February Write Ups
My trip to the Pinnacle Climbing Wall began on Friday when I realised that the loose trousers I had been told to wear were no longer loose. Strange that they should all shrink at once. A quick trip to M&S was called for. Following their excellent directions, Fen and I found the centre quickly and easily. Amazing, as our track record for getting lost when out together is a constant source of amusement to my family. They were convinced we would get lost on the wall.
We were greeted by Martin, one of the instructors, who took us to a room and provided tea and coffee while we waited to be kitted out in our climbing gear. Don't believe Peter Mac if he tells you we were locked in. There was still time to run for the hills.
Martin was joined by Matt and both proved to be patient and excellent instructors. Any attempt to look dignified went by the board when we donned our harnesses. These had to be fairly snug and the slightest movement saw any excess of flesh attempt to escape through the straps. Wish I had stuck with the tight trousers.
Next came the helmet. Martin told us that these had to be tight enough not to fall off when hanging upside down. UPSIDE DOWN! No-one had mentioned that!
We were ready for the wall.
Having been asked to do a write up I had planned to keep an eye on all our members and record the fantastic achievements I was sure I would witness. This didn't happen and I apologise. For two hours I saw only a wall two inches from my nose, a rope that I dare not let go and the bottoms of the other ladies in my group. Had Johnny Depp walked by I wouldn't have noticed.
We had been split into four groups, with Martin supervising ours. He was first class. Not only in instructing us, but in the way he encouraged us when we were struggling. He praised the smallest achievement and before we knew it we had reached the roof! In fact, Hilary's final climb looked like an audition for Spiderwoman.
Another do-before-I-die under my belt with many thanks to Carol.
It was the only day of the week that forecast heavy rain, but 25 members arrived undaunted at The Cross Keys pub in Kingscliffe. Driving through Corby we had seen a few red kites with their distinctive feathers, so I took that as a good sign.
I made a note of others' walking gear and decided I needed an upgrade from wellington boots next time. We all stayed upright on the muddy parts, but a walking stick would have been a good idea and definitely a woolly hat!
This was my third 50+ event and I've been impressed by the warmth of the welcome. As we progressed over open fields to Apethorpe, it was good to tag along as the groups merged and dispersed. There were a few stiles to negotiate, but looking at the events calendar, this was small stuff compared to what 50 plussers normally get up to!
We arrived at Apethorpe for a breather - a very pretty village that I hadn't been to before. Some of us admiring the church were nearly mown down by a vicar in a hurry to get to the service. Note to self. Ponder the beauty of new placeson the pavement.
It's muddy on the way back said Ann, but we started out on a tarmac road. Was she teasing? Er - no she wasn't, but walking through the wood and over bridges by the stream was well worth it.
We were ready for our Sunday lunch and a room had been laid up for us. Our table decided against a pudding, as we'd had generous portions for our hot meal. However, as the puddings arrived I started to regret the decision, especially after seeing Devil's Delight , a wonderful confection of cream and chocolate.
The rain came as we left the pub, so we had been very lucky. It was a grey day weather-wise, but certainly brightened by the good company enjoying the Northamptonshire countryside together.
What a cracking evening! With well over a quarter of the club membership doing their best to scatter their 10 pins far and wide, a good time was had by all.
Congratulations to Carole for accumulating the top score amongst the ladies - well done Carole. I, on the other hand, suffered a bout of beginner's luck with the highest total score for the men. It must be said that I didn't win either game, so Les and Mike deserve a well done too.
Thanks to Pauline for organising a very enjoyable evening.
As a new member this was my first event, not sure what to expect. But I need not have worried I was picked up from my house and made to feel very welcome on the way to Milton Keynes. 14 members gathered in the foyer, of which a few more were new like me.
After donning our "wet" gear we were told to pick a helmet. Eventually we all found one to fit and gathered for a group photo. Once inside, the cold air took a minute to get used to, and the first victim fell over, legs in the air (shame I can't remember any names). We were told to collect our inflated rings and make our way to the top of the slides. Two lanes meant we could go down in pairs. We were all dubious that we would fit in these rings, but it was explained you stuck your knees in the air (not as bad as it sounds).
Off we went, very scary the first time but also very exhilarating. The fun part was how to get out at the end everything was very slippery - a few more victims to fall, hope one of our spectators got some pictures. The half hour turned out to be amble time, as the walk back up the slope, reminded me I am not as fit as I used to be.
Afterwards we retired to a pub and had a well earned drink and a meal, very enjoyable. A great evening was had by all and I look forward to my next event.
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