One Year On

Today is the blogs first birthday…hip hip hooray! One year ago I tentatively posted the first of my blog entries about my experience of sea swimming. It was also the start of me writing for others to read, very scary. A big thank you to all you patient and encouraging folk who continue to read the blog, you’ve made it a lovely experience.

What a year it has been. The blog has become part of my life, this capturing of thoughts and feelings, experiences and challenges.

It has kick-started an almost lost creative me, I now read, write and paint regularly, and goodness it feels so good. The anticipation that fizzes inside when I sit with a white piece of paper just calling out for words or colour.

I have completed the “writing a journal for well-being” course, I have joined Lapidus International words for well-being, become part of a writing group on Scilly, Island Writer, and attended my first writing retreat.

It has certainly felt like a birthday today, a day full of lovely things. The sun has shone, the skies have been blue, and of course it all started with a swim.

As Martha and I left the house for the school run, gulls squawked and swooped, their angular wings guiding their flight. The birdsong an orchestra of tiny trumpet fanfare, clicks and chatter. Sparrows flit and flutter, thruming through the air in cheeky groups.

I thought it was to be a moody morning of deep colours and shifting light.

morning from the farmhouse

But by the time we had walked the sandy track to the quay, the night had edged away, surrendering to a beautiful, if chilly, morning.

Tempting water

the sun on Green Bay

I am so lucky to be able to walk Martha to the boat, wave her off and jump in the sea, without a car or stressful journey in sight.

At the quay the wet, cool sand is littered with heaps of seaweed and shells, stranded after the last high tide. I pick my way through towards the steely-blue water. Air is like a blade against my bare skin, fingers and toes are pink and pinched and painful.

A deep breath, lungs stretching, I dive down and skim across the seabed. My whole body prickles with the cold but my swim soon becomes a magical world of cascading silver bubbles and ethereal green light.

With the white sun one side, so bright I have to close my eyes, or see the white glow burnt onto my vision, and the brightest cornflower blue the other, each breath is a feast for the soul.

I have to admit the cold never leaves me and my body is numb and raw to the wind as I reach the sand once again, but what a treat of a swim.

The day continued to be a happy day with bee-keeping, apple-tree pruning, and planting seeds in the lovely warm greenhouse.

I have also set up my own website from which I hope to start new writing projects, take a look,, I’m just going to see where it takes me. In this first year I have discovered it is hard, writing. Firstly the process of putting meaninful thoughts to paper and then controlling them. Secondly being out here on Bryher can feel quite isolating, far away from other writers, courses, workshops and support groups. Hence the birth of Island Writers. It is a big world in which to try and find your place and I am still not sure of the route I should take. I just know I love to write and after reading an article in the Lapidus newsletter I felt encouraged to keep pursuing the path.

“Remaining open to new opportunities and possibilities is one of the cornerstones of a creative life.” Casey Bottono.

It is ok to be on a path that you do not know the route, that’s life after all, so I’m just going to plod along and see where it takes me.

I wonder what the next year of swimming, writing and farming life will bring?

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