“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
These are, of course, the words of J.R.R. Tolkien. Not all those who wander are lost. We both feel this is thoroughly appropriate for our adventures this summer. Our journey along and up the west coast of England, Wales and Scotland. A chance to see the beautiful coastline, investigate new-to-us villages and cities, explore historical and archaeological treasures, cycle and walk on islands and mainland, talk to strangers, meet friends, watch sea birds perching on cliff faces, seals poking their heads out of the water, dolphins following us on our travels. We will take our time, and really enjoy what we’re doing. Wander.
I’m sitting on the train from Paddington to Truro, one of the legs on my journey today down to Mylor where Dominic and Idun are waiting for me. Dominic drove down yesterday with supplies, and in order to be there before the launch today. I’m going down today as I had a very important appointment last night: the launch party for the Debut Book of my God daughter Holly Jackson. I know I’m biased, but if you want a really good crime read, well here it is:
The launch party was really great, lots of lovely people to talk to, and so nice to see Holly so happy! And I’ve now got our 1st edition, signed copy of her book, carefully put away to sell for a fantastic amount of money in the future; pension sorted!
This train journey is a chance for reflection; a transition from one part of my life to another. It’s been a busy winter. I was very lucky to get a lot of work at the library, and it’s been really nice to be back. Thanks to all my lovely colleagues! And at home we had to make a difficult decision to give away our rabbits. It was a real wrench, but I am so grateful for Verity who has adopted them and who is taking such wonderfully good care of them. So, we won’t worry about them, but the house was very empty without our furry friends.
I had great plans for the winter. Some of it I’ve done, some has not been completed as hoped. The most poignant being the Day Skipper theory course. I’ve done a lot of it, and I’ve learnt a great deal. I will finish it in the next couple of weeks and then put theory into practice while we’re sailing this summer. Dominic and I have been watching a whole load of instructional videos together which has been fun. And we will get on with working out the deviation table for Idun, and other things I’ve come across. So that I can work out the correct course to steer: CTS; one of the hundreds, if not thousands of acronyms I’m coming across in the sailing world. Despite not having achieved Day Skipper certification, I have in fact learnt a lot during the last year, much of it I previously didn’t even know was something to learn. As always, you never know what’s involved until you do it yourself. Last summer was learning to be a useful crew member but this year I need to start the long road (or voyage!) to be the skipper. Not that I intend to take over Dominic’s role as the one in charge, but for both of us it will be both useful and more enjoyable the more I understand and dare to do.
I’ve just heard from Dominic who says Idun is just about to be launched. Very exciting! We already know that the clever electrician Mark in Mylor has fixed the problem with the solar panel charging which is wonderful to hear. Dominic says tonight’s strong northerlies will give us a chance to really check out the performance (and noise level!) of the new wind turbines, and then we’ll check whether the new alternator configuration has been successful. We will stay near Mylor until we are absolutely sure all fixes on Idun have been successful, as we don’t want a repeat of last summer’s continual return for further changes. We will also use the luxury of having the car there for the first week to stock up with food and do a few journeys inland. Dominic will drive the car back at some point and we’ll set off from Cornwall mid-May, heading to Bristol / Cardiff where friends will join us for a few days. Our next goals are Isle of Man, Liverpool and perhaps Northern Ireland. We want to be up in Scotland for midsummer but have no definitive plans as to where and when. I am so looking forward to it!