Friday, October 12th, 2012
I first heard Sir Chris Bonington in many years ago at an inspiring talk where he recounted a number of his significant climbs many years ago, and encouraging line that everyone should “climb your own Everest.” It was a privilege to listen to a mountaineer of so many first ascents, speak of his experiences. The climbs of today are so different from earlier times. Today, we have countless companies doing research to produce highly advanced and technical equipment that has made mountaineer seem somewhat easier and safer. Hearing him recount his participation in writing into early mountaineering history can make one really appreciative of the efforts and adventurous spirit put in (not just by him, but by every other climber in the past) to each and every expedition.
On 10 October 2012, I attended another of his talk. As the Chancellor of Lancaster University, he makes his way to Malaysia once every few years because of the partnership with Sunway University. And when the opportunity arises, he gives a talk. This time around, the session was more conversational. After all, the title of his talk is simply, “A Conversation with Chris Bonington.” It was an hour long session where he answered questions posted by the audience, and this opened up more than a glimpse of him as a person. Many of the questions answers allowed him the opportunity to speak of his climbing experiences, but I found that it was his perception and philosophy of life that came through strongly. His passion and motivation for climbing, and to keep climbing, is an interesting and consistent one throughout all these years when he chose to give up a career to be a professional climber.
I enjoyed listening to Chris Bonington, and I’ll surely listen to him again if the opportunity arises.
With Sir Chris Bonington and and Bang Qin
Bang Qin was there for the talk, too. I invited him a day before, and it was good to see him respond to it. In one of our phone messages, I told him “I’d bring an ice axe for him [Chris] to autograph,” but all I had was a book. When I saw Bang Qin the next day, I showed him my copy of I Chose to Climb, a 1985 edition that I bought when I was in Nepal. He dug into his bag and took out—no, not an ice axe!—but a recent edition of I Chose to Climb, which he found locally and in a day. We got Chris to autograph our books after the talk.
Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
Alfred Gregory: Photographs from Everest to Africa
This arrived in the mail today: Alfred Gregory: Photographs from Everest to Africa.
I like. Read More…
Sunday, April 10th, 2011
Most would have flew from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu with a transit in Bangkok. But I stopped over at New Delhi—with a twinkling thought that I’d touch a tad of India—only to find myself visiting places by flipping through travel guides at a bookstore. I had focused so much on the trek in Nepal, I didn’t so any homework on India beforehand. I returned to Malaysia without taking a piece of real India; But I brought home two novels by Indian authors.
I picked up Solo by Rana Dasgupta, the winner of the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and Chef by Jaspreet Singh.
Saturday, March 26th, 2011
The notes I made while on my trek in Nepal are in my little Green book. I’ve yet to decide what to do with them—whether to write things down diary style, or try to churn out another long verse or let let them remain as notes. While I’ve not written anything, I’ve I’ve been reading quite a bit in the last two weeks.
Having complete the trek to the Everest Base Camp, I spent two days in Kathmandu. During that time, I wandered into Pilgrim’s Book House in Thamel, the popular tourist area. It carried quite a huge selection of mountaineering literature, and I was spoilt for choice. I wanted to pick up so many books, but in the end I simply settled for two books by Reinhold Messner.
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
Don Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion
I thought I knew the character, but having read the The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck volume 1 and 2 by Don Rosa, I am hooked to Uncle Scrooge. To tell the truth, I have new found interest in the character. And it was such a joy to find out that BOOM! Studios just reprinted The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion.
I’ve yet to finish the book–not because it’s dull, but because it’s so enjoyable I’m taking my time to savour the wonderful work. The stories are funny and really well-crafted–in terms of storytelling as well as artwork. “The Cowboy Captain of Cutty Sark” and “The Prisoner of White Agony Creek” stand out as two of the better stories.
Together with The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck volume 1 and 2, The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion now stands as among some of books that I’m glad I have on my bookshelf.