Saturday, 7 August 2010

Unravelling the black hole of lethargy

Something of a mystery lethargy virus has taken its hold across the NW contingent it seems this week. Not quite cold, not quite flu, stripped of the harshness of a chest cold it's just left me feeling like I've had the life sucked out of me for the past four days. I suppose it's naturally worrying if you suddenly start to feel so depleted of energy but thankfully today seems to be a slight improvement upon the previous days. A good few friends reporting similar symptoms. Weird one.

Ventured over to Llandullas yesterday for an easy volume session but was unable to summon an atom of energy and so instead belayed Paulo briefly before sacking it home. One poor day out is perfectly acceptable bearing in mind the ten past have been good I suppose.

The only thing troubling me this week has been the 'above bolts' issue. As I mentioned, I'm really not sure where this has come from as two years ago I was climbing at the wall daily without any worries. Suddenly I seem to be able to climb perfectly fine with a first bolt preclipped but throw something of an inner whitey the moment I'm above it. Think it makes for comedy viewing for the team which is something of a consolation but I'd prefer to be out and out crushing than shitting dirty water. I watched some video of the 'clip drop' technique linked via UKC and I'm sure something like that would be a good way to sort it out. Either that or just some practice lobs at the crag. Answers on a postcard...

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Not so weak a week

The week past has been the second successive week of indulging in what I could claim to be called 'training' and 'climbing'. Generally, I think four sessions is a worthy week and it's rather a luxury for me to find the time to be able to participate to this extent. I'm aware the final academic year ahead of my BA is going to be a tough time so there does feel something of a hurriedness about my current climbing desires and position. I'm sitting on 65% for second year and having learnt so so much this year past, I've put myself in a good position to go for the win - first class honours. I told myself in my first degree that I wouldn't leave university without a first and this assertion has been made again. Now to deliver.

I had a proper session on Mudjakeewis last week and felt better than the week past on it. The lactic threshold is extending itself to me kindly and I'm starting to relax above bolts a little more and enjoy the business at hand. I'm not quite sure why this fear is here as I've never had it mountaineering or climbing indoors so it's probably down to getting reacquainted with heights and feeling confident in the fact that there are no problems.

Paulo, Mike and I nipped over to Dullas tonight for a power hour and given the lack of available time to us, I decided to jump straight back onto Mudja. I tied on and got straight on it in the hope of warming up in situ and to my surprise seriously floated up it to the flattys. I dropped off purposefully and lowered to make sure my fingers were warmed up properly. A minutes rest then I jumped back on and casually got to the last move to the gaston before the easy top section only to not be able to work out where I ideally wanted my right foot. After a brief rest I climbed back on and think I saw a right foot diagonal smear that's probably the ticket to getting stood up to romp home to victory. As time wasn't on our side, I came down and let the others get a mince on. I think success is near and the climbing brilliant. An important pair of factors in making the whole process an enjoyable one.

Tomorrow evening might be a late one at LPT on belay (or relay as you scousers will know it) duty for the Don and Mike with wednesday given over to project time.

I'm working on some architectural watercolour drawings at the moment so hope to post up some snippets of my early experiments with some new materials in the near future. Should you have read this, I hope you are well dear citizen.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Neither robot nor sycophant

One of my tutors repeatedly tells me that I have trouble finishing things. I've dwelt pretty hard on this since he passed this comment about seven months ago. I don't quite know why such a comment would stick around for so long, but it's a seemingly loaded statement.

The problem of reflexivity in a self critique is immutable; it's simply not possible to suspend the effect of the self completely in order to obtain an overarching 'picture' of oneself. To this extent, I would be foolish to certifiably account for what I have realised is very true of me. What I can try to do, however, is to try to reconcile this observation with real-time examples.

I do have trouble finishing things - drawings (at times), boulder problems, routes, self-guided tutorials, new year resolutions and so on. I wish not to berate myself in light of this matter but would rather hope to treat my 'self' as a progressive entity. I refuse to argue with friends, family or relations to any extent and I realise the fervour of this sentiment more fully as each day passes. If a dear friend, family member or relation initiates an argument with me then I know that for good reason I have somehow riled them either by way of blind ignorance, an emotional oversight or some other such reason. I think it's important that as soon as this happens, one tries as fully as possible to be as reflexive inasmuch as it is possible in attempting to trace the logical causation of this interruption to an otherwise peaceful existence.

Attitudinally, this may all sound somewhat robotic and it's very problematic conveying otherwise to you perhaps. Let me assure you though that I am neither a robot nor a sycophant; rather I am attempting to document my evolving means of evolving and through this become a being capable of realising achievements based not upon aleatory occurrences but through pre-meditated meditations.

Thinking further, my active plan to work towards some of the recent goals I have spoken about within the UKB Powerclub thread seems to be fully in motion. I hope to write soon with news of finishing some unfinished business I have.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Feeling ropey

I've spent three sessions now at Llanddulas in a week. Two of them were relatively impromptu and depended upon the ability of Matt and I to remain sober the night before. Thankfully I managed one of them in a state of only tiredness and each session has seen a slight improvement upon the last. It's been a year since I was last on a rope and it wasn't exactly something as a boulderer I was equipped to throw laps on (Zeke 8b). Since then, I've hardly climbed let alone tied on to a rope so I've had to set my ambition bar to zero. Since one can only progress from nothing, I suppose you could say that I've made stratospheric gains.

Now that the return-to-sport-climbing-whitey-fest of climbing above bolts is gradually subsiding and my trusting in Crouch to not have stored his harness in a moth box for the last god knows how long amount of time is passing, I'm slowly starting to improve. It's been a case of jumping on everything and anything in my path and it's an approach I'm happy with. It's also a nice break from my bouldering project and a good way to get fitness back that's been lost at my drawing board.

Matt had an ace session yesterday despite nearly ralphing up the previous night's cider on the 6a+ warmup. He went on to feel "slightly more proper" after this wave of despair had passed and walked up Wirral Whip (7c+) with consummate ease apparently not feeling any sort of pump even after our warmups. I dream of such feats and listen closely at all times to the guru.

Going to hit the injury maker (so dubbed by the Liverpool climbing scene) today and see if I can get back to the 3.5 millies. Always feel solid gains when working the two small rungs so hopefully some repeaters on the medium rung and maximal attempts on the others will infuse some juicy improvements.

Here's some multimedia gifts for your eyes and ears since I rarely seem to pepper this bullshit with anything of note.

Sidney the lad just loves techno.

Crouchie en route to the crag. God help any man who asks for beta.

The design studio where the past year of my life has been lived.

Lorenzo with the guru's awesome child. Such a mellow beast.

1:20 detail from my final library design

One of the best sets in recent times. Extrawelt at Amsterdam Dance Event. October 2009.

Onwards and upwards brothers and sisters.

Monday, 5 July 2010

A compact week

A week of news and events (albeit it smallfry).

First up, I passed the American Apparel LA photo vetting procedure to work within the company. Is that legal? Well there's a whole reel of blog posts spread across the internet debating it but I see the essence in what they're trying to do. Every job has dress codes and they're no different. As much as I've heard some girls complain about their no makeup policy I'm all in favour of it. The world is a much nicer place without cosmetic strata to people's faces and photoshopped bodily modifications.
I'm now eligible to work anywhere in the world with the company I'm told and fingers crossed this position waiting in the wings locally will come through soon.

Secondly I've been managing to resume normal training and climbing and had a very pleasant evening at Llanddulas Cave yesterday. Considering it's been over a year since I was on any sort of route I'm amazed I managed to do more than two moves. The routes at Dulas are all top quality and nice lengths. I've got my eye on Wirral Whip as a little project. It's a short 7c+ that packs some classic looking moves in and I'm told by Doylo it should suit. Matt has his eye on the filthy one's new 8b Temple of Doom which I have to admit looks absolute quality. It was so nice to be back on routes and I'm reminded from a first session back just how different a game route climbing is to bouldering.

Finally, I received my second year second semester degree result today. All modules taken into account puts me on 65% for second year. I'm happy with this and especially happy with 78% for Urban Studies which I believe is likely the highest mark in the year. And so begins the imminent third and final year of the BA. I'm looking forward to a lack of sleep for a whole year and to that all important piece of paper in my hand giving me Part I Exemption to work in practice.

So the weather is good, my life is good and my prospects hopefully bright in securing some funding for third year.

Sport climbing tomorrow again so look out Fr 5's of Wales!!!

Saturday, 12 June 2010


Went back to project Thursday evening and pulled down. Nice to be getting moving on rock again and also feel pretty light from running. There's been a fair bit of muscular deterioration but I think this is bizzarely desirable. I've noticed over the years that when I'm training a lot with campussing/weights/board climbing, although I might be a lot more powerful than I currently am, I can also lack that sensation I had around the cusp of puberty where I weighed very little and was mostly tendons with some body. I think after some recent examples I've seen, it's possible to get back to this and I know I climb much better for being this type of build. With this in mind, I've altered my training strategy for the project to continue running a lot as well as keeping a close eye on my diet. I figure plenty of hours deadhanging alongside this is just the ticket to success.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

What has been and what is to come

The past three months are something of a blur. I've spent much of it sat in various rooms drawing, modelling and whatever else has been demanded of me. The marks haven't come in yet for the year but hopefully they're not too shoddy. I think I let myself down a bit in the final scheme by missing a crucial drawing but I'm just glad to be out of second year and moving on to third year.

In summary of climbing, I've not really done any but have when time has allowed crushed the fingerboard doing power pulls and hangs. I'm really out of practice but am now at least endowed with four months to train for my project. I've been running a lot which has altered my body shape quite drastically and I'd say I'm a lot less bulkier than normal which is good.

Today is day one back on it so time will tell. Godspeed yall.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin

Since the last time of writing, much and very little has happened. I'm not even sure what did but suffice to say something of significance might have happened.

Climbing motivation is pretty high at the moment. The month past has been spent on the odd occassion fingerboarding in between doing a lot of work for university assessments. After a pretty epic all night stint in studio two days ago, all of my work is now pinned up for marking and the only remaining thing that I'm working for is a slide recognition test on friday. From here it's straight on a train to meet the mule and slam it down to Bristol to party. I'm fuelled.

I'm in training for the project and know it's just a question of time before I acquire the specific micro gains to send it since discovering a great bit of micro beta before the snow came. Fully ready for a training season as of friday and looking forward to being back at the crags.

Hope yall are good now.