Climbing mountains in the biting cold

At three days notice, a buddy and I decided to travel to Wales and climb Pen Y Fan. And maybe watch the rugby/beers afterwards. Typically, the weather report attempted to scare us out of the mission, we stuck two fingers up and cracked on. Seriously, what could go wrong?

Setting out just after 5:30am, although pretty cold, the weather report was a pile of horseshit and we looked forward to getting to the top, running back down and into a pub.

Not being hikers or climbers, we took precautions – decent boots, a flask of coffee and a banana each. And an extra vest – we’re not stoopid.

Much like my life, I didn’t really know what to expect. With minimal planning, a whim and a sense of ‘I can do anything’ – it seemed like something good would come of this. Just as my writing career seems to be.

The party size had shrank overnight, one of the chaps pulling out with a suspect ’24hrs bug’. I think it’s called ‘sense’ but I would have to check with him (he’s from the south coast).

It’s bloody steep. It’s uneven. It’s quite high at almost 900m. The wind was biting and by biting, I mean it bloody hurt my teeth as I fought it. It was bastard-bastard cold at the top and I felt alive.

People were on their way down, with cheery grins, as we muddled on around the summit, without a map, aimlessly following others and attempting to guess where the end was.

Had we underestimated this?

Probably.

But. Fuck it. We have one life and I’m sick and tired of being told what we can, should and are allowed to do. If politicians can screw my country up, without a care in the world, I should be able to do a few things I want. Like write a few words. Mostly in jest.

This week it looks like someone complained to FB and the link to my blog was halted. FFS. I’m not exactly setting the world alight or preaching hate, in talking bollox in the hope that I can win a few followers. I think I’ve managed to sort it, but those feckers have powers way beyond those who are attempted to bring the European separation to decree absolute.

After the elation of the climb (and subsequent hangover on Sunday which allowed me a single slice of toast and a piece of apple pie all day), I get finals proofs for the book and a publication date. I honestly can’t explain what this means to me. To us. Poor Gem, my wife, has been through all of this with me.

There are loads of ‘only one life quotes’ that could be entered here, but as Liam Fray wrote ‘I’ve never written a cliche before and I’ll probably never do so’ – here’s what I feel comfortable with; do some stuff, say yes, be selfish at times, prioritise you, scare yourself, fuck what people say, concentrate on positives, not negatives because we don’t know how many seconds we have on our clocks.

Life can be a massive pile of cow dung as times – be nice

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