I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Quasimodos feels his Bell, by Stevie the Bell Haston.

Wifette dragged me out today by my choke chain, I didn't want to go. She had done a yoga class, and the shopping, and some garden. I had sulked in bed, moped around, eat loads of shite food, and generally felt dumb and sick with myself and the rest of the world. 
Some sensible stuff was said to me on the drive to the crag, which I didn't really listen to, I half heard some  advice on the short walk to the cliff, it wafted around a bit before dissipating on the turbulence of my depression. Underneath the warm up 8a, which was more than damp, it was wet, I knew things would either get better or much worse. If wifey got up the warm up 8a, I had two choices, either strap on some courage, or pretend to be more sick than I felt. Wifey dually struggled a bit with the damp, nearly slid off a sloper on the first crux, then pulled out some burly moves when she looked like she was going to give in, and got me on her side before the last mean as a hungry lion last move, she growled louder than any lion then, and threw down a big slap, that looked like it took her past the jug, but she rode out the little backward slide on the arc, and caught the jug, 'piss' she declared.

'Fuck', I declared to myself in a whispered aside, Fuck, feck, fook, I gotta do this now otherwise zee bitch will never let me ever, ever forget it.
Anyway  my harness cut into my fat legs, the waistband didn’t know which bit of blubber to roll behind, and with the comforting last encouraging remark from wifey, 'you look enormous', I bravely set off towards that country I knew so well, Humiliation. My feet slipped a few times before the first crux, one shoe came off one foot on a heel toe, and I couldn't chalk up properly cos I had been in a rush, and hadn't opened my chalk bag fully. Lots of puffing and huffing, I lost loads of skin from unaccustomed places, I threw loads of dynamic moves, felt like throwing up, and vaguely heard some chirpy giggles from my belayer before clipping the chains. Thank god little chain, darling little chain I chortled, I don't have to commit ritual suicide, I took the jump off the chain with more than normal fear, and got lowered towards the welcoming smiles of a few people. Wifette patted me on the head, and said did I want a dead horse to eat, as a snack. A few guffaws later I looked around admiring one of my favourite cliffs, thinking maybe there was hope for my climbing after all, and I was over my sickness. 

On the next route reality struck back with the report of a howitzer, no faking this one, I took a careless swinging whipper, and lifted Laurence off the ground, and swung her into the wall. 'Ouch that must of hurt', 'you are very heavy cherie', she cooed sarcastically. I monkeyed up the rope  badly, took more falls, and arrived, bloody, broken, but unbowed at the chain.
'Nice one', my Esmerelda said to me, 'perhaps you can wake up tomorrow, and do some work around zee 'ouse'.       
Anyway, I had a great time out, I worshiped in the cathedral like roof of a great sanctuary, I felt redeemed, reborn, and a bit reamed out, but mostly unrepentantly happy to be a rock climber again, ring my bell you beautiful roof.  Liberation day like the chiming of a million bells, accompanied me down the walk away from the cliff, and I noticed all the flowers as if for the first time.
Just say yes to turbanization...feeling extremely yogic...

Thanks go to a few people, Phil Girard for putting up the route Old El Paso, which I fell off, a marvellous concoction of toes, heals, swings, and gibbonisms, and the evil Esmeralda, deftly she flicked her whip, and so stung the stubborn mule.