Andy's Blog

Read, comment, spam, bin, rant, cry - take it or leave it I don't care.
Rabbit Stories

Rabbit Stories

11/02/16 - Expression

How real do you think you are? How much of you is a story, how much is true? Have you ever heard the story about the rabbit and the scorpion? In this story a rabbit comes across a scorpion beside a wide river, and keeping its distance in fear of a sting, the scorpion asks the rabbit if it can help it get to the other side.  ‘No’ says the ...

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A mile further down the road

A mile further down the road

29/01/16 - Expression

As usual when someone dies somewhere cold or steep my phone and inbox fills up with messages, pinging in from radio, TV and the papers, wanting an opinion on the tragedy of someone else’s adventure.  I tend not to respond to most of these anymore, as I eventually asked the question for who’s benefit would I reply?  Would it be mine: ...

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What’s writing about?

What’s writing about?

24/01/16 - Expression

For me writing is more music than maths, more magic than grammar, it’s as free as I can make it in order to make it free.  I re-read what I write and it makes me sick, like reading out my last blog in the car to someone driving.  It makes me sick as it makes no sense to me now, not like I thought it did.  I read what comes out and ...

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More Black Than White:

More Black Than White:

22/01/16 - Expression

What I like about racists is that although they attract the righteous anger and indignation of those who judge themselves not to be so intolerant, and lack the lofty view shared by those who have made it to the moral high ground, you can’t deny that at least they’re honest.  Now before we carry on (maybe I’ve lost you alread...

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VBL Socks

VBL Socks

20/01/16 - Expression

Vapour barrier liner socks or VBL Socks (or just VB) are often seen as being some strange and obscure technique use solely for use by those at the very extreme end of adventure, primarily people working or climbing in the Arctic or Antarctic. In fact VB socks offer a lot to anyone operating in sub zero temperatures for extended periods of time, esp...

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Blackstar books

Blackstar books

19/01/16 - Expression

People often come up to me and ask me ‘when’s you next book coming out?’ which I always a funny question as I’ve only written two books in the last nine years: Psychovertical in 2006 (I think) and Cold Wars in 2012, which hardly makes me prolific.  I guess my slow pace of writing is caused by…. well my slow pace of writing.  I w...

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Friend Requests

Friend Requests

15/01/16 - Expression

I’ve never been a good friend, and for most of my life although I did have friends, good friends, friends I’d die for and they die for me, really - they were just a hassle, another thing, too much ‘upkeep’ to bother with unless I needed something or our paths were crossing anyway.  I know why this is, it’s simple: for a long time...

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Fragments

Fragments

13/01/16 - Expression

Was asked to write a long list of ideas of thoughts and ideas for Rock & Ice’s ‘What I Learned’ column a few months back, the result of which is in the latest issue.  When asked to write this kind of thing I just bang out a long train of thought, which can be a positive and negative, and reading back what I wrote I’m sure the guys ...

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The Bear Pit (Prologue)

The Bear Pit (Prologue)

11/01/16 - Expression

I’ve been working on my book The Bear Pit for a few months, well actually about fifteen years, but only now am I really getting to the end of the early draft phase of writing (getting all the bones of the story down before first edit by me).  People keep asking about the book hoping no doubt that it’ll be a follow up to Cold Wars, ...

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Straight Story

Straight Story

10/01/16 - Expression

Spotted the following comment this morning at the bottom of yesterday’s post “Normality Of Tragedy”, probably one of the most widely read pieces I’ve written for a while (about 6000 views in less than 24h), on a topic that I know quite a bit about: OK mate.  Are you a columnist for The Daily Mail?  Do you write for their ...

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Normality of tragedy

Normality of tragedy

09/01/16 - Expression

I clicked onto the Alpinist website on Tuesday night, one of those ‘screensaver’ sites you visits when your mind goes blank and you need something to do, clicking on Tumblr, BBC news or UKclimbing - sort of something to do before you have something to do.  The Alpinist site is a good site, with a lot of good content, but being a small affa...

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Chicken Pie

Chicken Pie

07/01/16 - Expression

The other day someone tweeted me the following question: “from 2014 to 2015 you turned it round. My 2015 has been your 2014. Any tips old sage? My 2016 needs to be your 2015!” My reply - off the top of my head was: Try & be brave. Take the short term hell for some long term heaven (most people live lives the other way round : ( I wrote ...

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once-in-a-lifetime

once-in-a-lifetime

06/01/16 - Expression

Wow that’s quite a question!  Thanks for the bullet points. Here’s a list of thoughts: Having the appropriate skill set People often get hung up on not having enough experience but most often than not we’re not talking brain surgery or flying a paraglider over the alps, and most skills just spring to life when you need them (like that a...

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A Christmas Message

A Christmas Message

25/12/15 - Expression

A year ago today I sat in a silent house, no presents to unwrap, no kids to bounce on my bed too early, no Christmas meal but beans on toast, the saddest day of my life.  But don’t feel sad for that day, that man, as he is not me now, but it’s good to reflect. I like beans on toast, but even so, a year ago today, well it was like hitting ...

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the deadest idea of all

the deadest idea of all

24/12/15 - Expression

There is a point in my Cold Mountain show were I bring up a picture of seagull, an illustration I did for a film a long time ago.  When it appears you can feel the room thinking ‘why is this image here - what does this have to do with Antarctica?’ And I guess that is my very point, to make people ask just what that point is.  Ask you...

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infinite possibilities

infinite possibilities

18/12/15 - Expression

I don’t remember the first time I met Steve Bate. It’s often the case with people who become central in your life.  He probably entered as a person someone else knew, in a story they told, about their life, in which he played a part, just a name.  My first real memory of him was as a Kiwi who built a wooden shed for someone I used to ...

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Psychology Q&A

Psychology Q&A

16/12/15 - Expression

Every month or so I get someone doing a degree or PHD on some aspect of psychology or sports science looking for an interview, or share some insights into what I do. I always try and respond, after all I love talking about myself - I’m my deepest fascination.  I thought instead of just firing it back into the ether, where my name will be st...

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Spit out the Poison

Spit out the Poison

11/12/15 - Expression

They say that you need to capture a reader in the very first line of a story, or if not, say that you’ve blown that line by exposing what is needed in order to read on, then your last hope is your first paragraph.  So lets start here by me admitting that when you see stats that only 35% of domestic violence is reported by its victims, I could be...

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On Denali

On Denali

08/12/15 - Expression

Hi Drew First off one big thing I always stress on such trips is to focus on your survivability (lots of blog posts about that), as you’re pretty much on your own if things go south, with no rescue in storms etc.  This means being totally solid in terms of mountain camping, mountain travel and basically being able to look after yourself and...

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Getting your bearings

Getting your bearings

04/12/15 - Expression

Yesterday I wrote a blog about my impressions of Scotland post referendum, half love letter to Scotland - a place I once called home - a place within a country I once called home - half reflection on how it had changed in a very subtle way (being more political aware is good, but not if you allow a party more rope just because you hope it’s diffe...

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Contact

If you want to just drop me a line about one of my books, or you've seen me talk - or want to give me some work, then drop me a line. I also seem to be a little like the A-Team, with strangers often getting in touch for help and advice on a load of subjects, so feel free to zap me anything (be bold!).

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Speakers from the Edge

I live in Sheffield,
Great Britain,
Land of the
male stripper