And back to Kansas

Well I certainly hadn’t intended to leave it that long before updating this blog. No single reason although coming back to Kansas, illness and nothing much interesting to report all contributed.

Anyway carrying on from where I left off on the 30th I drove up to Sheffield in the evening and spent a thoroughly enjoyable with Adam, Kate and Tammy and they also very kindly part me up for the night. Next morning I headed over to see Sarah an old friend from my time working for the MoD and her family. Her youngest, just over a year old now, seems to have taken to me rather better than her older sister who does now at least seem to tolerate me. Was nice catching up and thanks to other plans going awry I got to stay a bit longer than I’d originally expected.

That evening I headed over to John’s for the same New Year’s house party I’ve been to for a few years now. It was great catching up with more friends and this time I even managed to stay relatively sober. By relatively sober I mean I was definitely drunk but for once didn’t wake up with a stinking hangover. The next day most of those that stayed over went for an extremely muddy walk before we headed up our own way. I headed up to Jen’s as the plan was for us to go away for a few days, most probably to North Wales.

Well that plan didn’t survive a proper look at weather forecasts. Low cloud, wind and possibly rain did not seem a particularly appealing idea so I stayed around Sheffield went climbing indoors a couple of times and bouldering once. I also went for a couple of rather muddy, if enjoyable walks. All the walking definitely brought home to me quite how much rain the UK had had! On the Thursday evening I headed over to Glossop to catch up with more friends. Other than a slight organisation issue, where everyone except me knew we were meeting at a pub rather than a friends house, it was a really enjoyable evening.

On the Friday I headed south to catch up with Si and Claire in Dartford. Another enjoyable evening ensues and it was really nice to catch up with them both, especially as Si had been ill when I was back in the summer and I’d been unable to see him. After a rather late and tired, but thankfully safe, drive I was back at my parents. Next day I returned the car before my Mum, Dad and I all went over to my brother’s and his wife to watch some football, eat Indian food and generally have a good time.

Sunday I flew back to Kansas. I’d deliberately got a late flight from Heathrow so we could take our time getting there. All in all the trip went really well and the only thing that went a little wrong was more funny than irritating – when we got to the gate at Kansas City the pilot had to admit to not knowing where his ground crew where! After a short delay we taxied to another gate and I was soon back in Lawrence. Thanks to Carol for picking me up and Daniel, one of her friends, who had been co-opted in to keeping her awake for the drive!

Things then began to settle back largely into the normal routine. Took a little while to get back into climbing indoors what with the jet lag and not having done too much but I got there. The first Saturday back I went to a “New Year’s” party organised by Carol and Mary Ashley at Mary Ashley’s as apparently both of their actual New Years had not been the best. It was a really enjoyable evening and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves so hopefully it was better than the original for both of them. As I was in KC late on Saturday I finally got to another friend’s quite regular Saturday night gatherings. As these don’t normally start to gone eleven they’re not the easiest to get to for me. I eventually got home about 3:30am after another nice evening / night.

That Tuesday I had a good climbing session at the wall before coming down with a stomach bug that led to me having Wednesday and Thursday off work and not really being totally back to normal for more than a week – although I felt OK after a few days I lacked energy for considerably longer. This somewhat derailed plans to take advantage of the long weekend so instead I ended up working quite a bit on the Monday and I plan on slyly taking the day off some other time.

Last week I’ve started to slowly have more energy – I’m pretty much back to normal now – and I got to the wall both Tuesday and Thursday for much reduced sessions. This Saturday I got my first outdoor climbs in in nearly two months on a really nice day where we were climbing in T-shirts. Didn’t get too much done but did help Russell with his second and third trad leaders so it was far from a wasted day. The weather here is currently all over the place – more than 20 C today but forecast to barely got above freezing later in the week.

Well that’s things pretty much caught up – hopefully I won’t leave it so long this time. Photos from the last climbing trips are here and photos from walking in the Peak District are here and here. Bet I’ve forgotten something there while trying to remember the last month but oh well I think everything important is there.

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