Do one thing every day that scares you.

These are just everywhere.

11th May 2020

Malpas, Falmouth, UK 50 14.00 N 5 01.11 W

Eleanor Roosevelt was an amazing woman. So amazing that Harry Truman, when President of the United States, described her as ‘The First Lady of the World’. She was much more than just President Roosevelt’s wife, she was diplomat, activist, writer and broadcaster. She also coined the phrase “Do one thing every day that scares you.” We seem to have been living by this quote as it’s sprung to mind every day.

The first opportunity for us to scare ourselves presented itself as we took to the Bromptons and pedalled out to St Mawes. On the ferry we were given the inside line to seeking out some proper fresh veg so a diversion was planned. The only downside of this was it was at a farm entrance, near the bottom of a big hill, around some sharp bends, but it was promised to be worthwhile so a plan was formed.

Downhill we rolled pushing our little Bromptons to their limits and into view came the veg stall. With high spirits we approached and quickly our spirits were dashed. There’d been a run on freshness and Mrs Hubbard’s fresh veg cupboard could only offer local notices and a big climb back up onto the ridge and back onto plan A.

Plan A still gave us some local produce. Produce that is only available where the men are hardy and unafraid of cholesterol and the cows are happy and fed on green, green grass. We’d found Cornish clotted cream where the fat content is 65% and specially formulated to clot in the arteries. Eating this would be a scary experience.

Having scared himself once on his Brompton was not enough for Iain. He’d been ruminating to himself for a while just how his steel framed, tiny wheeled Brompton performed in comparison to his carbon fibre, high tech big wheeled road bike. Positioning himself at the top of the biggest of hills, he clicked the ‘Start’ button on Strava. Strava announced ‘Starting Ride’ and off he rolled.

As the speed rose to alarming heights the little wheels shook and the rubber fought for grip on the road. Iain tucked into the most aerodynamic of positions, as aerodynamic as Iain can ever get and then on went the brakes. They screamed as they tried to arrest Iain’s mass and bring the assent to an end. ‘Stop Ride’ was clicked and he was proud to have Strava declare 53.9km/h as his top speed. Iain was impressed and in a fit of post fear euphoria shared it with Fiona. Impressed she was not.

With the lockdown and indeed cruising life in full effect the next scary thing on the Ruffian agenda was to tame Iain’s hair. Iain had much more hair around his face than on top of his head and it was threatening to become both a health hazard as an impromptu store for dinner scraps. Never having had a beard before and Fiona having never trimmed one, the blind were leading the blind, but as we ended the day with the same number of fingers and Iain’s head remained attached to his shoulders it was deemed a complete success.

With a windlass day dawning and the sun peeking over the hills we thought we might be in for a whole day with no worries. In this first light we took to Brock and skimmed over the dead flat water to Restronguet. The morning sun shone through the trees and we walked in its dappled light, we crested hills over Mylor Bridge giving uninterrupted views across the bay where not a breath of wind ruffled the surface and we marvelled at the classic boats as they sat on top of their reflections that were framed by pretty houses and trees kissing the water at its edge. This was picture perfect, worry free walking.

With only a dinghy ride between us and breakfast we took to Brock with a laid-back calmness knowing that all was well and home we motored, but this scare-free life was not to last for long. Without warning our trusty engine spluttered and nearly died. It seemed that only the worry of a long row against the tide seemed to get us home, when, magically the engine sparked into life. It revved happily almost mocking us with its power and noise. Another day; another scare.

Having lived with Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote all week we have also been living with one of her other quotes since we were locked down all those weeks ago. She said “Do what you feel in your heart to be right.” We feel we’ve done the right thing by pausing our cruising and only hope that with the government issuing new guidelines tonight we’ll feel right in continuing our travelling soon.

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Author: Iain & Fiona Lewis

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