Sunday, 9 November 2008

Seasons change

It's been a funny few weeks since the OMM, really.

The other Saturday, I was climbing in glorious sunshine at Clifton Crag near Dumfries, having elected to head north rather than south to the Roaches on Saturday morning. Instead of icy wind, cold rock and hoards of top-roping freshers, the crag (near Dumfries) was sun-warmed granite, with only one other pair of climbers who left quite early, and views of a sun-glinted rippling Solway Firth one way and golden granite and brown green tree flecked rolling hills of Galloway the other. After shedding a reasonable amount of skin, headed for home, happy and chip filled, in time to head to a party in Lancaster. However, as I wandered out of the shower, the phone rang, my mum to say that my grandma had died that day. Not unexpected, but still.

The funeral was held the following Tuesday, a blustery, leaf swept Autumn day, and was notable for some comedy moments from my Grandad, especially when the coffin of my tiny, frail Grandma was being carried into the crematorium, whilst everyone milled around the entrance watching:

Uncle: "I hope the coffin doesn't blow away"
Grandad: "What coffin?!?"

In the meantime, the world had changed, through the gathering gloom of November (actual and metaphorical), a chink of hope and joy: Barack Obama was elected president, something I hardly dared hope would happen, however good the polls looked.

But for now, autumn continues towards winter and climbing seems to be giving way to ineptly mountain biking through drifts of crushed leaves and bogs, dis-orientatedly orienteering on hail-swept high commons and that inevitable end of year activity, drinking.