Washing The Rope

Bucket List; Do you see a theme developing? I re-ignited a passion yesterday and so started forming another idea for the list. Saving that for my century post.

Yesterday I climbed for the first time in nearly a year (down from 1-4 times a week) and as I was standing at the wall (climbing gym to you dang foreigners) I experienced a very strong feeling of returning and belonging.


People have oft remarked how egalitarian the climbing fraternity is yet I had never really felt it. Yesterday I really felt it for first time, and it was great. No one gave a tiny, eensy little shit about me, what grade I climb, how I got there, my injuries and illnesses, how I spoke, what I was wearing or how I came to be back there. Anything at all. I was a climber amongst other climbers, end of. It was great.

I can only really spot one difference and that is between the folks who do it and the folks that are playing at doing it. Which is cool as we all start somewhere. They are like the ab-initio addicts taking their first hit. It’ll do it for them and they are in or they’ll hate it and not come back.

A chum that I had got into climbing very kindly took me back, patiently belayed me as I got pumped super-fast, fingers failed and generally I tried to climb what my mind was able but my body guffawed at. A legend in my own mind? Yup. It’ll come back though, I know it. Time to clean my gear and start perusing Climbapedia for destinations for the summer.

I sit here with my bread dough rising (new sourdough starter and new recipe – I WILL make decent bread before I kark it) feeling all the familiar aches of neglected muscles re-awakened.

And I am smiling.

Well Hello, Potential Audience

With my impending interview at Ruskin College Oxford for the part-time Creative Writing and Critical Practise degree course looming I nailed some boring domestic tasks early on and then intended to move into more serious pursuits like going through my in tray and clearing the simple things and writing a serious post. Un-bloody-likely. Though I woke up absolutely brimming with ideas I had no idea I’d end up hosting an ad-hoc male coffee morning.

My mate, who is a Senegalese immigrant to the UK and has the unlikely job of police officer, and I end up discussing the problems in Mali and the modern day roots going back to 1991, the arming of certain African states by – guess who – the Americans and the fact that many of the incumbent administrations have found that the way to get the Western powers interested and investing is to work an Al-Qaeda link into the mix of bad guys. We thrash out the problems and I end up lending him two DVD’s. He is also a Muslim and has had a glancing insight into the murky world of the war on terror by dint of a six-month attachment to a specialist counter-terrorism team. Nothing like a group where the bulk of folks haven’t really got an idea what they are doing and blunder round managing to cause more upset and division within the communities they are – allegedly – trying to bring on-side. Clint Eastwood had a word for it. That word was Cluster***k.

Then my brother rocks up ‘cos he is bored and has done his one work task for the day. Coffee made for him. He then starts showing more than a passing  interest in the sourdough bread I am baking. In the meantime he decides to have a swing on my RockRings (a strength development aid for climbing made by Metolius) and promptly breaks them. Huh? These are supposed to last a lifetime. Could have been v dodgy if one was fully committed in a hold and they had failed fast.

The policeman goes and eventually, when the bread is out of the oven, (that’s why he was hanging on)  dear brother departs with half a huge loaf of freshly baked bread having subtly delivered the innocent remark, “how will you and MFTS eat all that”?

It’s hard being a Domestic Goddess.