Christmas is generally a time of great happiness and great anguish, the peaks and troughs of the year just gone gather up and mimic the pulse readings of a cardiac patient.
Meeting up with my dad for Christmas number one he was sporting a full and multi-coloured beard, the spectrum going from grey to dark brown to highland ginger. I looked at it intently as I have always wondered where the tinge of ginge comes from in our family. I think somewhere in the South African and Kentish there is an Irish line.
I spent Christmas at the traditional family epicentre, My Uncle and Aunt's in Felixstowe, South East Flatlands. I met my Cousin's baby Owen for the first time and he was every bit as brilliant as the pictures I'd seen. Pretty little chap all the time rather than parents just getting lucky with the photo. Presents were given and received, food slaved over and served, a great day and no television in sight.
Climbing has been non-existent for a week, a strange feeling and possibly time to reflect, I'm so happy that I climb, no regrets, reflection over.
Before I started travelling I had met up with the Barr and gone to the Foundry, everyone seemed to be climbing strong and the vibe was great, crag style wave action. It's a funny old thing feeling weak as piss in one area then better in another.
We are all plate spinners, the variables in this task are the size and quantity of plates. I don't have many so the task is relatively easy – bouldering, stamina, head. Others have larger plates – rock, winter, alpine, bouldering. These plates are expensive in both money and time but ultimately you get a big meal off each one and god damn you must feel nourished. Some have lots of little plates like 7” vinyls – aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, power, endurance, recovery, finger strength, core. These people dine tapas style and to feel truly full will smash in all the plates at a given point (obviously in a pre-planned frequency) . I'm bored of this metaphor I’ll go somewhere else.
I had a plan to climb with Steve and Alex at Caley but as I arrived in a very wet Hull my bubble of positivity began to lose shape, finnally bursting when I found the lads slept in the back of Al's Van. To top it off the pair of them were absolutely ruined, they smelt like Yorvik Viking Centre on a rainy day. We went for a greasy spoon and decided a plan of action, with climbing off the menu the obvious choice was to go shoot stuff with the Ramsden Gat. That was fun for about 35 minutes, balderdash – 45 minutes. I finished my hull trip with a few pints at the Adelpi, a little extension to someone’s house that some big names have played in through the years, Nirvana, Oasis, Me, all the greats.
It is not time for new years resolutions yet, there's still a weekend between now and the end, my only friend, the end. 2013, I don't like the number, not for superstitious reasons I just think it looks naff, like an 80s film's stock future date and we sure don't have a cure for aids and jet packs yet (soon though right?)
RAIN RAIN everywhere, RAIN RAIN all the time. This is England.