Typing from a couch in Sheffield, in the living room of someone you've met only hours ago for the first time in your life, gives much food for thoughts.
First of all: why is everyone here so kind? Do they want my money? I hope for them they don't 'cos I have none.
Looking back - a thing that comes natural to me - maybe I can find some answers to similar questions: what made me invite Tom and Rich down to Italy? Why did I open my house to Keith, to Marc (back in tha day, innit?) and to others in times long past? I don't know, but at the moment it seemed the right thing to do. Because it was the right thing to do. Because it made me feel good and happy. So I reckon it's just this that ties us together and make people let a stinky Italian climber into their houses.
I feel sorry.
I wish I was a better and stronger climber, to reward all these people with the best gift: hard and epic sends. Sadly I'm just an average punter, so no flash on "Brad Pit" for me. No tick yet, also. I haven't climbed "Low Rider" in a matter of tries, despite wanting to do it, and I haven't soloed any great, spectacular, stunning, jaw-dropping arete.
I can't payback what I'm receiving here. Because, bear it in mind, I am receiving a whole lotta love.
It's becoming hard to collect thoughts. I lie in bed at night - for 40 seconds before falling asleep for nine or ten hours straight - and I picture and feel the moves of the problems I want to do. Some of them, I want to do since the day I started. I found myself on top of "Zippy's Traverse" at Plantation, the other day, third try. I saw Rich at "Green Traverse" and he smiled at me, while a guy climbing on a nearby boulder said "Well done mate!". I live for these moments. They form part of a heritage of feelings that keeps me together. Because I shared them with others.
So, before becoming pedantic and redundant - another trademark of mine - I want to tell you how happy I am, despite being unable to fully understand what I'm doing here and living here. It'll take time.
For the moment, I put everything I have into every single move, trying to give something back to those who are around me. I need them. I need company. I don't mind to drive, and walk, and climb, and walk back, and drive back on my own, if that's what I'm required to, for getting a climb done. But I am a social animal, and an animal tout court: I may hunt alone, but when I hunt with others I am happier and stronger.
So, while awaiting for amazing performances and tales, to entertain you all, for the moment you have to be satisfied with the one armers I pulled on "Brad Pit" starting hold.
That's my way of saying "Thank you, this is the best!".