Sunday, 8 December 2013

Still in Birmingham but my head is in a spin

Charles at the top

Again we just don’t seem to have stopped, Wednesday was spent with Alex helping pack, they are finally moving! Hurrah. Followed by a trip to the climbing wall, which was cold as usual, but where we had another good week – the first couple of trips were very depressing, getting quickly tired and finding climbs quite hard that should be well within our grade, for the last couple of weeks though we’ve tried some harder climbs and have rediscovered some technique so feel we have finally achieved!

Thursday we sorted through the skiing gear as Aldi had their new seasons gear in, we justified some new socks and a spare pair of goggles but on the whole were very restrained, before going to see Fiona and the kids.

Charles, Jon, Caroline and Jackie
Friday we thought we actually had a day off, but by the time we’d shopped, washed, and practised putting on and taking off snow chains and B had washed the car! The day was gone in a flash.

Saturday we met up with my brother Jonathan, and Charles and Caroline at the climbing wall in Milton Keynes. It’s an interesting wall which despite our many visits we’ve never actually climbed at, we’ve only ever been ‘belay bunnies’! Jonathan left after lunch as his back was playing up, leaving us and the kids in the bouldering section. 

Jackie belays Jonathan
I may have weakened and put on Charles’ shoes (well they were mine originally) as he’d taken them off to give his crushed feet a break (he’s only 11, yet my shoes are nearly too small, and my helmet fits him perfectly!) to do an interesting boulder problem. It was exciting to see the difference in their attitudes over the last year. Before we went trying to persuade them to do a route and work at a tricky bit was never going to happen, this time however they were both much more focussed, Caroline particularly trying over and over again on a particular part of a problem till, despite the blisters she finally succeeded, only to realise she was higher than she felt comfortable with and needed ‘rescuing’! 
Charles, under Jackies guidance, belays his sister
Charles and Jonathan bouldering

Dynamic move by Caroline
This looks better than it is, he fell off just after

Look, no hands, I can balance (almost!)
So with sore hands and feet we decided it was time to go home, quick board game and well deserved pizza was ready before Jonathan and Lucy went out for the evening leaving us ‘home alone’ with the kids. We must have climbed them hard as good as gold they both went off to bed and not a peep was heard till just before 8 this morning when our peace and tranquillity was shattered. As this was half an hour later than expected we couldn’t really complain though. Lovely relaxed morning in bed with the kids before coming home to repack for our 10 days cat-sitting, from tomorrow, in the Cotswolds. Cats and chilling, here we come!
Carolines 'boulder problem', probably her 20th attempt, but she did get as far as the upper roof before being 'rescued'

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