22nd April 2020
Malpas, Falmouth, UK 50 14.00 N 5 01.11 W
“All the leaves are brown,
And the sky is grey,
I’ve been for a walk,
On a winter’s day.” (California Dreamin’, Barry McGuire)
“Oh, it’s such a prefect day,
I’m glad I spent it with you,
Oh, such a prefect day,
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on.” (Perfect Day, Lou Read)
We like a singsong on Ruffian, but the mood of that singsong is always dictated by the weather. As clouds descend and rain lashes Ruffian, the mood always turns dark, lethargy envelopes us, we retreat into our own little worlds and ‘Morrisey’ or ‘The Cure’ provide the day’s soundtrack. With the sun standing overhead and the gentle movement of the river providing a backdrop, our moods turns bright and ‘Jazzy Jeff’ or ‘Lou Reed’ and their positive vibes enliven our souls and then there is nowhere we’d rather be than on Ruffian and with each other.
With the weather turning, clouds pressed down on Ruffian, the rain battered her topsides and winds gusted from every direction. In our small world our mood reflected what was going on outside, but jobs had to be done and we focussed on what we could do inside.
Iain cursed that every job requires the whole boat is taken to bits. Wardrobes had to be emptied to get drills and tools, seats taken to bits to obtain acrylic and materials and layer upon layer of spares inside lockers sorted through to get just the right screw and this was all before the chart table could be taken to bits be complete what should be a 5 minute job.
After a very long 5 minutes Iain, a boat in bits, mess everywhere and his world famous grumpiness exuding from every pore all Iain had managed to do was install were 2 new switches. And all this to save a tiny current draw and hide a few wires. In time this’ll make Iain glow with pride, but during the clear up all Iain wanted was for the job to be over as he gently hummed ‘All the leaves are brown under his breath’ just to lighten his mood further.
With a new day dawning and the sun peeking through the trees that surround Ruffian in her safe and secure anchorage the depression lifted and was replaced by excitement in every new experience.
A new experience for Iain is growing a Covid inspired beard, and a new experience for Fiona is being able to tame it. Like toddlers who have just been let loose with a pair of scissors, hair and little skill, Fiona took to Iain with clippers and enthusiasm. As you’d expect from the exacting Fiona she learnt quickly and transformed Iain with the ‘Wild Man of Borneo’ all ready to star with ‘The Kinks’ starring as the ‘Well respected man about town’. He looked transformed.
With the sun shining for days and with nothing stirring on the river (due to the lockdown) the wildlife seems to be emboldened. Squirrels frolic in the tree’s and ducks and swans seems curiously curious. This wildlife was never more evident as we took to the dinghy and ventured into ‘Ruan Creek’.
There on the side of the creek, in the strong summer sun, having just emerged from the blossoming canopy of the Oaks, Birch and Beach’s was a herd of deer. We watched as they grazed without a care on the new spring grass and lapped at the fresh water. We felt like we’d invaded their peaceful little world and they seemed happy that we were there.
Lifting our spirits further we took to the Brompton’s ashore to provision. Classic Cornwall surrounded us. The hills went as steeply up as they did down, yellow fields of Rape scooted by and hedgerows as old as time guided us. Then at Portscatho, we found classic Cornwall on steroids. The blue Cornish sea glistened, the old fisherman’s pub (shut) was still inviting and white cottages shone in the sunshine. There was even the almost mandatory ice cream with a view (while still maintaining, self-isolation, social distancing and the single exercise a day regime we are in).
With the sun setting on Ruffian and not a breath of wind stirring the river Fal, ‘Lou Reeds’ song about a perfect day never seemed so apt. We had had a perfect day, in a prefect location. Instead of ‘Sangria in the park’, we had ‘Ice lollies on the Beach’; instead of ‘Feed(ing) animals in the zoo’, we had ‘Watch deer on the river’; instead of ‘Weekenders on our own’ we felt ‘Social distancing and isolation’ do have their benefits.
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