When will the rain stop?

1st May 2012

Sheep Limb Valley Stanage Lady Bower bridge Me  BUis Bear and Tim on Stanage

Phew, yes it’s been a good couple of months since my last blog. In some ways lots to report and other ways not much really.

On the climbing front, well, there hasn’t been any. Although, I can now report that I have been able to start again and have been three times in the last 2 weeks!! Only indoors though because I don’t know what it’s been like where you are but it feels like it’s been non-stop rain here in Sheffield for the last 3 weeks. But to be honest it’s early days anyway with my leg and I don’t think my physio would be happy with me climbing outside yet, unless I was on a very tight top-rope. Yesterday, was a big step forward at the wall, as I lead a few routes. I’ve got to be very careful not to fall off but after just top roping f5’s (which is all very well but I was getting a little fed up with that), I managed to lead a couple of f6’s. It felt great to be on the sharp end again and having a semi broken leg, certainly hones your sense of self-preservation! I can’t wear rock boots yet either, so am climbing in my Scarpa Mojitos- which work very well as they have sticky rubber and are very comfy. So all the foot placements are being very precise (as always!) and I’m being extra careful not to make any mistakes. It’s an absorbing process, especially because I don’t know what my leg/ankle is capable of; so every move is an experiment in what’s possible, interesting days.

About two weeks ago, I had a screw removed from my ankle. It’s a long story as I wasn’t going to have it removed but in the end did. I had to have a general anaesthetic, which wasn’t ideal (that’s another grim story which I won’t go into but suffice to stay it was one of the worst hospital experiences I’ve had). Enough of that, the good news is that the removal of the screw has been amazing. Even as I was lying on the hospital bed recovering from the op I could feel my ankle felt better, more flexible. And since then it’s gone from strength to strength. To be honest, I found it hard to believe that I’d had an operation, there was no pain (I kept waiting for the painkillers to wear off and the pain to kick in but it never happened) and my ankle was immediately useable and less painful to walk on etc. So that was a great success and I didn’t have any post-op sickness and was able to come home a few hours later.

I started driving again about a month ago, which was a relief. I was going stir crazy, as getting about was slow and frustrating due to the crutches but once I could drive, life started feeling a little better. And also being able to properly take Buis out for good walks has been lovely (except for the rain!), good for her, good for my soul and certainly good for the mobility and strength in my leg/ankle. I am walking on lots of uneven ground, through woods and moorland etc and I’m sure this is great rehab. I am also doing lots of physio exercises, without which I’m certain my recovery would’ve been slower and; the best thing is the water bucket. Twice a day I submerge my leg in a cold water bucket with ice blocks in for twenty minutes. This has been amazing. The first time I did it, I really struggled to keep my foot in for a minute at a time, the first five minutes were agony. Actually thinking back, it was when we had that amazing Summery weather at the end of March, because I can picture myself sitting in the garden in shorts and vest (!)- hard to believe that now. Anyway, I persisted and after five minutes my foot seemed to numb itself and ever since then it’s been absolutely fine in the bucket. But the benefits are palpable and not to be underestimated- especially after a long dog walk.

I am STILL waiting for a date for my shoulder operation and having just rung the hospital it seems they’ve lost my notes. Oh well, it sounds like it’ll be June time, that’s if I decide to have it done. I know a few people who’ve had SLAP lesion repairs and it seems the jury is out on whether it is worth the four month lay-off you need from climbing. Not sure I could handle that after the leg.

Consequently, we haven’t been able to plan anything regarding future trips etc, everything is a bit up in the air. My short term dream is that in a month, I’ll be able to go to Pembroke on a beautiful sunny day and climb some fantastic classic routes and remind myself of everything that is beautiful about climbing and the climbing environments- here’s hoping. Buis has never been either, so it would be a first trip for her too.

Could this be a reality soon...?

Life without Kodo is getting easier. We think about her everyday and sometimes shed a few tears but her memory lives on. We have so many happy and beautiful recollections of her that it’s hard not to smile. She was the true Dalai-pupster! Buis-Bear was very depressed to lose her sister but has now adjusted and now we have new neighbours with the mad but lovely ‘Ruby’, she has a new best friend, so all is good in her world too.

I’m off to do some self-development!! Some people may scoff but I feel this is an important area in our lives and I know I for one have neglected myself over the last few years and it’s time I confronted this matter. I’ve been reading books and have even attended a couple of courses and already feel that I have become more productive in my everyday life. This is a good feeling and is helping me to become more positive after the bad start to 2012.

I hope you are all surviving the rain and haven’t been washed away in any floods and are managing to keep your spirits up. Also, that your climbing is progressing after a long winter and you are enjoying yourselves, injury free.


When it hasn't been raining, I've managed to take some nice images out in The Peak.

Click the images on the left to view full size.