13 June 2007

Catch up time

I've not posted for a while, OK I have posted twice this month, but they were looking at paddling trips and on re-reading them they were a bit stale and boring. Sorry about that. I have however not posted any rambling posts (using them lovely 'Categories' down the side I can see that the last entry under 'Ramblings' was made on the 26th May) about anything and everything to do with my paddling life so this post is to make up for that.

The picture has no relevance. I took it some while ago and also photo shopped it a long time ago. I just thought I'd tag it along with this post as it is totally random, just like this post.

I started my A Level exams yesterday and now have only four left, which is nice. However, what is not nice is the fact that I can hardly bend my thumb's because of Sunday's hand V's rock incident. This would not have been a problem if it had just been my right thumb, but it is also my left, which basically means I can hardly hold my pen to write and answer such delightful questions on the differences between summer and winter anticyclones. This isn't the ideal situation at the moment as the five exams, including the one I completed yesterday, are some of the most important ones in my life - obviously when I go off to the University of Cumbria to do my Outdoor Leadership degree those exams will be the most important, but at the moment my A2 ones are - and cannot be resit like previous A Level exams I have done. I suppose I've just got to hope for the best and that the results (all A's, apart from one which was a B) from the other modules will keep my overall score high ensuring I get the grades for Uni.

Something else that I am hoping for the best in is my plans for the year to top all years, the year that'll change everything that has previously happened, the year that is going to be simply know as the 'Gap Year'. That was a pretty unimpressive build up, but the last time I mentioned it in a post was the 5th May and I thought it may warrant a few extra words! When I mentioned it on the 5th May I was talking about applying for my New Zealand visa and how some lovely Kiwi chappy was going to phone me up. Well they never did, and at the moment I have left that all on hold mainly because I need to get the starting months sorted before rushing into the main months of the year.

So how are the starting months looking? It could go either way. I rung PGL up last Monday (4th June) and they were as vague as ever saying: "we'll let you know nearer the time." How much closer do you want to get? I want to be at a centre by the 1st July so on this news I dropped Acorn Adventure a line. They were much more helpful saying that they had jobs in France if I wanted one. Well I did want one, however with the little matter of exams still to do I couldn't really take one :-( They'll ring me back later in the month to keep me informed - let's just hope they've still got a vacancy. A word of warning to anyone who reads the blog (that could be a fair few people I'm warning as over the last three days, on average, I've had 82 hits a day - cheers Playak) if you are looking for a job with PGL or Acorn Adventure in France/Italy don't take it unless you know I've already got one!!!

However what has become clear from my phone calls with Acorn Adventure and PGL is that it looks very doubtful I'll get a centre I really want to be at. This ultimately means I may not be in a prime kayaking location but stuck instead in the Ardeche or by the sea. This is no real problem, as at the moment I am seeing a job with either company as a foot in the door of a well known and respected institution that could prove useful later on in life. Three months of paid work will also be earnt, which should fund the majority of the New Zealand trip. I am going to have to accept that river paddling is going to have to take a back seat for a period of the Gap Year, but if this allows me to then spend October through to April in New Zealand paddling some world class rivers and doing the odd days work to top the funds up I am sure I can live with it.

The final part of my Gap Year, the desert I think I'll call it, will be back at PGL or Acorn Adventure. Here I am hoping that the three months I previously spent in their employment will prove useful as I have prior experience and can begin at the start of the season, May, and work through untill the middle of August. This should allow me to have a pick of the centres - Embrum here I come. Also financially this could be quite useful as being a previous employee and a qualified coach allows me bonuses on top of the standard weekly wage. A bonus is always nice.

Finally, I'm betting some stickers produced to advertise the blog during my Gap Year. The stickers are being made by Bala Graphics, a company run by a kayaker from Bala incidentally. The stickers are based on the banner at the top of the blog (is it being displayed? Comment me if it is not) so hopefully they should work out alright and stick nicely on Roger to push people over to these pages.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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