I used to climb rocks. Badly, but never mind; for a few years it was my sport.
Why climb? It’s risky. I could have fallen - did so, twice. Or been wiped out by a detached boulder - one weighing a hundredweight just missed my head. Did I have a death wish? Not at all.
Wasn’t it scary? Sure. Wouldn’t I have been safer watching telly or – ugh! – gardening? Sleeping would have been safer still. Problem with sleeping there’s no confirmation you haven’t rolled over in bed and snuffed it. From time to time it’s nice to tell yourself: Hey, I’m alive. Climbing can help with that,
Reflect. You’re on a straight road, no other vehicles in sight, your family saloon can do 100-plus mph. You press just a little harder on the pedal. Why? The hedges whizz past. If a front tyre blew you could be upside down in a ditch, watching a tongue of flame caressing the fuel tank. Harder still. Wheee-ee!
Nah, I’ve never ever done that. Never? Chances are you’re fibbing.
Rock-climbing usually happens in marvellous rural surroundings. That’s an excuse. Sort of. But that vista could be better inspected leaning against a dry-stone wall with binoculars. Don’t kid yourself; you’re halfway up Devil’s Groove because of the height, not because sheep are grazing on the hillside..
There’s a consensus that human beings are rational. Mostly it’s true. But then a happily married man, alone in a pub, catches the eye of a woman also alone. Speculation stirs, then is suppressed. Hurray, rationality works! But sometimes speculation evolves. Irrationally? Isn’t it entirely rational that attraction between the sexes should exist?
I used to like swaggering about with 100 m of nylon rope over my shoulder. Did anyone else give a damn? Was I harming anyone?