Showing posts from 2019

Being Injured. Or, it's ok not to be fine

A funny thing happened the other day. For the first time in as far as I can remember I got an injury. Not an ache, a pain - an injury. Climbing had done me over, or rather I had done myself over climbing. The course of true love never did run smooth . - Shakespeare It had been a long day at work, each hour seeming like so much more, and I'd decided the only way to unwind was to climb. So there I was, hands chalked and ready. Half way up a route and approaching a state of flow. Left hand here, right foot there. Flag out wide, reach up for the crimp and... pop . A feeling like lightening, electricity shooting up my arm. Instinctively I pull away and fall. The landing is fine; that's not the problem. The issue is my grip or lack thereof. The Lovers - Rene Magritte Devastated I was, am, about it all. That must have been close to five weeks ago now and still I'm unable to climb. An embarrassing trip to the wall yesterday shows that much. This doesn't happen to me.

PXR001: There And Back Again: A Circular Route From Edale

"A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to" - J. R. R. Tolkien  A little later than I would have liked, perhaps - but true to my word regardless. Here we are at the start of the first post expedition review, or PXR. What will follow is to include an account of the trip as well as the important but oft overlooked aspect of planning considerations. Should you get to the end of the post and find yourself in a position to recreate what we did a few weeks ago, well, my writing has served its purpose. Of course, it is wonderful to wax lyrical about what happened and it's certainly important that this is done, but don't forget that this is but one cog in a much bigger machine. Without considering the logistics of travel, accommodation, and booze, of water, food, and fuel, of weather, route, and going... Well, there'd be no adventure in the first place. Without further ado, here we go. The View From Our Campsite Aims

The Half Hour Ramble: Setting Sail, or Why We Need Release

A new post, but not the one I was expecting to pen. Next on the list was the after action review of a hike we (two friends and I) did a week or so ago... And it's coming, I promise. Work has me wrapped up tightly and as a result it's a struggle to put together something that I would be happy enough to release into to the wild. The good news is that between the photos made and scribbles in notebooks there's enough material to put together something that would be interesting for you - but sorely lacking is the glue of time that would bind it into a cohesive whole. We will get there. It's not looking to be this week, but soon. Promise. The Red Vineyard - Vincent van Gogh Looked at in a certain way it's funny. A sorta cosmic irony that a blog about getting out and doing more is fixed in place. But if anything, let this serve as a reminder that we need release . What I mean is that we need ways to unload and free ourselves. But equally, without trial and tribulat

An Introduction: Signposting The Trail

In the Introduction series so far there has been a discussion on what this site aims to be and who I am as a person. This post is to set out a plan for the near- and far-future. One trap so easy to fall into is the thought that the future's clear. Unfortunately it's rare that events unfurl in such a straightforward manner. As is often the case,  life finds a way  and before you know it you're wearing shoes on your hands and a hat on your anus. No plan survives contact with reality, but to avoid the planning process because of this is foolish: it is better you have 80% at completion than leave 100% to chance. Here, I lay out tentative plans for the future, which have been broken down into the immediate and long-term distances. Untitled (My Little Bird) - Edward Wilson It is wise to make a distinction between the two. Doing so means a plan can exist that lays out the foundations to build from. On the other hand, having a goal to work toward creates the conditions

An Introduction: Choose Only One Master – Nature

Earnest Shackleton once said that "it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown". This I believe to be true. There is an innate desire in all of us to understand the incomprehensible and know the unfathomable. It exists in the infant reaching out toward a world of possibilities, a teenager toward the secrets of adults, and in the elderly toward that which is still to be done. At the age of 78 (nearly 79!), my Grandpa still tends to his garden. I'll be damned if a season goes by where he doesn't tell me about a new thing that he has learned, something different to normal happening, or of  new flower arrangements blooming. The problem, if there is one, is that the act of discovery in all of us is increasingly becoming a feat of mind removed from matter. The Evening Star - Joseph Mallord William Turner Picture this, it is an ungodly hour in the Black Mountains. The temperature has been clocked at minus 26 (centigrade, you heathens) when windchill

An Introduction: The Goodness Of The Outdoors

The virtues of travel, dirtbag climber writes, live life elsewhere - these are all phrases clouded in the fog of pretense that have been used to describe what I hope this place will become. During the week I work, like most people reading this will, a nine-to-five gig. My job is great, it fulfills me in most of the right ways and consequently any negatives can be comfortably ignored. But there is still a hankering for  something else , a longing to get out and away from comforts, to learn new things, to explore. I don't remember a time when this feeling wasn't there, and I don't imagine it will go away anytime soon. So, here we are. Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog - Caspar David Friedrich Each journey starts and ends in the same place, that is, the beginning - there and back again in the words of Tolkien. This is the beginning of my blog. This post will tell you a little about myself, the next a little about this place, and the one after a little bit about where I