Tuesday, 4 February 2014
I was talking to a friend last night about the strange way things happen, and are connected. How stories - and life - often go in circles. This is what happened to me last week.
Last week Mr B sent me this quote by Michael Morpurgo:
“That’s what sailing is, a dance, and your partner is the sea. And with the sea you never take liberties. You ask her, you don’t tell her. You have to remember always that she’s the leader, not you. You and your boat are dancing to her tune.”
I loved that so much I printed it out and it now hangs over my desk. And I found out it comes from “Alone on a Wide Wide Sea,” so I ordered it from the library.
A few nights later I went to Telltales, an evening where writers read out their work in a pub in Falmouth. One of them was a short story by a man about his experiences as a lone sailor, hallucinating at the end of a voyage with very little sleep. It was very well written, we ended up having a chat afterwards - he keeps his boat in Penryn which he has lived aboard, and he emailed me the next day. As a result, he’s buying me lunch so we can discuss freelance writing.
That day, I got a notification from the library that my book had arrived so when I’d finished my current book, (I’m going through an annoying phase of waking at 3am for several hours so am reading through the night) I went to the library to pick it up.
This book is, latterly, about a lone sailor. But it’s also about our journey through life. And what an incredible read it is. I started reading it on Saturday, woke in the night and kept on reading, and finished it on Sunday.
I wept my way through this amazing - and true - tale of a small orphan boy sent out to Australia in 1947 and his extraordinary battles through a tough life before finding his wife and having a daughter. Then it’s her story of how she sails back to England in the boat her dad built, to find his long lost sister.
I’m crying as I write this, “you’re such a softie, Sue,” said Sally when I told her, but it was such an inspirational story, and really makes you realise that while terrible things sometimes happen, it’s part of life.
As the hero says, “If I learned anything in this life, I've learned that you can't cling on.” He didn’t complain, or lean on anyone else, but fought his own corner. The message was that as long as you keep trying, you will get there in the end.
Talking of which, I'm supposed to be doing a dog review in Dorset this weekend - a last minute one that I was really looking forward to. However, looking at the forecast, the area where we're going is in the middle of the worst storms forecast. And gales and rain and thunder are predicted. Oh ****** or, what a shame.....
But to end on a positive note, I've just been invited to another party on Saturday, so who knows what might happen? Or to end with yet another quote from the book: “There’s room for all sorts of magic and miracles in this world - that's what I think.”