We’ve started rock climbing on Sunday mornings at the climbing wall in Petersham – we used to climb at lot in Edinburgh but haven’t done much since moving to Australia.
Neil also climbs outside and does Via Ferrata in Europe each summer. Here he is 1,000 feet above Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Italian Dolomites, cheerfully hanging off a piece of wire (the Via Ferrata) tacked on to a sheer cliff with a rusty nail.
Back in Sydney, even though it opens at 9.30 and we’re there at 9.32, the climbing wall is already overrun with a screaming horde of little angels and their bleary-eyed parents being taught how to use the equipment.
The kids can’t wait to get at the wall and the parents can’t wait to get at the espresso machine. It’s clear that some fathers especially, aren’t quite sure which planet they’re on, and seem to be suffering the after effects of a wild Sydney Saturday night on the chateau collapso.
But for the next hour – or however long it takes to wear the little buggers out – they’re umbilically attached to their Torquils and Tarquins by harnesses and ropes; relief (caffeine/aspirin/valium) is not to be had.
Some parents cope better than others. Variants of ‘no Daddy’s not going to let you come down yet’ are commonly heard which makes you wonder what sort of traumatic psychological issues will present in another 30 years or so.
And while we’re on the subject of caffeine, if you’re looking for a really good coffee in the CBD (and who isn’t?) and are anywhere near No 9 Castlereagh Street, head for MODUS ESPRESSO. David and Cruz are operating out of a coffee cart while their building is renovated – they should be in by August.
Kathryn knows her coffee and put me onto this place. Well worth a trip.