Hi - this is (very!) long overdue! Did a Lecturers` Taster w/e with you in (?May?) 1998 - one of the most memorable things I`ve ever done. We were a small group, and you not only guided us through some fascinating and life-changing activities and exercises, (I ended up doing a 140ft abseil.....to my surprise....!) but also generously shared lots of your stories and secrets with us...."The blind kids always hit the target" ....."one potential cause of abseiling accidents is people fiddling nervously with their karabiners - hands off!"
In particular, had some brilliant conversations with Neil about fear - "people think we instructors don`t feel fear, but we`ve just learnt to manage it effectively" - and he calmly talked me out of copping out at a tricky bit near the top of the rock climb - I could hear the other instructor calling across - "Neil, we need to change over soon", and did my typical, polite "well, I think I`ll come down now - it`s been great..." and Neil said, "Well, Sue - yes, you could, but I think you`d be disappointed - look, there`s a handhold just to your left, and there`s all the time in the world........" Spot on! He was right - and I did it! (Also useful feedback afterwards, eg about legs good but trusting hands more.)
Lots more I could say - but thought I must finally send this to you .
A couple more soundbites......
As we approached the 140 ft abseil site, I made a mental note always to wear a hard hat and carry coils of rope even if out for a stroll in the park in future, such were the admiring glances from passing walkers......!
The fact that I had abseiled off something higher than my college building, and not far off the height of Nelson`s column, made a lasting impression on me ....I still go round eyeing the heights of things! And it was only 14 times the 10 ft one!
Sue Shorter (Retired Lecturer)