I am finally back behind a desk catching up on our news. There have been many moments when I have remembered my blog duties during the last two months, but somehow managed to get distracted. This morning, as I was loading up the boats on the quay, a customer asked me if I was the one that wrote the blog, and that he found them amusing. That was it for me!! I have an audience, I will oblige! This might well be something to do with why I love being in my local amateur dramatics group, the Blakeney Players. On with the show!!
We have had a very cold, windy, misty and altogether foggy start to the season. It has been made worse knowing that the rest of the country have been enjoying a hot and sunny few weeks. It has been tragic! I know I should probably be assessing how much we are ‘down’ (on a financial note), and how we can never make up the loss, etc, etc., but it has to be said that our outlook is completely different. On a business level we always look at the year. We don’t focus on the month, week, or day. Most years equal themselves out, and we all take the good with the bad, and none of us are on the poverty line. The saddest thing with the bad weather for us is not taking full advantage of being able to balance some great ‘playtime’ in the months of May and June, our favourite time of year.
We work seven days a week, and when the children break up from school for the summer we mostly work all of the tide. In May and June however, we have fair weather (normally!), long days, light nights, and the added bonus of not working the whole of the tide. This enables us to work, then play with the last of the tide and long after everyone else has gone home. We are extremely privileged to get this work/play balance just right. We work every day, but also play every day. Its exhausting!!! So, with great weather this is easy…….the sun makes you feel good and energised enough to keep going, everyone has a smile on their faces and the choices of activity is huge. With the not so great weather its more of an effort. There is still plenty to do, but we need more layers, more food to keep us warm, and more determination. Determination to enjoy every minute of every day. Its all so easy to step indoors, snuggle in and put the tv on, but not in this household!! Layer up, pack another dry bag full of spares, load some food into the hampers, make a plan and off we go! This can be fishing, sailing, kayaking, water skiing, picnicking, bbq-ing, just eating lots, chatting, laughing, and generally enjoying being able to enjoy the harbour. We surprise ourselves with our energy levels, but there is something about being down there that manages to re-charge our batteries. The harbour is a magnet for us.
When Elsie was a baby and we ran the Anchor pub alongside the ferry business (long historical story which I will tell one day in the future, probably in the winter months!) I used to finally leave the lunchtime shift about half three, take my bag (full of nappies and bottles of milk mostly!) and the baby down to the harbour, having walked it with the tide being out. I would lay Elsie in a box in the bottom of my dinghy and push it out with a huge heave in order to start the engine before the wind floated us back onto the shore. This could well be a repeated pattern of shoving, leaping into the boat, pulling the starter rope, trying to steer and praying I would beat the wind. It could take anything up to half an hour! I would go to our houseboat on the other side of the harbour over near Pinchens creek, load us onto it and look at my watch. I would just have enough time to feed Elsie before it was time to start heading home to be ready to serve the beers at the pub. It was a mammoth task in itself, but I never questioned the need to get down there. The time I spent feeding my baby in the harbour was exactly what I needed to get back to the pub with a smile on my face ready to keep going for the evening.
So, an update on what we’ve been up to……..I have been to Holland with 17 very dear friends for the may bank holiday weekend, biking around Utrecht enjoying the flatness and great hospitality (third year running and I have to say one of my favourite jaunts – the cycling is unbelievable and well worth a visit), Jim has driven himself to Scotland for a fishing trip with his mates and so abandoned his ship for a week (all went well in his absence, so all positive on the retiring front!), Elsie has returned to Norfolk for the summer having spent the last few months with a filming company working in production (her career is taking off but she is hanging on to Morston for as long as possible!), and Lily has completed her GCSE’s!! (this is her first day out of school and she has booked herself in with Norfolk Etc for a powerboat course – good sign for the future!). We are all back into action with our work, and we are all fit and healthy ready for some serious play – fishing, water skiing and sailing top of the list, with me hopefully achieving a ‘first’ tomorrow by kayaking home from Wells. My final note is our excitement for Derek when he managed to get to the wedding of the year……yes, THE wedding of the year!!! He met lots of stars, chatted to them, had photos taken and thankfully returned to work on the boats with all the buzz from the city!! Life is good!!