So it’s now a month since we left Lymington, and we’ve travelled over 1000 miles, all of which was done in the first two weeks! What’s it really like? Well it’s hard to know what to write in these blogs, be brutally honest and truthful, or pick what you say as you don’t want people to worry at home, as you know there will some misinterpretation and the negative will always seem worse than it is.
It was always my intention to be brutally honest but when push comes to shove you don’t want to cause anxiety amongst those you love, and you don’t want to leave them with the impression that all is not well, when in fact it is. This lifestyle will just take some getting used to, when if you’re someone like me you feel guilty about doing virtually nothing all day. Waiting for your candy crush lives to refresh and reading about the latest celebrity fallout is not really intellectual stimulation! Now, after the initial madness it’s a bit like we’re on an extended holiday, the fact that I am now ‘retired’ and this is our life now hasn’t quite hit home yet, or it has but I’m struggling to accept it. I need to remind myself that I don’t need to be doing something all of the time, I am allowed to relax and just enjoy being here, which I am, wherever here may be.
So let’s go for honesty, have I made the right decision, well it wasn’t just my decision to make, but yes we did. Certainly for the benefit of our health and for that matter Craig’s sanity yes we did. Already we feel better, well I can only speak for myself, but my health and the issues I suffered with have vastly improved – believe you me, the symptoms of IBS are not something you would choose to be suffering in the confined space of a boat!
Have I been bored, yes I have, have I found ways to overcome the boredom, yes I have. I have always found things to do, as I did at home. The one thing I’ve learned is that getting into a state of boredom is hard to get out of, it’s actually difficult to motivate yourself to actually do something to alleviate the boredom – if that makes sense. So each day I have to do something that I deem to be constructive, even if that’s the ironing – which I know sounds stupid, but believe you me in 35 degree heat that’s no mean feat! I did make sure that I brought things with me that I enjoy doing, mostly crafty stuff, so the rug and the cushion are coming along nicely, I’ve already got through several books and done boaty stuff like learning to lasso a post on the pontoon from the boat. I may have rodeo career if funds are needed in the future!
My current daily task, which I was going to leave until we reach Cartagena is to give each cabin etc a damn good clean, right down to the bare bones. I’ve done one this morning and am now content, today I have achieved something and am also a few lbs lighter from the sweat!
I am apprehensive about spending so much time in Cartagena, 6 months less the time back in the uk for Christmas/New Year seems like an age. But I know that this will be the time when we get all the jobs done on the boat (and there’s always a job to be done). I plan to take my Day Skipper theory course online, and I will learn Spanish properly. Not become fluent I’m sure but enough to be able to have the day to day conversations you have with people. There will be day trips, either on the boat or inland, and I’ve read that there’s always lots going on in the town.
Ideally I need to find some salty old sea dog who’s writing his memoirs the old fashioned way and needs someone to type up the manuscript. I need to have a purpose and I like to be busy, even if that busy means sitting around drinking tea with other liveaboards – of which there will be a few in Cartagena. If there’s one thing for certain about being in a marina, it’s that everyone clearly has a similar interest, people talk to each other, people say hello, people are interested in what you’re doing, where you’ve been and where you’re going. You never know I may even become sociable, ok let’s not go too far I haven’t had a personality transplant!
Are there things I miss, yes but mostly material things, I miss my washing machine, I miss having a proper ironing board and I miss Sky tv – so if anyone’s got a spare Sky Extra account we can hijack let me know!
And if anyone’s now upset because I haven’t said there’s people I miss, stop. The people I cherish are staying in touch, and the conversations I am having with them are more meaningful. FaceTime is brilliant, mobiles between the UK and Spain work fine, and iMessage is a godsend.
So to round up what seems to have become a lengthy diatribe, my key learning points in the last month have been (in no particular order):
1. Be prepared that the soles of your feet will always be dirty!
2. What you want to eat will always be at the bottom of the fridge.
3. It is possible to live in a smaller space, huge kitchens and bedrooms aren’t what matters.
4. People who say they’ll stay in touch don’t, then all of a sudden you’ll hear from someone completely unexpected and it will make you smile.
5. Redheads should always wear a hat in the sun
6. Once you’ve cleaned, ready yourself for the fact it’ll be dusty again before you put the cleaning stuff away
7. If you’re going to live in a small space, make sure you love the one you’re living with.
8. It’s alright to chill now and again
9. Be grateful you got the antibiotics from the doctor before you set off
10. The supermercado won’t sell Weetabix but will happily sell you a jar of peeled asparagus – I mean who eats peeled asparagus?
11. Going anywhere on a boat is slow going, don’t expect to get anywhere quickly, and be ready for plans to change in an instant – Mother Nature can be a bitch!
P.s. In other news massive congrats to Tomas (our nephew), who in spite of everything that has happened in the last 10 months passed his A levels and will now be heading off to Manchester uni – we are all very proud of you.
Secondly we couldn’t get into the marina we wanted up the coast, so have decided to stay put till the end of the month, then we’re going up the coast another 75 miles, to a sister marina to this one. We like it here so it’s all good and as I’m learning quickly, plans should always be open to change.
And in answer to the initial question in case you’re wondering – yes, so far so good.