The French Diaries!

The French Diaries: Part 21 “We love you Delos Tribe!”

I’ve returned from London exhausted. After a 5am start, we got a train back from Nuneaton, to London Euston, to take a tube to Heathrow, to then get a plane back to Marseille, to get a bus to Marseille train station, to then get a metro, so I could walk the rest of the way home.

But hey- it’s good to be back!

Lisa and I were completely overwhelmed by the love that came our way in London. I would be lying if I said we weren’t nervous about seeing everyone. I arranged the Delos meet and greet, probably not really knowing what to expect. We pulled on our Delos tee shirts and turned up to the Admiralty in London, thirsty for a rum, wondering how the night was going to go.

Safe to say it was an incredible experience. We had so much fun meeting everyone and I’m sure we’ve made some very special and long term friends.

I had tried to behave, telling myself that no, I wasn’t going to have any tequila shots, and no, I wasn’t going to drink too much rum.

“Lizbef! We got you a tequila!”


I saw the shimmering liquid on the bar, all five shots of them and stared at the Tribe with fear. “You got me a shot?”

“Yeah! Come on over!”

I swallowed and heard Brian’s voice in my head.

“Come on, Lizbef!”

I couldn’t let him down. I grabbed the shot and downed it, laughing and joking with everyone as we danced to the live music in the pub. It was Valentines Day and I sure did feel like I was in a place of a lot of love.

I feel as though I’m in a very unique position talking to the Tribe. I’m very lucky- and despite me not knowing you guys (although you know plenty about me) it is liking talking to long lost friends. Because you know everything. You know what has happened and the journey I am on. And that is am incredibly special thing to have.

“I know everything,” a woman called Fiona said. “I’ve read your blogs from the beginning- you’ve completely changed! You’re a new person! I’m happy for you!”

I was surrounded by such love. We met some people that had driven from all over the place, even seeing them the next day.

“And now you’ve bought a boat!” a huge guy called Simon said, debuting a Delos tee shirt. “Congratulations!”

My heart was so full of love speaking to these people, listening to their dreams and aspirations.

“But you should just go for it!” I encouraged them, talking to an amazing couple Grant and Kate. “If I can do it, anyone can! I mean- I have no idea what I’m doing!”

I was taken aback by the spirits of these people, listening to their lives and all how Delos has changed their viewpoint for them, had made them want more, had made them chase that dream that otherwise would have drifted away. I nodded, understanding everything the Tribe were saying. I had been just like them, wishing for the same thing as I watched the Delos episodes. I mean, it was a full year of watching them before I actually came on board and got plunged into this world where your dreams could be made a reality.

That was why it was even more important when I left Delos to take what they had taught me and to follow the dream.

That’s why I had to get Papageno.

London is not a place where I could survive I don’t think! It’s a beautiful place with incredible history, but it drained me of so much energy. I was happy to stay indoors with a cup of tea most of the day and explore at night. All I could think about was writing The Delos Story and doing more Papageno research. I knew I said I was going to try and relax in London, but every dream was about the boat, fixing her up and paying the remainder on time. We close the deal in seven days and it’s all I think about.

So it’s hard to switch off. There’s a constant bubbling in my chest, a fear that it won’t become a reality, that something will happen, dragging me away. I need to make this happen. I need to make this become a reality.

But there was one event that I couldn’t say no to visiting. Lisa and I were so lucky to be invited by our friend John to The Royal Albert Hall to watch the Cirque De Soleil! I had never been to see any form of circus act in my entire life and didn’t really know what to expect! Because John worked for the bank, the bank actually had a reserved booth in the theatre that overlooked the stage, a few boxes away from where the Queen actually sits.

I was sitting there with the most incredible view, a glass of white wine in hand, wondering what on earth I had done to deserve this experience. We were surrounded by so many good things and such amazing people in London, that my heart didn’t know if I could take any more of it.

Which is why on Sunday, we decided to get a train back and head to Nuneaton. As soon as I entered the Midlands, I could feel a wash of relief cascade down me. I was home. I was where I belonged- if but for a short while of course.

I stepped out of the train station to be surrounded by grey clouds, grey concrete and the faint drizzle of rain.

“Ahhh, welcome to Nuneaton,” I said to Lisa.

Steve my old housemate came to pick us up, and got a fire going for us immediately. It was wondering sitting in front of the flames, laughing, talking and joking, catching up on everything we had missed over the past couple of months of being in France.

Because Edouard and I don’t know how long we will be going for, we know it’s incredibly important for us to spend time with our friends and family. Especially these guys. They’re my brothers, and have been so for the past fifteen years. It’s rare to have a friendship where you see each other every week and have dinner- it’s harder now that I’m in France, but we always carry off from where we left it. I miss them a lot.

“When are you going then?” Steve asked me.

I shrugged. “It could be May. It could be earlier. It all depends.”

“She needs a lot of work,” Steve commented as I showed him the photographs.

I nodded. “But she’ll be worth it. I’ll work hard. I’ve never wanted something so much in my life.”

Eventually Deakin and Tommy came around and we had a huge guitar and rum session, singing our hearts out. It was like no time had passed between us at all.

“You’ve come a long way,” Tommy said as we sat outside. “This time two years ago, we were sitting just there, and everything had fallen apart.”

I smiled. “And look how things change. I’m about to start an incredible adventure.”

We spoke about him coming aboard with us at some point, like I usually do with my friends after a rum session and sat altogether, staring at the flames as Steve popped on more wood.

These boys were my family. They were so excited for me with Papageno and encouraged me throughout the night.

“You just have to go for it.”

“Forget what anyone says.”

“Work hard- you can do it! You’ll learn- everyone has to start somewhere.”

I smiled back at them, overwhelmed, glad I was here in person to talk about Papageno, glad that we had ended our London trip with Nuneaton, glad to be around my brothers, reminding me that I could do this. That I could do anything as long as I worked hard for it.

“I can’t wait for Edouard to meet you guys.”

And I know he can’t wait to either.


Want to help the adventure? You can help towards our boat repair fund for new masts and rigging by donating here! 

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Thank you as always! Lizbef x


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  1. Bravo both of you – still admiring your decision and courage to buy the boat… AND… I so wish I’d been in London to meet you and catch up with Lisa again (who I met in Vienna)… anyway – have a FAB time in the UK and I’ll still be following… CHEERS, D. 🙂

  2. Well, of course you have to go to London with Lisa. Dive buddies have to stick together! So (in best French accent), you like zee Amel? That is one classy boat, you’ve learned from the best (Brian, Kazzatron, Bradster & mates) and you’ve got Edouard (don’t know him too well but figure he’s pretty capable if he got to Ascension on the small boat I think you mentioned).

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