This month has been mental.
I’m not really working but have been stupidly busy and this last week crept up suddenly. It’s been timely though. You rarely think of the social implications of not being at work. Going from a busy school to a month dominated by solitude and long drives was wierdly stressful.The one person I regularly saw nearly suffered badly from my unnecessary angst’ing. It was time to do stuff.
The mini tour – Peak District
Anyone regularly reading this may have noticed a lack of adventures with my main gal Gemma which is never good for the sanity! So an early rise to get to Nunhead for 7am on the Friday before blasting up to the Peak District was definitely worth it. we got two days of some serious climbing in. Joined by the fabulous Debs we showed what ‘girls’ can get up to when left to their own devices getting two multi pitch (this is when the climb is led by more than one person-you switch round halfway up, which means some interesting rope work on tiny ledges up cliffs) and a nasty little single pitch climb. No bad shakes for a friday afternoon.
Saturdays climbing was in a much larger group, we were joined by friends from the ICAS climbing club, our club based at the Reach climbing wall as it was the club’s ‘birthday! A gorgeous morning playing on boulders was followed by Gemma and I completing our hardest multipitch route (well mine) ‘Valkyrie’ at The Roaches, brilliant but terrifying! The evening do at The Roaches bunkhouse involved Romans, a very dodgy major, boxing on roller skates, pulled pork, apple crumble, prizes, oddly addictive party games, far to many airborne missiles and a paper napkin that should never have been purchased! other ‘highlights’ included a van based bed,a birthday cam and on inch of water on the floor!
On Sunday it was wet, after a lazy morning and large breakfast at The Toaches tearooms (always climb near a good cafe!) it dried up enough for the guys to get some windy climbing done. Gemma and I had already headed to Wales, we had great plans but got absolutely schooled by Welsh slate and Welsh weather!
Still, one of the most enchanting of locations and a definite on my tick list of places to return to. We arrived (dripping) at Plas Y Brenin on Sunday night ready for our two day ‘Single Pitch Award’ training course. This will enable us, after a lot of work, to take out groups ourselves. This was a real schooling in rope work and group management the rain, which whilst obstinately welsh, didn’t put us of and in fact the Tuesday ended as a beautiful day.
Don Whillans Memorial hut
The course finished at 5pm (after 4 0’dock tea and cake!) and we got back in the car and back on the road. Stopping at the Peak District breaks up the journey to London and we’d managed to get two beds (in fact the only two – the hut was empty!) to the tiny BMC (British Mountaineering Council) hut that’s built into the rock under the Roaches, take out pizza and a bottle of wine made for an excellent evening. A good nights sleep (l was rather glad not to be sharing the wierd alpine beds – four mattresses on a plank…) and we made a gentle start the to the day. We had to tone down our plans a little – 6 days straight climbing apparently takes it out of one! But we had a lovely day and managed to get back to London in time for tea!
And back to Wales
Pretty much straight away I had to get back to Wales – my last house sit for a while. I love coming back here but as I said, find the solitude difficult, I’m so lucky to be joined on my dog walks (and reminded to go!) by Rhiannon and Morgan, and to have the pub down the road to go for a chat. This is not a London pub, last time I went in Sue (joint landlady with Rhiannon) was reading a massive historical tome whilst sitting in front of the log fire.
But this weekend has been ever better as I had company, help on the van (the bed is newly finished! Oh and van post coming soon…) and climbing at Wye Valley on Sunday – a climb that’s been on the ‘in the future I will…’ ticklist (partly because it’s called Nibelheim) in glorious weather, just catching the autumn colours of Wintours leap and mini picnics in the late afternoon sun. Idyllic.
Its Tuesday morning and yesterday I got to see my boys and Beccy and attempted to do a dinner and dotty birthday cake for my beautiful cousin Catherine. A very late night drive bought me back to London, so I slept in my own bed for the second time in over a fortnight, time to stop messing around now and get my stuff sorted out perhaps
Ha ha ha, nonsense to that!