Climbing – Al Phiz makes the telly!
I keep getting asked if Alan Phizacklea is a relation of mine, and did I see him being air-lifted to hospital on the telly! Well yes, Alan is my cousin and is currenlty well on the road to recovery after a serious climbing accident in the Lake District. There are many posts on the web explaining what happened to him and how he is etc. If you need more on his rapid fall to earth, please search Google.co.uk with “Al Phizacklea climbing accident” and it almost beats Britney for results! (see http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=06&year=2008 for news and a pic to see Al is OK-ish!).
Needless to say, my opinion is (as ever) direct – when you let your guard down you normally loose. Al was unlucky and thee rock gave way on him, but it was at the end of the day's climbing and “the last little thing before we leave” that saw him get a ride in a helicopter. Fortunately, the pilot had a fancy for a ride to Whitehaven where they have a new foot surgeon, had he gone to Barrow things may have been different and the problems with Al's recovery an order of magnitude worse than they are.
I've been keen for Gina and (or) Adam to take up the sport, and Adam is keen for more exposure to climbing. A planning application has recently been submitted for a wall near our home in Newport. If it gets permission I'm hoping that a winter indoors learning the basics will see us on the crags. The only thing that stands in the way now is the town planners – not the easiest of routes, but hopefully they will see that this is a great chance to provide a really beneficial facility in our town.
Kids – New school year
Gina in year 8 – how time passes, and how she grows. Already almost as tall as her mother and sprouting bumps all over the place, with attitude strong enough to take down a government! Fabulous results at school, makes me so proud that she enjoys her school work and excells at almost every subject. Her first love appears to be music and grade 4 flute is coming soon. It amazes me how she can read music so fast!
Adam is wrestling with the decision of keeping up with gymnastics. The atmosphere for him of late is not too good at gym and he is feeling neglected. Most of his issues are around his age, he likes to play with his friends, he's just learning how to be a rebel and one of his favourite words is “antiestablishmentarianism” - it seems to fit! Schoolwaork has taken a break for the better for Adam, he's moved classes and got a new teacher with who he can relate much more easily. He excells in maths and hopefully will start to knuckle down and get good results this year. His football is still a bit in limbo as he is stuck in goal again this season and is bored – especially when the team are running rings around the opposition!
Tech – hubs, cables and Virgin
Fort Phiz has been converted to cable as we have removed BT and gone for Virgin. We now get 10 MB download with little contention, but a mess of an installation.
The Jim Carey film, Cable Guy, took on a whole new meaning for me a few weeks ago when the man from Virgin arrived to plug us in. I now have to remember all my training and experience of running cables to make it all work the way it should and look better than how it has been thrown in! I should have complained, but realised that they don't give a damn about how it looks, or how you want it. Service Industry UK is just about as bad as it gets right now, and it may take people like Branson himself to be dragged into the front-line of the business to wake up the industry and get some decent results!