Yoga, agility and Leonard Cohen!

17th Sep 2013

Brighton testing Boulder Brighton Cohen stage Buis Bear Mdot

Well autumn is here. Can’t say I’m too impressed with it so far, as we’ve had our fair share of deluges and single figure temps but I’m hoping for the sun to reappear and looking forward to some crisp days enjoying better friction on the grit. It’s always lovely climbing routes in warm sun and only T-shirts and shorts on but it definitely makes a difference to the holds you can pull on. Blimey, I sound like some kind of conditions-obsessive grit weirdo, nope not me, but I’ve got my eye on a few boulder problems and they will require colder temps to hold the holds.

And then there’s the arms, they need some action, been getting down the wall more regularly and getting out when poss.

Rediscovering my love for Yoga


I’ve also got back into my yoga. As I am now back in Sheffield for the foreseeable, I can commit to regular classes (something I’ve always found difficult due to my itinerant life). So I’ve been trying to do some most mornings and then going to various classes in the evenings. I haven’t really found a teacher in Sheff that I’ve found works for me but am on the search and really enjoying getting back into it. In fact I’d forgotten just how beneficial yoga is on so many levels and feel a bit irritated with myself for letting it lapse but at least I’m back into it now.


I am also working on a talk. I’m doing a big lecture at the Kendal Mountain Festival this year in the main theatre on Saturday night, so have been trying to dig up old photos etc. I’ve now remembered that I was rubbish at getting photos of me when I was younger and am now regretting it, as I don’t have a good bunch of images that tell a story. Hey ho, I’ll just have to weave the story through somehow. But this seems to be taking up a lot of time at the mo and I’ve barely even got to the nuts and bolts of the structure. In fact that’s my sticking point…the structure. I know what I want to convey and certain things I’d like to include, it’s just building it into a talk- I guess that’s the hard bit! I’ll just keep plugging away and I’m sure it’ll take shape. It’s been fun trying to turn slides into digital images without a scanner- thank goodness I’ve got a macro lens and a lightbox- this method seems to do the trick.


Tim and I had a little trip to Brighton recently…yes, I saw Leonard Cohen AGAIN! Having seen him twice but only in big stadiums, I wanted a more intimate venue and Brighton fitted the bill. It was so worth it, we could see the band member’s faces and towards the end of the gig there was an OAP version of a crowd surge to the front and I was about 15ft from Mr. Cohen, which was awesome. For a man who was a couple of weeks shy of his 79th birthday, the show was a wonder. Him and the band gave everything to the (3hr long!) evening and even though his voice is now a few octaves deeper than it was a fair few years ago, the songs were still wonderful. He also engages with the audience and provides some funny commentary on himself, including the fact he has promised himself he is going to take up smoking again when he hits 80. Why not I guess?!

It was great checking out Brighton, seems a cool town, shame there’s no rock nearby but they have got a new bouldering wall. And I was very fortunate in that my friend Christine from Vertigirls very kindly arranged some coaching for me at the new venue. So I ended up setting a couple of boulder problems and doing a couple of coaching sessions. What a good 24 hrs, Leonard and climbing and all by the seaside.


Coaching at Boulder Brighton



Buis Bear had her first taster of agility at the weekend, she was a good girl and didn’t break anything! I’m not sure she quite understood why she was there and what she was meant to do but she got very good at following lumps of salami over jumps and through tunnels. I am now trying to find a regular class for her to join, seems harder than I first thought…


At the end of my last blog, I mentioned I may be filming some climbing shorts with The 1 Show, well it looks like they are now organised and I should be filming at Lower Sharpnose (amazing fins jutting into the sea), Devon at the end of October. Really looking forward to it, just hope it’s not too cold by then, as I’m a cold wimp.


Ok, gotta get back to my talk and then tomorrow filming with an artist/filmmaker for an interesting sounding project, combining stone carving and bouldering…more later.

Taken on my iphone, some amazing evening light at Stanage, bouldering in the last rays...