Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Easter Weekend

 This is a post I wish I didn't have to write.
on Good Friday, the marina was extra busy with gongoozlers. Not wishing for an Easter bank holiday full of people strolling past the boat, kicking gravel onto the paintwork, and generally setting Olly off; I decamped to Cliveden. It was a beautiful sunny day. The river warnings were yellow (Stream Decreasing). I had a weeks worth of food onboard. Thought I would be fine. Journey down... No Problem..
Then it started raining. A lot. And it got a bit windy. Cue 'Red Boards' (No navigation) on the whole river. Stuck! I'm tied up safely enough. Nice mooring. But the stream is so fierce that nobody is going anywhere for the forseeable. And it's too rough and speedy for the marina tug to come and tow me back. Nature has well and truly rustled my jimmies.

But, that's not all... no... this morning my uncle Danny phoned me up. I knew immediately why he had called. My mother had died.
Mum had kept the full extent of her illness from me. Shielding and protecting me from as much pain and sorrow, as she could. And always had done. It was an infection that finally took her away. Far, far, too soon.

Today, I have had a long dog walk. The lads love it down here, and don't seem too bothered about our predicament. Stoking up the fire right now. It's raining again. But, I'm grateful that there are two bags of coal on the roof. I'm sitting, pondering some of my earliest memories. Of Portsmouth, Fratton, Portchester, Fareham and Hampshire. Mum would not want me to get upset at her death. Her last weekend was spent laughing and joking with the nurses. She wanted me to be happy.

So, here I am. Grateful that Sheena is down in devon, with a bath and comfy bed, not having to go through this. Grateful that the lads are here, with their daily needs and requirements. Grateful to be alive, myself. Though, not the happiest of days..
My Mum loved this particular version, of this particular song.. So I will share it in her memory.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear your sad news,
    please accept my sincere condolences

  2. Oh Ken, I am so sorry to hear this. My Mum did the same to me too.. I didn't know until near the end.

    I wish we were close by just to be there. The boys will keep you buoyant for sure but it is a pity that Sheena is away she wont want to be at all right now.

    Thinking of you xxx

  3. If you are stuck there are bus stops outside the entrance to those Cliveden buildings.


  4. Thanks Kevin. Thanks Sue.

    The marina tug is coming to 'rescue' me tomorrow morning. I was prepared to wait it out, filtering rainwater through a sock (bear grylls style). But Sheena rightly pointed out that we have places to go and things to be doing. Don't know if I would ever "abandon ship", unless we were actually sinking. But cheers for the thought, Sue.


  5. So sorry to hear your sad news Ken, it’s going to be hard enough over the next few weeks or so without being stuck on the flooded river and I hope that today’s ‘rescue’ goes without any further problems. Our condolences to you both. xx

  6. I am so pleased the tug is coming for you. However I do hope you washed that sock before you used it for filtering! :D

    I am sure getting back to base will give you a lot more options and a lot less to have to think about. Thinking of you xx

  7. I often ask myself, "What would Earnest Shackleton do?". I think in this instance, he would have checked the weather forecast before setting off. I do like a challenge, but it was getting a little ridiculous. So, yeah, I am glad to be back. Spent this afternoon chatting to mums friends and getting the documentation process started.

    Thanks Carol.
    Thanks Sue.

  8. Hi Ken, I have just caught up on your blog - such a sad loss for you. Losing our mums is never easy, even if they are ill and ready to go. Clearly you had a loving relationship with her, and that is a real gift for you to hold and treasure. She will live on in your heart and mind - and, I reckon, as well as asking what Shackleton would do, you will start saying 'what would mum do/think/say about this?' I know I do, and it's 19 years since my mum died and 13 since my dad died - I speak of them/quote them probably most days. There is a lovely piece of a poem by Robert Graves that you may like:

    To bring the dead to life
    Is no great magic.
    Few are wholly dead:
    Blow on a dead man's embers
    And a live flame will start.

    Hugs to you, Marilyn (nb Waka Huia)

  9. So sorry to hear about your Mum. Thinking of you.