May 25 2009

Multi pitch : HVS. Oh yes ….

Category: home,Mountaineeringash @ 11:40 pm

Without trying, I’ve managed to up my climbing standard.  Well, without intending to is more like it.

Friday I went with Ron K and Tomboy to Liverpool Phil to watch a set of guitarists.  Andy McKee and 2 of his collegues – very impressive.  Mad techniques of rhythym, tapping, slide and other stuff all in one.  An experience of people very committed to their niche!

Saturday was most chilled on this ‘weekend off’.  Hit the Gym, painted the loo, went to opticians, ordered new specs, found eyes had not got any worse (good news), back home, painted more loo, painted bog door and then chilled. Got the offer for a gig/party in Ambleside but was tired, so did some Risk Assessments for Dolomites trip (Party animal me).

Sunday met Tom in Ambleside around 10 ish.  Headed over to the Langdales and did Pluto on Raven Crag (4c 4c 5a) – HVS.  The first HVS I’ve ever led (multi), and the first HVS I’ve climbed since I was climbing with Comber at Anglezarke in around 1991.  Found it reasonably straightforward.  Didn’t exactly cruise it, but took my time and didnt’ get phased by any of it.  After doing that we did Bilberry Buttress VS next to it as well (4b 4c 4b), was ace.  Shattered at the end of the day, though buzzing.

Monday was holiday bank, and went for run in am then over past ‘rents to Brian’s 60th doo in Skem.  Did some tunes with Ellie, Creed and Phil which was cool.  Caught up, had laughs and enjoyed some most excellent company.  Then home for scran, beers and “Snakes on a Plane”, which is a bit like Ronseal.

Great Days.  Here’s hoping the weather holds for next weekend!

May 16 2009

4th June : Euro Elections … will YOU vote?

Category: homeash @ 9:37 am

That almost sounds like a tag line for an ad. campaign. 

I’ve been doing some reading around the past couple of weeks into & around the Euro elections.  Who’s standing, what the issues are and so on.  Unfortunatly, what with the level of Politician hatred that’s kicked off this past week, and with the compounding effect of increasing voter apethy as time goes on, I’m getting increasingly worried that some of the more extremist fringe parties are going to get a seat at the European Parliament, which (to be honest) scares me.

At the last set of elections, the BNP managed a result of around 6.5% in the North West of England.  That wasn’t just in the areas that they’re known to be strong (Burnley, Oldham etc), but they managed to field candidates in many seats throughout the region.  Low voter turnout was cited as the reason that they managed to get in -they had motivated their electorate but the rest of the main parties had managed to turn ‘off’ Joe Bloggs, and hence they got the seats.

The worrying thing is (that pundits and journalists would have me belive), as soon as they hit the 10% mark, then it’s pretty guaranteed that they’ll get a seat on the European Parliament.  Due to where we are now, and our complience (whether you believe it is right or wrong) with the EU parliament and the policies which come out from the EU, if far right parties such as the BNP were to have seats on this decision making board, all of Europe would be effected.  It would legitamise other far-right parties throughout the continent, and miniority groups would suddenly find themselves ‘unwanted’ in their society, rather than ’embraced’.  This gives me real cause for concern.

And the worst bit, is that if they hit the 10% mark, then if rumours are true, they’ll automatically get invites to regular shows such as Newsnight on the Beeb.  Which then projects their viewpoint, albeit in a carefully managed and packaged product, into the heartland of the UK.  That’s the disturbing thing – they suddenly would become a legitamate force in UK politics, rather the unwanted black sheep of the family (pun intended).

So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m asking you to spread the word out there.  Not so much to vote for one of the main parties if you don’t believe their politics, just VOTE, and don’t waste your ballot.  Hell, if you’ve real beef with the UK being managed by Europe, evan vote UKIP if you actually believe with their policies.  Just make sure you use it though.

As the EU website says on the notion of “Why Vote” :

By voting in EP elections, you choose who influences your future and the daily life of close to 500 million fellow Europeans. If you don’t bother, somebody else will – and decide who represents you at the only directly elected Pan-European assembly. Elected MEPs shape the future of Europe for 5 upcoming years. Get the Europe you want! If you don’t vote, don’t complain.

I know that voter apathy is high at the moment, and the whole Politican/fee thing has ruined the faith that the Electorate has, but if you’re honestly concerned about keeping your joy if you work in the public sector, or worried for the stability of society if you’re in a minority group, make damn sure you and everyone you know votes in the upcoming elections.  I truly beleive in this situation that not voting for whatever reason, is a very foolish (if not downright stupid) thing to do.  We’ve taken a bloody long time to get to this point in our society, and ignoring the democratic process because you can’t be arsed or think its cool is unbelievably self centred.  One person, one vote.

Use it – and try to encourage others to do the same.

May 16 2009

The Bad ; a clarification.

Category: Uncategorizedash @ 12:35 am

No, no-ones died (sorry for giving you the fear Abgurl). Craig and Ellie have called off the wedding and have split. Both safe, both in a bad place, some worse than others. Me and Spambo trying to help where we can.


May 14 2009

Good, and bad.

Category: Uncategorizedash @ 11:57 pm

Good: Just back from Drunk in Public – the acoustic Levellers set with Rev Hammer. A whole 10 mins drive from here, down at St Helens Citadel, a fantastic venue. Kinda got glasses knocked off and stomped into oblivion, and managed to dance with a lass who looked quite interesting, yet I couldn’t see her and ended up enjoying myself damncing more. Hey ho.
Bad: Heard very disturbing news. Off to make some calls.

May 11 2009

Busy times (for a change)

Category: home,Mountaineering,Scoutingash @ 10:22 pm

Dear diary.  I’m sorry it’s been ages since I’ve written to you.  Things have been a little manic you see.  I’ve had weekends away, lots of busyness with work, a funeral and many other things besides.

A couple of weekends ago it was John Willmott’s funeral and wake.  A huge turnout (we were all stood at the back), catching up with people who I’d not seen for ages, and following a well read humanist service we went back to the District shed where we proceded to destroy two barrells of real ale.  I was found in a curry some hours later and taken home courtesy of Ricko (ta feller).

That weekend was Welsh Meet, which we were using for our Dolomite team as a training weekend.  Lots of people met lots of other people, and lots of fun was had!  Am very happy to say that it’s an excellent team and we’ve got lots of fun in the months ahead.  I took groups over Tryfan & Bristly Ridge one day, and up Seniors Approach & Cneifon arete the second day.  Very good.

This last weekend was Mowbreck beer festival.  Held by Scouters for Scouters (Not Scousers), with huge amounts of beerage.  Great fun, lots of catching up with people and crashed over, then re-build the dad’s laptop the following day.

Well Diary, I’ve been doing quite a few other things besides.  Today I’ve been trying to source armoury items as my dad’s been let down by a mate of mine with some kit for a play he’s doing this week, so got in touch with TT’s son over at Conwy, though I think it’s too far to collect from in the next day or two.  Also in the process of building Creed’s wedding website, and just back from half an hour rescuing Ron’s PC which had been attacked by the evil iron that has a habit of tripping the power when the PC’s on.  Thank the Gods for chkdsk.

We had a meal as well, young Diary.  Crew went out last night in Burscough to the Confused Italian for some foodage, and beer afterwards.  We’ve a great set of people there, friends from the past 15 years still ready to give their all.  It means a lot, and it does rock.  Oh, how it rocks.