The French Diaries!

The French Diaries: Part 14. “Buying a Boat Begins!”

Lizbef plunges into the world of buying her first boat!

The days pass sitting on my chair in my French apartment. The frost has begun to settle in my blood as winter takes a grip in Marseille. Edouard has a new job so I’m alone a lot more, walking around endlessly in the apartment, listening to music, drinking rum and smoking cigarettes as I write continuously on my laptop.

I feel as if I have lost my purpose. 

“I don’t know what I’m doing anymore,” I say to Edouard one day.

I know he feels the same way. He said the exact same thing to me just weeks ago.

Since those words came out, the realisation of what we needed to do took hold. The idea of the boat grew inside until we spoke about it out loud. Turned it into an intention. A reality.

I now don’t stare out of the window the same way anymore.

Since we released the news of us buying a boat, we have been researching like crazy. We’ve looked at Moodys, Maurice Griffiths, Beneteaus and finally…

“Take a look at this,” Edouard said, beckoning me over. “This is a very good boat. Its hull is immaculate-”

But all I saw as I walked around to see was “Amel”. I shrieked, startling Edouard.

“It’s an Amel Kirk!” I gasped. “An Amel!”

Amel. Everything that suddenly seems to represent Delos. The very brand that meant safety, security, reliability- when things aren’t breaking every day that is.

To think that I could ever possibly afford an Amel. Well, I could try to anyway.

“How much?”

“19,000 euros.”


I don’t think I’ve ever been a good grownup. I’ve always followed my heart and quit jobs as soon as they started to destroy my soul, preferring to make ends meet rather than be in a situation I don’t want to be in. And I’m saying this because I was in a situation that I didn’t want to be in.

I spent my entire education training to become an English teacher. When I achieved this goal, starting first in a prison at the age of 21, I thought I was on my merry way of being a success.

However, being 21 and naïve, it was pretty evident I was never going to last long in that environment. Not only did I throw up in the middle of my interview (I still don’t know how I got that job) but I had a terrible habit of forgetting I was in a prison and asking the inmates:

“Hey, so what are you guys up to at the weekend?”

Despite getting on really well with the inmates and enjoying my time, the recession hit and I had to move back in with my parents after losing my job, my home and two cats (my dad has asthma). Moving back home and going from working in CCTV and being a Museum Assistant (one of the best jobs I’ve had) I moved to Australia with my parents. There was the opportunity for a new life, a new start-

But Nuneaton always calls back people somehow. My Granddad became sick and my sister became pregnant. Then I met someone.

So I stayed.

I managed to scrape a career being a teaching assistant at the local college and then progressed to being a Lecturer teaching Shakespeare and Creative Writing.


I had done it! I had succeeded! I was a success! Oh wait- what was all of this paperwork? Why couldn’t I have a student in my class because he scored two points below? Why did I have to kick people off my course if they weren’t getting the right marks?

The politics of the college and the point system became overwhelming and all of a sudden it was no longer about the student, but about the reputation of the college and the marks it achieved at exams. I didn’t believe in the college politics. I refused to upheld them.

I didn’t care about that as long as the student tried, as long as they were passionate.

So all of a sudden I was faced with quitting a job that I had spent all of my education in getting.

I couldn’t bear to go into the classroom each day, the teachers around me dropping like flies as they signed off on stress. I was given their classes to cover with more frustrated students, more paperwork, more lesson plans to create, until finally…

I became incredibly ill, anxious and depressed.

And then I was the teacher signing off sick.

So I quit.

I refused to feel like that anymore and became a waitress. Yes, my pride took a hit as I began serving the very students I used to teach, but suddenly I was active, happy and busy.

I promised myself that I would never let myself get into a situation like that again. I would always quit if I felt like a job ever became unbearable. On the condition that I would pick myself back up again.

It was served my heart well- my bank however…

I suppose that’s the trade off. I haven’t had a long term job for banks to approve me for much. I haven’t stayed in a job longer than three years. I was always so determined that I would make it as a writer I never cared about quitting jobs. So what? I never believed I would stay in those positions for the rest of my life. I would work hard to become a writer, I would do it- I would do it!

But banks don’t take kindly to writers asking for finance.

So the fundraising for 30% of the boat has began to be accepted for marine finance.

Here is the link!

How do I feel about that? Asking for help? Pretty damn emotional that you guys have chipped in! All I know is that we’re heading off in May/June with whatever our money can afford. We’ll head off in a dingy if we have to. You guys have been so kind to us, even suggesting that we started crowdfunding. It was also you guys that suggested we should start a Patreon. So, I’m listening to you, and I always will.

We have our eyes on the Kirk Amel. All going well, the finance will come through for it. If that fails, we will have to buy a smaller boat outright or appeal for a smaller loan.

There is also the option of buying a project boat for us to do up, as Edouard has many contacts in Brittany at a boat yard and has made boats himself. All I know is that it has to happen.

We will make it happen.

Christmas has been the usual finance crunching, soul destroying time when I check my bank balance and scream to the heavens, but I’m getting things in order and setting my priorities straight. All we need is the bank to say yes to us for us to pay them on time every month. I’m trying my best to be an adult about it, dong my research and calling professionals for their advice.

Part of me just wants to call my dad and ask him to point me in the right direction- because that’s what dad’s do, right? Dad’s are the compasses of life.

My dad surprised me the other day by sending me an email. I didn’t think he knew about the boat plan but apparently my parents have been reading my blog.

The most wonderful thing about it however, wasn’t that they didn’t know why I was doing it (they didn’t know why I was going to Africa either with Delos, but look how that turned out) but the most important thing was- if I was going to do this, then I should do it smart.

Plan, plan, plan and plan.

I never thought my parents would be so accepting of that. I think maybe it became painfully evident that I was never going to settle down with a stable job and mortgage. I was on my own journey, my own adventure.

I’m incredibly happy that I feel that acceptance from them.

And so I will take their advice. 

I will do my research, set out a finance schedule, speak to the people I need to and get as much advice as possible.

Patreon has been a great help and you guys who have been supporting me have just been so wonderful with your incredible donations. You have made me so speechless in your encouragement and belief in me.

This IS happening and I wake up every morning excited for it. Whatever we raise within the next few months is going towards the boat we will buy. 

So THANK YOU for your love.

As I continue to work for Delos, I continue to write for my blog, create my books and paint more art prints and tee shirts. 

Because that’s the entire point of the journey. It’s about striving to live the life you want. To say I can do this when everyone believes you can’t. To prove that the dream doesn’t have to be a dream- it can be a reality. It should be a reality.

And so it shall be.

I have had the greatest teachers in this world on Delos to prove this.

I’m not going to let them down.

I’m not going to let you down.

We WILL do this.

With you guys by our side.


Want to help? You can help towards our boat fund by donating here! 

You can also help us in this dream by signing up as a Patron. By doing so even for a dollar is a HUGE help. You also get to read early blog entries, extras and videos! Interested? Sign Me Up!

You can also help another way by buying one of my books or visiting my shop of tees and gifts! I hope you like! Much love!

Thank you as always! Lizbef x


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  1. Lizbef, thank you so much for sharing your adventures and personal reply’s (teepeefive on instagram). So many more wonderful things will be coming your way as you follow your dreams. Your adventures will continue to take you to new heights. Through your writing and adventures we have truely enjoyed watching (Delos) your soul & writing blossom. We donate even though we are focused on saving and preparing for our live aboard Sailing boat adventure. We will continue to support, encourage & follow your adventures best we can. We wish you and Edouard all the best, fair winds & safe seas. Terry & (Annie)

    1. Oh my goodness thank you so much for donating!! That’s so incredible of you!! Thank you so much for your support. It really does mean the world to me. I learned so much on Delos and I know the adventure is not over. Edouard and I HAVE to get back out there and we’re so excited about this new journey of ours!! You guys have been so kind and incredible, thank you from the bottom on my heart!!

      Much love always! 😍

  2. “I refused to upheld them”
    “So the fundraising for 30% of the boat has began to be accepted for marine finance.”

    You’re probably the best writer I have ever read and your language is not even my mother tongue.
    However, you need to focus on your verbs:
    Uphold, upheld, upheld …. to uphold.
    Begin, began, begun … [it] has begun

    Respectfully yours and throwing lots of love your way.

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