Friday, September 07, 2012



I went climbing again yesterday. This time to Fall Bay. The cliffs and crags are spectacular; but as someone pointed out (it was the writer Tim Lebbon) climbing in a place called Fall Bay is like "swimming in Drown Lake". Yes, it's not the luckiest name for a climbing venue, is it? Many of the routes have names like 'Isis', 'Osiris', 'Seth', 'Horus', although there are a few with more quirky names such as 'Monkey See and Monkey Do' and 'Frantic Sunday Morning'. If I was good enough to pioneer routes and get the opportunity of naming them, I would certainly err on the quirky side. 'Don't Give the Aardvark Pepper', for instance, or 'Jumping into Paradoxical Custard'. But I'll probably never earn the right. I'm more like a hippo on the rockface than a gecko!

Anyway, in this second photograph you can see a little red speck halfway up the cliff known as 'Lewes Castle'. That's me. I found it a bit hairy, to be honest. At one point I felt the fear and hugged the rock as if it was my lover (hugging the rock is considered very wrong and asking for trouble). I learned that yes, I do have a fear of heights... Talking about cliffhangers, I would also like to announce today that my novel The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange is now taking pre-orders. Regular readers of this blog may remember the actual writing of this book, back in January 2010. It is full of cliffhangers and I believe that it's my best novel to date.

Anyway, there's a charity auction connected with this book. Readers are invited to bid for the chance to appear as a character in the text of the novel. The six highest bidders will feature in a gladiatorial scene, fighting against a famous writer (choose your own writer if you like) and dying on the point or edge of a variety of traditional weapons (pick your own weapon if you prefer). The money raised from this auction will go to Animal Aid. For more details please check out the publisher's webpage. I'll be blogging more about this in the coming days and weeks. Just remember: half man, half ape, half badly-added fraction, STRINGENT STRANGE WANTS YOU!!

Hello there Rhysaurus!

Please be careful when you go climbing! Years ago I used to abseil and rock-climb, and it's really important to have proper footwear for this activity. Strangely, I have a fear of heights, but always enjoyed climbing (when I lived in Toronto, I went to the top of the CN Tower and stood on the glass floor that they have there; 700 feet above the ground! I had been drinking heavily all day, so it wasn't so bad...).

Anyway, enjoy your climbing; but please be careful!

All the best...
Thanks! I think that most climbers have a fear of heights; but somehow the fear doesn't manifest itself in the 'normal' way on the rockface itself. Weird!
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