The Mummy's Curse

The Mummy's curse descends on Norwich Climbing and Mountaineering Club.

Things start to go wrong for members of Norwich Climbing and Mountaineering Club this summer, with a spate of injuries ONLY explainable by supernatural powers.

The first to be struck down is Nick Smith, on the very day he becomes Nick Taylor-Smith.  As far as members of NCMC are concerned it seems like just being a good wedding, with dances, and horses, mates hiding jam in each others camper-vans, etc.

It is only the next morning it becomes apparent that THE CURSE has struck.

'What the fuck is wrong with your foot!' people shout in turn as we see Nick's foot.  In fairness we would be shrieking that anyway due to his freakishly distorted toes - which are why he is shit on slate.  However, this morning, in addition to toes which point any way except forwards, he has a massive swelling with beautiful shades of lilac, crimson, indigo, plum and black, like the north wall of Twll Mawr.

He has broken it, apparently dancing to Munford and sons at the wedding disco.  Either the volume of drink he consumed or his legendary high pain threshold kept this form being the end of his night, he happily bopped away following this severe trauma, which may not have helped matters.
Nick's verucca sock prevents him surfing

Anyway, he's laughing about it the morning after: Oh, ho ho ho.  In fact, he is delighted because he is about to go on his Cornish surfing honeymoon.   Sure enough, it is broken.

When I next see him at the wall he is using the opportunity to gain iron fingers by deadhanging all fucking night off the beastmaker.

'At least you got to see Becky surf on the honeymoon!' I helpfully point out, because it is important for mates to be supportive.

'Actually I didn't.  There was a sea-fret [mist] so I couldn't see twenty metres.  She had a great time,' he says glumly, as his rest time runs out and he dangles once more from a quarter-pad.

Ah, hilarious.

The drugs do work
The next to be struck down is Tom Jones, who is working away down in Brighton, something to do with flood defences which the Environment Agency have apparently decided might be necessary after all.

'Its a sweet deal: I'm eating well, steak every night, looking after myself really well, eating salads-' explaining part of the reason that flood defences cost so much because of his upkeep.

'And I'm going to a good climbing wall in Bristol.  There's quite a good scene.'

Sounds great, and I am envious, slightly, until he lands on his chalk bag falling of the Bristol wall.
We learn through Facebook, and send comments of condolence and support, like 'Man up' and 'try an anal probe, that should help.'

In fairness, he has really badly hurt his foot, with some kind of serious sprain and a chipped ankle bone - He Is Out.  Looks like Nick will have company on the fingerboard.

The next one is not funny.  That is because it is ME.

I come back from Wales and the Peak, with tons of driving, then to go and pick up my son from my Mum's in Gateshead, we squeeze in a trip to the Northumbrian coast on the Sunday, and all is good for the journey home.

Except, my old friend my disc injury is now acting up.  By the start of the drive home I can feel the tell-tale tingle down my legs.  By the end of the worst journey, in which I lose two gears of the car and the cooling pump packs up - later to cost the neck end of half a grand to fix - I am absolutely fucking crippled.

To the point where MY legendary high pain tolerance has failed (note. I can resist most of Nick's pain inflicting 'tests' for determining whether a suspect in custody is shamming unconsciousness).   I cannot however deal with the spasms is the muscles compensating for my disntegrating connective tissue.  I visit the doctor.

I haven't had to for about four years, when they set me up with some physio.  Prior to this, I would have a doctor's visit every summer as the symptoms flared up. 

The disc injury started when I picked up a tree in Scotland to impress a lass.  Note: she was impressed, I fathered a child upon her. The most serious relapse was when I picked up the child for a hug one summer, turned purple and nearly fell over.  He wasn't as heavy as the fucking tree, but he may as well have been.

The physio helped massively.  Except in my case, the exercises they wanted me to try were laughably simple: I was working hard in the building trade, so everything they wanted me to do was piss easy.  Until Physio Rosemary Trull made me start on the plank, a well known pilates stance.

Fuck it was hard, but within 48 hours my symptoms had cleared up.  I still find, when I get the pre-symptoms, planking irons it out within a minute.

I still use the plank as my warm up for climbing.  I normally do thirty seconds plank on the elbows- I find this harder than planking on straight arms- then another fifteen with each foot raised.  Since I have been climbing, I have had virtually no symptoms, which I put down to the strengthening of my back and core, as well as my inner gnarliness feeding itself on adrenalin and beef.

But this time: no.  Pain, drugs - all with a horrendous effect on the guts - walking poles, my son continually 'forgetting' he cannot swing off my head any more etc.

Could anyone have been having a worse time?

So it is thankyou to Darryl Hinchley for cheering me up as the curse strikes again.

Darryl has a history of injuries: he had his knees absolutely fucked by a rugby tackle as a teenager: to this day, he can bend his knees up.  It is absolutely sickening to watch, but I reckon it adds flexibility to his climbing, so lucky him...

Then I also know he has had to surf a scaffold down as it collapsed, and I remember him telling me on a winter trip a list of disasters.  I can't remember them all as the list was too bewildering.  But, dude! They were HARSH.

Darryl has fallen onto a gate catch and seriously gashed his tit.  His nipple may be assymetrical for life.  Actually, he has got off likely, he was lucky not to puncture a lung.

He gets stitched up at A and E, and is Out.  His car is in for an obsessive polishing and cleaning regime for the next few months.

Why has this curse descended so forcefully upon the NCMC? is it the ghosts of Dinorwig slate quarrymen unhappy with our refusal to even try multipitch in the pass? or did Darryl and Magnus' trip to Turkey offend the pharaohs?

One thing is for sure: it is NO COINCIDENCE...