I have just spent a week working in northern Italy, so I am tired; I have some lira in my pocket, met some new people and was generally more alive from using my brain, normal for northern Italy! If it wasn’t for the coffee, which is reason enough to go, I would be I in need of a sanatorium like in he Magic mountain, kinda consumption of the brain has taken place.
Wake up sometimes was five, stare at the wooden beam, make a pot of coffee, actually that should read, choose a coffee pot from the five in the cupboard, then watch it do its stuff, fill the nostrils, eat some carb and pop out for a run. Most days it was raining, but a few were clear, and they were divine. I would run up the hill, till I was opposite the Grande Jorasses, pausing to check gullies, dream a little, sometimes my whole person would inhabit a thought and I would take wing, flying up the snow slopes, swooping around the granite, going right at the hut, straight up the Tour du Jorasses up the route of the Etoile, then on to the summit and let my sight stretch its way around the big glacier basin and on towards the Dru. Wow! Turn around bright eyes, go to work! So around I’d turn and do big imaginary snowboard turns through the slightly heavy spring powder until I’d have to jump the huge seracs, and soar gaining a lot of air and wonder how I could ever get down to the road again. Spiralling down, an air corkscrew, Id lightly land on my feet and jog down to the apartment and a yawning Laurence eating her muesli, trying to do some yoga. Naturally she wasn’t the slightest bit interested in my Wizard of Oz reverie.
Off to work. Working with good, intelligent, gifted people is not so bad; it’s almost a pleasure.
One morning we went climbing instead, because we needed to work our arms, A cliff with a view, yet urban and two minuets from the car, a crazy overhanging cliff, so good, so steep, happy, yet not in the groove, timing wise. We got a bit spanked, but it didn’t matter. Met some local lads, all lovely boys, who showed us a bit of skill. A very enjoyable morning, and then a really productive afternoons work.
I have thought about living in this valley, and maybe I will one day, it does suit my personality, but I miss Ariege. Anyway in an ideal world I can have both, and life is not being unkind to me at the moment, even if I am not climbing so well. Have ‘golden dreams’ as they say in Italian, and I look foreword to returning to a climb I can’t do.