Friday, 30 May 2008

The wonderful world of Italians

My, my, my. Wouldn't the world be a much duller place without the people of Italy?
This morning's television comprised of a soap opera in which the central storyline revolved around a brother and sister having intimate relations. When I say intimate, I mean intimate for 11AM. The whole experience was made uncomfortable by the fact that the woman was horrendously good looking but was engaged in a sexual act with her brother. It was very much an "ah yes!, ah no!" situation. The bloodflow to a man's penis has never been so frantically confused.

The next show up (which is on now) is a sort of Trisha. Naturally, the Italians don't enjoy patronising their toothless simpletons directly and instead patronise them by means of exclusion from their television 'chat shows'. It's clear that one needs to go through the whole casting process merely to sit amonst the audience. Temporarily revelling in blissful superficiality has never been so much fun.

After romping through chapter one of my Italian lessons, we were sat like expectant dogs on the doormat to psyche Lore through a fingerboard/campus workout. I'm impressed with his setup and his idea of attaching a set of fishing scales and sling for gauging the exact amount of force being applied for assisted one arm deadhangs.

Allora, some images.

A light flex for you readers


A gentle swan


A slopey caress


Fuck, all this Italian has turned me into a soppy specimen. Tonight, I hear surfing, dining and apertivo's are on the menu.

Thursday, 29 May 2008


So after a hassle-free journey yesterday, we arrived in Follonica train station around midnight. Kindly, Lore had come to meet us and we headed back to the house of power. It's so good to catchup and I know the collective psyche should be able to disperse some issues I think each of us is/has been having.

First impressions of Italy and Lore's town are immense. It's been so good to finally meet Valentina and Lore's charismatic cat (who really does talk to you!). I've spent the morning continuing with my Italian lessons and investing energy into expanding my vocabulary. The Italian language has so many parallels to French and Spanish, both of which I've learnt over the years. Although sometimes frustrating, I hope the Fratalian will soon subside and leave me speaking pure Italian.

Today is handed over to further education, tomorrow to surfing.

Keep crushing all of yall.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Pre-trip conditioning

So the 28th May onwards, we're in Lore's hands. Work hours have temporarily dried up here so this week can be handed over to full power training. I've had myself 3 rest days to allow me to hit the weights HARD this week. Don't want to risk doing anything bad to fingers from greasing off crimps in this weather so it'll just be weights and weight-belt campus workout. Maybe one or two workouts from hell beforehand wouldn't go amiss either.

Had a good last few days and went for a drink with a lady. Made a nice change from talking about the best way to hold various spocks with Crouch and she even had the same plan in mind to go to the tate that I had. Thursday is handed over to that and I'm looking forward to my third circuit of the current exhibition.

Letting this toast and coffee digest before pressing the living shit out of my weights. A new military PB coming on I can sense it.....


Saturday, 17 May 2008

Promises, promises.....

I've realised that I keep promising to upload images without actually doing so. For those who have seen and indeed experienced my laptop, I hope you'll empathise as to why I don't upload images and video more often; it's simply too old and slow. Considering a RAM upgrade but the most likely scenario is that I'll hold out until the new job comes good and buy something considerably better.

Anyway, climbing. Well it's been pretty hot and humid of late but I managed to get out to Fairy Steps with the chaps on Thursday evening. After an express warmup due to fading daylight constraints, I headed over to Aeon buttress with Mr Binks to see how the problem felt one year on. Last year, I managed to do the easy moves through to the undercut but couldn't envisage doing the finishing section. Bizarrely, the other night I could do some of the finishing harder moves but not the easy start! I've attributed it to pure grease and a lack of time to try the problem constructively; running at a problem like an idiot because of fading daylight is no way to approach a personal project. The very last LH dropdown was eluding me, but I think I'll somehow transfer a segment of video with good beta onto my phone as my memory for sequences is notoriously appalling. Upon arriving home and watching it, I realised a couple of reasons why I hadn't been doing the opening moves with ease; a foot swap and a different crimp for the right hand at the start. I'm really keen to get back on it in crisp conditions as those slopey crimps don't respond well to the heat at all. I left feeling a little confused but ultimately satisfied that the drop into the pinch and then out right again felt fine. Progress is progress and all.....

Worked the last 3 days at the wall and climbed the last 4 days straight which is a lot for me. I'm giving myself the day off today as heading out with Monsieur Donnelly tomorrow now that his shoulder is on it's way back to full power.

Last item on the agenda is that Crouch and I have our Italy trip to stay with Lore at last. From the 28th May to the 9th (I think?) June, it'll be a hedonistic lifestyle of boulders, food, drink, techno and surf. I'm really very excited.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Some images

All unrelated in content really, but anyway.

Witnessed at a service station near Frodsham;

A minibus full of inebriated ladies on their way to a hen party event.

Beaver Travel

This image of the dawgs at the Mwyn amuses me for some reason:


No day at the crag is complete without a favourite uniform:


Anytime the word Italy trip is mentioned to Crouch:


Arguably the most inefficient method of gaining the sloper on RA with left foot in pocket on the back wall. Can't do this move any other way which is most bizarre:


On the same problem, Lore making great progress on his cave inauguration (sorry photo quality isn't the best):


Another shot:


Summer Lore, come on!

Anyway, I have loads more images to post up soon from Swiss, Architecture-related and Mules birthday. Shall post them up soon.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Feeling hot, hot, hot.

A week of hot weather has meant early/late starts in the Pass and on the Orme this week. Headed to the Pass on Saturday with Crouch and Dave and met up with the Cattells in the afternoon. We all pissed about on the Sleep Deprivation roof before heading to Jerry's roof. It was uncomfortably humid to be honest, which inevitably led to greasing off problems. Despite this, it was an awesome day as we headed back to Jerry's roof after heading into Llanberis to get some dinner. Jerry's lit well by lantern light and the conditions had improved greatly. Alas, energy had been sapped by previous climbing in the day and by the draining effects of the humidity.

Will post up a load of random photos later perhaps. I don't have the energy to write enthusiastically today. Off to the Park for day 4 of the sun marathon!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Cup of tea with Mr Gaskins

Last night I had a very lucid and strange dream. For some reason, I was at John Gaskins' house where he offered me a cup of tea before we were to go out climbing. After finishing with the family's finest bone china, we headed out to a 'new venue' John was developing. Apparently it was the future of bouldering and I was told I'd get on well with it. I can't remember the name of the venue but I can clearly remember that a lot of the problems involved pulling on small plant roots and pebbles glued onto boxes. I don't think I can describe the style in which the problems climbed as gravity seemed to subside temporarily on some of them. It was a lengthy session anyway and I remember enjoying climbing at this new venue and heeding some good advice from the man in question.

After awakening from this dream, I headed to the wall today to set some problems upstairs. It was like a furnace up there given the heat and I was actually without an impact driver for 3 hours, tightening all bolts by hand. Progress was slow and tedious until around 2pm when I acquired one. After finishing at 4, I stayed to watch Crouch work some routes until I became bored enough to come home and write this entry.

Had a nice day on the Orme on Saturday checking out an area I'd often wondered about. Doylo thankfully knew the script with it and the day resulted in two new problems and some future potential projects. It'll be nice bouldering here in the heat of the summer as the whole sector seemed to stay in shadow.

Off for a run now and sorry you may have actually gotten to the end of this nonsense.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Italy everywhere

After a monster session at the wall on tuesday with Crouch which involved the weight belt, board climbing and a Gaskins/Jerry footless roof circuit Toms Roof style, I felt well and truly worked. So much so that I was still feeling the repercussions yesterday in my session. After an extensive warmup, I got on some of the problems Crouch and I set. I really rate his offerings and am satisfied with mine. Felt a bit too sore to have an uber productive session so limited my energy to dogging some individual moves on one or two problems I haven't yet done. Felt good pissing some moves I would have had trouble with a few months back and it was a sure sign the workout from hell has been working. Brilliant.

EVERYTHING is pointing to Italy at the moment. Yesterday, feeling really psyched after feeling a new era of strength, I treated myself to the luxury of giving Lore a ring. We were both equally psyched about similar things and that only spurred me on further to be even more psyched to the point of probably being overpsyched, ultimately culminating in me using the word 'psyched' in far too great a frequency.

Anyway, plans are afoot for a visit just as soon as I can recover some funds from the time I had to take off work. This will be within the next few weeks and I simply can't wait. Today, after a trip to the bank to pay some bills, I headed off to the Albert Dock to visit the Tate. I make a point of going there regularly even if it is to look at the same things. Different moods have a propensity to evoke different responses I think you'll agree. The sun was out today and every man and woman on Bold St and beyond seemed to be either Spanish or Italian. It all felt incredibly Mediterranean and if it wouldn't have been for catching my pasty complexion in a shop window at one point in the journey, I could have sworn I was from the Mediterranean!

The exhibition was entitled 'The Twentieth Century: How it looked and felt'. It was an eclectic collection of everything from Picasso to Riley and I'd recommend you check it if you're in the vicinity.

I'll post up some images from it later.