When I was 16 or 17, I met the Rev Bob Shepton at a church youth club I used to attend sporadically – and for social rather than spiritual purposes. Bob was a climber and looking for one or two people to act as seconds on his rope as he explored the Dorset sea cliffs. Thus began a set of adventures that have continued and sustained me through my life. Bob is now 79/80 and still sailing to the Arctic with climbers. I am so warmed and heartened to see him still going so strongly.
Is it just by chance that we meet influential characters or do we go looking for them – even if we are not aware of our doing so? As my friend Gerv has said, ‘You make your own luck’ and, quoting Pasteur, ‘Fate favours the prepared mind’. I think he is on to something.
An account of my early climbing with Bob, ‘Above and Beyond’, can be found by scrolling down this blog