There’s a lot of things cooking up at the moment. Lisa and I are heading to London from the 13th of February for a week and then after that, I will be travelling to Perth, Western Australia for nearly three weeks to see my parents.
It’s been a year since I last saw them, waving goodbye as I walked through the airport on my way to join Delos in Africa. It’s strange how fast this year has gone past. I watched some videos of me before I even stepped onto Delos and I don’t even recognize myself.
I often wonder what would ever have happened if I hadn’t stepped on that plane. I’d probably be stuck in a concrete town, trying to cling onto hope that one day my adventure would start.
Or maybe I would have found another way.
I have faith in myself- in my ability.
Maybe I was only ever going to take the choice of going to Africa.
More things are happening on the horizon. Not only am I working on the Delos story, featuring the adventures of Brian, Karin and Brady before they became a team, but I am also working on the sequel to my last novel, The Contract of Maddox Black.
I am busy trying to prepare that for release, but now it’s on a back burner while I throw myself into The Delos Story preparations.
Re-reading and editing the book of Delos has lit a fire inside me as I think of my own boat story. Of how I will feel when I finally buy my own home on the sea. The possibilities are endless at the moment.
Do I buy one in France, go back to England or hope that Delos spot one for sale in the Caribbean?
In France, the only thing I seemingly can afford at the moment is anything under 28ft. For a crew of four, that’s incredibly small. The moorings where we live as well are about 900 euros a month. We had a budget of about two months worth that we could take into consideration. The plan was to find something that needed a lot of work, had been abandoned or had an old owner that just wanted it gone. Anything to give us a chance over 30ft.
We had a couple of amazing projects that did come through, but alas, it was either two much time or money that had to be spent on it.
So I’ve decided to wait and save until March. We’re still researching makes, still talking with sailors, but the day-today search (for my sanity) has paused until I finish a few projects.
I have just started selling my prints and original watercolours, which has been an incredible sensation for me- that people would ever want to buy my paintings. It’s incredible to think that a part of me will be in people’s homes, my brushstrokes and ink immortalized on paper in someone else’s house. I get attached to things like that pretty easily. These paintings and drawings become my friends in a way. I surrounded myself with them in our apartment- my little companions as Edouard went away to work.
But the boat and our future is too important than emotional attachment. And the fact that people want to buy a piece of my creativity means more than anything.
It makes me feel like a real…
Well, an artist I suppose.
Edouard and I had talked about looking in England for a boat. The prices seem to be cheaper, and the moorings are in most places a quid per foot each week. The plan would be to leave France in April/May. To go on a three week road trip around Great Britain as we searched for a boat to sail in June and explored some of the places I love the most.
I’m proud of my country. Maybe everyone is of theirs. I’m proud of our countryside, of our history, of our heritage. And whereas I’m sorry for all of the terrible things that have happened, I am still a proud Brit.
There are some of the most magical places in Britain that you can ever imagine. We’re surrounded by the legends of Boudicca, the Queen of the Celts that burned London to the ground in revenge for the Romans brutalizing her family. The land is immersed in myths about King Arthur, Camelot and the Round Table. Some people say as the trees groan in the wind, it is actually the sound of Merlin groaning inside his oak tree prison as he was trapped by the Lady of the Lake. The woodlands of Sherwood whisper of a man called Robin of the Hood, a man who had once fought in the Crusades with Richard the Lionheart and battled against the rule of King John.
So many legends. So many stories.
It’s easy to think how people believed in fairies, demons, wizards and goblins back in those days.
I want to show Edouard the Britain I love. I want to take him to Stonehenge for Solstice, I want to take him to the Lake District where Beatrix Potter was inspired to write her unforgettable Peter Rabbit books. I want to take him to the White Cliffs of Dover, to Stratford Upon Avon where William Shakespeare was from. I want to take him to my beloved Nuneaton and show him the very town that raised me. I want to take him to Scotland- a place that I have never been and discover the land and heritage together.
I want us to explore my Britain before we head off on this journey of ours. Time is fast approaching and that June date is still solid. It’s been incredible talking to everyone on sailing forums and social media trying to find a suitable boat, and we’ve discovered that for our budget- we’re going to have to go to the Caribbean.
Things are happening quickly and I’m feeling good about it. It means the hard work is paying off. It means it’s happening. There is no waiting. No hoping. There is just doing.
The Caribbean is not somewhere I thought I would ever start my journey. It was a dream. I have so much to thank Delos for, I feel like my heart could burst with love for them every day.
I realise I am probably the last person anyone expected to try and get themselves a boat. Everyone is far more experienced than me who has been on Delos. Far more resilient.
Edouard and I went for a walk the other day to take some time for ourselves. It was along the coast and I couldn’t stop shivering and snuffling into my scarf.
“You were not made to sail, Lizbef!” Edouard laughed.
I looked up at him, ready to throw back a retort. But I thought about it.
“That’s the best thing about it though, isn’t it?” I said. “To do something we weren’t made for? It’s like a cat who wants to learn how to swim. That’s me.”
And I wholly believe in that. Trying to master a skill we know next to nothing about. To attempt to better ourselves.
And yeah- so I’m not the best sailor. I don’t like the cold. I don’t like the wet. And I don’t like the wind.
But I’m going to do it. Because I know the other side of things. To finally see land. To feel the sun on your skin after shivering in three jumpers for two weeks straight. To eat bacon and chocolate pancakes as a celebration of completing a passage. To discover new places, to jump into the ocean just to cool down, to sit on the backstep and shower naked because there’s no soul around- and if even if there was, you wouldn’t give a care in the world.
And to do it with a crew.
Now that is well worth stepping out of my comfort zone.
I may become the worst Captain since Captain Ron.
But at least I’m going to damn well try.
Love Lizbef x
Want to help? You can help towards our boat fund by donating here! https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/earlewrites
Psssst! We are also now on YouTube! https://www.youtube.com/c/earlewrites
You can also help another way by buying one of my books or visiting my shop of tees or my NEW section of limited edition art prints and original paintings. I hope you like! Much love!
Thank you as always! Lizbef x