Sunday, 24 June 2007

Cocktails and Climbing

What with birthday celebrations (and consquent morning-after lethargy), bad weather, shopping and visitors, there hasn't been much climbing this weekend. So this post is about My Other Life! Yes, I do have one. It was my birthday last week, which turned out to be completely wicked - much better than I had expected it to be! It being summer, I insist on having strawberries on my birthday. This year's strawberries took the form of a crush, mixed with... umm... something stronger. Whatever was in it, it was called Pretty in Pink, and was very nice. So I had four of them... And some other things without strawberries...

Time for a picture. Look what I got for my birthday... my very first Camalot!

It was strange being "out on the town" - not something I usually do, but maybe that's why I enjoyed it. People-watching is a captivating sport. When I am too old to climb anymore, I think I will take up people-watching. One group seemed to be buying rounds comprising bottles of Veuve-Cliquot champagne at about 100 quid each. It was unfortunate that they didn't look like people who would be persuaded to part with similar amounts of cash for a set of cams (to add to my collection of one)...

Anyway, we spent Saturday walking on the beach and visiting Butterfly World, where we saw a python whose middle was bigger than my thighs, and met a man who puts cockroaches in his mouth!! Ewwwww!

Newly "hatched" butterfly. No idea what colour it was on top!

Just to illustrate the sort of weather we were competing with this weekend, and prove that climbing wasn't a sensible option, here is the blackness of the sky from the beach at Gullane. The last time I was here, I spent a while fiddling around on the sandy remains of cliffs high up the beach. It looked as though there might have been some good problems if the rock wasn't disintegrating at a supersonic rate. My other excuse (not that I needed another one) was that I didn't have my shoes on.

Tamsyn on the beach

OK, I admit it; I can't go a whole weekend without climbing. Indoors was the order of the day because of the inclement weather. Caroline and I, both feeling a little lethargic from midsummer celebrations, decided we wouldn't climb very much, but that doing something would be better than doing nothing. We started on 5's, got spanked by a 6a and ended up cruising 7a!

Climbing indoors is undoubtedly not the same as climbing outdoors, and if I had to choose between them, I would always choose outdoors. I love being outside. But indoor climbing can be just as rewarding albeit in different ways. We struggled to start with; it seemed to take ages for us to warm up, to get heads in gear, to remember the right type of movement. Having decided we didn't have leading heads on, I felt pretty ashamed of what I couldn't manage even on a top rope. But time and practice are always beneficial, and after one trial run I managed a fairly technical 7a. After that, things improved hugely. Something in my head clicked, and I started moving better, feeling stronger, and finding my rhythm again. Either that or I used up the last of the tequila in my system falling off easy stuff. Clearly, cocktails and climbing don't do each other, or me, many favours.....ho hum.


DaveR said...

Lucky you getting climbing gear for your Birthday! I only seem to get big socks since I'm a 'climber', still useful for keeping the midges and ticks out :)

alpinedreamer said...

My mum once refused to buy me an ice axe for Christmas (well, she did ask if there was anything I wanted!), saying "I will not condone your dangerous sports." Fortunately, others are more enlightened. Paul obviously isn't anxious for me to hit the deck just yet ;-)