HAPPY 2012 y'all!

3rd Jan 2012

Me and the girls

The festive season crept up and suddenly it’s 2012. Some years it comes and goes in a flash and that seems to be what’s happened this year.

The lead up to Christmas was interesting in various ways, bits of climbing, nothing too exciting though- a few days out here and there and a few wall sessions but other ‘life’ stuff was filling the agenda.

One highlight was when I attended an opening event at a Merchant Taylors’ School, Crosby in the middle of December. I was asked over to do some teaching on their new climbing wall, as part of the opening day for their new sports centre. Beth Tweddle (world champion gymnast) was there doing some teaching in the gym and Ben Kay (Rugby International) opened the centre. There were also some world class ballroom dancers there, so overall, it was a real varied mix of sports people, utilising the new facilities. The only downside was that the wall is an outdoor one and it was a very cold day to be climbing. I was lucky to be togged up in all my posh Marmot warm gear, so I was ok (actually at one point I was very cold and had uncontrollable shivers). But the kids in their school gym kit which wasn’t built for warmth, forged on with numb hands and seemed to enjoy themselves. In the evening I was invited to their fundraising event, which was a lovely dinner with an interesting sporting panel debate and an auction. There were a few hundred people there all togged up to the nines (even I was too- it made a nice change), it was a great start to the pre-Christmas build up and really got me in a celebratory mood. I was looked after very well that evening by the Merchant Taylors’ staff, especially the two heads and even won a raffle prize. It was a fun evening and a treat, as I don’t often get to have dinner in the same room as Liverpool manager Kenny Dalgliesh, Alan Hanson and Jamie Carragher amongst other sporting stars!

I had a lovely snowy walk out in the Peak early December with my girls, they loved it of course. It was very beautiful and I took some nice pictures and little vids of lorries getting stuck out at Ringinglow. I was quite impressed with my cautiousness, normally I’m a bit gung-ho. But as I was driving out into the Peak, the snow got deeper and the road started to disappear. It was kind of strange and eerie and as I was on my own (even though the dogs are strong, I don’t think even they could’ve helped me push the van out of a ditch), I decided to be sensible and parked up and walked the rest of the way in. I was glad I did as there were quite a few vehicles getting into difficulties. So instead of a morning containing a minor epic, we had a beautiful walk in deep snow. It was Buis’ first time (with us) in snow and of course she loved it, much frolicking was going on.

As I mentioned before, my website is being updated. And as is the way with these things, it is of course taking a little longer than anticipated. But be patient, as when it’s done, you will be bombarded with lots of crappy little videos that I’ve taken- mainly of the dogs being silly- I will try and put some climbing ones on there too! But I got an iphone recently and what can I say…it’s awesome. Ok it’s not the best phone in the world but all the other stuff I can do with it seems to outweigh that minor annoyance. And taking vids and pics is something so easy and convenient that there will be a lot more uploaded in the future.

I don’t have a date for the new website launch but I guess it will be around February time.

I would like it to be sooner but I am quite busy away over the next few weeks. Next week I’m working with DMM at the Outdoor Show, that’s always a lot of fun and then the week after that Tim and I are off to La Grave for ten days- can’t wait. Although, apparently there’s no ice at the mo, so we may be skiing instead! I hope not. It’s a while since I’ve swung some axes and I’m really looking forward to it. Although, not the cold aspect, I’m still a wimp in that department and those hot aches don’t get any less painful.

For Christmas itself, Tim, myself, Kodo and Buis went up to Belford, Northumberland. It’s a beautiful county and we love it. We went exploring crags, beaches and hills everyday but it was too windy to climb most of the time.

I did a little bit at the Bowdens, where it was nice to get to grips with that lovely sandstone again but we mainly went on blustery invigorating walks. It all helped to burn off those xmas calories and it was nice to have a change of scene.

We’d also had a pre-xmas xmas day if that makes sense. My sister invited us down to have a family do on the 20th, which was great but it did mean xmas started early and merry making began. Fortunately, it made me quite organised and I’d got all my crimbo pressie shopping done by mid December, well pretty much, so that was a bonus. I am now an internet shopper, never thought I would be but it kind of works if you know what you want. Where’s it all going to lead?

Lastly, my shoulder. There have been more consultations with various people and it’s looking like I’ve got a possible SLAP tear. Nothing confirmed yet, so the next step is I’m waiting for an appointment to get an MRI scan where they inject dye into the joint and see where it leaks out. I hope I haven’t got a SLAP tear (where the cartilage in the socket of the shoulder joint has torn away from the bone) as it will mean an operation and a few months off climbing. Although to be honest it will be great just to get a definitive diagnosis and have a plan of action to work with. So I may have more news in February depending on how quick the old lumbering NHS manages to get me a scan, fingers crossed not too long.

Anyway, Happy New Year again and I hope it brings you all health, good climbing and happiness.