24 April 2008

Good Times

10th March, 08

Well I’ve not posted anything for a while. Well I can’t because we don’t have a connection here at Dalguise. I am sat right now in my room, waiting for the tumble dryer to finish after a good morning of kayaking, typing this post out as a Word document and now that I have a connection it’s going live.

The Staff Room just before we all head back to an afternoon of training.

What’s been going on with my work at PGL? I can now instruct in three other activities. One of these is motor sports, passed my EASI assessment almost as soon as I arrived on site, and a few weeks later passed the assessments for zip wire and trapeze sessions, which was well sweet. Work is very similar to the last season; provide fun sessions for kids in a safe environment. However, what isn’t the same is the fact that I am living with a girl this season. This girl is my girlfriend of four months and its great living with her. One other difference is the fact that I’ve got my own wheels this year. This only means one thing: paddling missions aplenty.

EASI assessments.

Since I’ve been here I’ve had four days off. On three of these I’ve paddled. The other one was spent with Jemma, the girlfriend, in Dundee. It was really good to be offsite with her.

In the van with Jemma somewhere around the Dundee area.

The first of many kayaking mission saw the van heading for the east coast of Scotland and a bit of surf at St Andrews. Unfortunately there wasn’t any surf but we still had fun on the water and tested the van to the max. I think we had three kayaks on the roof, a kayak, bike, mountain board and kite all in the back along with the kit to go with it all.

The Head of Watersports at Dalguise heading down to the nonexistent surf.

The second paddling mission was down the Tay from the centre down to Dunkeld for a few drinks in the Tay Bank hostelry. Another easy day on the water, it was good to be among friends and work colleagues just having a giggle doing something I have always loved, but sometimes despised: paddling.

Team photo before heading off to the pub by boat or bike.

Then the other paddling mission was today on the River Lyon, which drains Loch Lyon on Rannoch Moor. I hooked up with a paddler from Glasgow – who it turns out grew up in Leyland, where I used to go to college – who a friend found for me over the internet. This paddler was a great chap, an aspirant Level 5 Instructor and was a great guide down the hardest river I’ve paddled in a long time. It was great to get off site and away from the people I spend almost every minute of my time with and have someone else to talk too and get to know.

A scenic shot of the Lyon before entering the main gorge.

The day before that however I got out in a boat on the Braan. Not the stretch that is revered by gnarl boaters, but the bit from the Hermitage down to the car park. This wasn’t a day off, but a quick after work mission. Everything got sorted in the one-and-a-half hour lunch break and then straight after a zip wire session we were off to the river had a quick twenty minute paddle and were back in an hour to catch the remains of tea. Skills.

In the pool just after the Hermitage ready to head off downstream.

Anything else to add? Some days have been really hard and I have been lucky in the fact that there are some great people around me that have been and still are a great support to me with everything that has gone on and can understand my many moods at the drop of a hat and offer some comfort. Jemma has been the greatest of all. In fact she has been the most amazing girlfriend through it all and has put up with me when I have been at my lowest and helped me through it all. I got to admit though it is still hard and when I get in my Rocker every time I think: will it happen all over again.

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

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