“You’re getting there, Elizabeth,” I say to myself. “You’re getting there.”
I stare at the ceiling of my cabin, not wanting to move. I’m far too comfortable, but feel incredibly lazy as it’s already past 9am. I was up until 1am last night working on illustrations, the website, emails and working on a graphic design project. I drag myself out of bed and head straight to work, sorting out our to-do list, and continuing with laptop duties.
Laura has gone for some time out with her mother to a lovely hotel where they can spend time with each other and go swimming in the pool. I found it strange waking up without her. Realising that there was a silence on the boat where Laura filled it with conversation and singing.
Even Leela seemed a bit miserable without her, lying on the floor in the bathroom, staring at me in accusation.
“Another person gone,” her eyes seemed to say.
There was no way to explain that Laura would be back. And there was no way to explain that she was about to go on the biggest journey of her life to England in just 10 days.
10 days left on Papageno. How bazaar.
I spoke to Edouard yesterday. It had been a couple of days since we last spoke. We usually ask how each other is doing, how our lives are, how Leela is doing and what’s going on with the boat.
“I worry about you Lizzie,” Edouard said. “I can relax when you get to England because I’ll know you’re safe.”
I smiled at that. And then cried because I missed him so much and I knew how happy he was in France without the boat.
“I’m so happy for you,” I said, not feeling very happy but glad for him nonetheless.
However, despite the sadness and the hardship of our separation, I know the path is right for us at this moment in time to grow as separate people. I feel like in the beginning I was an acorn and now I’m some kind of wizened oak, bent and gnarled in the spine with clenched hands.
But the mission is still clear. Carry on carrying on.
My to do list has gotten smaller. I went to the marina to beg to stay longer. They said to ask the docksman on the day I was supposed to get kicked off and ask him, and that it shouldn’t be a problem.
I’ve checked out the coolant pipe and it seems sound. No worries there.
The only thing I have to do engine wise is get the correct transmission fluid. The vet is sorted- booked an appointment for the 13th to get Leela’s latest shot. I’ve got some friends who will help me move the boat when the time comes. I’m actually hoping to hold out at the marina until the rigging workshop decide they want to work on her and bring her over themselves. I know my surroundings here, I know the people here and that’s a huge comfort whilst being here solo.
But right now, I’m finding a bit of extra happiness as each day goes by.
I’m looking forwards and am even taking a silversmithing workshop when I go home. I decided to explore all of the things that I never did but wanted to. I’ll be taking a ceramics class, weaving, silversmithing, life drawing- all of these things I took sincere joy in in the past but never pursued. Well, I have the time now. I want to fill my heart with as many creative, positive and happy things as possible. I want to work on my shop and my books. I have a few very precious months to restore my spirit in England with Leela and I intend on taking advantage of them. It’s also to go towards my shop, to expand and to continue to create art through jewellery, prints and clothing to share with everyone. I’ve always wanted to work for myself and here I am. I’m just honoured that people enjoy my illustrations.
It’s what makes me happy.
Papageno and us all have come a long way. I still intend to film when I’m in England with Leela. We’re going to explore so many places together and I can’t wait to show you what I love about my homeland. It’s been wonderful knowing I’m going home too, mostly because I’m able to say yes to invites now! Laura and I have been making many plans with our dogs and I’m content to get swept up in it all to repair some of the hurt.
I’ll continue editing, writing and creating and raising money to carry on with Papageno. As I check my emails, I’ve just learned that my rigging date has been put off. They can’t do it until I am out of the country. It’s a shame but they’ve promised to capture some footage for me.
They’re a good team and I know they’ll do the best job they can. It’s been great talking to them on a regular basis. We walk Leela past their workshop all the time so when we catch the boss there, we manage to sit in his air conditioned office and talk about the project more.
Turns out when he was young he bought a sailboat not knowing anything about sailing and went across the world with it. When we told him about keeping her as original as possible, about our journey, about bringing her back from the dead and making her a restoration project, his eyes seemed to sparkle with the challenge.
“You’re like me when I was young,” he said to me with a laugh. “You have the same look in your eye!”
It was determination.
It was determination to see this through. And we will. We have raised £5850 towards her restoration, just shy of the £7000 target. What an incredible turn around. This time last week I was ready to through myself into the black depths of the murky ocean around the docks. When Kickstarter had taken down our campaign, I thought it was all over.
But screw that.
It’s only over when we say it is.
And “it’s over” it’s not in the Papageno Clan’s vocabulary.
Find “Save Papageno” here!