/ NEW ARTICLE: Coming Home for Christmas by Niall Grimes

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UKC Articles - on 24 Dec 2011
Grimer, 5 kbNiall Grimes surrenders and makes his way back home for Christmas.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4231
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very good (as ever) and very poignant!


Chris
iceaxejuggler - on 24 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

I've read this before somewhere.

Grimer is such a role model for me.
NJBrown - on 24 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: I hate people too
wilkie14c - on 24 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
Wonderfully entertaining, Good effort Niall
In reply to UKC Articles: Good stuff. That photo in the middle is breathtaking.
Richard White on 24 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

F***in' priceless! Thank you for making me laugh and my broken collar bone hurt that little bit more!

Merry Christmas.

Rich.
JKinsella - on 24 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: Really funny! Does anyone know if this is from a longer piece?
Will Hunt - on 24 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:
The spirit of Christmas. Lovely.
andi turner - on 24 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: The best fictional climbing article ever written.

It was fiction, right?
Skyfall - on 25 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very good - though I did keep waiting for the 'fictional' character to turn over a new leaf, scrooge-like, and do a good turn for someone....

The true spirit of Xmas - excellent ;)
jon on 25 Dec 2011
In reply to andi turner:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) The best fictional climbing article ever written.
>
> It was fiction, right?

Seems some Supertopians have bitten. Hook, line and... http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1703796/ARTICLE-Coming-Home-for-Christmas-by-Niall-Grimes

In reply to jon:
>

That really is astounding - no wonder Benny Hill was a hit over there!


Chris
thermal_t - on 25 Dec 2011
In reply to Chris Craggs: I've always believed the legendary lack of humour in America was a myth.....I was wrong.
Roberttaylor - on 25 Dec 2011
In reply to jon: Lol.
Michael Ryan - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to thermal_t:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs) I've always believed the legendary lack of humour in America was a myth.....I was wrong.

It's just different due to cultural differences and what you are exposed to. Some humour isn't universal, some is. Dramatic irony and satire is especially difficult for some. Some people get it, others don't.

Mick
Dave 88 - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Another Grimer classic off the supertopo thread. Probably done the rounds on here before, but had me in stitches-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2zg23N5zXY
Jiduvah - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: I guess I am with the Americans with this one. I didn't find it funny in the slightest. It just made me angry despite knowing it was suppose to be comedic. I can't see how anybody would consider this ironic tho. Maybe I am missing something
koalapie - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to Jiduvah: Just for a sense of balance I'd have to say I agree that this is in pretty bad taste and I have quite a dry sense of humour. I guess my stance is due to the fact that the subject matter is of basic manners and one an individuals outlook on life, which seems to be horrendous.This is much worse than any Disney film ever created. I'm not sure what it says about folk who think this is cool. Not funny.k
In reply to the last two posters:

As far as I am aware isn't supposed to be 'funny'.


Chris
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dan - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: That was a fantastic article, a great bit of reading!! Cheers Niall.
Strangely enough that "story" could have been written about me!
David Hooper - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: I appreiated the writing, but didnt like it at all. In my current condition (serious longterm cancer) I am trying to search out the good and the beautiful, there is enough shit and nastiness around without reading about more. A waste of 30 minutes.
Sam Mayfield - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to David Hooper:

Feel the same David, I had to struggle to finish it to see if it turned nice/decent humanity coming through etc....

Met him last month and he seemed like a nice decent chap, if Chris is right and it was not meant to be funny then thats a shame!

Sam
Queenie - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
> (In reply to David Hooper)
>
> Feel the same David, I had to struggle to finish it to see if it turned nice/decent humanity coming through etc....

Me too...it didn't happen.

Sam Mayfield - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to Queenie:

and if it was meant to be funny, it didnt make me laugh in the slightest!

All very odd :0(

Sam

I hope my French, German, Polish guests don't read it as they might think we all think like that!
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
>
> Feel the same David, I had to struggle to finish it to see if it turned nice/decent humanity coming through etc....
>
> Met him last month and he seemed like a nice decent chap, if Chris is right and it was not meant to be funny then thats a shame!
>
> Sam

I don't think it is supposed to be funny or a true story either. It is just a bit of creative writing made to make you think. If you came away not having enjoyed the experience and disliking the central character I suspect Nial has achieved exactly what he intended.

Chris

Mind you I might be talking complete bollies, maybe it is a true story and he is a complete tw*t. ;-)
dan - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: Also, if I had wrote that and stuck it up in the pub it would have been flagged up as abuse and deleted......
Niall Grimes - on 26 Dec 2011
Thanks all, happy Christmas x x
progrupicola - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: How many times in life one split in laughter of a situation that not meant to be? to me this is the scenary, be able to laugh of something cruel even if it's the last thing you'll do in light years because the enjoyment doesn't imply agreement and much more when talking fiction.
In reply to Niall Grimes:

Sorry for spelling your name wrong (I did ponder and didn't check - tut!).

Some of us get it!


Chris
Fergal - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Fantastic and there are quite a lot of truths in this "fictional" story, if you have ever been on the road quite a lot as an impoverished climber, it rings very true, it brought back some great memories, sharing the tent class..... i remember hitching in Canada with a mate John, and being picked up by a rather camp looking cowboy, i was in the back getting my head down, while john was up front and had to answer all the inane questions, the cowboy kept leaning over to reach the glove compartment and touching Johns leg ha ha!, when it got really late we said just drop us at the next town and we would find somwhere to put our tent up, he kept asking how big the tent was and whether there was room for another!, we scarped quick when he stopped.

Roberttaylor - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: That video is class. I will try all of those tricks at TCA Glasgow as soon as I am back.
Niall Grimes - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to halfmanhalfbiscuit: Look, hmhb, don't know who you are, but even before I got to the bit about the bouldering book I was grinning from that post :-) love your work. thanks for all the replies. Thank you Christ c. I hadn't thought of that myself, whether or not it was even meant to bu funny. I might write about writing that some time, its one of the things I'm fondest of
JLS on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to Niall Grimes:

I'd like to see the "what happened next" epilogue where we find out all the good fortune that came the way of "your" hosts as a direct result of your seemingly ungrateful and inconsequential crossing of paths. I like the idea of a miserable sod unwittingly spreading good Karma across Europe.
thepeaks - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: We've all done runners from euro campsites and feigned interest when hitching surely?
koalapie - on 26 Dec 2011
In reply to thepeaks: This is where a criminal mentality begins.k
Fidmark - on 27 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: I enjoyed that immensely
Kemics - on 27 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

I took from it: There's plenty of assholes in the world, but despite that the overwhelming traits of humanity are generosity and kindness. Which is somehow all the more poignant.

I've met some spectacular bastards traveling (like the character here) but my most resiliant memory of being on the road is the random kindness of total strangers.

Merry Christmas.
Skyfall - on 27 Dec 2011
In reply to Kemics:

Ditto. I read it as a morality tale of sorts.

Though, as I said in my 1st post, it might have been nice to see some act of redemption.

Maybe we need Part II to see if all that kindness had any impact...?
Michael Gordon - on 27 Dec 2011
In reply to JonC:
> (In reply to Kemics)
>
> Though, as I said in my 1st post, it might have been nice to see some act of redemption.
>

Wouldn't that have been a bit predictable?
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Roberttaylor - on 27 Dec 2011
In reply to JonC: In part the scumbag should be picked up by a lorry driver, forced to perform sexual favours from Paris to Zebrugge then robbed by chavs once he gets back home.
Simon - on 27 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

A Classic in OTE - "The Hitcher" - the best line...


..."His name was Maartin, and he was from Amsterdam. Again we had one of those conversations where we both pretended like we gave a shit about the other person's life..."


Grimer still has the stigmata from that line...

Robert Durran - on 27 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

I probably wouldn't have read this if it had not been for the fuss it seems to have caused. Glad I did though. Brilliant.
Jiduvah - on 28 Dec 2011
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Niall Grimes)
>
> Sorry for spelling your name wrong (I did ponder and didn't check - tut!).
>
> Some of us get it!
>
>
> Chris

Can you enlighten me as to what I am missing then.

I see these comments saying this is "fantastic" and "brilliant" but I dont understand why. It has made me think about a peice of writting more than quite a few in the past and made me look at other comments more than other posts but I cant comprehend that, that is why you considering it to be so poignan
franksnb - on 28 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: I have a friend just like this outwardly normal but on the inside a bubbling cauldron of evil and hate :)

happy newyear everyone

cheers niall
SteveRi - on 29 Dec 2011
Is this misanthrope selling some kind of book? It looks excellent.
daprince - on 29 Dec 2011
Erstwhile on 30 Dec 2011
In reply to daprince:
Presumably there is some of the typically Brit "double dummy" going on here, but it fires blank and fails, unless this really is an explanation as to why Brits are considered semi Neanderthal by many continentals.
Niall Grimes - on 30 Dec 2011
In reply to daprince: Bloody hell, daprince, that's a bit harsh, "endless ego and fick off I'm right style". Is that what you think in general or just based on that one article?

Anyway, many thanks for the kind review, much appreciated,

Niall
Tall Clare - on 30 Dec 2011
In reply to Niall Grimes:

Hello,

Can you sort out all the 'lorem ipsum' text at the bottom of the Boulder Britain 'about the book' page?

The book looks great!
Niall Grimes - on 30 Dec 2011
In reply to Tall Clare: Hey thanks Clare. And just noticed that the other day myself, will dodo.
Offwidth - on 30 Dec 2011
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Did you ask him any questions, give him any food or say an accommodation discount?
Jon Stewart - on 30 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: Hilarious article. It took me two goes though, the first time I just wasn't in the mood. The second time I persevered to see how bad it would get - glad I did. The climber's Withnail: superb!
Offwidth - on 30 Dec 2011
In reply to Jon Stewart: The climbers Withnail??? Have you been partaking of the Camberwell carrot, or matching the screen stars drink for drink??
Jon Stewart - on 30 Dec 2011
In reply to Offwidth: Only the lighter fluid. Can you really not see the parallel?
Jon Stewart - on 30 Dec 2011
In reply to halfmanhalfbiscuit:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
> I found the article bleak, relentlessly negative and oddly timed... some people get it, others don't', is proof positive that this is just a bit of throw-away writing of interest to a limited audience.

I'd say that's fair. Personally, I genuinely hate Christmas, I find it a hideous period of intense, unwanted social and commercial pressure. This year has been especially bad because I've got no money with which to meet my obligations, plus other bad (in a banal way) things have happened. This sense of humour helps to alleviates my sense of isolation from the rest of the world, which seems to take delight in a load of stuff that leaves me completely cold inside. Hard for many to understand, I know.
Damo on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Funnily enough your namesake does some of the best true satire and irony going around. And - shock horror - he's American!

I thought Mick's comment was funny. But not in the way he intended it :-)
Damo on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to halfmanhalfbiscuit:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> HI found the article bleak, relentlessly negative


Being like that myself, I usually like a bit of writing along the same lines, but for me this piece just didn't do much. Much of it could have been a transcript of my own thoughts travelling through Europe to climb in the early 90s, not that I'd want to read such a thing anyway. But then parts just went a bit further bleak or negative, or just repetitive, and though I wasn't seeking some rosy redemption at the end, I just didn't see any point to it, and the writing wasn't rewarding enough within itself along the way to get by without something at the end.

A selfish a#$hole gracelessly abusing the hospitality of kind strangers can be funny, but this wasn't, at least not by half-way through. I'm all for not liking people, but usually it means I avoid them, not sponge off them. The last bit of the second-last paragraph left me cold. Thieving off the grieving poor? Yeh, brilliant ...

I like that Niall is willing to poke fun at himself in print for being a pathetic tosser. I remember reading a piece he did where the girls in the chip shop were making fun of him and his 'camping magazines'. It was light stuff, but conveyed something of a more realistic climbing life than most magazine guff.
Mick Ward - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

Today's other thread on this article seems to have mysteriously disappeared. Perhaps it became unduly vitriolic. It certainly showed that some people have concerns about the character of the author.

Irrespective of whether the article is fact, faction or fiction, in real life Grimer is the most decent and generous of people. I think anyone who has met him would agree.

Mick
Love - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Mick Ward: My post on this thread has also been surgically removed by the UKC sanitizers and yet there was nothing in it that could be construed as being outside social norms. It seems worthless to post any opinion that isn't the UKC opinion.
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Mots d'Invers on 31 Dec 2011 - host-92-25-151-121.as13285.net
In reply to Love:
> (In reply to Mick Ward) My post on this thread has also been surgically removed by the UKC sanitizers and yet there was nothing in it that could be construed as being outside social norms. It seems worthless to post any opinion that isn't the UKC opinion.

And thus, enlightenment dawns... ;oP

FWIW, Grimer comes across as funny, chilled and quite a decent chap in his other writings and videos, but this piece seemed too contrived, as if wanted to create a character that everyone would despise. Sadly he didn't manage that, either.

Love - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Mots d'Invers: Well it's all rather shoddy and contrived. Has all the usual hallmarks of UKC manipulation. I suppose it's naive to think that when it comes to selling climbing a commercial site isn't going to stand aside and let people have an opinion contrary to thiers.
Mots d'Invers on 31 Dec 2011 - host-92-25-151-121.as13285.net
In reply to Love:
> (In reply to Mots d'Invers) Well it's all rather shoddy and contrived. Has all the usual hallmarks of UKC manipulation. I suppose it's naive to think that when it comes to selling climbing a commercial site isn't going to stand aside and let people have an opinion contrary to thiers.

Well, ultimately, the website is their livelihood, and as such they are not going to allow people to p*ss off their sponsors. To what extent this detracts from the quality of the site contents is a matter for debate. The mods keep wheeling out survey stats that apparently show that an overwhelming majority of site users feel that the moderation is spot on. Comments on the site would appear to indicate otherwise...

When all's said and done, though, it's their ball, their playground and so their rules apply...

Love - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Mots d'Invers: Oh I agree. But like others making a living like say newspaper hacks we don't have to like them especially when they manipulate us.

I stated an opinion that I liked the writing in the article and felt it was better than AK's and that maybe AK's writing might be worth the Boatdman Tasker if he could convey in writing in what conveys in front of an audience. Maybe my mistake was comparing Mick Ryan to a used car salesman when it comes to selling climbing.
puppythedog on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles: i was disappointed to see the other thread had disappeared entirely.
Niall Grimes - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Mick Ward: I must admit, Mick, I didn't see the other thread, but thank you for what you say.

Do I gather there was another thread purely dedicated to taking shots at me? If it has been zapped, would whoever it was who posted on it be so kind as to mail me directly with what they published. I think it's fair that I know.

Niall Grimes
madmats - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Niall Grimes:

Thought it was great personally. Very funny stuff.

Merry Xmas

M
andi turner - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Niall Grimes: I read the other thread. It was only a "troll" by someone who thinks that WWF wrestling is real and that Jaws was actually a documentary.

Last time I went camping with you, not only did you pay the camp fee, but you bought some eggs as well: that says it all x
Love - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to andi turner: To be fair the OP and those that followed were only making comment about the demeanour of the fictional Niall Grimes character. A thoroughly unlikable sort ungracious sponger and self confessed thief. But that's boulderers for you. Which afterall is what was intended wasn't it?
Niall Grimes - on 31 Dec 2011
I've just reread this entire thread. I had got into a really bad mood today when I saw there was some sort of thread going on having a go at me personally (as percieved from Mick Ward's nice post).

I got the sense of it becoming personal towards me. But I've just decided that most people who comment are saying they like it and the ones who don't are posting more than once giving a greater impression.

I have it in mind to write a little something about this story, its concept etc, and I still might. Some people don't like it and think it's not well written. That's okay, we all have our own taste and if you put a piece of writing out you have to let it stand on its own two feet and be liked or not.

However I am interested in persuing the details and opnions on the other thread, the zapped one, to see what that's all about.

On the other hand, a good few people have posted on here to say they liked it. That brings a great pleasure to me, so thank you.

Let the slagging continue.
JLS on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Niall Grimes:

>"Do I gather there was another thread purely dedicated to taking shots at me?"

It contained a mix of p!ss taking and some mild literary criticism. IMHO there wasn't anything malicious in it that was not obviously said in jest, apeing the style of your article.
In reply to Niall Grimes:

I got the impression that, in general, the people who slagging it of regarded it as a true tale. It is so obviously a bit of fiction I am really bemused that anyone could/would see it any other way. Whether they enjoy it as a piece of creative writing is a different story.


Chris
Love - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Niall Grimes: "let the slagging continue"

This sometimes happens when you court publicity. Maybe if you had written in the third person people wouldn't have mixed up the obnoxious character in the story with your good self. Maybe writing in the first person singular you literally (no pun intended) were the author of your own downfall?
Niall Grimes - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Love: But that would have been an easy thing to do Love, distancing oneself from the feelings. Look, I know I have to take what, when I'm feeling sensitive, appears like personal comment, but I wanted to put myself in the firing line. Exactly as you said.

Anyway, in a rush out now, more alter x
Tom Last - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Niall Grimes:

I quite enjoyed the story and whether or not it is liked, this is one of current highest ranking threads, so I guess the article has fulfilled its purpose - in being read.

It made me think of the supposedly semi-autobiographical and first person novel The Dice Man. I didn't enjoy The Dice Man, precisely because being written in the first person the leading character, being a tw*t, gets a little hard to endure after a chapter or two. Your article, being shorter, struck the right balance for me at least.
It'd be hard to entertain the notion that Luke Rheinhart actually went out and raped people and then wrote a novel about his experiences. Likewise, I'm a bit surprised that people believe this article to be autobiographical, simply because the protagonist bears your name - but then maybe they've not read any of your other stuff?
I wouldn't worry about the other thread.


Minneconjou Sioux - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
>> Irrespective of whether the article is fact, faction or fiction, in real life Grimer is the most decent and generous of people. I think anyone who has met him would agree.
>

No, not really, but to be fair to Niall he might not have thought a lot of me.

I took the article to be either fact or faction. I took it to be a true representation of Niall's own character at a certin time of his life and a recollection of an actual experience, or combination of actual experiences.

Perhaps some of the "experiences" were the stories of others, perhaps they were embelished a little but I'm sure that the sentiment belonged to Niall at some point in his life.

I climbed once with Niall (in a bizarre set of circumstances involving a climbing partner with a broken wrist, some borrowed gear, some third party aquaintances and fate) on Ben Nevis.

We did The Comb and Number three gulley buttress and came down via Number four gulley. We didn't really hit it off (although the opportunity for small talk was limited) and I left him just below the CIC hut in the dark as I was moving faster and had a long drive back to Caithness. I have always felt slightly bad for doing that as I had no idea whether his friends were waiting for him or how he would make it back to his accomodation. Clearly he made it ;-)

I guess after reading this article I don't feel so bad now.
Michael Ryan - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Love:
> (In reply to Mots d'Invers) Oh I agree. But like others making a living like say newspaper hacks we don't have to like them especially when they manipulate us.
>
> Maybe my mistake was comparing Mick Ryan to a used car salesman when it comes to selling climbing.

Hi Love,

I didn't see the other thread or your post. I'm 5 hrs behind the UK.

I guess it was deleted because there is already this thread where people can express their opinion about Niall's article; not good to have duplicate threads about the same article.

Forum guidelines are here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/info/guidelines.html

All the best,

Mick
Martin Kocsis, BMC on 31 Dec 2011 - host81-141-230-92.wlms-broadband.com
In reply to Niall Grimes: Personally, I thought this was a slice of genius. The worst writing - that should be zapped immediately - is the stuff that describes routes, moves, trips in boring, tedious OCD detail, with no human experience or emotion...they're everywhere and completely unreadable, criminally dull. This had adventure, emotion, reality and it touched nerves and got people thinking:- a rare talent. I remember John Redhead (anyone remember "Misogynist's Discharge" and the furore about that?) saying that the route names that people really ought to get upset about are ones like "Flake Climb" or "Route 1"...his point also applies to "provocative" writing like this which is a million miles better than turgid fluff about some hero's latest E9/9a/whatever.
I think it was brilliant of you to write such a crashingly real piece, I recognise people I've known and situations I've been in. The imagery (etc etc etc) is sparklingly clear and real. I wonder if those who are getting so "outraged" have never been outside their comfort zone and had an experience where things went wrong and bad stuff happened. Sure, reading nice stories is nice, but they don't add much to the human experience. They ignore the truth that life can sometimes be hard, grim and very grey. Bad stuff happens and people can be mean and selfish. Read the story, believe it to be real or fake, and then move joyfully into the new year thanking your lucky stars that you're none of the people in the story...because you aren't, are you?
Mike Stretford - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Niall Grimes)
>
> I got the impression that, in general, the people who slagging it of regarded it as a true tale. It is so obviously a bit of fiction I am really bemused that anyone could/would see it any other way.

Why not, he uses his own name? He's a climber who writes not Jack Dee so I'm not suprised people who don't know him might get the wrong end of the stick.

This fact and fiction in writing is not black and white. This tale has to be based an the authors experiences and feelings. I assume this is a distillation of all the negative ones (in terms of the protagonist) into one roadtrip, with some fabrication and fantasy. I think it is interesting and sometimes amusing, but not worthy of the eulogising by yourself and Mick, and others that know him. That's getting in the way of a good discussion on a decent bit of writing and IMO contrubuting to the personal stuff.



Minneconjou Sioux - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Niall Grimes)
>
> It is so obviously a bit of fiction I am really bemused that anyone could/would see it any other way.

Actually, I see it as so obviously a draw on personal experiences. In fact, if it was anything else I would be disappointed.
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In reply to UKC Articles: I thought it was good, but some of the fawning on here is like Mypyrex posting about the Royal family!

I don't think it reflects well on UKC that most of the negative posts have been removed.
Michael Ryan - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) I thought it was good, but some of the fawning on here is like Mypyrex posting about the Royal family!
>
> I don't think it reflects well on UKC that most of the negative posts have been removed.

They haven't. Look again, there are many comments criticising the article on this article thread. Some posts were removed for contravening forum guidelines. A duplicate thread was removed because there is already an article thread, this one, where all can comment. Just keep it on topic and stick to the forum guidelines, they are there for good reasons.

All the best,

Mick

jon on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

I'm with Chris Craggs here. I completely bemused by people taking a piece of creative writing at face value and getting worked up about it. On second thoughts, no, I'm not bemused. I'm amazed.
Max factor - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to UKC Articles:

well whatever anyone says about this article, we still have Grimer to thank for telling Jerry's story brilliantly in Revelations.

Personally, I didn't 'get' it either, so would quite like to hear the thought behind it. though that goes against the number one rule; never repeat, never explain.
Mick Ward - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Max factor:

Hi Max,

Those days in the sun seem far too long ago...

Agreed, Grimer told Jerry's story brilliantly. After decades of wondering (OK, not wondering that much!) I finally found out what had been going on in Jerry's (not so small) head. And it was truly revelatory in its pragmatic honesty.

Re this article. Obviously a piece of writing can mean many things to many people. And the author may not be the best person to say what it's 'supposed' to mean. Don McLean (sp?) has commented that he may not be the best person to say what American Pie 'means'.

For me, it was a morality fable on the life-denying obsessiveness of climbers. We trash careers (OK, you haven't) and relationships for a crazy dream. For some, especially on the road, it leads to loneliness, insularity, more obsession, even more denial of life's infinite potential. Surely most of us have had these feelings. Grimer took them further; a lot further.

Sometimes writing can make us uncomfortable - very uncomfortable. The mirror's cracked and we can't put it back together again.

Just my two pennyworth.

Mick ("T'was the Merlot talking!")
Damo on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Mick Ward:
Very well put Mick. Unfortunately for me Niall's piece didn't get that through to me.
Max factor - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Mick Ward:

Hi Mick,

Good to hear from you. Indeed it was a while ago and much has happened since. We're at home tonight as expecting our first and it's Ruth's due date +1 and counting. I'm enjoying a wee dram or two myself. Happy New Year to you.

Max
Mick Ward - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Max factor:

Wow! Good news indeed. Happy New Year to Ruth, you and... the new arrival.

All best wishes,

Mick
Sam Mayfield - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> I'm with Chris Craggs here. I completely bemused by people taking a piece of creative writing at face value and getting worked up about it. On second thoughts, no, I'm not bemused. I'm amazed.

WHY? you make it seem like the ones that "didnt" get it are stupid?

I didnt get it, I am not stupid, I read it at face value and felt sad at the end of it as stated earlier up the thread.

Chris Craggs knows Niall so maybe that makes a difference, do you know Niall personally?

Sam
jon on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

No.
Sam Mayfield - on 31 Dec 2011
In reply to jon:

So why so "amazed" as you put it?

Sam
220bpm on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Proper pmsl, thanks for putting the article out there :)
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

> WHY? you make it seem like the ones that "didnt" get it are stupid?
>

I think you are reading far too much into Jon's 'amazement'.

> I didnt get it, I am not stupid, I read it at face value and felt sad at the end of it as stated earlier up the thread.
>
> Chris Craggs knows Niall so maybe that makes a difference, do you know Niall personally?
>
> Sam

I don't really 'know' Niall, we have passed the odd word on a couple of occasions.


Chris
jon on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
> (In reply to jon)
> [...]
>
> WHY? you make it seem like the ones that "didnt" get it are stupid?

No, I'm amazed by people reading it and assuming Niall is recounting a real event and then, to cap it all, getting angry with him. If you felt sad or hated the character at the end, then I'd say that that was exactly Niall's intention.

timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to Sam Mayfield)
> [...]
>
> No, I'm amazed by people reading it and assuming Niall is recounting a real event and then, to cap it all, getting angry with him. If you felt sad or hated the character at the end, then I'd say that that was exactly Niall's intention.

So how did Niall even begin to imagine such a selfish character?
In reply to timjones:
>
>
> So how did Niall even begin to imagine such a selfish character?

He is a good story teller - have you not read any of his other stuff?


Chris
Mick Ward - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

Because parts of him are selfish. And parts of you are. And parts of me are. Selfish feelings are selfish feelings. It's what you do about them that matters (as the Christian Brothers might have said!)

What Grimer's done brilliantly is to illustrate how selfishness, in climbers, is a subset of obesssion. Climbing can be vibrantly life-enhancing or it can be utterly life-denying. What makes the difference? Your relationship with others, your relationship with the environment, ultimately your relationship with yourself.

Mick
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to timjones)
> [...]
>
> He is a good story teller - have you not read any of his other stuff?
>
>

I have read some of his other stuff.

I think that the concern that most people are expressing is about the source of his inspiration rather than his ability to tell the story.

Sadly for me this was a poor story, badly told. For me a good story has to go somewhere, this one just droned on and on with more of the same pointless misery. I just don't get it.
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Because parts of him are selfish. And parts of you are. And parts of me are. Selfish feelings are selfish feelings. It's what you do about them that matters (as the Christian Brothers might have said!)
>
> What Grimer's done brilliantly is to illustrate how selfishness, in climbers, is a subset of obesssion. Climbing can be vibrantly life-enhancing or it can be utterly life-denying. What makes the difference? Your relationship with others, your relationship with the environment, ultimately your relationship with yourself.
>

I think you're looking too hard for hidden meaning in a poor piece of writing.

Sam Mayfield - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I havent read anything else he has done and I dont think this was a story well told.

Maybe I will read other stuff now though!

Sam
ads.ukclimbing.com
David Hooper - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> [...]
>

>
> Sadly for me this was a poor story, badly told. For me a good story has to go somewhere, this one just droned on and on with more of the same pointless misery. I just don't get it.

+1

In reply to Niall Grimes:

The other thread was removed because it was fairly abusive, had some bad language and we already had a suitable discussion going on this thread.

My take on the article, which I'd be interested to hear Grimer's thoughts on, was that if reflected a very dubious period for British climbers in France where stealing from supermarkets, doing runners from campsites and generally freeloading on the host country was rife and even celebrated to an extent. I remember some shocking tales from the late 80s and early 90s being told with pride by some characters. I think British climbers were even banned for a time from supermarkets in Chamonix it had got so bad.

The main character of Grimer's piece is an excellent example of some of the scrounging climbers from this era.

Alan
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Niall Grimes)
>
> The other thread was removed because it was fairly abusive, had some bad language and we already had a suitable discussion going on this thread.
>
> My take on the article, which I'd be interested to hear Grimer's thoughts on, was that if reflected a very dubious period for British climbers in France where stealing from supermarkets, doing runners from campsites and generally freeloading on the host country was rife and even celebrated to an extent. I remember some shocking tales from the late 80s and early 90s being told with pride by some characters. I think British climbers were even banned for a time from supermarkets in Chamonix it had got so bad.
>
> The main character of Grimer's piece is an excellent example of some of the scrounging climbers from this era.
>


That is allegedly true enough but where did the utter contempt for the people that are being scrounged off come from?

Offwidth - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

Maybe the utter contempt came from the fictional character? I'd worry about the maturity of anyone who fails to recognize that the nicest adult writer is capable of writing fiction from the perspective of a real villain.
Sam Mayfield - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Offwidth:

Another arrogant response!

How many times do some of us have to say that it is not that clearly fiction!

Sam
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Maybe the utter contempt came from the fictional character? I'd worry about the maturity of anyone who fails to recognize that the nicest adult writer is capable of writing fiction from the perspective of a real villain.

I'd worry about the maturity of anyone who questions the maturity or intelligence of someone merely because they hold a different opinion or see something in a different light ;)
Offwidth - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

Maybe the utter contempt came from the fictional character? I'd worry about the maturity of anyone who fails to recognize that the nicest adult writer is capable of writing fiction from the perspective of a real misanthrope. I also worry in the same way if someone didn't understand that just because they personally did not enjoy or gain from a piece, this doesn't mean the piece lacks merit.

How we use art to help counter the bad things in the world if we are only allowed cartoon villains and PG rated work?
Sam Mayfield - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

Thanks tim well said.

Sam
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Maybe the utter contempt came from the fictional character? I'd worry about the maturity of anyone who fails to recognize that the nicest adult writer is capable of writing fiction from the perspective of a real misanthrope. I also worry in the same way if someone didn't understand that just because they personally did not enjoy or gain from a piece, this doesn't mean the piece lacks merit.

Did we say that it lacked merit?
Offwidth - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

"I'd worry about the maturity of anyone who questions the maturity or intelligence of someone merely because they hold a different opinion or see something in a different light ;)"

I presume the smiley recognizes the intrinsic irony there. Opinions are never equal in art even if every one has the same right to express them. Imagine a life where to find Dickens you had to randomly read reviews (or worst still books!!) written by every ordinary person first.
Offwidth - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

"Did we say that it lacked merit?"

Did I say it had it?
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> "Did we say that it lacked merit?"
>
> Did I say it had it?

That leaves me wondering why you are belittling other people who don't like it?
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> "I'd worry about the maturity of anyone who questions the maturity or intelligence of someone merely because they hold a different opinion or see something in a different light ;)"
>
> I presume the smiley recognizes the intrinsic irony there. Opinions are never equal in art even if every one has the same right to express them. Imagine a life where to find Dickens you had to randomly read reviews (or worst still books!!) written by every ordinary person first.

Intrinsic irony?

Is that the same as poking fun at others who are trying to understand the motivation behind a rather bizarre piece of writing?
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
FWIW I suspect that it is fiction but the "editors" didn't do the author any favours in the way they "introduced" it on a site where works of fiction are few and far between.
Offwidth - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Why would you think it is anything else but fiction? What motivation would the misanthrope have to advertise? Has Niall really achieved a War of the Worlds effect in miniature??
Sam Mayfield - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Offwidth:

Right back at yah?

Why would it not be fact? And for all we know maybe it is? Niall hasn't come forward and said so 100%' or has he?

Look at the publicity Niall has received from this piece of writing at a time when he brings out a new guide book?

Sam
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Sam Mayfield)
>
> Why would you think it is anything else but fiction? What motivation would the misanthrope have to advertise? Has Niall really achieved a War of the Worlds effect in miniature??

Because if you think through the reasons for writing such an irredeemably grey and miserable piece then you have to consider the possibility that it may be an act of catharsis by the author?
Offwidth - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Why would a Martian invasion not be fact? On the other hand forget that, Niall as supervillain is a more interesting picture for me. Thousands of climbers and random kind strangers exploited to give Niall book income to continue his plans for world domination (imagine crazed voice) gnarr ha ha ha ha ha haaaar.
Offwidth - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

burn baby burn
tlm - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

What on earth has happened to climbing culture? Where is the black humour, the dark, bitter side that I love? Niall is just following this grand tradition and the lack of celebration and enjoyment at something that isn't Hollywood or Disney makes me weep.
ads.ukclimbing.com
SteveSBlake - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Niall Grimes)
>
> The other thread was removed because it was fairly abusive, had some bad language and we already had a suitable discussion going on this thread.
>
> My take on the article, which I'd be interested to hear Grimer's thoughts on, was that if reflected a very dubious period for British climbers in France where stealing from supermarkets, doing runners from campsites and generally freeloading on the host country was rife and even celebrated to an extent. I remember some shocking tales from the late 80s and early 90s being told with pride by some characters. I think British climbers were even banned for a time from supermarkets in Chamonix it had got so bad.
>
> The main character of Grimer's piece is an excellent example of some of the scrounging climbers from this era.
>
> Alan

It was bad in the 70s never mind the 80s!

I haven't read Grimer's piece and having flicked over it am disinclined to do so. I'm unsuprised that folks think it is a biographical piece. The byline and accompanying photos imply - to me at least that it's by Niall, about Niall. In the article the photos of Niall reinforce this......

That may have been the intention, it may not, it may be UKC cleverly kicking up a storm (in a teacup) it may not. It would be interesting to know if it was presented exactly as Grimer intended, or if UKC 'tinkered' with it's presentation at all?

Happy New Year,

Steve
Mick Ward - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

> Did we say that it lacked merit?

Er... yes, actually.

'...a poor piece of writing.'

Look, let's leave the merit aside for a moment. One man's Everest is another lady's Brad Pitt...

Instead, let me tell you a story. It's 100% true, no hidden meanings, no funny stuff... promise!

I'm guessing the article was set in the late 1980s. I first met Grimer a few years later, when he'd moved to Sheffield. (I'm not claiming to be a mate and this isn't cronyism!)

Back then, there were a lot of people drifting through the climbing scene. Shortly after meeting Grimer, I was drinking with one of them. He was a lost soul. I don't mean this unkindly. Like many people drifting through, he was trying to find his way in life. And he was vulnerable.

I remember, that night, him saying that, totally out of the blue, Grimer had offered him shed-loads of hospitality in Derry. This guy really needed to get away from Sheff and clear his head. I hope he did; but I doubt it.

I can't remember the guy's name, or even his face. But I remember him saying wonderingly, "It's not as though he [Grimer] even knows me." And I remember the look in his eyes, that said, "Bloody hell, somebody cares about me."

Was there a payoff for Grimer? No. Social capital? No. It was an act of pure humanity. Do such acts make a difference? Absolutely! If nobody believes in you, nobody gives a damn and then somebody comes along and extends a hand of kindness, it can make a massive difference.

This isn't a clever story. It isn't a witty story. But it sure as hell is a true story.

So we can sit here 'till we fall off the couch (I nearly have!) and debate the fictional Grimer and the factional Grimer. The real-life Grimer? Somewhat different.

Mick






Michael Ryan - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to SteveSBlake:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH)
> [...]

> That may have been the intention, it may not, it may be UKC cleverly kicking up a storm (in a teacup) it may not. It would be interesting to know if it was presented exactly as Grimer intended, or if UKC 'tinkered' with it's presentation at all?

There was no tinkering. A little bit of editing and photo editing. I presented it as I intended. I was considering writing an introduction, perhaps something like, 'Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. '

I believe it was originally published in OTE magazine.

I thought it would resonate with many, especially those 'dirtbag' climbers from the 80's and 90's who never had much money but still wanted to pursue their passion, often quite selfishly on many levels.

Also I liked the disparity between what the protagonists says, does and thinks. I'm sure all of us can relate to that honesty.

Finally, I like that it is hard to tell whether it is fiction or a true story.

All the best,

Mick
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> What on earth has happened to climbing culture? Where is the black humour, the dark, bitter side that I love? Niall is just following this grand tradition and the lack of celebration and enjoyment at something that isn't Hollywood or Disney makes me weep.

Do you honestly believe that your "climbing culture" is the one and only true "climbing culture" ?
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> [...]
>
> Er... yes, actually.
>
> '...a poor piece of writing.'

It would be wrong to say that poor writing can never have any merit!
timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to SteveSBlake)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> There was no tinkering. A little bit of editing and photo editing. I presented it as I intended. I was considering writing an introduction, perhaps something like, 'Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. '

Whether it was intentional or not the opening line of this thread could easily be misconstrued as an attempt to represent the story as fact.
Michael Ryan - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

Yip.
Mick Ward - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:

> It would be wrong to say that poor writing can never have any merit!

Deary me. Err, absolutely, yer honour. Obviously anything, however humungously crap, must have merit, mustn't it? (Err... you're not one of those clever examiners who gives every gobshite five As?)

In my (simple!) world, poor anything lacks merit.

But hey, it's 2012, the last year in the Mayan calendar (the end of time?)

'And we speak of things that matter
in words which must be said.
Can analysis be worthwhile?
Is the theatre really dead?'

All the best!

Mick

timjones - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to timjones)

> Deary me. Err, absolutely, yer honour. Obviously anything, however humungously crap, must have merit, mustn't it? (Err... you're not one of those clever examiners who gives every gobshite five As?)

IIRC I said it was poor rather than "humungously crap"

If I was an examiner I'd give it a D, that's a 70's/80's D as I don't understand todays lilly-livered grades ;)

> In my (simple!) world, poor anything lacks merit.

Having checked my dictionary I still believe that something poor can have some merits. Maybe I'm an optimist ;)

tlm - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to timjones:
> Do you honestly believe that your "climbing culture" is the one and only true "climbing culture" ?

What on earth makes you think that? I know there are many, many different 'climbing cultures' - as many as there are climbers and none climbers who ever think about climbing. I was merely having a little mourn at that dark and bitter side of climbing that I have so enjoyed over the years becoming a less common climbing culture. There aren't that many places to enjoy it now. I guess I will have to become EMO.
Niall - on 01 Jan 2012
In reply to tlm:

I wish my back lawn was emo...
Robert Durran - on 02 Jan 2012
> In reply to UKC Articles:

If it is entirely true and autobiographical, then it is a magnificently honest piece of writing.

If it is, as I suspect, an amamlgamation of personal and other people'a experiences thrown together with a little imagination, then it is a brilliant piece of creative writing.

Either way, it manages to reflect a very real culture of the time in an appropriately discomforting way while, in parallel, evoking so poignantly that feeling I am sure many of us have had of having been on a trip for too long and just wearily wanting to get back to the familiarity of home.



SteveRi - on 02 Jan 2012
Many years ago I read a story of a tiny little climber, quite literally as big as your finger, and his struggles on some big walls of millstone grit. Admittedly these people would be hard to spot, but I've kept an eye out ever since. I'm beginning to suspect I was sold a dud.
Minneconjou Sioux - on 02 Jan 2012
In reply to steveri:

Nice try but no banana.
Minneconjou Sioux - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to steveri:

To elaborate a little more, I think your analogy isn't very strong. The story of the little people was clever but very clearly a story. This one sets a stage which has Niall as the central character, uses photos of Niall, is at a time when it was likely that Niall would have been climbing in France on a low budget and is likely that he made this, or a similar, journey. Remember, some people are more prone to take things at face value than others, myself included.

My take on this is that it is almost "confessional" in nature (he is Catholic after all). Perhaps there is some atristic licence applied but that these things did happen. This isn't a critisism. I think all good writing needs to have a little edge to it, be a little raw and most of us have been through periods of our lives that we aren't particularly proud of but still need to acknowledge them.

I find it hard to believe that Niall could have written this without drawing on any personal experience. I know my own writing (FWIW) certainly does. Perhaps he will let us know, perhaps he will leave it to our own immaginations but I don't think it is fair to mock people for falling into one camp or the other.
Monk - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

I love how this piece caused a stir, yet the one where Grimer kidnapped Jerry Moffat, stripped him and tied him up didn't.

I'm also slightly concerned that so many people commenting find it hard to believe that it is impossible to imagine something that you haven't personally experienced. Surely entire genres of writing prove that this can't be true (fantasy, scifi, horror...) Or do you all believe that Hannibal Lecter is an autobiographical version of Thomas Harris?

Anyway, I thought this was a decent bit of writing from Grimer (I seem to remember seeing it in OTE, back in the day). I've always loved his off-the-wall style. I recently found a story by him about his tent and the adventures they had shared - brilliant.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Monk:

perhaps because it was highly unlikely that he did kidnap Jerry Moffat, whereas the events described plausibly could have happened

i'd assumed that many of the anecdotes are at least based in truth, with a bit of dramatic licence applied, ie they probably didnt all happen on the same trip, some may have been tales friends told him rather than having involved him personally, there could be some judicious exaggeration

re: the "slightly concerned" bit- of course we know its possible to imagine something you havent personally experienced. but i'm slightly concerned (but only very slightly, and mostly for rhetorical effect) that you seem to think it is impossible that Niall could at least in part have been writing from personal experience.

i'm also rather puzzled why some people seem to be so vexed that other people didn't like the piece that they have to resort to ad hominems to make their arguments

of course, Niall could clear it all up by telling us how much of it is based on fact...

cheers
gregor
tlm - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> of course, Niall could clear it all up by telling us how much of it is based on fact...

Oh god - and spoil all the fun?

Don't people ever read anything interesting any more? Do we really need clear goodies and baddies and a predictable moral outcome?
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs)
> [...]
>
> Oh god - and spoil all the fun?

yes, i was think that even as i typed it...

cheers
gregor
Swirly - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: I like the idea that you have to write from personal experience, although I'm sure I was asked in school to write stories from other people point's of view.

Also, if writing from personal experience couldn't the writer (having experienced meeting the protagonist) be disguised in this tale as the driver or Polish family etc.? I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard for a good story-teller (which Niall undoubtedly is given the volume of highly praised items he's written) to do this convincingly.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Offwidth - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Where is all this vexation with others not liking the piece? I can see Several posters have expressed (varying) degrees of vexation that people are regarding this as possibly fully autobiographical. I'm sure Grimer has had many naughty thoughts and may well have done many naughty things but when a writer writes, and friends account for his generocity, and the man himself says stuff like " Some people don't like it and think it's not well written. That's okay, we all have our own taste and if you put a piece of writing out you have to let it stand on its own two feet and be liked or not.", then fiction is the very likely story.

Hence your post appears to be an 'ad hominum' attack to me.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Offwidth:

sorry if it came across that way- definitely not intended to be ad hominem, except in a tongue-in-check way responding to monk's comment about people thinking hannibal lecter was autobiographical

i was a bit sloppy in the way i framed my response- you are right, most of the contention seems to be around the piece's status as fiction or autobiography. some posters have expressed apparant disbelief people could think it could be anything other than fiction

i'd agree with others who have pointed out that the way it was presented (on a climbing site with no track record for publishing fiction, but plenty of record of publishing autobiography; and setting out a world view that other posters above have said they recognise as existing at the time; and with no rider to the effect of "the events described....") allowed for the possibility it was at least based on truth, albeit perhaps exaggerated in the telling. and to not acknowledge that seemed to be unduly dismissive of those that thought it,

anyhow, a couple of days on, and i'm interested in reading more about the "character" in the article- is this part of a longer piece- if it is, that would seem to make more sense to me,

cheers, and no offense intended,

gregor
Niall Grimes - on 03 Jan 2012
I like cats. Dogs? I won't mention dogs because I don't like them, not one bit. But I do like cats.
Darren Jackson - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Niall Grimes:

Well, I for one like dogs. And owls... Either way, you're clearly completely in the wrong and ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
Niall Grimes - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson: Non, rien, rien...
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Niall Grimes:

hi Niall,

is this part of a longer piece? "you" could make an interesting anti-hero in a longer story- be interesting to see how "you" turned out...

cheers
gregor
Darren Jackson - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Niall Grimes:
>
> Non, rien, rien...

... And Italian is completely lost on me, too, buster.

If that "article" of yours had appeared in print then I'd have taken great delight in organising a ceremonial burning of it at the Popular End. As it is, I've had to content myself with kicking my monitor in.
Monk - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> (In reply to Monk)
>

> re: the "slightly concerned" bit- of course we know its possible to imagine something you havent personally experienced. but i'm slightly concerned (but only very slightly, and mostly for rhetorical effect) that you seem to think it is impossible that Niall could at least in part have been writing from personal experience.
>

Just to be clear, I'm not commenting on whether or not Grimer is recounting a true story. I'm simply puzzled by some comments stating that writers can only write about what they have experienced. The more I think about it, the more I like this piece. It's a condensed "On the Road" for climbers.


Mr Lopez - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson:

I'm with you. I got a printer, pitchfork and some torches, if you got matches we are all set. What do you think? After we done with this Grimer dude we can check out that Thomas Harris guy, i've been wanting to get him ever since i watched that documentary about the mute lambs.
Mr Lopez - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Monk:
> (In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> It's a condensed "On the Road" for climbers.

Who wrote that? You got his address? Shit, i don't think i have enough torches. Is B&Q still open?

tlm - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> most of the contention seems to be around the piece's status as fiction or autobiography. some posters have expressed apparant disbelief people could think it could be anything other than fiction

It just seems really simplistic to think that it has to be one or the other. We've all got this character in us - being polite to people that we don't think much of, because we want something from them (even if what we want is just a good working relationship, or not to upset one of our partners relations), We've all sometimes been ungrateful for kind things that others have done for us (even if it is just an ugly jumper that an auntie got us for Christmas). We can pretend that this character is as far from us as possible, and that we are nothing like this, but the whole resonance of it is that it reminds us of those very parts of ourselves that we carefully keep hidden, even from ourselves.

What I like about it is the acknowledgement of those thoughts. How many of us have never had a selfish thought?

It might have autobiographical aspects to it - mean thoughts that flit through anyone's head and which anyone feels a bit ashamed of, brought to light, made bigger to show us a hidden side of us in a bright light.

Maybe that is why people have got so uppity - that they feel a bit defensive at the recognition of something similar (all be it fainter) in themselves? Attack is the best form of defense and a good way to show just exactly HOW unlike this one is...
Mr Lopez - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to Mr Lopez:
> (In reply to Monk)
> [...]
>
> Is B&Q still open?

Actually, nevermind that. It's already dark and the vampires are out already. It was in the Twilight edition of the news. You have to be careful out there...
Jon Stewart - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to all:

Surprised by the strength of feeling here! Is everyone pissed?

Grimer's piece, to me anyway, is just an example of black humour. Back to the start: some people don't get it (not because they're stupid or bad), others do. It's just a consequence of personality, and black humour is one of those things that separates people.

There are a whole bunch of my favourite films, books, TV etc (which I think generally received critical acclaim) that I recommend certain people on here steer well clear of!

As for the 'objective merit' of the writing, well clearly a good proportion of the audience found it a good read, made them laugh (however bleakly), touched a nerve possibly and made them reflect...so I don't think it's a reasonable position to hold that it's 'objectively' dreadful writing. If it was, no one would have read it.


Niall Grimes - on 03 Jan 2012
In reply to tlm: Quite close to my thinking.
Offwidth - on 04 Jan 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

No issue, I was having a little fun as well.

Just finished re-watching Twin Peaks with a first view of various extra bits last night: a big reminder how hard it can be to sustain an exploration of the darker side of the mind, despite clear success. One of the funnier bits I'd not seen before was a story that Paul McCartney was gutted that the queen would miss a special birthday performance he'd put together for her garden party as she wouldn't miss an episode.
Dave Garnett - on 04 Jan 2012
In reply to thepeaks:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) We've all done runners from euro campsites

Well, no, actually. I had to stay an extra night in a hut in the Dolomites once and was too broke to pay. They trusted us to send them the money later. Naive as I was, that's exactly what I did.

I recall a snippet in an early Crags magazine with, I think, Tut Brathwaite bemoaning the Brit supermarket ban in Chamonix. His take was 'it's a great shame these bastards live at the bottom of Mt Blanc', so I'd say Grimer has captured the attitude perfectly. I do remember being quite shocked by the behaviour of some people at that time (and some time later) who seemed otherwise perfectly respectable and wouldn't have dreamt of shoplifting back at home.



Skyfall - on 04 Jan 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Don' forget, this is only fiction ... ;)
Mick Ward - on 04 Jan 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> ...who seemed otherwise perfectly respectable and wouldn't have dreamt of shoplifting back at home.

Hmm... Shoplifting in Sheffield was pretty much de rigeur among the elite of the 80s. Boringly I told 'em it was naughty, bad karma and, morality aside, they'd cop criminal records; unsurprisingly most ignored aforesaid advice from silly old fart and...

I can recall one youth who nicked a particular sized Fire from a climbing shop in Sheff. He went back the following day for the other - and, much to everone's merriment, got so flustered he came out with the same size - for the same foot! Gnashing his teeth in frustration, he went back the following day and came out with - yes, you've guessed it - the same size for the same foot again. So he had three left (or was it right) foot Fires! The cognoscenti pissed themselves laughing.

This was someone well-known to Grimer (and fellow students of climbing history). Who was he? Alas, my lips must remain forever sealed!

Mick

Dave Garnett - on 04 Jan 2012
In reply to JonC:

Quite. I get the first person anti-hero fictionalised narrative thing, and the self-obsession, lack of gratitude, and general misanthropy. It's not my favourite genre but then I don't really find Ricky Gervais funny, that's how conventional I am.

Doug on 04 Jan 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett: There was an earlier article by Ian MacNaught-Davis (is that correct ?) in Mountain (1970s) about Chamonix which includes some comments about shoplifting from the supermarkets as well as some good descriptions of the Bar National, campsite life, etc
ads.ukclimbing.com
Robert Durran - on 04 Jan 2012
In reply to thepeaks:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) We've all done runners from euro campsites

And actually been encouraged to do so by the police....... I recall an occasion when the notorious proprietor of a campsite in the Chamonix valley much frequented by British climbers was being such a pain in the arse (binning climbers' kit left out to dry because it was "untidy") that he was reported to the police. Although they were sympathetic, they said that realistically there was not much they could do and advised just leaving without paying! Saved six weeks' camping fees, although it did necessitate leaving in the middle of the night and dosssing in the woods before catching the bus home. Happy days!
In reply to Dave Garnett:
>
>
> ... but then I don't really find Ricky Gervais funny, that's how conventional I am.


And I thought that was just me!


Chris
Michael Gordon - on 04 Jan 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: Good stuff! Unfortunately nowadays they take your passports to stop you doing a runner.
Skyfall - on 04 Jan 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> And I thought that was just me!

Nope, + 1
Minneconjou Sioux - on 05 Jan 2012
In reply to Niall Grimes:

However, none of the replies to this piece beat the rant made by "the last man" on this piece ;-)

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=185194
thepeaks - on 05 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC Articles: Lets hope Medwards doesnt start writing short stories!!
Mick Ward - on 05 Jan 2012
In reply to thepeaks:

Nasty.

Mick
nb - on 05 Jan 2012
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

>
> My take on the article... was that if reflected a very dubious period for British climbers in France where ... generally freeloading on the host country was rife and even celebrated to an extent.

Plus ša change ...!
Robert Durran - on 05 Jan 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) Good stuff! Unfortunately nowadays they take your passports to stop you doing a runner.

He had a photocopy of my passport - I didn't dare go back there until ten years later when I had lost my beard.

daprince - on 06 Jan 2012
In reply to Niall Grimes:

Just the one Article Niall. When did you write this?
Ash_Johnson - on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Articles:

Eugh.

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