Yes – just off the boat so to speak… Back after almost four years. Not much seems to have changed – maybe more Polish spoken in the streets, a wing here or there but essentially old London is still the same.
My first impression was how quiet and slow everything seems. I got serious laughter for saying this but, hey, that’s true. I guess its hard to compete with one o the most dynamic cities in the most populous country in the world.
Am parked on Mark’s couch (many many many thanks again) and easing back into being European. I came to lay the final blow to my Ph.D. dissertation, a book I so cruelly abandoned four years ago completed but not defended, and travelled to the other end of the world….
Last weekend we went to the Peak District – I forgot how beautiful it was, especially in the colours of autumn. I haven’t had an autumn for the last four years and seeing the splash of colours brought back memories of childhood, back in Transilvania.
Back to climbing after more than two months of paper shifting and planning was bliss – but a painful one. Climbing with Mark was a good exercise of just enjoying the rock rather than chasing silly grades. I was happy to see him pushing his limits, so artificially imposed on himself by his own modesty. For me, getting back on the gritstone took a while to get used to but by the end of the weekend we had a fun collection of routes:
Stanage: Wall Buttress HVS 5a; Dieppe S 4b; Curving Buttress E2 6a (free solo); Little Ernie S 4b; Trombosis VS 5a
Froggat: Terrace Crack HS 4b; Trapeze Direct HS 4c; Valkirie HVS 5a; Pinacle Face VS 5b (free solo).
My onsight solo of Curving Buttress E2 6a seemed like a good thing till a Pole (or Czech?) hoped onto and soloed an E3 6b. We packed our bags and left for home, Mark very psyched about his first VS lead.
Will be here till Christmas and besides the chill and ridiculous prices nothing seems to spoil my move back in time.
Oh… and in the meantime I just turned 31…..