch this space

Friday, 16 November 2007


So. In all the excitement of James and his dildocation I haven't written anything else this week, but to be honest, thats because nothing much has happened. Wednesday night I went to the school all psyched to do the Amoeba Assassin. Have gone backwards. What is it with me and hard problems I really want to do? I have a session where I streak to within a gnats ass of success and then I don't get back there for months... Perhaps I get myself worked up when I think I am going to do something that I care about doing, and I dont do so well. When I suprise myself by not thinking I will do something, I do better. That I get to the end on an early go and then dont get back there at least supports that theory, but perhaps I am just cossetting my ego? perhaps I just had a lucky go and wasnt really up to the job after all. Honestly though, I think its more to do with headstress (but then I would say that).

Its the same with comps. In the foundry comp, where I dont really care, I am having fun and there is no pressure, I do well. I dont mean I would usually win in a BBC or anything, I mean that I feel I realise my potential better. When I climb in 'important' comps, I am shitting myself and I dont do well. Feel a weight was lifted when I stopped comping seriously. Will still do odd one, but not going to be as focussed as I was. My neuroses are all consuming!

So, tomorrow morning I shall drive the familiar drive to Rubicon, where I shall once again hope to end my obsession with the kudos wall. I find myself sat at the bottom of the wall looking at the holds, cleaning them (almost obsessively) and mentally thinking about what I will do when I have done it. Which is, I think, part of the problem. I dont want to do it any more, I want to have done it. Which is probably why I haven't done it. This autumn has made up for the summer in my opinion. Its been mint. I'm looking forwards to going back to the plantation, I'm psyched for west side story, brad pitt and so on, but whilst Rubicon is still climbable and I have things to do, I will feel like I have unfinished business.

So, other news from Swiss : Char has done Franks wild years. Is this 8a or 8a+now? Its a fucking good effort whatever it is. I thought it was desperate, but it was tshirt weather when James and I tried in January. The team who carried James down from Chironico included Chris Davies who had done le Prou earlier in the week. Apparently they were all heroes. Of course, had I been there I would have caught him (and then done dreamtime, kirk windtain and la boule) and none of it would have been necessary. Poor bugger estimates a lengthy recovery which is fucking shit being completely honest. James, you are a rubbish climbing partner - firstly you go and become a doctor and have mad hours, then you go and do this. Honestly, you are holding me back. Actually, thinking about it, perhaps routes is the answer for you during rehab? maybe I will get to do some routes after all!

Tonight is the works comp. I popped in to do some computer work for them and had a scout of the problems, as well as an introduction to Jacky Godoffe thanks to Perc. Seems like a lovely chap (jacky, not percy - he's a right cnut;-)) problems look good, but its saturday tomorrow, and it will be clear and cold, and I am going to get some success on the rocks. Yeah...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Foleys Foot

Got a text from Ed Robinson last night :

an interesting development today with foley dislocating his ankle...been to hospital, all sorted now, but I think he is out for a while. Grim!

Shit! poor James. Turns out he fell off something near freak brothers. Dont know whether he will stay for duration, he seems to be in good spirits at least. He then sent through this picture...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Dr Pinch does Dr Pinch

I have just had a text from James Foley, who is in Switzerland (I am so jealous), it reads :

"So beast. Currently weather is good. I did a 7b, 7b + and a few 7as. Ed did dr pinch and did really well on franks. Keith flashed cliques! Nearly did monolith which is mega classic, raped my skin though! Very atypical chironico, well good."

Damn it! cant remember whether Dr Pinch is 8a or 8a+. Good effort Ed 'the human pinching machine' robinson. I am so jealous. Have I said that already? Wonder what sort of temps they are getting? Oh god, I wish I was there. Never mind. Keith flashing cliques is notable too. He must be going well. Ed should be able to do Franks, as it involves pinching. Cant think why he hasnt tried it before.

Went to the board on Monday with Paul, Masonic Dave and James Pearsons. Paul did stuey, James tried it with a weight belt on and I felt like I might have moved an infinitesimal amount closer to amoeba assasin. All the hand moves are ok, theres just a hideous release to contend with. Anyway, rematch tomorrow. Damn those swiss chimps.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Necrotic Neuroses

Think I am trying to fight off some sort of hideous illness. I dont feel bad per se, but I dont feel a full shilling either. Weather over Sheffield was pretty clement all weekend, so it probably would have been rubbish in the peak anyway. This is where Jon would have gone out questing around grit edges and perhaps struck lucky and where I wouldnt have bothered and gone training. Trainer or a climber? Trainer when its raining!
Finished work at 1500 on friday and drove to manchester to collect the honey monster. Went to see Groove Armada at the Apollo. Queue at bar prohibitive and therefore fairly undrunk. However, before setting out had a blast on a jingo that our hosts produced and it nearly sent me over the edge! This happened in Ibiza when I had a jingo between coastline and cafe mambo, a bit like a whitey but without sickness - more of a panic attack or something. Horrible. Anyway, we got into the Apollo and I went all hot and claustrophobic, one of those situations when you cant say anything to anyone cos thats like admitting that there's something wrong and makes it worse in your head, so I took myself off to the doorway and fought the neuroses. Pretty convinced that this is all completely in my head. When I force my mind off it and think about something happy I can lift myself back from the edge - but as soon as I think about it again, I am back in! Whats happened to me? I used to be such a westie! Anyway, got it together and had a good night, even managed to be back on form before Groove Armada came on, so n'obbut a fleetin thing.
I had to go suit shopping on saturday. Feel a bit resentful about spending a lot of money on smart clothes. Am not a smart suit sort of person. Have three weddings in the next six months, but at £550 thats £183 a wear! assuming it gets no other outings. Actually, there is a man who climbs in a suit at the Leeds wall, perhaps its the future?
Sunday went to the board for an hour. Climbed like a donkey. Tonight board, Wednesday perhaps board, thursday works in day, friday nowt, saturday morning board, sunday depends - will have been out on saturday night, have to see what state am in...

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Hot hands disease

I think I have a rare and debilitating condition which I have identified as 'Hot Hands Disease'. I need it to be really chuffing cold for my hands to be anything other than soft and warm. Perhaps I have really poor skin which wears really fast or something, but unless its properly cold my hands get really hot, and hot means soft. Trying to use small holds with hot soft skin is not a happy combination. When you have soft skin it rolls on small holds and they dig in - hurting the flesh, causing a lack of conviction. Basically, you give half hearted attempts because it hurts.

Its clear overhead in Sheffield tonight, which means the suns heat has radiated back out to space and the ambient temperature is c.o.l.d. The school board was 'in nic' this evening. It was so cold in that little room that application of a coat between attempts was acceptable practice. Compadres for this evening were Mr Paul 'laps on stuey' Bennet, Natalie 'fred nicole' notbennetdontknowhersirname_sorry and Ultra G Dave Parry.

Lets talk about Pork and Beans. My good friend Mr Bradbury will no doubt assert that it is 7c+. Its in the book at 7c+/8a. I think its 8a. Its harder than the 7c+'s I have done. I repeated two fluffy after climbing Pork and Beans (for reference) and I think its easier. Perhaps I have a wack sequence, or there is a weakness there or something, but I think its hard. Had a good session tonight. Pretty 'syked' to do amoeba assasin too.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

The blog of dob hits the big time

You know you have made it when your readers phone you up to get you to update your blog! sadly, thats just my perception of the call I just had, the reality is that my friends want to laugh at my top tips (or my tip, or something). So, tightwads, here it is, that GQ article :

click on either page to make it bigger. If you read any of it, read the top tips - very funny indeed. The wrist is not mine, apparently I'm too scrawny.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Bits and bobs

Monday nights at the School are a funny thing. After a sunday off where I have usually enjoyed a lie in, i should be full of beans, but going back to work after a weekend seems a shock to the system and I always strong but tire fast. It will be an interesting winter up there this year, since we weeded out the dead wood and took on new keen members I think it may well be busy this year. Which reminds me, I need to check the finances and see whether our newest members have paid (manana, manana!). Nice note on the wall from Keith, who I think is in Belgium? Paul's Bennet and Smitton, the good doctor, vicky hurley and Helen. Notables - Bennet did Stuey. It looks fab, got all keen, but think its a hard. Bennet nearly did snot - looks amazing too. Need to open an account - am saving it for the flash! Did Smitton do Turd Reich? cant actually remember, he is more than capable mind. Good to see James, who goes to Swizzy at the weekend. I am insanely jealous, but not only do i have no holiday left, I am skintito, so theres no way in this earth it could have happened!

**the above was written in the airport on the way back from Edinburger, then they did a final call and I had to run for the plane, hence its late**

I have actually got some pictures to show you, but cant upload them until lunchtime. Ah well, sure you will cope.

Monday, 5 November 2007

El Roacho

I have had a lovely weekend. Ex housemate Liza was over on Friday night with the intention of inspecting Baby Morrison-Clark on Saturday. Went to the cinema to see Stardust, an uplifting easy watching happy experience - just the ticket to put the lid on a working week. 
Obviously, it must have rained in the Peak on Friday night, as whilst Saturday morning was dry, there was lots of moisture about  the roads were wet and Mr Bennett reported hanging fog over burbage way. Pushed on to rubicon and warmed up - ok in the shade, but the sun was beating down on the Kudos wall and I didn't even try. Wasn't bothered being completely honest, the meat of the day was at the Roaches, it was there I was excited about going. Stopped in Buxton Morrisons to collect supplies. Buxton is a  spa town in the middle of the Peak district with some regal buildings, nice parks, old people and chavs. I once spent a night on a park bench in Buxton, having hitched there before getting stranded. Great road out of Buxton to the Roaches, good surface, sweeping bends etc etc. If ever I get a fast car I will detour on the way home from the garage. Had spotted in the guide a pub called the winking man, which is a great name for a pub, so earmarked it for a way home pint. It looked thoroughly shit. Turned right past the Rock pub (which looks much better) and up the road to the rocks. Is the first thing you see on the right Hen Cloud? is very impressive. The rocks were very dark, as though they were still wet - which indeed, they were. Parked up beneath the Whillans hut (what is the score with this? presumably you have to be attached to a climbers club or something) which was festooned with a Brixton Climbers flag. The flag contained a skull and crossbones, which made me think the Brixton climbers were probably pissed up city boys. There were certainly lots of people out, striding about in head to toe gore tex proclaiming at the top of their voices in southern accents how extreme they were.
On the recommendation of Dr Pinch himself (ed robinson), we missed out the spring boulders and headed to the lower tier. Unfortunately there was quite a lot of wetness about. Did some fun stuff including 'Staffordshires best easy problem' - three pockets diagonally crossing an off vertical wall. Awesome. Had to have about a million goes (3) - such a technique donkey! where I was reaching the top pockets, running my feet up the wall beneath me and reaching onto the slab and trying to palm it, I should have high stepped to the dish on the right and rocked over. I didnt figure this out by myself, had to wait for someone else to point the way. I think perhaps thats why I get on so well with boards, limestone and bearing down, I must lack imagination - the "Adam Long (patent pending) movement laboratory" brain hemisphere is underdeveloped. If you show me how to climb something, I will be able to do it, but if you leave me to work it out, chances are I wont. I need to surround myself with brilliant climbers who can show me how to do things. Its another reason, that if ever I did a new problem I would be troubled grading it - probably I would have a wack sequence. Apparently Ben Moon had the same problem. 
The next problem was a fun dyno round the other side of the same bloc, then something called the gutter. Rounded off the lower tier on Inertia Reel. Oh My God. Given I had failed to see the sequence on a 6a the chances of my thrutching up this beastly contortion were slim. The guide off puttingly states that many a finger pulley has been ruptured by that undercut, which immeadiately put me on the defensive. I don't know what you have to do to succeed on that problem, but it seems desparate. I managed to pull on and hold the position undercutting fiercely with my left and palming with my right, but I couldnt move and didn't do any of the rest of it.
Finished the day off on top where I just did some fun bimbling problems. The light was absolutely amazing. Just a lovely red orange sunset - Beautiful. Headed back down to Helen's car and drove to the Rock - shut til 6. Pushed on to the red lion in litton (been taken over, serves farmers blonde) for a quick pint before home. All in, a lovely day out, not massively overwhelmed by the roaches, but didnt see it all. Mushin looks fab but was soaked, no idea about inertia reel and the traverse looks dead hard. Props to Helen for driving.
Sunday, went for a walk. Today board, tomorrow in Edinburgh all day, Wednesday maybe the works? Thursday will be works or board, Friday going to see Groove Armada in Manchester, then suit shopping on saturday, sunday dont know. Sigh.

Friday, 2 November 2007

British team secrets...

I think i need a dictaphone. I keep thinking of things to write about but by the time I get to do anything about them I have forgotten what it was I wanted to say. I'm reading Paul Pritchard's 'Totem Pole' at the moment - his story of rehabilitation following a serious head injury, he says that forgetting stuff like that is a sign of some sort of brain trauma! hopefully I am just stupid.
Anyway, ages ago the nice people at 5.10 sent me to London to be photographed by GQ magazine, and finally it has come out. Mainly, I am pleased as I'm sick of people asking when it is out, and of buying it - I am not a fan. Whatever, its got Daniel Craig on the front and I am on page 366. Its actually very funny. I have shrunk (5ft8), and have regressed (only 30) - but my favorite bit is 'my' top tips - dynamite. I will take a picture and blog it, but haven't had time - so if you are keen to see my modelling debut you will have to go and buy it!
Went to the works yesterday for a 'working' lunch. Was actually quite good for once and did do some work. The British Team were in getting a beasting from Gaz. They had exercise stations dotted around the campus board, had grouped into pairs who did 30 seconds each on each station. E.g. there was a pull up station. Ned would have to do as many pull ups as he could in 30 seconds, then Katy tried. Then they changed station, army PT style. Wonder where this has come from? well, they all looked exhausted at the end, so we shall wait and see whether they all turn into super wads. Three circuits with about 10 minutes between.
Its Friday and that means the weekend is looming. I am dead keen. Have all day saturday for climbing, and am currently on me lonesome. Thinking about an early start at Rubicon, then having a pootle along the roaches. Never been, would be nice.