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Last weekend, was one of the big ones in the outdoor events calendar – The Kendal Film Fest! This year for me was a big one, as the film – “Wide Boyz” – that Pete Whittaker and I made with Hotaches out in the US last year was going to finally premiere. It feels like it’s been ages since I climbed an offwidth, but last weekend was like a strange dip back in a very weird past.

I headed up to Kendal on Friday for the premiere with my wife and daughter, quite excited that they were both going to see what I’d actually got up to in America. It’s always been the case that they’ve known what I did each day, but never saw any footage. I think the knowledge that my family was there (as well as the general public) to pass general opinion on the film made me nervous for the first time in absolutely ages. It felt like being a teenager at school with my first bit of public speaking, except this time there were hundreds of people to see if I cocked up!


Photo: Packed sweaty cinema did little for the palms…

All my nerves disappeared though, when after 10 seconds into the film playing (where there is a shot of me on screen) my daughter Hannah screamed out “Daddy!!” in the cinema and everyone laughed! Watching the whole film in its final form was a really cool experience and despite the fact that I was there when it was all filmed, the tension still got to me. I guess that’s the art of a good film maker?!


Photo: Hannah starting to learn bad habits from Dad.

On the Saturday, it was lots of Q&A sessions after the film viewings and it was good to get some really interesting questions from people and also still hear what things people couldn’t get their heads round e.g. is it easier to run it out or step round Friend 6′s?! Physical vs. Mental. In the afternoon Pete and I headed off to the town hall for our lecture, which despite being in front of 350+ people didn’t seem half as scary as the premiere. Yet again at the lecture the question of “how do you clean a roof crack” came up – it’s starting to make me wonder if this is a common problem out there! Outside of the lecture hall Rab had made a funny “Tom and Pete cutout” that we had some fun on – although I couldn’t really use it as my head is such a terrible pin-shape that it doesn’t fit in the hole. Probably the reason why I look a bit of a mushroom head in a helmet….


Photo: Kim and Hannah show me how it’s done.

As I pointed out to many people on the weekend, much of the adventure and trip that Pete and I had out in the States, has to be owed to the generousity of Wild Country, Rab (Patagonia for Pete) that helped fund it. Having a bit of wild faith in two British wide boy punters who could have totally fallen flat on their faces, has to be recognised a form of true altruism.


See the original of this post on Tom's blog