Well, as some of you may have heard, we did the broadcast, all five hours of it. The mobile phone battery died a short distance from the summit so Gaz and Kate’s ascent disappeared from view and entered a realm of the imagination where, for me at least, it had always been. My role in all this was merely to listen and grope forward into the impenetrable darkness of other people’s experience. I suppose others would have argued for webcams and real-time visuals to make it more tangible, but these are surely no better than audio when it comes to the actual affirmation of someone else’s efforts or achievements.
Jim Perrin is one of the country’s truly great living writers, not well known outside of climbing circles but to my mind infinitely preferable to the numberless Sunday Supplement novelists that dominate discussions about literature. His voice is such that I could listen to him all day - reciting gibberish if needs be. The eloquence and energy of his spoken contributions brought added depth to the piece and stood in intriguing juxtapostion to Gaz’s semi-conscious reiteration of television them tunes, hummed when faced with (presumably) a tricky situation on the rock-face (and which provided one of the many rhythmic motifs in the broadcast). I’m now going to listen back to the whole thing, talk to people whose opinion I respect, and try and figure out what it all means and how we might develop it.
Chris has another day out in Spain and I thought I heard him say on the phone that he was going to tackle a climb himself. Could that really be the case? He hasn’t yet heard Jim’s commentary.
I find myself wanting to provide a review of the broadcast, but that is not my business and I have no means of bringing things to a tidy conclusion (which bodes ill for doing all the necessary paperwork for the funders). I’d intended when I sat down a few minutes ago to present some coherent and intelligent thoughts about the whole project, but this morning I’ve woken up to find myself living in a country dominated by the Right, as voters promote assorted fascists and phonies to represent them in Europe.
I find myself strangely distracted and looking round for my own rock to climb, or even crawl under.