Thursday, 13 March 2008

No rest for the wicked

Sunday dawned dry and cold so I wasted no time packing my days kit and headed um the M62 towards Ilkley. On arriving at the crag, the wind was furious and it was a real struggle to warm up. My skin was a little sore from the day before, especially the large hole in my middle finger, and I felt quite heavy.

After nearly getting blown off the top of the crag, I abed down into position and started to try the moves. Diff (from HotAches) was hanging motionless beside me doing his very best to keep the camera steady in the howling gale. I didn’t envy him; at least I was climbing which kept me a little warm. I managed all the moves and a few links but it was just too cold to keep my body warm and retreated after roughly 45 minutes to the relative warmth of my car.

The rest of the week was a hectic blur of emails and phone conversations between myself, sponsors, editors and photographers. By the time Friday came, I was ready for a break and headed off to Chamonix, France with Emily and her family. Eight days of clear blue skies and good snow was just what I needed. I boarded for the first few days but spent the latter half of the week learning to Ski. I really enjoy learning new skills and all the process you go through. I found it really interesting to be on the receiving end of a “masterclass” and I think it will help improve and refine my skills as a teacher.

On returning from France, I suddenly remembered about my upcoming sport climbing trip to China. I had originally planned to train for one whole month to guarantee optimum fitness but worked out that by the time I had completed my next shift of work, I only had three climbing days left. I bit the bullet and headed to the wall with high hopes but low expectations. I got pumped out of my mind on far too easy climbs, China was not looking great!

After a week at work, trying desperately to gain some fitness by hanging off the fireplace in the front room, I headed down to Hell on Earth (London) with Emily for her interview. Whilst there, we went out for a very fun, but expensive night on the town, accompanied by my friend Johnny Dawes who is now living in London. It was great to see Johnny again and we had many drunken talks about plans to take over the world, it will be interesting to see if any materialise in the future.

Monday 3rd arrived and my bags were packed. After saying goodbye to Emily, and having an epic with my baggage allowance at the airport (thanks Jim for saving me) I headed off on my long journey to the land of the rising sun.

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