The French Diaries!

The French Diaries: Part 23 “Creating a new story.”

Time has come and gone pretty fast here in Australia. I can feel a bubbling of anxiety rising up in my chest knowing I’m going to say goodbye to my folks again.

The last time I said goodbye had been easy- not because I wasn’t going to miss them, but because this time last year I was joining Delos, jumping on a plane with excitement beating in my heart.

My parents have lived in Australia for the past seven years and we’ve missed out on the things you take for granted- having cups of tea in the morning, seeing each other for dinner- being able to call each other any time of the day just to see whether my mum thinks it’s ok if I buy a dress or not.

These past two weeks have been incredibly beautiful and I’ve treasured them very deeply. I’ve found a peace here whilst the business of Papageno has been going on. I’ve been soaking in the sun, lying back and enjoying just spending time with them, hoping that they’re proud of their unconventional daughter.

But I’m excited to get back to France. In a month, I’ve seen Edouard for one day. I can’t wait to see him and I’m counting the days down already. He’s been in Nepal for the past fortnight and is currently travelling back after his association’s successful project with the community.

I’m excited as well because it means sitting down and discussing how we’re going to go forward with Papageno and when we’re going to book the flights. I’ve been speaking to people about the hurricane season in the Caribbean and I’ve been advised to leave Nanny Cay (where she’s based) at the latest on the first week in July. I have no idea whether she will be ready by then, but I really want to take her to a safe anchorage. I’m so scared that another storm will hit and my dreams will be dashed. I’ve heard Grenada and Trinidad are good options.

I’m trying to learn as much as I can and I suppose I am a little scared to ask questions in case people think I’m an idiot- but surely an idiot is someone who doesn’t seek answers?

Talking about answers- we have some ideas questions for you guys as well!

I’m at the beginning of creating this project and it’s important to me to get your feedback.

  1. How often would you like videos to be posted to YouTube? We’re planning on first releasing 12min videos until we get more confident with our editing style. Would you like 1 or 2 released a week?
  2. Podcasts- would you like a more informal podcast as I’ve been doing with a general discussion, or would you like me to narrate the blog posts as I go?
  3. We are in the process of opening our shop. What products would YOU like to see? We’re in the process of uploading our crew tees and will also have three of my illustrated designs available as well on shirts!

I’m looking at this progress of mine with a dazed feeling in my head. I wish I could go home to Nuneaton and drag my friends with me. I know it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and I’ve had a lot of people close to me say things like “I wish I could do that.” The fact that I said exactly the same thing before Delos is not lost on me.

“Come with me then!” I say enthusiastically, wanting to drag them from the jobs they hate and the apartment they don’t even want to be in.

But what am I offering them? Come with me, quit your job and be irresponsible!

It’s not for everyone.

Except one person who has joined the crew and will be arriving in June. I can’t wait to share them with you guys!

The sailing life isn’t all sunshine and bikinis, and I know it takes a certain amount of courage to sell everything you have and buy something as arguably unconventional as a boat.

I think the sailing community is unique. Buying a boat is a one of a kind thing. I think people with RV’s have a similar freedom, driving around and being able to live where you are. I did this in New Zealand for a few months and would recommend anyone who wants a taste of travelling to have a bash at it.

With sailing, you have the ability to explore, experience exciting adventures and discover new cultures- still within the comfort of your own home. That’s what sailing is about for me. To feel home when I’m not.

I think as well all I have ever wanted is my own nest, something that no one can take away from me- something completely mine. Not rented, not borrowed- mine.

Ahem- well, mine and Edouard’s that is…

I can remember the sensation as a child knowing that I was meant to be somewhere else. The first time I remember having this feeling was when I was a child going down to the beach with my mother. It was a caravan holiday in the 90’s, the skies were grey, rain was coming, and we were all wrapped up in our coats and thick jeans. I was walking along the beach, the blackened cliffs hanging over the churning ocean like protective and wizened guardians.

The air was warm, as though something was coming, the clouds murmuring and grumbling above our heads. I remember staring out into the moss green surf as it crashed against the slick stones beneath, peering through the space of two towering rocks, wondering what was beyond. As a child I had believed in other worlds and mermaids especially. I had a sensation creep up in me, of imagining my own place in the world. Of what I would discover.

Sometimes as an adult I have flashes of that feeling again. That longing for something just out of reach, just out of comprehension for what it actually is.

To create new worlds, new adventures, new stories.

I’ve been feeling that a lot more recently, and I don’t know if I’ll ever find that “place” where I’m supposed to go. Maybe one day I will find the lost sword of Arthur, maybe one day I will discover the lost portal into the world of Mab, maybe I will find that veil where magicians, wizards and wise women spoke about all of those hundreds of years ago. Or maybe I’ll find that bar on the beach that does the best rum cocktail I’ll ever taste.

Maybe I’ll walk the same islands that Anne Bonny and Blackbeard did. Maybe I’ll find the same pubs, walk the same streets and plan the same course as them. Or maybe I’ll just lay back and watch as the milky way spans before my eyes, glittering colours of obsidian, dark violets, lilacs, blues and greens.

This is the biggest adventure of my life. I realise that. I always joked that I would need a ship to live on after my love with the history of pirates, buried treasure and the swashbuckling black and white films like the Black Swan (one of my favourite pirate films), and now I’m there, I wish I had a crow’s nest that I could howl my joy from.

I’m so excited to grow on this journey. I’m excited to discover what I’ll learn, how I’ll change. I feel so different from a year ago and I know a year from now maybe I won’t even recognise myself.

I’ve begun editing the first episode of The Adventure Diaries for you all- and I hope you enjoy! I’m still learning the ins and outs of the art of editing, but I’m hoping my writing skills will be able to piece together a story for you all. You are all at the beginning with me. And you know as well as I do that I will improve, learn and develop. And it’s for this, that I love you all even more. Your support has helped me to carry on, has stirred me to be working until the early hours of the morning doing whatever I can to make Papageno a success, to be the Captain my boat deserves.

I’m truly humbled to have you all on this journey of mine.

Now let’s book these flights to the Caribbean!


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

Psssst! We are also now on YouTube!

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


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  1. Hi Liz, I need more podcasts in my life as it is a 5 hour drive to our boat, I have worked my way though 230 odd of 59 degrees North! I would say go podcast weekly a combo of your blog with a bit extra. It would be cheaper, people on watch could listen or like me driving to their boats. I watch my regular you-tubers, Delos, Uma, abandon comfort, White Spot Pirate, Free Range Sailing & Sailing Ruby Rose, so my video viewing is rather full. Maybe a video at the end of month or end of your sailing season. You are a writer so it is about your words play to your strengths. Enjoy your boat Kim

  2. Hey there young lady!

    I enjoy your writing a lot. I’m always looking forward to your blog. Audiobooks are a favorite of mine, especially when they are read by the author. So I guess my vote would be for an audiobookish podcast…does that make sense?

    All the best with everything.

    1. An after thought here, if you structure your audiobook/podcast, from the start, in such a way that after a while all of them could be put together to create a book and audiobook ready for sale to a publishing house. Kind of a one stone many birds principal.

  3. Hey Liz,

    I really like the idea of a weekly video. Seems to be the direction most of the boats I follow are going and it gives you a chance to make a few more dollars (pounds) from your Patreons. The podcasts are great just as they are. Sort of an off the cuff talk about your adventures. Much more casual than the videos and they would give us more of an insight into who you and Eduard really are. The podcasts are easier to record and produce as well so they could be as close to a live broadcast as possible. With so little hardware required I can see this as a great way to annotate your adventures. Perhaps a more in-depth report of what is in the video each week. Now that should keep you busy! You’re doing a great job Liz. Can’t wait to start the adventure with you.

  4. As a long time Youtuber I can tell you editing is damn near a full time job if you want to put up a vid once a week. Twice a week and you’d be going bonkers! Honest to GOD I don’t know how those daily vloggers do it! They must be hiring editors!!!

    Go easy on yourself and don’t get fancy at first with the editing. Your audience love YOU not so much special effects! I say maybe a vid or two a month to save your sanity until you get the hang of editing and get a flow going and mixing in your awesome podcasts! I loves me some podcast while I’m shoveling shit of out the barn.

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with… I’m not a Patreon of any channel… but I’m thinking that’s about to change. 🙂 Get in on the ground floor of someone starting out!

    Big hugs from a rocky ranch in Northern California!

  5. Hi Lizbef, to answer your questions:
    – a weekly video would be nice. We’re so used to it since Delos 😉
    – Podcasts ? I personally don’t like podcasts if i have seen the person in videos before. I always miss the picture . . .
    – the shop could be a BIG thing if you do it a little bit different than anybody else. Your beautiful Papageno Pendants is a step in the right direction. To give you an idea: cutting the Mizzen Balooner in pieces on Delos and using these pieces for special patreons is a thing more people want to be part of. I fully understand Delos’ thinking about that but – being honest : every FAN want’s to have something original ! What means that for your artwork, for your future finanzing of your projects LIZBEF-STYLE ? Why don’t you manufacture things corresponding to the places you visit ? Something very “special”, very personal, very Papageno . . . but things that can be bought ? Not THE T-Shirt, not THE printed Mug . . . something different, something related to your boat and to the places you have visited. Not easy, i know. But me personally would LOVE to buy things being strongly connected to you, your boat et votre voyage !
    Some ideas from Germany, hope you like it. Stefan

  6. Hey Liz,
    i hope to see you both once a week on YT. – The fully truth and real stuff…
    Best wishes and love from Germany

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