The highlight so far this year has been Canada in June/July: we spent a week exploring Vancouver Island, whale-watching and kayaking in the Broken Group Isles (my idea of paradise), then transferred to the Rockies for another two weeks. Between Jasper and Banff, we climbed five peaks, camped by a mountain tarn, saw oodles of wildlife including two young grizzlies, and had some lovely Japanese meals in Banff.
Back at home, it's been a good year for hill-walking in Snowdonia -- we've climbed Pen Yr Ole Wen, Carnedd LLewellyn, Foel Grach, Garnedd Uchaf, Foel Fras, Llwytmor, Yr Aryg, Bera Bach, Moel Siabod, Snowdon, Crib Goch and Crib y Ddygsl. We've also had some long days exploring new areas in the Peak, including Kinder.
In August, I hosted the first Blake's 7 Writers and Editors convention here in Cheshire, with Steve Rogerson as official photographer, documenting attendees from three continents. The first edition of my amateur zine ttba garnered a FanQ award, prompting me to open submissions for volume 2.
Work on my historical novel is progressing slowly (I can testify to the fact that novel writing is harder than it looks!). In October, I will be starting a part-time MPhil in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan tutored by the novelist and short story writer, Catherine Merriman.
Skiied in Tignes & Val d'Isère in March, where I head-planted off-piste after skiing over a rock ledge.
Took up watercolours, after an inspired Christmas present.
The year started with ski-ing in Tignes and La Plagne, and a wonderful New Year's Eve feast in Bourg St Maurice.
After a dull start to the walking/climbing year due to foot-and-mouth, I extended my knowledge of the Snowdonia peaks, climbing Snowdon (twice), Glyder Fawr, Carnedd Llewellyn and Yr Aran, as well as Robinson, Dalehead, Helvellyn, Whiteside, Raise and Nethermost Pike in the Lakes over various trips in June and July. An August bank holiday trip to the Lakes achieved a long-held ambition to climb Bow Fell (and Esk Pike); the next day we visited Seatallan, Haycock, Steeple and Little Scoat Fell, and saw fewer than five people all day.
The highlight of the year was our trekking holiday in Mongolia (July-August), where we encountered an entirely different culture among the nomadic Kazakhs. We also climbed two peaks over 3500m. (Photos coming sometime!)
I attended my first sf convention, Redemption, in February, where my amateur fiction zine, ttba, premiered. For my second sf convention, I travelled to New Jersey in November, and took the opportunity to do some sightseeing in Manhattan, including the extensive Impressionist collection in the Metropolitan.
I attended several fiction courses over the year, including a very enjoyable residential week at Ty Newydd in Snowdonia, as well as courses with Gotham online. I'd recommend both organisations to anyone looking to improve their skills at writing fiction. In autumn, I started writing a novel set in the early Victorian period.
2001 was an active year visiting friends, old and new, including Charee-May and Martin's wedding in Cambridge in July, Emma in Glasgow in February, and Dana in Jersey City in November.
You can e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Last updated 3 May 2003