It’s been over a week now since we returned, and I’ve been able to breathe. There’s been a lot of things to update you all on. And I hope you all forgive me for being slightly late with my posts, but now things are stabilising.
First news is that I’ve been able to be reunited with my family. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to sit down with my parents and have a traditional Sunday dinner.
I’m not one for communal prayer, but as we sat down around the table and my dad said “grace”, I bowed my head lower down than usual.
I was grateful. I was honoured for this moment to be with the ones I love.
I’ve been living with my old housemate, Steve, for the past 10 days with Leela. Leela has been adapting extremely well. It was an incredible experience to be able to take her out into the countryside of Europe- her first outing into the cold being in France when I returned to Bouffemont. I don’t think she knew how to handle it! Everything was new, the smells, the cold and the scenery. But she took to it perfectly and loves to be outside.
When I landed in Paris, I stayed with Edouard’s best friend Bruno and his girlfriend Anne Charlotte. You may remember them from my Delos Diaries or French Diaries. I stayed in Bouffemont for a night as I waited for Tommy and Steve to drive down from Nuneaton to France. It was a strange experience, driving through the village that Edouard used to live in. He wasn’t there of course, he was in Marseille. It was a bittersweet experience, walking down the same paths, seeing the same spots where we had deep conversations, the lake where we fell even more deeply in love, and the twist in the woodland path where we ended our journey together.
It was a moment of acceptance as I walked through the woods with Edouard’s friend Bruno. The trees loomed over my head, their leaves cascading down around us in shimmers of red and orange.
It was the end of something and the beginning of another.
I was ready to walk away.
When Tommy and Steve arrived, it was like a hug from Britain. Getting in the car and waving goodbye to France was a sad and relieving moment.
It was time to go home.
After a night out in Lille in the north of France, we checked into the euro tunnel and found ourselves within Ol’ Blighty.
The relief that hit my lungs almost choked me. The British countryside sped past my eyes, a blur of green, black and grey as the fog pressed against the windows.
I held Leela closer to me in the back of the car, emotions running through me as I took in the moment.
“We’re home, Leela!”
“Better start learning English, Frenchie,” Tommy told her.
The days have passed of celebrating, seeing friends and much-loved family. Christmas is coming and there’s a happiness in the town that wasn’t there before. The bordered-up shops now host independent businesses, strangers are friendly, prices are low, and the hot chocolates are delicious.
Everyone seems to be in a good place right now, and I take a lot of joy from that.
It only made sense then to make another step in my journey.
I have found my own apartment.
It’s to be my base in England for the next year whilst I figure out my life and get my sh#t sorted. I’ve always had an anxiety of not having my own home. To have that fear that it will be taken away. And yes, I’m renting but going from friend’s house to friend’s house is not the sort of unstability I want for Leela and I.
So, I found a flat with a space for me to write and paint. I discovered what I wanted to do this year to make myself happy. And that was to pursue creative outputs that I could invest in my business with my shop. And that is exactly what I am doing.
I’m now open to Christmas Family commissions, my mother and sister are helping me with posting items out, keeping me organised and helping me to create new handmade products.
It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s exactly how I want to keep Papageno going. I’ve already recruited a couple of friends to return with me in February who are going to be doing the wiring refit. It’s going to be a full house on Papageno with my intentions of taking on another two members of crew to help me sail her to Grenada.
Leela will be staying in Nuneaton for the time I am sailing. I don’t want to put her through the stress of flying and being driven from France again. So, I have a friend, Alex (he came to visit Laura and I for five days on Papageno- he’s Laura’s brother’s best friend) who will be moving into my apartment whilst I am gone who will look after her for the two months I am away.
I have a small fear about moving into this apartment. Maybe because it feels very “grown up”. And I’m doing it alone. There’s no one to be doing this with, and I have to figure it all out. I will be responsible for the roof above mine and Leela’s head. There’s also a small sadness of living alone, but I’m sure that will turn into something positive- something exciting. Because I need to be able to rely on myself and not others. I need to grow my business, have a roof over my head, be able to fix my own boat and look after my dog.
So, I’m doing my best to make the choices that will give me security, stability and a chance of personal growth.
I’m very much optimistic about my future. I’m excited for the future journeys, for the stories that will be made and the experiences to be had.
I’m working hard in creating The British Diaries for you all to watch whilst Leela and I adapt to our new lives. I want to show you my home town, the village I grew up in and my favourite spots in Warwickshire. I want to take you to London for a night out (thank God for Go-Pros) and Stratford Upon Avon for cream teas. I want to take you to Sherwood Forest with Laura and Leela in search of Robin Hood and to the cosy pubs in the Lake District. I want to take you to the castles, lakes and grand houses of the National Trust. I want to take you to the south of England where I can share my New Year’s celebrations with my closest friends. I want to show you what I am doing with my shop, my new paintings and releasing my latest book. I want to show you my new apartment and take you there for my house warming party.
I want to share with you this new chapter of my life.
I just want to take this moment to give you a sincere thank you for being with me on this journey.
Change is beautiful.
YOU are beautiful.
“Let’s talk about Kevin.” Limited Edition Print
Limited edition high quality art print of watercolour painting done by salty sailor of SV Delos Elizabeth! Well you guys voted on his name! Here’s Kevin, the octopus- one of my favourite ink drawings with watercolours. I love watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet and whenever he speaks about these creatures, my eyes are glued to the screen! I’m not saying I’d like to swim with one- but wow! They are amazing creatures! Printed on high quality Marseille 300gsm aquarelle paper. Dimensions: 21cm x 29.7cm
“Ride the Storm!” Limited Edition Print
Limited edition high quality art print of watercolour painting done by salty sailor of SV Delos Elizabeth! We are faced with storms every day. I wanted to create something that immortalised the fighting spirit we all have inside, thinking of the sailors of old as they rode the storm years ago. If they can do it, so can we! Printed on high quality Marseille 300gsm aquarelle paper. Dimensions: 21cm x 29.7cm
Join the Papageno Clan with one of our handmade bracelets! Inspired Papageno’s story in Mozart’s famous Opera, as well as the wanderlust spirit it is to fly away and be free, we wanted to create something simple, bright and connected to our story. Each bracelet sold goes towards fixing our wounded Papageno ready to be out on the water! Free shipping with all orders!