Sunday, 23 February 2014
My father's 90th birthday and vague hope of getting some of the missing crag shots for Eastern Grit III persuaded us 'home' for a quick week - though I'm not sure Sherri was totally convinced. We said a sad farewell to the cats and just a few hours later were in a wet and cold Liverpool. Friday was a half-decent (for February) day so it was Curbar with Graham and Steve - in the event I got all the shots I wanted and we even got a couple of routes done. Saturday was an early start, a surprise for my parents (who thought we were in France) and a big get-together for the Craggs/Ramsey Clan and then onward to Sherri's mum in Saltburn for yet more food and more being talked at.
Sunday was back to Sheffield, a damp day so a chance for a bit of getting organised. The three days we had left, had a half-decent forecast and in the event I photographed some of Baslow and Gardoms, as well all of Chatsworth, Agden and Cratcliffe - turns out it was the driest spell for over two months.
Of course the big news is that we have booked flights to Singapore for June as part of planning a trip to Australia - only a 1st step as the whole idea is a bit scary/daunting - but all journeys have to start somewhere and just booking part of it gives us the option of changing our minds!
Sunday, 9 February 2014
Top: Chouila snow-shoeing
Bottom: Mas d'Azil Cave
Before they arrived we visited the amazing Mas d'Azil cave to the north-east of Foix. The area has been inhabited for more than 30,000 years and the scale of the cave - with its road running right through it - is amazing.
I have cracked on with Eastern Grit 3 - looks like I might finish it several months early - so with that being the case, I'll be looking for a new project quite soon!
Saturday, 25 January 2014
Life at Chez Arran revolves around working on Eastern Grit, playing Wiff Waff and enjoying the company of the cats.
Eastern Grit (Ver 3) is starting to look really good - even though I say it myself - the deadline of later this year is easily within reach - I might even have to find something else to keep me busy in the meantime.
Also on the publishing front, the skiing book produced by Thorbjorn/Jonas has arrived and it looks quite superb - even the proofing is of the highest standard :-)
The cats continue to be a delight - I never really considered myself a pet/animal person - but times change, or maybe I just never realised. Either way, they are a pleasure to be around, despite the odd scratch - certainly more pleasant than you average 'uman!
Top - Brilliant snowshoeing conditions at Beille
Middle - Comfy cats
Bottom - bats in the belfrey
Monday, 13 January 2014
Right top to bottom:
1) a walk around Verdun with Sinsat behind
2) Skidoo fun - Andorra
3) Sample Froggatt page from Eastern Grit III
4) White wilderness at Choula
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
A couple of weeks in and it has been the same as ever; a pleasant and mellow place to be. There was a big fall of snow 10 days before we arrived, but since then it has been mostly dry and bright. We climbed, walked, snowshoed and had a bit of downtime.
It is good to be back.
Thursday, 19 December 2013
Another year rolls around and we find ourselves back in the the Ariège - after a busy 12 months visiting a variety of destinations including, Western Scotland, Chamonix, Kalymnos, Sicily, Locarno and of course the French Pyrenees as well as finding time to rephotographing much of Peak Gritstone. My main aim for the winter is to get Eastern Grit into a suitable shape for publication towards the end of 2014 - I could have done it back in Sheffield but it much pleasant being based in the mountains.
Season Greetings and all the best for next year to anyone who has visited my blog or bought one of my books in the past 12 months.
Saturday, 7 December 2013
We decided to get across to Kos a day early as the forecast is for gales tomorrow - judging by the way the shutters are banging and booming now, it was a good call.
Left: That's the fabled Kalymnos over there
The crossing was bumpy - the travel sickness pills did the trick - then we went for an exhilarating beach walk and had a meal in a deserted harbour front taverna - traveling out of season has some great perks.
The UK air traffic control system has been bust today - that, and a very short transfer at Athens might snafu our onward travel plans - lets see how far we get.
We hope to be in Ariège in a week's time - maybe, maybe not?