Monday, 31 March 2008

I'm quite drunk, and writing from my blackberry, so I will be brief. Was scared today. Vowed not to ever come sport climbing again. Did 6b on styx wall with jon. He's been great partner by the way, has placed drawers in everything I've been on so far. Anyway, went up to reve after that and he had a go. Hated it. Fully didn't get into it and I expected to be the same. Not so. It was right up my street, busted out a sequence and lowered for a rest. Really think it could be on! Cooled down too much before next go and pumped out straight away. Super sharp pockets cut in, not at tips but in soft fleshy bit of finger. Feel hands getting chewed up. Lower off and rest for less time, put in fab link and actuall think I might do it, but crucial hand slips and I genuinely fall. Feel dead psyched, as know it could go down, but battered, and with sore hands.

Jon and I head round to fissure surge, which is one of Ed's recomendations, the boys have already got it equipped, so I get to have a go on a top rope. I struggle through the sequencey lower bit, but crush the hard final jump to the crack. My hands feel sore! Jon has a redpoint, and he climbs well but fails just before the jump. I go again on top rope, but hands are too sore.

Watch Nic attempt a 7c+ but he falls. We all head home. Am drunk. Good night.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Day 1 in buoux

Man, what an early start. Got up at 0345. Collected jon and Nic, down to east midlands for 0500 - so tired. Anyway, Neil mawson was on our flight. He was going out to join Dan walker, at first I thought he said he was going to meet his dad or something. He wasn't.

We arrive. Its 0945, there's only one terminal and one baggage carousel, which is great, everything is off in perfect order and real quick. Ryan air must hate flying here because they can't fuck it all up for you. Roy and I have both managed to loose our hire car and such like info. I have my blackberry, so I can retrieve everything, and its not too much trouble. Anyway, we collect the cars and hot foot it to Apt. We (me, Nic and jon) go shopping and then meet them at the crag.

I'm still in a strange head space with respect to routes, I feel a bit scared, or perhaps, I don't and was just really tired today or summat.

Anyway, we start at sector scorpion, there's a 6a crack which Nic directs us to, its great having a sport climbing hero on the team, he romps up everthing at light speed and knows where all the classics are and where everything is. We do a 6c to the left, and I just want to go to sleep, but its brilliant and I love the climbing. The best thing about it is that the pockets are positive. So although the moves between them might be quite hard, the holds you get too are all quite good. Which reinforced my confidence, I think it gives me the fear when I have to use slopers and I have to clip off them and stuff, but not here, here everthing has positive edges. Its well bolted too. You clip, do some hard moves then you cover some easy ground before clipping again. In other words, all the hard bits are just above bolts so you feel comfortable going for it.

Its pretty hot in the sun, so we move round to the tcf section, I don't want to climb but jon clips up tcf and I have to have a go. I have a great time. Its well within my limits and its just what I need, I need to push it and be climbing above bolts to get my confidence up. Anyway, I have a good battle and get it done and we move to Dresden, which is immeadiately left. Its really run out but I get it done and am delighted. We head home and have a nice tea. Going to bed now. Night.

Friday, 28 March 2008

feral Sausage pants

Yesterday was manically busy in work terms, although not so manically busy that I didnt take a lunch break at the climbing works. Probably shouldnt be climbing this close to a trip, but I dont really think this is a trip, its more a mini break.

Ed Brown called on Wednesday and gave me a list of things to do, some which are hard (ulp) but some of which are reassuringly easy. Apparently the routes are likely to have very bouldery low down cruxes with a bit of rumbling above - which sounds great, and completely like everything I have ever done!

Bought that 80s birth of extreme film from the Foundry on Wednesday, and have stuck it on my ipod for psyche (and something to do on the plane). Its a very early start - got to be at the airport for 5am, so am going out with her for early tea and few pints tonight, as I will lie awake worrying about missing my alarm unless am medically put to sleep. Hope I feel allright tomorrow, although - I think I am basing how I think I will feel on how I felt that day I had to go to London and didnt sleep the night before. This is different though, I was stressed about going there, and I'm really looking forwards to this trip.

So, climbing gossip - Wednesday night I went to the Foundry. Felt like I was rubbish, only really, I made that judgement after about 2hrs climbing, so think I was ok, just tired by then. Hung out with Joe Picalli - always a pleasure, James Foley, his mate charlie whose sirname I dont know, and Justin Plumtree! blimey - Justin was civil! I've always found Justin a bit of a strain to get on with, it always appears to me that he's only interested in his own advancement and that he really doesn't like me. But, climbing with him on Wednesday was fine, he was good company and I got some new problems to do from him. Tom Pape also in attendance, although sulked off when there were too many people on the board. Its interesting that the hard problems on the wave feel a measure easier than the easy problems on the board.

Its certainly true that each of the three boards in Sheffield have very specific styles to them. Its no good specialising in any of the three as that just leads to being good at climbing on that one. Will we get back in to the first and foremost board? no developments to report there. I dont think it looks good. If the school does remain closed we have to get another board going - and soon. I think I'm missing the angle (of the 50) these other boards aren't as steep, and they have their good bits, but that one was special. Le Sausage has a plan to buy a property which has some sort of suitable outbuilding attached, and to move the boards there. I dont care where it ends up as long as it does. Bring back the board! It would be interesting to have a session at the school now, to see how (if) I have weakened. Talking of the Sausage, Ed Robinson found an old episode of On the edge with a full page spread of a long haired Sausage questing up the cromlech (think its the cromlech), he looks like a 70s Yosemite hero, running shorts and wild feral boy hair. Brilliant. Certainly a cut above his UKC y-fronted photo debut :
Anyway, other news - Westie climbed three grit 8a's last week. Waddage. I think I should have opened a climbing wall, then I could bust out the big grades when it suits instead of commuting and working like a dog. Ah well. Keith has busted out another 8a+ in font too, and seems to be going from strength to strength. I presume this is just from the climbing mileage, and that whilst he is there he cant be training like a shirehorse?

I don't feel jealous that these guys are doing so well - I think its great that I can count them amongst my chums. Everyone's level seems to be on the increase which is good, I just hope it doesnt lead to strengthening the gravitation of the UK grading black hole!

The Cliffords are back this weekend. Am going to try to meet up with them next week.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Easter bunny

What is it about holidays that make me eat more than usual? I've been really good lately, but all that goes to pot over any sort of national holiday. Something about the collective psyche of the nation that makes us eat like pigs when not working. Perhaps this is the root of the obesity problem? Anyway, its felt like a great easter - a mini christmas in March.
Started strong with a meal in Thyme cafe with Helen and fiend on Thursday night. Tipsy.
Friday we cleaned the house, sorted stuff out and went to my parents for dinner - Tipsy again. I was on call and did get called at 0200, resulting in an hours work on Saturday morning whilst everyone else slept. Headed home via Ikea, dropped her at Meadowhall and continued on to the Foundry, meeting Leo, doing a bit on the board and buying new Arcteryx pants.
She and I went to the cinema to see The Spiderwick Chronicles. Its good. A kids film for sure, but I like kids films. I dont usually want to be tested when I go to the cinema - after all, I do it to relax. Its good - about 75% from me.
Easter Sunday - more cleaning of the house, then to the outlaws for tea - more massive gluttonous over eating, but lovely. I love cheese. Which is a bit of a vice, as cheese is pretty much congealed fat. Her dad always says the cheese at the end is the best bit of the meal. Especially with port. Mmmm. Drunk. We went to bed early doors - so were bright as buttons the next morning. Which started with another big feed - breakfast. Arguably, my favorite meal of the day, I love nothing more than a greasy fried breakfast. I suppose its because its so wrong - forbidden fruits and all that. Bought some insulation from B&Q and headed home. I climbed again (foundry, with Ed and James) and she went to buy a wedding outfit (for my sisters and Andy and Shiv's). Drank wine that evening and stopped in catching up on Corrie.
Yesterday, Tuesday - we were still off. Sigh. I love holidays. Attempted to fit this insulation, only to find that actually, there was already insulation there, and by god it makes you itch. Fitted some round the thin bits and took one of the rolls back. I dont think I like building jobs. Went and had a quick nosey at potential wedding venue out near dronfield, and then managed to coerce her into going to rubicon (to look at cressbrook hall). Its pretty dry. Hmm. Wondered what the tor was like, but got fully overruled and ordered home.
So, back to work today. Foundry tonight, and Buoux on the weekend. Ulp! bought that 80s - birth of extreme thing as preparation. Watched the Buoux 8c bit, which looks good actually. Weather out there is amazing! some showers today, but av temps through the week of 20degrees and wall to wall sunshine! Shall have to dig out my thong back climbing pants!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Beginning of another siege?

Been a bit of a funny week this week. Felt tired all week. Can only imagine this is due to a heavy drinking weekend, which I'm just not used to. Anyway, its been raining, and there's not been much to tell to be honest.

Monday - Foundry, reasonable session - climbed ok. Think I might have seen Helen's ripped like a race horse ex, but wasn't completely sure, so kept getting caught staring. He will either remember me and think I was giving him evils, or he will think one of those gay bouldering types fancies him (is a trad devotee). Its moderately interesting - this is a guy who spends more than all his time climbing, thinking about climbing and going out and yet he still fails to move fluidly. My point is, although he hasn't been climbing for years and years and years, he is still missing the basic skills. And, his is an apprenticeship earnt outside - trading. Perhaps its not the be all and end all! Perhaps some people just don't get it ever?

Wednedsday - after work Caley. I thought it had been completely dry for days, but apparently there was some rain on Tues. Looked mint walking up, and almost was - but for a bit of clinging damp, not really to the touch, but friction was patchy. Things facing the direction of Otley were ok, but other shielded-from-the-wind stuff was a bit distantly wet (i.e. it had known wetness). I've had such bad skin of late I decided to anti hydral in the car on the way, and I now think a half hour application is perhaps better than leaving it over night. It did the trick as far as I am concerned. Warmed up, picked up some youth buzzing having just done New Jerusalem, and headed towards Syretts Saunter (I think) which looks super thin. Haven't ever been up there before, so had a bit of a look around, and did a lovely 6c+ that involves rocking into a scoop off a pebble. Don't think it has a name, but it climbed nice. Moved to Ben's Groove. Sauntered casually up to the crack on the slab and met my usual impasse. I have no concept of what you do with your feet at this point. I just cannot move! Try a few things, but none of them bear fruit and I move again to Zoo York. It feels really really hard tonight. I can't make any of the foot locks work, and after an attempt to do it from standing which ends in a horizontal dismount, I get the fear and decide to sack it. This youth wants to do Blockbuster, so I suprise myself (and him) by busting out an ascent without any fuss. We walk down to something called Style arete (I think) and get involved with that. Both get an ascent. He goes home, I do some other bimbling stuff and head off. Time in the car when I get to it - 18:48. The clocks go back in a week and a bit - roll on evening action!

Caley is a frustrating place to have an obsession. It seems perpetually damp. I am psyched for Zoo York - the line of the crag? but it feels so hard! I think I need a spotter who is a known entity. I want to feel I can go for it without any fear creeping in! Ed reckons if you know how to pad it then its ok with two pads and on your own. I don't think so Mr Robinson! perhaps if you have a power surplus and it feels allright then maybe, but for me, absolutely balls out - its desperate. Mighty fine effort crushing this awesome problem.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Damp student squid

Been a busy weekend, but not in climbing terms. In climbing terms, this was a good weekend to have off - as it rained almost constantly. There was a big student comp on Saturday, Ned won (like there was ever any chance anyone else would come close!) nice one beast - and thanks for making me not look a fool by bigging you up! it got a mention on Vernon Kay's R1 show on Sat. Not specifically Ned, or the climbing, but the whole weekend of student sport. One can only imagine the city's traffic cones are now all in student flats throughout S11.
That meal on Friday went really well. If anything a bit too well. We got leathered on red wine. Suspect I was still drunk in am. All day saturday hangover. Went to the outlaws and I had to get her to drive, and go to bed in their spare room when we got there. Rubbish. Watched the kite runner in the evening - very good.
Still felt vacant on Sunday, although managed to drag carcass to the Foundry for a couple of hours in the evening. It was like Ladies night on the board - Vicky Hurley, Joan, Helen and Emma Banks. Tried my best to show off but felt shaky and a bit rubbish. Will be there again tonight. Going now as need a poo.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Beasted by Busby

So, its friday, and the forecast is for the end of the world esque weather at least for tomorrow. Not much to report, certainly havent managed to get out the last couple of days, but here's what I can tell you :
Wednesday - met busby at the wall for a beasting. Acheived aim with aplomb. Full body pump. Not ached the next day for ages (obviously havent been trying hard enough). Ended session getting burnt off by teenage girls. Nice. Felt a bit scared again doing routes which is a worry. Need to toughen up!
Thursday - car went for a service. Long standing coolant leak problem may now be fixed, which is nice. Biked to the works. Felt beasted still. Saw Sam, Simmonite, Cofe and Ned on the way home. Cycling very hard. Tired. Ipod Touch arrived - its good.
Friday (today) - Leeds wall. Chatted to Ben Meeks, felt strangely strong and good - think I am light at the moment, although skin is terrible. Tonight we have a meal with some friends, but the couple we are meeting are normally see with other people friends - not spent any time with them one on one ever before, so bit cautious on that front. Should be fine. Can't get drunk though, as tomorrow its her dad's birthday and we are going over there for lunch with them. Possibility of saturday night cinema, and then hopefully (maybe, just maybe) climb for some time on sunday. Sunday night we are in leeds for dinner with my sister. Much eating then this weekend. I will not be svelte on monday!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

fat doc

After 14 years of climbing at the Foundry I should not still be impressed by Jerry Moffatt being there. He does own half of it after all. Got chatting about surfing, and he reckons there are waves on the east coast that would reach the height of the wave (!) - I'm sceptical, but he shows me a picture on his phone showing a tiny surfer dwarfed by a wall of water, you would think it was a picture from hawaii or something but for the colour of the water which is brown. Jerry goes at tea time and I move into the furnace to try Leo's problems on the board. It feels like I am moving better this week, but still miles off the Moginator - whose power becomes more obvious as I fail on his warm ups - again!! but, I'm not getting obsessed about training again just yet - am making the most of this volume phase - and loving it.
Ginger Rich (foundry regular and recent admission to ranks of medical society) arrives and after some normal communication, makes a quip that he can't do the problems on features because he is earning so much money that he has gotten fat. I am stunned. He's not fat, but this is a rather conceited thing to say. I suggest that for the bad things he must have to deal with in the course of his work he deserves a fat pay packet, to which he responds that its not that bad, and that at least he hasn't had to put his finger up anyones arse for a while. I blurt out that I would have thought that would be right up his street, and theres a poignant silence. Brilliant. My work here is done. I leave.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Eastwood sprouts

The bad weather finally arrived in the North this morning then... Almost perfect scheduling in weather terms - a few light showers, but for the most part - pretty much climbable both days. Friday night we went to the pub with my laptop to look for birthday venues for her 30th (june).

Arranged to meet with the Captain of Crush himself, Dr Pinch - the remarkable Mr Robinson, at Calver cafe early on Saturday morning. Roy's regime has changed my outlook such that when Ed suggested the tor I genuinely wasn't keen! Perhaps this is the first year I can say that I think I finally 'get' the grit. I've always enjoyed the climbing, but I have always considered it a day off. Its not training after all! This year I've discovered the joy of exploring new areas, and actually doing problems, rather than always going somewhere to try something really really hard and always coming away empty handed, and I think the taking one step back has meant I have strode forwards already, because its changed my outlook - I approach things used to success and expect that I will do them, rather than always starting them with doubt in my mind.

Enough piffle - to Eastwood. A crag summed up by my assertion that had I done that traverse last time - I don't think I would've gone back. There's nothing wrong with the place - indeed, the rock quality is awesome, but when you have so much of the rest of the peak to explore - languishing in one slightly esoteric spot is like only eating the sprouts from xmas dinner. Its a good one to keep in the back pocket for rainy days. Did corpse crack a bunch of times to get started (lovely) and then got stuck in to the trav. First go was awesome, I felt great - everything went perfectly, until the last walking your feet round bit which left me hanging in the roof unable to stab to the footholds. Worked a new method that involved turning round in the roof and finishing the traverse upside down with a bicycle clamp. It then took me another load of fluffed goes to actually string it all together, which became a battle against my rapidly ailing stamina - the goes seemed to be getting worse, I was making more mistakes rather than elimanating them... realised this was what was happening and took 10 minutes off, and the next go was THE go and it went down.

Dr Pinch climbed gingerly, nursing a bad finger (which is still buddy taped), and managed to find a fully hideous sequence that looks great fun through the complex middle bit. He didn't put it together before we ran out of time - so I've moved on the neccessity to go back to him! Drove back to calver, dropped him off (did you go anywhere else Ed?) and blazed home to go ring shopping. Ring shopping is quite exciting but also terrifying. You can spend as much (and more) than you have. But, considering she will have to wear it forever after, its worth getting something you like. Although it felt dead exciting the previous weekend when it all happened, this felt dead exciting too. We went out on Saturday night, for tea with friends, then all to the pub, and finally - the girls on to town to go to Tonya's night at Penelopes. I stopped in the pub until 1230 (when I had long since stopped making sense) and then ran home in the rain. She didnt get home until 0830!

Got up at 0930 and felt shit. Drank alka seltzer and planned a lazy day cleaning the car, house, etc. Follicle and Dylan were adamant I was going out with them however and I got press ganged to the plantation. Met Ed, Pippa and Becky on way up and showed pippa some problems whilst waiting for Team FoleyFletch to arrive. Suprisingly felt like I was moving alright when I got going, but the tendency was to sit on my pad for ages between climbs. When I did this the hangover came back, as long as I kept moving it remained at bay. Got shown the Boston Mess which is at least 8b. I cannot generate any motion off that start hold at all. Moved down to the Business bloc, which I find singularly unexciting. I thought I wanted to do jerrys trav, but it just doesn't float my boat. Did a problem called * H top? hmm. Think this forms the top of Danny's problem. Very hard to climb into a position where you can do the thing I did I think. Then did Rose and the self employed business man, which really I should have flashed, but tried to do a really stupid move to start. Left the crag when the monster phoned and went home to do normal stuff.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Ju Ju Juice

When I first went to Caley, I got the tour from one of the most seasoned locals. I felt scared. I remember tottering to the top of Otley wall thinking - this is really high, I'm not on crimps! I dont like it! Now I do that problem on every visit and love every moment of it. Got there for 15:15 yesterday (I wonder why haven't I made more of this place before? its 15 minutes from work!) and ran back up the road from the car to see if it looked damp. It did, a bit, but i could see someone on New Jerusalem, so it must be ok. Collect all my stuff and head up to the fingerknacker crack. Do that a couple of times and somehow end up climbing rabbit paw wall, and again, its all dry, but its obviously been wet - conditions are far from perfect - as is made clear when I fall off fingerknacker crack!
That well spoken Nigel dude from Sheffield turns up. Its not Nigel Smart or Prestidge (does he even climb any more?), but I dont know his sirname, so Nigel will have to do. He's here to try Blockbuster. We agree to meet up at Zoo York, and I'm glad of a spot to be honest. Get up there, and theres another lad on Blockbuster, so I stick my pads under Ju Ju club. It feels desperate! whereas last weds the holds felt grippy, today they feel a bit spoogy - it might be me, but I dont think its great nic. Zip round to the top and clean the holds ready for my attempt, they felt rubbish the last time I was here, and I cant imagine today will be any better, but psychologically, if I think all obstacles have been removed then perhaps I will succeed. Get myself established on the start holds, make a hard move out to the lip which feels nowhere near the velcro stickiness of last week - and if you remember, i think i said it was rubbish then too! Probably that winters green covering needs to be cleaned off. I slap my way to the lip and with a bit more umpf than last weeks end of session attempt I flump over the top to muted glory. I'm quietly pleased, but its not the best problem I've ever done, and the real prize is off to the left. Move my pads over and cover the dodgy landing as best I can. Feel a bit tired - no sense of potentially doing it, but try anyway - putting in some good links from my previous high point. Hmm - get all excited, put in a really good link and think maybe, just maybe - with following winds and everything going just right, it could be on. Feels terrible again on the next go, and I realise its far too tenuous for this session, with an eye up the hill I say my goodbyes and leg it to the 'cliff.
I'm suprised to find theres no cars there. There is someone bouldering as it turns out, but he must have walked. Its incredibly windy, stacking two pads acts like a sail, knocking me off my feet several times. I walk up and on top to get round to Jess' roof but the gap funnels the wind even more and its nearly probably quite dangerous. Force on to Jess' roof, and attempt to pad it out. End up strapping my pad to a boulder to hold it in place, and it seems to work well - which is more than can be said for me. I get to the end a couple of times, but am a bit scared I think and dont really even try. Wind drops off a bit and I scuttle back to the car.
Drive to the Foundry via a chippy in Garforth. Are there no chippys on the way home?
Its great at the Foundry. I see lots of friendly faces, and despite a limited time budget I manage to spend ages gassing and catching up with people who are all delighted with the honey news. Do some problems and a young gent with dubious hair does his level best to burn me off. He swears loudly when he falls off. I find this distasteful. In someone like Andy Earl where clearly all of him is going into an attempt, I can partly understand, but still find it melodramatic and unneccesary. Swearing and shouting at a public climbing wall when there are kids and other non sweary people about isn't cool in my eyes.
The Foundry also have 40% off marked price on their down jackets. I got a new £150 Rab active for £90. Bargain.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Remergence resurgence

Seem to be in the middle of a good weather system at the moment. Beautiful sunrise and v.v.cold this morning (glacier ice on car). Anyway, I will check the forecast after I have finished writing this - hopefully it will hold into the weekend.
Worked from home yesterday, and the monster was off too. I was going to hang for a bit in the day and go out on my bike later on, but it was so nearly perfect outside, I felt I had to strap a pad to her and bundle her into the car. Didn't have long, so headed for Burbage North - which is somewhere I have loads to do, as I'm always reluctant on a weekend, cos its so obvious, and usually swarming. I've pretty much got everything still to do on the Remergence block, but have pretty much no idea how you do any of them.
First I looked at Submergence. Was completely convinced I was close to this years ago, but couldnt get from the sloper on the bottom lip to the good holds that you start the 6b off. No idea what to do and the sloper thing felt rubbish (was in the full sun). Gave up and went to look at Blind date. Blimey. Couldnt do this either - it felt desperate! I was starting with my right hand in the middle of the roof on a good hold, and left on a flake thing at the back of the roof, then reaching round (!) for a chicken head pebbly crimp, then moving right to a hold on the lip, and then slapping to an unhelpful sloper, sliding backwards and falling off. What do you do with your feet?
Wonder Woman Vic Barrett recently dispatched Blind Ali, and I don't think it took her too long, plus, I have never tried it, so that's got to be worth investigating? The start is a reverse of submergence, only I pulled on with the right hand on a crozzly undercut edge beneath the lip, reverse back to the submergence jug, then reach back to a sharp edge in the roof, stuffed the left heel in the submergence jug and come in for the undercut, change the feet again and dash right hand out to a big hold in the roof, reach left under for the blind date flake and rattle off up the ramp. I think this is right speaking to vik later on, it sounds like what she did.
Brilliant, so - thats another problem out of the way, I just need some help with Blind Date. Think that BBG north is somewhere to leave if the sun is out mind, remergence seems to avoid the vital cooling wind, and get rather warm in the sun. Today I'm climbing in the evening, and currently wondering about Caley again.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Normal service resumed

Why is it so hard to climb well when you have had a rest? I felt like I was going pretty well before (save the having no skin part) - its this sort of thing that makes me reticient to ever stop climbing for more than a day. Basically, got back on it last night at the Foundry and felt sluggish and weak. I think this is probably thanks to a number of factors :

1: Felt really tired after what was really a very relaxing weekend, but for some reason tiring.
2: Shock of getting up at 0545 after two lovely lie ins!
3: My 'yardstick' was Leo Moger - Foundry hero and strong boy
4: I'm probably a bit fat after all the weekends eating
5: Getting used to a new board (always, when you first climb on a board thats unfamiliar you need a few sessions to really start to feel on it)
6: Right ear is gummed up and I feel a bit wobbly.

I knew when I first pulled on that I was lacking beans and that the magic wasn't going to be flowing, but I think I should thank Mr Moger for probably rescuing my session (as much as it could be rescued). He is one straaang punk! Trying to keep up definately gave me a push and made me try where perhaps I would have quitted.

Spent more time on the board last night, which I am ever more convinced is going to be a good place to be in the absence of the School. The reason its better than the works training board is because the angle is better (about 40 I think, the works is 30). Have a couple of Leo's problems written in my book for future reference, and have been shown some proper hard stuff too. The session finished with a hirsute Justin Plumtree turning up sans famous brown pants! they have been retired.

Finally, the Foundry have 40% of RAB stuff in their shop. Confusingly, its 40% off marked price, so if something is labelled £140 it will cost you £90. I picked up a new RAB for cragging purposes and it was well cheap. Happy.

Monday, 3 March 2008

The lake of lurve...

What a lovely weekend! Think I was a bit drunk and over excited on Friday when I last posted. Here are some more details.
I've been mithering her for ages about getting married, but we've always stressed about the money, so nothing happened.
When I was away in Swizzy she started shopping around for a flash hotel, didn't mind where - it just had to be nice. Think like one of these boutique hotel jobs. I didn't know anything about it - very exciting. We both worked from home on Friday, taking the afternoon off to travel. She programmed sat nav - all I had to do was drive and follow directions. It was soon apparent that we were going to the Lakes. Growing up in Liverpool, I went to the Lakes a lot as a nipper, and am very fond of it.
Arrived at our hotel in heavy rain and thank god it was really nice. Whenever you book a hotel you always worry that it might be a dive, but not this one - it was lovely - linthwaite house, just above windermere (normally, I would be very disdainful about windermere as a place to stay, but we were well out of town, so it was fine). Our room was lovely, log fires (in reception I mean), cosy without being kitsch and no chintz. Happy. We're enjoying our room and being excited when she hands me a mystery parcel... it's a photo album, containing pictures documenting our 8 years together - pics from the clubbing days, from when I had bleached hair (!), on holiday in various places, etc etc. Its a lovely thing. The last page is a cut out red heart with gold writing on it, and that gold writing has the big question...
I'm psyched out of my mind and absolutely delighted. Yes, yes and yes again! She's even sneaked a bottle of champers into her bag, so we tuck into that whilst texting loads of people. I feel so elated - this must be what it feels like to climb 8b!
We enjoy an amazing meal in the hotel restaurant that evening, get pleasantly drunk and make the most of the fire whilst the rain lashes down outside.
The weather wasn't much better on saturday but we managed to get out to Grizedale forest for a bit of biking. Half the forest was closed for some rally to take place, but there was still plenty to do. Drizzly showers on the way round, but not too bad, and great to get out for a bit. Had a look round Ambleside and Grasmere in the afternoon before returning to the hotel to get ready for tea. Ate at Lucys in Ambleside that night, which was again very pleasant - tapas type of place. Sunday we walked (sour milk ghyll) and headed home about 1300.
Thanks to all who texted and emailed and commented on the blog! Dont know when it will be, but for those of you who have recently gotten married, I am going to be sniffing around trying to find out what you did and how much it cost you...
Anyway, back to business! Plan to go to the Foundry tonight. Ned has mentioned their board tomorrow, but was going to leave it tomorrow and try to do routes on weds, will speak to her. Thursday day planning to do something, friday off, saturday back out hopefully.