Roots

I am rooted in the earth there

growing from the soil.

It’s in my blood

my roots are there

and do not move,

while my heart and mind

wanders from beach to cliff,

craving salt water

wherever I go.

Postcards from Home

The Freshwater co-op car park

is a long way from home.

Everything is these days –

home is a distant thing,

a concept I can’t wrap

my head round, no matter how hard I try.

 

Every rolling field, combine rumbling

by, every hay bale and tractor

every pebble on the beach

is a postcard from home

that I can’t ignore.

 

An old tattered paperback,

words jumping off the page

familiar characters and faces on the screen

are like a blanket wrapping

themselves around me, linking me

back to home, an unwritten

postcard that doesn’t need

to be spoken aloud.

PILGRIMS

They returned to the site,
still the same after all these years.
No one else would know they were pilgrims
for they wore tatty shorts and t-shirts, clutched
backpacks and sun hats,
and looked like any other tourist
that passed through. But for them
it was something else – this pilgrimage
that they had made, back, into the past,
a time that had long passed
even if the place still remained
seemingly untouched.

Homesickness

We’re homesick you see,
not to go home, not now,
but for a time
that doesn’t exist anymore
that we can’t go back to
except in our dreams
which take us far away
on a roller coaster into the past.
we cling on like limpets
on a sinking ship, we spin
in circles
getting
nowhere
and feeling nothing
only
despair
dragging us further away
and all I really want,
you see, is to go home,
but it’s not there anymore.

UKSA: Week Thirteen – and the end!

Well, here we are – at the end! Not really a whole week, but officially the end of the course. And I am shattered. It’s been a full-on week – with the pre-entry assessment, followed by the five-day dinghy instructor course.

It’s been an interesting week, looking at the different sessions that you can run as an instructor, how to deliver them, and practicing delivering them, as well as presentations and more. A good week on the whole – and ended in the result I wanted (although I’ll be honest, I never thought that I was going to get there!). Just goes to show how perseverance can pay off.

If you’d told fifteen, nineteen year old me that I would be happy standing up in front of a group of people and delivering presentations and briefs and more without feeling sick and red-faced, then I wouldn’t have believed you at all. And yet, here I am.

And so that’s it, the course is done!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three months, it’s absolutely flown by, but it’s been the best decision that I’ve made in a long time. I’m feeling quite lost this evening… but looking forward to going home for a bit to have a mini holiday, before heading back to start work! New adventures ahead….

Lessons in Perseverance

Perseverance.

It’s an underrated quality (and a long word to spell!). But it’s everywhere. WE don’t talk about it much, do we? We prefer the stories of people who rose to success “overnight”, who suddenly “made it”, who did something making it look easy.

But the truth is, under all these success stories, all these triumphs, is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. So many people start things and then don’t continue because of the hard work that it involves because they’re not getting where they want to right away because the road ahead seems long and winding. A common statement thrown about is that it takes ?? hours to become an “expert” in anything – whether that’s writing or painting, sport or any other hobby. But so often we’re not willing to put the hours in. When others make something look easy, we want to be able to do it like that right away, and get frustrated when we can’t.

Writing is a key example of this. Writing requires an insane amount of perseverance and time. It’s not all about talent, it comes down to perseverance, dedication, and a little bit of luck. Writers have to get through knockbacks, rejections, disappointments, self-doubting, negativity,  and so much more.

But there are the good times too. When a new story idea settles, or when someone likes what you’ve written. When you’ve been writing all day and the words just keep flowing. When you’re lost in the magic of a new story or are filled with endless enthusiasm for your words and characters. When you meet other writers and can talk for hours about your plots and characters. When it feels like everything’s going right.

And so, the same can be said, I have found for sailing. This really goes for any sport.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have told again and again by instructors that they’re impressed at my perseverance. Considering that I thought about giving it up time and time again, I was always kind of pleased that I turned up each day. But you know when you’re determined to crack something? Each day, I would be like, well, today was awful BUT I’ll give it one more shot. If I haven’t cracked it by X, I’ll give it up. But then that day would come, and it would be okay, and I would think, well, I might as well carry on now. Until suddenly, here we are, a few days before the end of the course, and things are coming together, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

There are challenges in everything we do, that is true, and sometimes, the hard work we do on the way there, the challenges, the perseverance, the ups, and downs, ultimately give the biggest reward at all.

Perseverance. Don’t underestimate it.

UKSA: Week Twelve

Another week over – and now the end is within spitting distance. It’s crazy, really, that three months has vanished just like that! So, this week has been pretty full on, getting presentations ready, developing sailing skills – amazing really how in a week I went from feeling pretty hopeless about it to it all suddenly clicking and making far more sense. By Saturday, I was feeling pretty confident and happy about it.

On Friday, we had a practice run for a pre-entry assessment, which took place today (Sunday) – passed the practice one, which was a huge confidence booster – and passed today, which honestly, two weeks ago I would not have expected at all!

Saturday we also tried out harnesses and trapezing, which was fun!

So anyway, now we’re on the home run – just five days to go (!) (the instructor course) and then we’re done. Wow.

 

UKSA: Week Eleven

I feel like I only just finished writing the last blog post – how has a week gone by already? Another week of sailing has disappeared, and it’s been a lot more positive, with several good days in a row. Still a lot to learn and a lot of skills to develop, and I’m still struggling a bit with it, but it has got better, which is good.

There’s now less than two weeks left until the end of the course – and less than a week until our pre-assessment for the instructor course, which is terrifying! Where has the time gone?

This week we’ve covered all sorts including spinnakers, rudderless sailing, backwards (!) sailing, starting prepping our presentations, and much more. The weather has continued to be gloriously warm, which has been lovely! Great to be outside all the time, and spent the evenings taking advantage of being able to be outside too.

2017-06-01 18.39.42

We had a day off on Friday and headed up to Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s residence on the island. Beautiful grounds, a huge house, and even a lovely private beach! Definitely well worth a visit and lovely to see.

 

 

The final push! Here we go….

UKSA: Week Ten

This time last week, I didn’t think I would have stuck at the dinghy sailing – I didn’t think I’d still be doing it, and I certainly didn’t think that I would say that I had had days where I’ve spent the day laughing rather than crying.

But it’s true!

True, things didn’t immediately improve. I think switching instructors about and having to start again didn’t help. Plus we had some windier days, which made it all a bit more daunting and made me continue to hate it.

Monday was a day where I didn’t have any major meltdowns, which was an improvement, although it was still a slightly frustrating day in some ways (and it was a gorgeously warm day, which was lovely too – the start of a really warm week – definitely into the shorts now, no more trousers till the autumn for me…!)

It wasn’t until Wednesday that I had a day when I laughed instead of crying. It felt like things were beginning to come together. Thursday took a few steps back and was a frustrating day, but Friday was a beautiful day and things finally started to go right. We were able to go down the river and the weather was beautiful! The day was topped off with some rather entertaining capsizes from me, including falling backwards out the boat and falling out the powerboat after attempting to climb back into my boat… yes, safe to say that I didn’t sail back after that!

Over the weekend, we started with another instructor, who we now have for the rest of the course. Was apprehensive about going out again – and back to double handed boats. Wind was quite rough Saturday, but Sunday was much better – and another day with lots of laughter. Today, was another lighter day and another day of laughter – two in a row, an achievement I feel! Plus, I’m impressed that I’ve actually turned up every day. I might even be beginning to enjoy it?

Watch this space….!

The Mist

The mist lies heavy over the river

only the horn of a ship

slicing through the water can be heard

as it moves stealthily through

like a burglar in the night.

 

the mist lifts and the tide rises

life continues, the boats

go up and down, the mist

has floated away over to the mainland

out of sight, and we forget

it was ever there.