Monday 28 October 2013

Away again....

The above photo was actually taken at Coverack but I didn't take any at Shaldon as it rained a lot. Still,it didn't spoil our enjoyment, and thank god for waterproof trousers.

I went and saw my mum last week which was lovely, then stayed in Shaldon with my dear friend Av, and although it was only a brief time together, I came away feeling more refreshed and positive than I have done for several weeks. We’ve known each other for about 20 years (Av, you’ll put me right on exactly when we met!) and seen each other through various heartaches, falling in and out of love, death and disasters. So we know each other pretty well by now.

We’ve also been on holiday a lot – just because you’re good friends doesn’t necessarily mean you get on well when you go away. But we always laugh, cry, talk, walk and generally have a great time. So does Moll, who adores Av.

So I came away feeling much better about life. On Friday I managed to send my next walks book off to the publishers - ahead of deadline – and, urged by Av, also sent off a collection of poems to a competition. I’ve put my growing anthology of pomes into a book which Mr B says he will illustrate. Av read them and said I must find a publisher. (And she doesn’t say that kind of thing lightly.) Not an easy thing to do, but I love writing them so that bit isn’t a hardship.

This is written on Monday, for a change, and as my youngest brother and his family are coming over for a meal, I am cooking vast amounts of food to feed the Kittow Hordes. I haven’t seen them for a year, so it will lovely to catch up with them.

Later on this week, I’m off to Budock Vean ( a Very Smart Hotel) to review their dog friendly accommodation. The irony of this is that we went there on Mr B’s birthday intending to have a drink there. We turned up straight from the beach and were told we couldn’t have a drink unless we ate there, so we departed. Several weeks later I had a phone call asking if I’d like to review the place….

They even have a dress code for dinner (Smart for ladies, jacket and tie for men), which isn’t something I’ve ever come across before. Excuse me while I dash down to the charity shops to find something to wear……

Saturday 19 October 2013

Just checking in

I had a few days in Coverack which was a lovely break, and I do love it there. Last year we stayed in flat in an old converted hotel on a headland about 20 minutes from the village, and I love the sense of space and wildness and the sheer, raw elements of nature at its most beautiful.

A couple of friends came over to see me which was lovely but without a certain person it really wasn't the same. So I came back to sort myself out before going up to Devon tomorrow for a few days and see my mum then my dear friend Av and I are going to have a couple of nights in a B&B nearby - we visited there in the summer and it was lovely. Actually the forecast is terrible, but it will just be good to have a few days with one of my oldest and dearest friends.

We'll be near the sea, too, so if I can't actually get on it, at least I can be near boats, and very much look forward to Mr B's return so we can get on the water again.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

A Last Sail and another farewell

Over the past few days – since last Friday - I’ve been lucky enough to have three wonderful sails with Alan on Snap. On the Sunday we had a fabulous time with my friend Michael and sailed right out to Gull Rock and back – about 15 miles. It was wonderful to sail with someone as experienced as Michael, as well as Al, though it did make me realise how woefully inexperienced I am, and being me I get frustrated at not knowing stuff. Still it was a beautiful day and the sun shone and the wind was kind and Snap loved it.

On Monday Al and I had our last sail. I suddenly started to be incredibly cack handed and forgot to do things that I know perfectly well and then got cross with myself, till Al said, “perhaps it’s because you’re a bit emotional,” and of course he was right. I was so gulpy I couldn’t speak for about half an hour.

Like any Last Times, the three or four hours we spent out were so poignantly beautiful it made me ache. Snap took us round the docks to show her off – which was where I took the above picture, as we sailed into the sun towards Falmouth Docks - then we headed out to sea where the waves sparkled and the wind was perfect and we just wanted to keep going.

We surfed back with the spinnaker up most of the way, but used it like a second genoa, so it blew out to the side like a balloon as we sped along. Snap makes a wonderful rushing noise when she sails like that, and you can almost hear her joy as she surfs the waves. Ours, too. All too soon we were back on the pontoon, to take the sails off, a job that we did in near silence.

And that was Snap’s last sail of the year. She’s going back to Derby for the winter, so it’ll be May before she and Al come back and I will sorely miss them both. But we’ve had the most special times and for that I am everlastingly grateful.

Last night I had dinner with Al and Anne, which was incredibly kind of them – we had the most fabulous meal and it was a fitting end to a great summer’s sailing. Today, after 3 hours sleep, I went down to meet Al at Mylor when Snap was lifted out of the water. Having said I’d cheer him up as she was lifted out, of course I was absolutely of no use at all and stood there with tears pouring down my face as she was craned out, onto her trolley, to begin the long trip back to Derby for the winter.

After another hug goodbye, I ran down the pontoon, howled my eyes out on Echo for a bit, then blew my nose, gave Moll a cuddle and headed back to do some work. Hopefully Mr B will be back soon and we can get on the water again soon, for I do feel bereft without it.

I’m off to the Lizard next week for a few days, possibly longer, for a much needed break. See you all soon.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Was it a dream?

To remind myself that no, I wasn't dreaming, this was a picture I took sailing on Snap in August.

For the last week, Falmouth has been enveloped in a fog as thick as a bag. Some days it’s rained, others the south easterly wind has been relentless. The summer seems like a kaleidoscope of sunlit days, full of sailing, adventuring and fun that have abruptly come to an end.

Sitting here looking out of the window, I wonder if I dreamt it all, for no one’s been out sailing recently. Mr B’s away, Al’s back in Derby and all the boats are tucked up. I bailed out Echo yesterday, looking at the ever increasingly empty moorings that tugged at my heart. I remembered our last outing, only last week. Perhaps because we had such a good summer, packing in so many wonderful experiences, the end of it seems harder to take.

But, oh, what memories I have to take out and savour. The exhilaration of racing in Falmouth Week and drinks with the very lovely bunch of people we met. Helming on Gipsy Moth, followed by champagne and pasties. Scampering down through the fields for a swim, Moll barking alongside. One particular adventure in Piran, with rip tides though Mr B saved the day. Those are just a few….

But yesterday I walked over crunchy leaves that are turning golden. Only last week Mr B and I picked blackberries, sharing them with Moll (it seems like months ago). There are plenty left, and I find blackberry picking very soothing. The crumble I made on Sunday was polished off between friends pretty quickly, too.

I’ve been reading James Wharram’s book Two Girls Two Catamarans – he was the first person to cross the North Atlantic voyages in a catamaran (that he’d built) with his two girlfriends, one of whom (aged 18) gave birth half way round…. Fascinating reading that has given me severe wanderlust.

But thankfully, Alan returns tomorrow, and as the weather forecast is good for the weekend, my spirits are rising. We’re both desperate to get some sailing in before Snap is lifted out of the water and he tows her back to Derby on Wednesday. When, as he said, we’ll both be crying…

Lastly, I had an email yesterday to say that one of my poems, Tuesday Evenings, is being published in a collection entitled 'The Dance is Now' which is to be published this week as an ebook on Amazon on Thursday 3rd October, which is National Poetry Day. Well!