I've been staying with Dave Durkin, an English climber who's been living in Norway for forty years, one of those crazy ex pat Brit climbers who you seem to know long before you meet them. He's a volcano of energy, and it's down to Dave that I'm mixing work with pleasure, and it's down to him that I've already send my winnings from Tuesday's talk of to build a school in Nepal (well a classroom at least).
I'm told it's been the wettest year ever in Norway, and I can believe it, the rain coming down hard, waterfalls pouring off the buildings and bridges, the rivers all in torrent. I cycled into Oslo yesterday to get a sim card so I could blog from the wall without coming down bankrupt. I cycled in on my bike down a twelve mile bike track which only seemed to have signs that could be seen going in the wrong direction (good to see the Norwegians aren't totally perfect). I almost wimped out, the rain battering the windows, the wind pushing the trees around. 'I'll set off when the rain stops' I thought, cozy in Daves warm house, but then I thought that on the wall rain and being wet was going to become a big part of my life.
I reminded myself of a few things:
In Patagonia I learned that you must embrace your environment. Don't go to a place famous for storms then sit and wait for the good weather. Enjoy the wind and the snow and the rain and see it's power and beauty. Bend to it's will.
That rain, and the storm, always sounds worse when beating on the wall of a tent. It's never as bad once you get out.
I learnt sea kayaking in Sweden - where I was soaked every day - that being wet isn't so bad, and adds a layer of adventure and hardiness to the experience.
My dad always used to tell us kids not to complain when we were wet, telling us that we were 'waterproof'.
Anyway I cycled into town, and it was a good test of my new shell jacket. I had my sandals on, and as I rode through the deep puddles I noticed that the water was warm as it ran over my feet, a sensation I'd never felt before, and I'd have missed if I'd wimped out and driven. The rain was my friend (and I hope it stays that way!)
I'm just about to leave(maybe one more brew) but I thought I'd share with you a bit of fridge inspiration (like toilet graffiti, other people's fridges can off up some surprising little gems of wisdom.
Live each moment
as if this is
is your last moment:
put all at stake,
and you will be
that life becomes
a tremendous miracle.
becomes a message.
becomes a bible
or a Koran or a Gita,
and every star
becomes a proof,
enough proof that life
is not just material.
Every experience of beauty
proves that life is
more than matter.
Every time you say aha!
You are saying a prayer.
Osho -The sound of one hand clapping
A Mars Bar bar costs 60p. Were these words worth as much?
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Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.Follow @ Instagram