This was entirely brilliant. We were on the south coast of Cornwall, on a totally beautiful and empty beach, ready to bivvy for the night after an afternoon’s boating, and my task was to make fire, and cook dinner. (Luckily we had anticipated failing to catch any fish, and packed some ingredients from the cupboards at home).
So, entirely unilaterally, I foraged for wood, built my fire, lit it, and tended it into a roaring toasty blaze. I prepared my ingredients and brewed up a remarkable pasta /pesto extravaganza, with mushrooms and chorizo. The fire blazed. The waves crashed. The sun was setting. All was right with the world.
As I tended my quite brilliant fire, I realised I was indeed, doing everything entirely myself. And I wondered how on earth it could be, that Dave could bring himself to leave the fire making to someone else. (For that is why it is on the list: I have become so accustomed to him taking over all such endeavours, that I rarely have any need to test my own survival skills.)
But now, I have done it, and no doubt you’ll agree that I am clearly gifted at outdoor living. I will probably be asked to do a TV show soon, a kind of female Ray Mears. Such were the happy thoughts going round in my head as I assembled the meal. But when I looked around to summons David for his tea, I realised why I had been allowed to proceed unbothered. For he had been building his own fire, except he had built a fire that he could charge his mobile phone on. I am not joking.
Still. No one likes a smart arse.
Over the bank holiday Dave and I had a free pass, to go sea kayaking around the coast of Cornwall. Which was absolutely lush. I have failed absolutely to master the eskimo rolling which was supposed to be one of my challenges, but I guess you have to take opportunities as they present themselves. The sea was too rough for an effective lesson on rolling, but conditions were totally ideal for learning to surf the waves in a boat.
Basically you paddle in front of the wave, the wave lifts you, you put in a stern rudder, then you either power into the shore like a legend or you spin round 90 degrees and come off the wave, then paddle back out to sea and start again.
Or, as I discovered, there is a third way. The wave takes you, you stick the paddle somewhere at random, whereupon you are unceremoniously deposited on the bottom of the ocean. You exit the boat, cursing as cold water penetrates your clothing from every angle, hopefully retrieve paddle and kayak, and retreat to dry land to rectify matters.
This was my preferred method on most attempts. The first day I caught a couple of waves without mishap. But for most of the time, I was upside down. It begins well:
It continues well…
And then, ah yes – over I go.
Ah well. There is some value I suppose, in that it takes the fear out of capsizing. Once I had been in once it didn’t matter if it happened again, and again! So we had a thoroughly enjoyable morning of it!
Yes I know, it is entirely pointless, ridiculous, etc.
But it does amuse me slightly, to think of the builders coming to knock down our sorry little bungalow in a few weeks’ time; then digging the foundations of the 2 swank pads that are going to replace it, only to unearth a random selection of my pants, not very far from the surface.
Well not exactly a jumbo jet, but I have been flying one of these bad boys!
Check it out!
We have been viewing Ashton Keynes and the surrounding area from the air, and while I cannot claim to have been in any way instrumental in surviving the experience, I did get to fiddle with the control stick rather a lot (oo-er). And I must say it was extremely responsive!
Here is Ashton Keynes from above:
And here is me, looking more than slightly anxious at wobbling about 1800 feet in the air or thereabouts (if I understood the controls correctly, which is enormously unlikely).
Thank you very much Auntie Tina for my early birthday present! Very splendid.
I have a number of plates spinning at the moment, which makes for some eclectic juggling of priorities. Today the financial advisor called, to outline our various mortgaging possibilities. I found myself indisposed to take his call, as I was in the garage attempting to take a selfie with a child’s camping chair stuck up one nostril. Do other people have moments like this?
Can anyone guess what is coming next?
I have really loved doing this project over the last few months. I have loved all the random experiences that have come my way. And I have especially loved writing about them. And one thing I love even more than all that, is hearing that people have enjoyed reading it.
So I am thinking, only a couple of weeks are left. What then? Might there be some way of making more of it? Not just doing more ridiculous antics, but expanding the whole idea into something more… But what?
Well I don’t quite know what, but it is with such fledgeling ideas in mind, that I have crafted a survey, to find out what folk think of it, more specifically than ‘I like it’ or ‘its crap’.
I am massively grateful to anyone who can take a moment to fill it in. I won’t know who has said what, but really appreciate any feedback. It should only take a few minutes, and you can skip questions if you have nothing to say about them.
Huge thanks as always to anyone who can help me with this. Also any shares on social media much appreciated!
I haven’t exactly done this solely by myself, but through a cunning partnership with a freelance journalist I seem to be contracted to Chat magazine to make a feature/nob of myself in a couple of months time.
I have made myself available for all manner of embarrassing photography, not least the water skiing endeavour, and for my troubles I am to be paid the princely sum of £100. (Eye watering? Not exactly! But since I am doing no other work at the moment I am not sure what else I can charge for! Suggestions welcome! And I did have to proactively ask for a fee, which I find near impossible to do, so it kind of ticks the box about raising the subject of cold hard cash.)
It doesn’t entirely replace a full time salary, and I doubt it will have huge impact on our mortgaging capability, but it is a beginning!