Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The sum of the whole

If I were to describe each day, I would describe it as an existential nightmare. I really would. I'd like not to be misconstrued as suicidal when I say that; I say it because almost every hour of every day, I wonder if what I am doing is what I would like to be doing. If I don't like what I am doing, why should I continue to do it? Naturally , I appreciate that it is very difficult to convey one's worldview and that is precisely the frustration that I am encountering here in trying to say to you what as a variety of abstractions, I say to myself.

I lost my other grandmother last night and witnessed my father cry for the first time ever at her bedside. It's now not the first time I have witnessed someone close to me become painfully frail and perish slowly. I think, in her own way, she thought similarly to me. I can't remember an occassion in her life where she would fail to relish an opportunity to experience something new or somewhere new. This is how to live and it's really quite simple. Rest in peace.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Italians and the art of fun

There is nothing like a night out in Italy. Nothing. The night begins as you awake with that excited realisation as you rub your eyes that the evening will be long and every last sense stimulated. I remember distinctly the day of our night out to Tartana. There wasn't an alarm clock in sight, only the waft of fresh Italian espresso when the first of us would decide to roll out of bed. With electric energy levels, this was inevitably Ricardo. On most days he would be so excitable as to arise several hours prior to myself and bring the coffee to me in a bid to get me motivated for the events of the day ahead. Knowing the day would consist of a lengthy day out to Amiata and Sassofortino followed by an aperitivo and dinner then on to the club, his efforts weren't required on this particular occasion.

I could continue to reminisce to myself and regale every last atom of my memories of that day but what would be the point? I can remember it like a father remembers the day of his newborn's entry into the world. And who would derive as much pleasure from reading my memoirs on this particular matter as I would? Certifiably, nobody. I think I'd like to revel in the human capacity to selfishly 'own' memories and their associated sensory details and instead write no more only to say that Lore, I'll think today of that amazing day last year and you'll be on the terrace in spirit with us.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

de nada

Attacked fingerboard with Pemb again tonight. Both felt pretty sore from Tuesday's extended session so limited tonight's session to just a fingerboard workout. The scales are proving useful and 25lb was my average required assistance to deadhang the small edge for circa 5 seconds comfortably. Managed to hang the slopers which are circa 45 degree flattys with the middle two fingers of each hand on the edge of the sloper. Felt pretty psyched about this as managed to do it for around 6 seconds. Loving the fingerboard cycle at the moment.

Just scheduled a cobble trip with Jim for next week so plan a light fingerboard session monday to rest nicely for the crush. No point even pretending I might be able to climb at the weekend.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Back two bustin, I ain't got time for dustin

Thankfully weather conditions have mellowed out over the last two days and putting the roof on has been a relatively simple task in comparison to lifting thousands of blocks in high 20 degree heat. Realised I've learnt so much doing the job so far and know it's definitely going to help come returning to the drawing board/CAD suite. Incidentally that reminds me to pull my finger out and carry on learning AutoCad.

Last week, Pemb and I decided we might as well begin to train in his garage. Granted it has no beastmaker (yet) but he has the largest available Metolius simulator. It's nicely located on a concrete lintel and is great for doing one arm work as you can pull above the height of the holds without any restrictive problems. James showed me the numbers on the workout Neil Gresham did for him last week and I used this loosely to evolve a current training plan. He reckoned you could do this pretty much most days and takes 20 mins at max. Last nights session was probably closer to an hour and a half but expanded upon a few of the basic exercises. I read something someone wrote on UKB recently about one arm deadhanging technique and decided it's long overdue that I learn this important training exercise. After a few recent fingerboard sessions, I've finally begun to master the art and clocked a solid second on the smallest edge of the simulator. Was quite pleased with this as I was exhausted prior to commencing the session and now I've got the technique dialled, one second ought rapidly to become 10 seconds. In theory.

Last year at Lore's I proposed a sketch of what is my conception of the uber fingerboard. It included a set of fishing scales attached to a multi-knotted sling which would allow for a greater empirical understanding of the exact forces at a given time needed for assistance with one armers and one arm deadhangs. After trialling this last night, it seems to provide a useful indication within the 'peak' period of the hang as to the poundage needed to assist in the hang. You can soon tell when failure is occurring due to the wavering needle and I think it's pretty useful to jot down the ballpark poundage required for future reference. I'm very fond of any scientific approach to training as it allows the closest possible means to monitor just how much you're improving rather than getting disillusioned with simply pinching a tape or knot without ever feeling like you can do it without. Am going to continue doing this and will feed back my findings..

Probably the highlight of the session (yes I'm thinking about compiling a highlights TV package) was the discovery that I can indeed deadhang the smallest pocket with my back two and can do this for a pretty long time. Never really tried before but intend to continue working these frequently overlooked little doigts.
Was nice to see Pemb looking solid and psyched. Nice also to hear he found the only physio in the world that seems to be able to keep him in one piece! Keep at it bestia.

If any dear home boys and home girls are reading and around this coming weekend with an inner techno beast to feed, then come stay in Liverpool for the 4 parties in 24 hours party. I urge you.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Calm down

I need to calm down, calm the whole deal right down. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment and living with one's parents at this age no matter how temporary the whole situation might (supposed to) be is hard.It's nice spending intermittent periods at home but also obviously pretty stressful given our contrasting lifestyles. Still, this is part of the bigger plan and the eye must remain on the finish line and an optimistic outlook that society will soon once again need architects. I say this given a seemingly weekly update from the Royal Institute of British Architects under email headings such as "Apply for your practice crisis pack". They're trying quite clearly to convey a positive spirit but it's hard ignoring the fact that so few of Liverpool's construction sites are unpopulated at present. Let's also not forget that buildings don't spring up overnight. The whole procurement process is a long, contrived and complicated affair. Perhaps then in this light the recession might force a more fast tracked procurement method that isn't so bound up in red tape and conflated legislation? It'll be interesting to see.

For the past few weeks, labouring has been tiding me over for a bit of cash towards the 3,000 pound fees target and so far I'm just shy of 300 pound. If this trajectory were to continue, I might stand to make half of that which is a slight concern but I'm confident that hard work will seal the deal. It always feels a bit strange going from working so intensively in an academic environment to scrounging around for shitty admin jobs.
I have to admit that although it's been an intense experience and genuinely back breaking work what with the oversize concrete blocks the architect has specified, I've developed some useful muscle groups and also received a lot more sunlight hours than I would normally. Similarly, I'm grateful of the work whilst many around me struggle to find even the most menial casual work. Mal (my boss and family friend) has mentioned a few times that I can work on future jobs with his company which as well as being a vital source of income is also good experience at the other end of the construction process.

Tuesday past, I was able to enjoy a day off and a day out to Parisella's with Ricardo, Smooth and O. It'd been a year since I'd last been on the Orme and it certainly felt like it. I managed to get to the usual end point on RA which I was quite pleased with and was comforted to see I had at least retained some form of base level for outdoor climbing. Very keen to not veer from the path of motivation this time and get it done so I can move onto something else in there. Was super impressed with Ricardo's form and even more so with his ease in dealing with the Pit of Hell start in the most disgusting conditions. O and Pete finally decided to embark upon their RA campaign and were doing well stringing together much of it despite humidity.

There's a cave trip tomorrow but I need to work through until Saturday for the 4 parties in one night party. Two friends have emptied their uber stylish dockland apartment and moved into a new abode. With another week's lease still on the property, this affords us a venue for the Mumu Moon Harbour pre pre-party. Then on to Peacock pre-party before going to the party before the after-party in what has to be one of the biggest and best new abodes in Aigburth. I'm psyched.

Lastly an apology to anybody losing minutes of their lives reading this. I'm aware that I very rarely link to any photos or video. This is due to the medieval ibook being unable to process more than the most basic CPU operations. I'd also like to apologise for the abysmal standard of writing and content. Ordinarily, I enjoy writing and am fairly satisfied with it but looking back through some recent posts, I'm wondering if it's worth continuing to write if it stays like this. I suppose there's not really anything of interest even to myself in my head at present. In any case, it's just some words on a page that seem to come out.