Thursday, 31 May 2012
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
With Cockle shells and Silver bells. My garden is beautiful, the vegetables are delicious and have no nasty poisons in them, lots of work though. I am afraid I will bore you with more of my opinion, so those who don’t like discussion can go else where now. My vegetables are good, are yours? My chickens eggs are great are yours? I can’t buy untreated milk, which is what I like but the law forbids it. The law is an ass. I can’t kill my own animals, they must be taken miles to a legal slaughter house, and at cost to me, are killed in a way I don’t approve of. There are a ton of things I disagree with, and there are laws I don’t believe in, there are governments I think are plain corrupt and just serve big business, I am not just a climber!
My Blog is full of opinion, indeed I live a life very different from the norm, so please don’t threaten me like some people just have about the Obama thing. The Guardian newspaper thinks a bit like me so perhaps you should threaten them.
Anyway, enough, my garden grows! The magic of growing things continues. I went climbing today and found some one has been chipping one of my projects! Please stop, they have also chipped a hold on Lolita, this is at the Grotte de Sabart, I will repair these holds.
The day was a very good one, my companion was tired but did great, we both made progress, I am convinced I will climb harder than I ever have. If I succeed, it will mean that all old people have been fed nonsense about sport.
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
There are more Americans on this blog than brits, some of you are really intelligent and powerful people please take notice of what your president is doing.
Apparantly Obama can do three pull-ups, that obviously makes him a bit better than the new buffoon in charge of France, a man bizarrely named Hollande! Does it though? How do we judge presidents? By their smile–Clinton, sex appeal-Kennedy, Obama-skin colour, Nixon –Pinocchio nose, or by what they do for the common good. And what of-course is the common good.
Holland turned up in Kabul to tell the French lads in UN uniform that he was going to bring them back, jeez hasn’t he heard of Email? Obama, sweet, neither Black, neither White, sanctions killing in foreign countries without trial.
Sorry, I didn’t really understand that, he has made it ok for America to go into a different country, and on the basis of perhaps nothing, just hearsay-a legal term, kill people who have no legal and fair trial. Oh , ok that’s ok and dandy, its Obama and America. Yes the world sits by and smiles, because we have cars that need filling.
Sunday, 27 May 2012
Saturday, 26 May 2012
Friday, 25 May 2012
A time-lapse film of the First ascent of Alah Il Hobuk by Stephan Farrugia
First off, here’s a link to a piece of art with me and simon alden as acting ants. It was made by Steven Farrugia a guy who has just discovered climbing, good luck Steven. Steven was with Simon and I when we did ‘Alah’, and he did the last two pitches which he loved. He mostly hung around bored filming this little ditty for other peoples pleasure, so I’ll thank him for you, thanks Steven, the light is so pretty.
More boringly theres a photo of the next weeks food for me, a tough week I think lies ahead.
I will climb till Xmass, and expect a present from the climbing gods, a big present.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
At the moment my climbing is in a ‘Spring time’ fizz of growth, its easy and natural. I am not 55; I am 5 months old, I cant walk so I crawl, If I cant crawl I roll, I just do what it takes. Because I had a year off I am weak, the old raging bull in me, is just not there. So why am I climbing ok’ish? Well there’s a ton of reasons but it’s mainly due to the transitions between moves going smoooooooth.When I am strong there’s a perfunctory set up of the feet, and wham, bam, thank you mam.
Yesterday I went on and old complicated link of bits of a huge roof, and the reason I have never been able to link it was clear, it’s the thousand transitions between moves that tire me out. Even the ‘moves’ between the transitions, where you don’t even think you are moving, are areas where you save strength.
You have probably been out climbed by weaker climbers, if you have been like me; I always got a thrill out of it, but now I am being out climbed by me!
A good way to understand transitions is to make less noise with your feet at a climbing wall. Or when you are mentally going through the climbs sequences, to count everything you have to do, not just the hand moves; count the shoulder down, the head turning; your breath, the every little thing.
No wonder we don’t climb very well often. Climbing well is magic. Anyway yesterday, the route I was on expanded into a huge three D map, it became vibrantly clear, I will walk, dance and pirouette through this upside down maze of beautiful moves.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
King of Kings and Grivel quickdraws.
Life should be simple and easy, just look at cats, do they get mortgages? So why haven’t you bought a Grivel Quick Easy Draw?
Grivel with their concept of making things easier have defo come up with one of my favorite bits of kit. This Quick Easy Draw has a two fold advantage over normal draws. The first one, which is the most important for me, is that the draw is easy to pull on. I work a lotta routes, that is I red-point them, and this draw with its ergonomic handle makes pulling into position easier, thus I save more strength for the route. I just finished equipping over 40 routes and without this handy little device it would have been much harder.
They come in 10 different colors, pick yours....
The second advantage of this Quick Easy Draw is that the plastic handle/sheath protects the draw from abrasion. This protection adds to the life of your draw and a bit more security in the long run. It is surprising how much abrasion a draw on the crux of a frequently fallen off route will take. In cold weather, or snow, and with gloves, this draw becomes an all most indispensable tool. The quick easy draw that you carry to help you work routes, is called a working draw, so why not minimize the work by choosing the right one. I always carry one.
Laurence on Dinosaur's balls.
Monday, 21 May 2012
Trained with Laurence today, she didn’t want to, but I made her, cos I needed it. Yesterday I ran up my hill in the rain, which turned to snow in a strong unhelpful gale. The hill is steep rugged and dangerous, it is 1200 meters of up, I say this not to impress but to underline how much I didn’t want to do it. It would have been a lot easier in some sunshine with a buddy. I put it off for hours, hoping the weather would get better, it got worse, Just before I went out, I grabbed three plastic bags, and an extra gel. Two bags went over my hands and one down the front of my underpants. It was awful; but it needed to be done.
Anyway today I climbed at the cave of justice and was nice to Laurence so she had to chum me along with some training. The training went a lot easier than it did on Monday, when I did it by myself. So thanks Laurence. But thanks Jeff too, and Al for phoning me up( hope your bike injury gets better), basically thanks to a bunch of people recently for helping me.
I am of the opinion that a problem shared is a problem doubled, but with true mates who want to help, the Gift of small things becomes possible, and these small gifts turn into something big. So mates keep on laying it on me, man, I will shoot for the Moon this season. If I climb like today and a few other times in the last two months it will be easy. In between is just hard work.
Anyway you could go and listen to ‘With a little help from my friends’ written by McCartney, or perhaps the version by Joe Cocker, and its true, it is easier.
So on Saturday I couldn’t do a front lever, today it was there, it was easy, everything was a ton easier.
Sunday, 20 May 2012
What I have been doing....
Yesterday I had a bad day, I did three 8’s. What's so bad about that, well lots of things, I am running our of time and money, and my body is getting old, and worn out. I need two small operations
I have just finished a 10 week climbing trip and am weaker than when I started! I don’t like feeling weak. One of my old projects humiliated me, it kinda always does that but yesterday it was smirking, it was just laughing, you’re too weak, you’re too weak. And it is right, I am too bloody weak.
When we arrived home Laurence went and rested on the sofa with the cats, a phone call to Mark confirmed my suspicions that he was tossing off, which left me by my lonesome, staring at my fingerboards, empty, no gas!
|...and what I should have been doing!|
Music on loud, chalk everywhere, an hour later I felt righteous. I am weak though, just capable of a one arm, failed to do front levers, reasonable crimp, open hand strength down, flexibility high, bicep pathetic, shoulder appalling, well it’s the same as it ever was, back to some basic stuff.
So, the worst of all is that I have a mountain race coming up, a 100 mile up and down rough nightmare, and have done only one run! The race is in 5 weeks! The outcome will surely be humiliating at best, hospital at worst. I have to get out of the house and into the rain and walk up the little mountain in front of the house. There is no bright side to this one, its even forecast for a storm, maybe the Brightside is that I will be electrocuted! More power Igor.
Friday, 18 May 2012
|Underworld, Stevie on Satan's love child|
Got home, at two in the morning, checked out my garden, the flowers and the veggies, a barn owl checked me out, on its way to terrorise mice. It was raining, and it felt good on my dried up skin after ten weeks in Malta. I breathed in the mountain air, listened to the complete silence, went in the house and hung a few holds on my fingerboard. Not bad I thought, zee finger strength is high, zee life force seems strong, I cranked out a few pull-ups and bumped by thick skull on zee ceiling. I took a turn in the back garden with my cats; they wanted to show me something important, a big dead bird! They took turns rubbing against, me and a big barbell which was quietly rusting away. I absently picked it up thinking I’d curl it easily, and got a shock; I had to use a lotta body English to get it up. So, notso good, score low on zee bicep curl.
|Satan on Stevie's love child|
I lay next to my friend and tried to get to sleep and did my version of counting sheep, I went thru the moves on the last route I couldn’t do. No good, sleep evaded me, and so I decided to go thru bits of a tough 100 mile race I will most likely fail on. Well that worked. ZZZZZZed
In the morning I checked out my blog, as Laurence has been sorting it out, while I had my climbing sabbatical going on. Lots of nice stuff like the photo of the wave that probably broke the Azure window arch on Gozo. The blog can get very heavy traffic, so thanks you’all, hope you appreciate the hard work that sometimes goes on.
|Rael and Jeff|
The blog is a weird thing, but it has been nice seeing the photos of the Underworld cliff, and the odd photo has brought a little memory flicking back thru the rusty brain. There’s a photo of Rael half asleep, and Jeff wanting to climb that I remember taking, Rael was working weird night shifts, but was still coming out, Jeff and Rael were doing Super Furry and Vampire Lats that day, and I was taking a run on Satan’s Love Child, verily it was a good day, a climbing day, the fellowship of the cave.
When you hit my advanced years you can become a bit grumpy, when you are just intelligent enough to know that the world is fucked, but too stupid and powerless to help, you can get a bit sad, if you dwell on those things beware, its time to discover a cliff and get overhung, it’s the cure, its Paradise, its Odins Hall.
I used to take chances, sometimes big ones, and on the last climbing trip I did a bit of that, and it was very good, hanging off your finger tips, just friction between you and your life blipping out. It was nice. Life is not sacred, it’s the way that you live life that can be sacred.
So what is life like outside my private vision? Television seems to be full of big cleavages and buttox lips and discussion programs about silly things. This was Italian TV between Vaginal cream and verruca cream adverts, some political corruption and lots of hysteria about an absurd ball game played by young men who seem over-fond of each other. Maltese TV was the same minus the vaginal cream adverts. I watched a test card thingy which reported humidity and temperature and most importantly wind and sea conditions. There were no reports on how much pollution it takes to seriously make you ill and how much toxin is getting into our food! Cigarettes were on sale everywhere, despite killing more people than Kadhafi, Hussein, Bin Laden, and the American government put together!!! There you go stick that in your crack pipe and smoke it.
La Sportiva's lightest running shoe, named for the vertical kilometre race, is a total ace! It weighs nothing, it breathes really well, it’s a winner. Drawbacks, it is a bit fragile in the domaine where it will be king. You cant expect it to be sturdy at this weight, so its for most people a race shoe, a sunday best shoe, or a feel good shoe. The sole is very beefy though, and will take a hell of a pounding. Its got an integrated gaiter and is totally swish and stylish, I really like it and give it a big thumbs up. You buy...you fly!