When will the rain stop?

8th Sep 2011

It’s official, Autumn is here! I don’t know about you but I don’t really feel like Summer ever got going- maybe that was just where I was. Climbing-wise it wasn’t the most stunning few months for me except for the Verdon but that was a long time ago and in fact my second trip there is looming- yippee!

There’s not much to report really, except that my shoulder is still on the mend and I feel able to do more climbing and training. I did hurt it the other night at The Works but I need to start pushing it more to see what it can and can’t do. I finally have an appointment at the hospital to see a specialist, which will be interesting, that’s tomorrow. I think I just need to know what I can and can’t do with it and whether I’ll do further damage with certain types of training. The main thing I need to be able to do this winter is bouldering- power is my major weakness- and not being able to boulder is a big negative. It’s very hard for me to get my climbing back up to where it was without gaining power. So I’m quite keen to ask a few pertinent questions.

I’m still going to the Chinese Doctor for acupuncture etc, although not as much as before as I’ve haven’t been in Sheffield much. As always I can’t sing his praises highly enough and he’s the one person who has really helped me to make progress.

The van has really come on in leaps and bounds. We got the bed made just before we went to Portland and then we had plans to go up to The Lakes and Scotland. But I think we felt that now we had got going on the van again it would be silly not to try and get the rest of it finished. So we knocked those trips on the head (to be honest I wasn’t that keen on going headlong into clouds of midges!) and got stuck into the van again.

We now have a seating area/bed and a kitchen with a fridge/freezer and a hob. There was a little setback when I caused a electrical explosion, luckily I didn’t damage myself but our wiring needed some, ahem, work on it!

We still have some finishing off to do (the cupboard doesn’t have a door on it and we are planning to make some smaller cupboards that will go at head height but essentially all the major bits of furniture are done.

The van had a great test run when my Mum and I went on a road trip around North and West Wales. It worked brilliantly and it was so nice to finally see it living up to it’s potential. We went to some very remote parts that I would never have normally gone to, it was quite an eye opener to see what we have on offer. The major highlight was seeing bottle-nosed dolphins off the coast from a place called Mwnt. That was great although not so great was seeing a dead one being hauled up the cliffs from the beach by a tractor- hopefully it died of natural causes.

Tim and I are getting ready for a European trip, we are going to Ettringen in Germany and Berdorf in Luxembourg on Sunday for two weeks. Both venues look great, one is trad and one is sport and we’ll be producing articles on them for a UK mag, so watch out for them in the months to come.

Both Kodo and Buis are coming, so that’ll be interesting to see how we all fit into the van. When we bought it originally, we didn’t have a large mastiff cross, so interesting sleeping arrangements ahead.

I’m just off to The Works now for some bouldering and also to push my shoulder a bit so I have some info for the specialist tomorrow…