Photos of climbs to Mount Meru (4556 metres) and Kilimanjaro (5896 metres) in 2003.  Mouse-over each image for its title:



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This first UK gathering brought together twenty-six gay and queer men to explore their experiences of gay spirituality and share their practices.  The quirky retreat centre of Whaley Hall in the High Peak provided a suitably intimate setting with its own blend of wooded gardens, private chapel, ringing bells and labyrinthine doors. We came from three broadly identifiable traditions.  The earth-based traditions were evidenced by Native-American chants, close connections with the natural world, pagan ritual and a strong faerie presence.  The various Eastern traditions brought Buddhist and Hindu perspectives as well as meditation practices and yoga.  The ‘remnant’ Christian tradition (as one participant expressed it) comprised a goodly mix of Catholics, Anglicans, Quakers and non-conformists.  Weaving through the gathering were several ordained ministers including those with an Interfaith background. 


For more information, please visit the Gay Spirituality website.


The Fell & Rock Climbing Club's Mountaineering Festival was the culmination of the Club's centenary celebrations.  Balancing the Centenary Banquet held last November on the actual anniversary of the founding date, the Festival provided an opportunity for all members to be out and about on the crags and fells.  With each hut bursting with members and guests, there were numerous parties, dinners and other social activities.


The focus of the weekend was the Centenary Exhibition staged at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.  Around 30 people had spent over three years compiling materials for the exhibition.  10 Decades of Mountaineering illustrated the club's entire history through a series of professionally produced multimedia panels on such themes as early climbing, the gift of the central fells, huts, guidebooks, notable members, and activities around the world.  The panels were accompanied by 54 original mountain paintings by members spanning the last century, and by 60 superb photographs of mountain activities around the world.  A one-day programme of guest lectures entertained members enjoying a day at the theatre. The entire exhibition will transfer shortly to the National Mountaineering Exhibition at Rheged for the rest of 2007.  A special 32-page illustrated guide to the exhibition has also been published.


Other activities included an attempt on all the 244 Lakeland summits, a Birthday Picnic on Great Gable (complete with cake and champagne), and a special thanksgiving service at tiny St Olaf's Church at Wasdale Head.


All-in-all, a memorable weekend and a fitting end to the months of centenary celebrations.



In a return visit to Thailand during April and May, the main focus was on reconnecting with friends in Bangkok and developing relationships with men attending the AsianFaeries gathering.  The weather was much hotter and the high humidity made day-time conditions more uncomfortable.  As usual Bangkok kept throwing up surprises.


A two-day trip to Pattaya enabled four of us to enjoy getting very wet in their delayed Song Kran (new year) festivities - although the rest of Pattaya is not particularly appealing.


The three-day trip to Kanchanaburi was particularly thought-provoking.  The immaculate war graves cemetery contains the remains of 7,000 POWs who had died working on the Burma-Siam 'Death Railway' and visits to Hellfire Pass, the Bridge on the River Kwai and the associated monuments was a testimony to the 45% death rate amongst POWs press-ganged into working on the railway and the estimated 100,000 South-East Asian population who also died during the 18 months of the railway's construction.




A new contract has been awarded to work with the chief operating officer of Scottish Cycling to assist in the restructuring of the organisation through a period of significant expansion this summer.  The work forms part of the ongoing Modern Sport programme funded by SportScotland.  It is anticipated that the work will run over the late spring and early summer, 2007, and be based in Edinburgh.