The British Diaries

Positive Plans & Crossed Paws for Leela

The days always start with a new hope now. It’s been a long time since I felt this content and I’m happy to carry on whichever way the path is taking me. I’m learning a lot about myself.

I’ve got several plans going forwards.

There’s always the risk when I leave Papageno to go home that I’ll lose everything that I’ve worked hard for- returning home can always be damaging to social media, YouTube viewings and all of that. You financially take a hit, and I always feel the pressure to go back as soon as possible.

But it’s been so evident that being at home has been the best thing for me whilst I educate myself about boats and save money to go back in later on in the year. I want to do this the right way. So I’ll hold back the urge and make sure I do this the right way. 

I’ve been looking at the boat yard in Carriacou. The labour and fees are cheap enough on the island to get the entire work done there. I’m also planning on saving as hard as I can to rent a small apartment on the island for a couple of months so there is a balance between work on the boat and the graft I must do with my day to day job, editing and painting. I want to make the next trip a pleasure, not a chore that I come to dread.

I’m hoping that to be able to separate my living space from my work space whilst we do the huge overhauls, it’ll be a healthier and more productive work environment. I’ve lived on Papageno whilst she was out of the water and on the hard before. And let me tell you- it is not fun. You BAKE inside. I would rather have the environment to be as balanced and fun as possible for whoever I bring back over with me. Fun in the apartment, explorations via car and the completion of Papageno until we can get her into the water with everything she needs. 

I want to reach out here and now and say thank you all so much for following me this far. The dedication and kindness I feel from you all feel uplifts my spirit and reminds me why I’m doing this. You’re all so incredible and I wish I could hug each and every single one of you. So, thank you.

I left Delos nearly two years ago. I wonder what it would be like to go back and do it all over again with what I know now. When I look back, I can’t believe how clueless I was about it all. I was so dazzled by Delos herself that I didn’t comprehend what I was experiencing. It is something that has dramatically changed my life. I often think about what I would have done without taking that leap, and I decided that I would have taken another leap somewhere else in some way. But I probably, (most definitely wouldn’t) be where I am today.

It’s been great to look back at things as you get older, learn more and progress. I’m glad that I am still in contact with everybody. Whenever I’ve had a few drinks, I always leave Blue the odd voice note telling her how much I love her and do the odd impression of Winston Churchill. I’m in contact with Brian several times a week as we’re working on an exciting project together. I’ll tell you more about it as the time comes, don’t worry! I’m looking forward to seeing them when the baby is born!

Things are looking up as I progress my story in England. I’ve been trying to be brave and attempting new things- I’ve been going to yoga and Pilates classes and even attended a pottery class last week! The goal of this entire mission was to build EarleWrites up so it could support Papageno’s restoration at all times. With the paintings, the videos, the podcasts and especially the books. It’s been wonderful to throw myself back into writing and sharing the books that I’ve previously had published. (You can check them out here

There are still many things I want to experience in England before I go back in October. Get fit. Visit all the places on my list. Grow the website and the podcast. Release the third Maddox Black book. Complete the children’s book I’ve been telling myself I’m going to finish every week.

There’s so much and I need to be more productive with my time. I’ve been trying to keep myself driven and motivated by listening to podcasts, being active and thinking good thoughts. But I’m a daydreamer, and there’s always a new idea I want to try!

Leela has a beautiful life. And I’m doing my best to keep it that way. I’ve been taking her to the vets over the past couple of weeks and we discovered a lump. Long story short, we’re taking her to the vet’s on Monday for an operation to remove it.

“It’s very unusual for a dog so young to have a significant lump like that,” the vet said to me.

I trusted him instantly. There was something in his face that just said I love what I do. I knew whatever he advised would be the best thing for her.

“She’s my companion all day,” I said looking down at her as she lay out on the floor, annoyed that we weren’t in the park instead. I explained our story to him. About how I had gotten her. Our travels together and what we had been through in getting her home safely to England. “I talk to her all the time. She makes me happy. I just want to do what is best for her.” They were such easy and cliché sentences. But he heard what I really wanted to say.

She’s my best friend. Please help her. Save her.

His eyes crinkled as he smiled at her, his grey hair matching his grey shirt. “We will do everything for Leela,” he told me. “We’ll go in, take it out and see what we’re working with. And if it comes to it, we’ll go forwards and talk about chemo.”

The word, “chemo” frightened me. When I had mentioned the lump before, I was of the opinion that I didn’t have to worry about it. That it was common. That most dogs had lumps.

“Most older dogs do have fatty lumps,” he explained to me. “But this lump is hard. And she is very young. I wouldn’t be happy until we removed it all.”

I nodded, nervous and happy to get it over with. I explained then how she would be scared when I would return on Monday and leave her with the team to be prepared.

Oh God, she’s going to think I’m abandoning her, I thought. I couldn’t bear it.

“Can you just let the girls know?” I asked tentatively, aware of sounding suddenly incredibly young. “Ask them to be really nice to her? She’s going to be very sad.” I smiled apologetically, hearing myself suddenly. “I need to grow a backbone…”

“I understand,” he said kindly, and I knew he did. He bent down and started to scratch behind her ears. “I couldn’t live without animals.”

I stood for a few seconds watching him, thinking about what an incredible sentence it was. It rang with so much truth. Animals are a gift to this world. We don’t deserve them. And we especially don’t deserve dogs.

Not usually one who is unable to come up with a reply, I shook his hand and thanked him as we left. Leela’s tail started to wag as soon as I opened the door, promising I would buy her a bone as a reward.

Hours fast forward as I am writing this. Leela is lying at my feet, stretched out, her new bone in front of her and unaware of what is to come on Monday. 

She and I rely on each other so much. We are company for the other. I only feel completely at ease when she is around. And I know what I sound like. I’m completely aware. But we’ve both been through so much. I know in my heart of hearts that she would never abandon me. She’s loyal. She will never leave me. She’s the happiest when I wake and when I return home EVERY time. What other creature would do that?

And for that, I will give her my unfailing dedication and endeavour to give her the best life I can.

Dog is man’s best friend, right?

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