Inaugural voyage of The Nancy-Doris, Tuesday 1st September 2020

View from the back of a tandem kayak - blue skies, open sea, a sliver of land.
[This morning in the polytunnel cabbage-white butterflies beat erratic: also many wings without bodies scattered the floor.
Early harvest for spiders: picture them in their web-hammocks, slurping from husks; like cocktails out of coconuts.
Hmm, says I, this is true: metamorphosis is beautiful not immortal; the cycle of life is also this, littered with wings, the memento mori.
Get writing, I say to myself. Write the books before your pages are blowing away and the tutting spiders of time are sampling your puree.
'Caffeine rich earthiness, layered with seaweed oil, a top note of lime blossom.']

This afternoon, task by task we achieved new things: lifting our kayak to the Dacia roof, looping straps, securing straps (quick prayer for effectiveness of anchor points), Check list: seats, paddles, dry bag, an emergency phone app for contacting coastguards, and so forth. Deciding what to wear as the weather blows cold, then hot. (It’s always layers, this is a temperate climate.)

Decide where to launch.
We chose Cawsand, recommended for beginners.
The road journey was punctuated by the percussion of rope on a car roof, and our sharp intakes of breath as the load shifted - not perilously, just unnervingly.
The Nancy-Doris was lifted carefully, slightly fumbled, picked up a scratch. (Here begins the patina of stories. The car roof has some paint missing too: fixed for now with duct tape.)
We got the trolley under and rumbled off through the teeny streets, one at each end of our craft, keeping her out of the gutter.
Trolley off, folded, loaded.
Into the water, the muted, multi-faceted green, and clumsily off we go.
We go out till the beach is no bigger than my thumb. We go around the yachts a-bobbing at their moorings. We spy up the coast to a concrete look out that once was a testing point for torpedos.
Our paddling is at times coordinated.
Our craft is comfortable.
We stop to watch three paragliders, arcs and dots in a cobalt sky.
Take our time to come back to the beige crunch of sand, haul her up, then drag off the overdone layers to plop our hot bodies in the brine.
It feels right: fun, room for improvement.
Back at home all is unloaded, rinsed, rung out, hung to dry.
An orange moon rises: harvest moon.
Tree limbs bend under apple-weight, hedges bright with berries, the old rotary line sags swimwear.
We light a fire, raise a glass.
An orange full moon on the horizon, a fire flickering, a lazy spaniel sniffs grass.

[Wednesday 2nd September 2020
Whatever I do today is busy and focus is lacking. Tired, unsurprisingly. Rain comes, it says Shush; Rest. Maybe write though: the plot lines are teasing out, and the spiders of time are always hungry.]


That sounds like a truly magical day. A day to feed your plots and your muse, quietly from the background.

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