Mar 31 2008

Here, there and everywhere

Category: homeash @ 4:19 pm

Few more miles on the speedo after this weekend.  Fri night caught Wilmott and Gally at the Ship for a pint, to congratulate them on the engagement they told me about 30 mins before. Most excellent news!

Sat am over to Tawd to help Chris and a few others get a rope bridge up and going.  Generally tugged on ropes, drank coffee and mucked about for a few hours until it started to look dodgy in the sky, whereby I ran away.  Hope it all went well – it was all built and ready to go when I left.

Bobbed over to Linnet Clough on Sat pm to catch up with Caroline, but spent best part of an hour catching up with Carl and Ann Hornsby (ex-wardens of Tawd Vale), then slipping through the quagmire to the campsite , before eventually catching her for 10 mins on the car park where I started off (now covered in shite & impressivly damp), concious of the fact that I really should have been on the M1 by that time. 

A very wet drive followed, made it to Abi’s in Gateshead to catch up with her & Gavin, talk of times past etc and to play with Askit for a few hours before crashing out.

Sun am over to Fenham to do lunch with Claire and Rik, another couple who pointed out to me that I need to go to New Zealand.  This is getting to be a habit now!  Cool to catch up with them, not seen Claire since the Greenland presentation last Nov.  Talked toot, had a laugh, pointed at people looking very wrong from a night on the lash.

Ran away early afternoon, over to Rochester to catch Sam, Red, and Noah (the tiny).  Noah did an impressive job of screaming like a trooper every time I held him (apart from the sleeping times) … we went for a bimble round the back of the estate & round to the river that runs at the bottom of his … which looks to be a bloody excellent Ghyll scramble.  Later in the year though.  Got fingers burnt by melt-water ghyll scrambles before.  Sam grabbed some homemade take out from Otterburn, then beers, open fires, bathing the wee one and falling asleep watching the Boosh.

Woke today to find Sam had left for work due to being late, and Red crashed out with the Bairn.  Did the washing up & cleared the fireplace out, then headed back.  Good run back, stopped in at the Gran who’s getting bored now but was made up to hear that we’re getting somewhere in getting her back home, so that was a bonus.  Paperwork, washing and bills this afternoon.  May be a day off, but falling behind with house stuff!


Mar 25 2008

Gathering 2008

Category: Mountaineering,Scoutingash @ 11:38 pm

It did come, and lo it did go.

Up on the Friday, early doors after a late Greenland Presentation for the District.  Bit of a poor turnout, but late promo and it being the start of the Easter break and all … wasn’t that suprised. Nuff respect to Ray for sorting it all out though.

Took a group a-bimbling with Matt Crozier and Martin up Jack’s Rake.  Bitterly cold wind in the valley, but a sneaky check of the weather forecast led to us being totally sheltered on the route.  After topping out was baltic on top, so ran away very quickly, to meet Hugh and his walking group in the StickleBarn not long afterwards.

Saturday was build day.  Not a massive amount to do, but only a few of us.  Still took most of the day and finished after 5 setting stuff up and getting our heads round stuff.  Went for a tactical curry in Bowness,  then back for general chivvying up of teams.  After the band kicked out grabbed Ricko and then headed to the campfire circle for some singin, rabble rousing and cosuming of Glenfiddich.  Until it slipped over and I lost most of it.  Most unimpressed.

Sunday morn appeared, fed & sorted out the last few things.  The games came and went reasonably straightforwardly …. forgot a couple of things but we managed to sort it out.  Realised that I’d dropped a bollock in spreading things out over the site – I had no idea if there were any problems and what issues were developing.  Need to change that next year.  Also, the lack of atmosphere for the majority of the event apart from the finale (which did work well) was a let down for me …. after the fantastic stuff we’ve put on over the years, this one was a damp squib.  Think being maxed out over xmas etc, plus having no Sam to bounce things off put a big spanner in the works.  Next year, back to more insane smaller bases in one area.  And a whole lotta mud.

Dropped it all, packed all up and then out to Bowness with our lot.  Few pints of Cumberland then a quick (and suspicious) bar-food chilli, then to the Beild to help Mick get rid of his beer.  Watched a comedy act die on stage, then danced like a drunken fool to the disco. 

Following morning, woke feeling like death.  All of the West Country was trying to take down a large scaffolding structure inside my head at volume. Distinctly wrong guts too.  Made it to breakfast feeling very bad, tried to get some food in, but managed a banger and that was it.  Got a few glasses of OJ in, then several coffees.  Also made about 4 trips to the loo.  Think it was food poisoning rather than the beer.  Kept feeling terrible until about 11 when painkillers etc kicked in & there was nothing inside left to come out, then agreed to try for a winter route with Martin.

Did No 1 Gully on Helvellyn above Red Tarn.  Originally was aiming for Brown cove crags, until we got to Patterdale and realised we were on the wrong side of the mountain.  Got some Lucosade stuff and a Ginsters, then staggered feeling rough up the hill.  Got to Red Tarn in about 90 mins, then round and up to the Gully.  I led the main pitch, but 1/2 way up on the crux (only Grade 2 let’s remember here) suddenly realised that I had no energy, there was one shit sling on, a world of snow and spindrift was landing on me and that I was in a bad place (It also occurred to me that there was someone that I really should have been spending time with elsewhere).

Managed to hold it together and get up it (on warm and dodgy snow) and get a belay in – Martin came through and led the stomp to the top.  10 mins on the top (16:30 at this point) and then off via Swirral back to the bottom.  A quick 5 min stop for chips in Bowness, then back to GT, get bus and trailer, then do the 61mph thing back home, drop off trailer, drop off bus, drop off keys and home.

Plus, obviously the most important bit of the weekend that I’ve neglected to mention was that I kissed a girl.  Who didn’t a) laugh, b) seem insane c) appear dead or d) call the police.  And to whom the notion of meeting up with me doesn’t fill her with revulsion.  I think.  Hoping to meet up in the next couple of weeks.

Am generally grinning inside.  Yay 🙂   Although I really should catch up with some sleep now.


Mar 18 2008

DESC VI

Category: Scoutingash @ 7:21 pm

Big sigh of relief, another DESC passes without chaos reigning.  Still have to sort finances, but most things are sorted.  30 Explorers, about 20 thousand leaders, big grins. 

Fri night went ok with showing Explorers the basic concepts of tents, then Sat took people over Wetherlam from Tilberthwaite, then over to Swirl How and up to Grey Friar before dropping down to Little Langdale and walking out.  I took a group with Martin, leaving Matt and Carrington leading the others – all good.

Sat night went well – used the Ecology room for a short promo on District/County stuff and then moved up onto the DVD fest of Cool Runnings. Retired for fires, singing, and fun, before Sunday. 

Pierre had travelled up to help with the bikes – threw some other events together.  Planned out a complicated thing which utterly failed but no-one seemed to notice 🙂


Mar 10 2008

No pc!

Category: homeash @ 11:44 pm

My Pc’s cacked itself -right royally. It can recognize users and passwords, but the bit that takes the authenticated couplet and passes it to the OS to verify that the user has permission to do things has exploded.  Repaired this, moved that, checked the other.  Still can’t get the bastard to work.  With no time, 2 major events in the next 2 weeks and everything on the PC.

Starting to stress PROPERLY now.   Needless to say, if you’re trying to get hold of me, ring!


Mar 10 2008

Whilst watching progress bars …

Category: home,Mountaineering,Musicash @ 1:54 pm

I’ll write something here, been a while.

Cracking weekend just gone … over to Manchester on Fri night to see Levellers with Creed, Chris the Horse and Lauren.  Met the mate of a mate in a very packed pub to get a ticket for Creed, then in.  We’d missed 3 Daft Monkeys which was a shame as they rock, but saw Alabama 3 acoustic as well.  Not bad – bit of a let down compared to the electric set, but did very well.  Started with a version of “Love will tear us apart” which was cool.

The Levs set was awesome.  Great mix of tunes, great crowd, great venue.  Saw a vaguly familiar shape in the crowd & Creed yelled “Is that Stu?” in my ear … danced over to him and we exchanged knowing looks at each other trying to work out if we were the right people.  I pulled out my Tansads top, and he pointed at it saying “Exteter – we stayed at Rev Hammers!” – and then we were met again.  Must be about 10 years since I saw him, now working as a Buz driver in Bolton and very much himself as ever.  Both him and Neil now wed (though not to each other).  Planning to meet up with them & Mike soon – fantastic to catch up!  The rest of the gig went really well, danced like a fiend, really, REALLY good fun.

Creed drove back, then after a late getup on Saturday I went up to the lakes to get some replacement climbing kit – both boots and harness knackred.  Spent about 2 hours in Lakes Climber trying out climbing boots and harnesses, made a good choice I think in some Frenzy lace-ups.  Passed by Field and Trek, got a pair of 5.10 Guide walk-in trainers for £15 (!)

Over Si W’s for tea (caught up with him Terminator and Trev), then over to Kendal to catch gig #2, the Peatbog Faeries.  As ever, the boys from Skye never failed to impress! Danced like a loon for hours – fantastic gig.

Got back to Ambleside about the same time as Trev & Si.  Had a brew then crashed out.

Sunday we went up Patterdale way, ostensibly to do the route after Pinnacle Ridge, but after a while of faffing and route finding at the bottom of the crag started up what we thought was the route but actually ended up being Pinnacle Ridge.  Must have done the route about half a dozen times now but still never find the bloody start properly.  Resigned ourselves to doing the route & had fun on Pinnacle again.  Bobbed the top off, then ran away -in the pub at the bottom by 3pm! Winner 🙂

Got back home, unpacked then a whistle-stop tour of Nan in hospital, Mike’s to get post, the Ma’s to find out what the Registrar said to the parents, then back by the Windmill to catch up with folk & say bye to Lucy before she’s off to her Explorer Belt.  Back about 11pm, feeling quite tired …