Canoeing the Congo…

Little mishaps aside, I love canoeing.

Since my accident a couple of years ago, I realise I have been much more cautious, particularly on the sea. Whilst caution might well be understandable, and even (particularly from Michaela’s point of view) a welcome corrective, I do not like it.

I do not like the shrinking of the far horizon, or the idea that adventure should be avoided. I do not like decisions to be dominated by anxiety/fear in relation to things I used to do with an easy smile.

This year, I intend to get out in the canoe a lot more.

Having said all that, I am not sure I am quite ready for this, no matter how much the idea of it excites me;

Here is a quote from here;

At night, in the absence of firm ground, my technique would be to paddle as hard as I could and ram myself into the thickest area of reeds I could find. I’d then try to somehow drag and push my way further through, until I was securely wedged in with little risk of capsizing. I figured that since I was surrounded by tightly packed reeds, I’d have to be pretty unlucky to get a surprise visit from anything big enough to fit my head in its mouth. On more than one occasion I was awoken in the middle of the night by crashing, splashing sounds, but after a while I got used to it. Crashing, splashing sounds are one thing – something horrible ripping your leg off is quite another.

Thankfully, there are no crocodiles in the West of Scotland.

The Midgies have eaten them all.


Life twists and turns…

I was out today for a short walk. I am still weak as a kitten, so I did not go far- just a little stroll above Loch Eck- which was under a thin skeen of ice from one side to the other…

My friend Simon treated me to lunch and a pint at the Whistlefield inn, and I found myself reflecting on the fact that we stayed at the Whistlefield lodges the first time we ever came to Scotland, 19 years ago. It has been quite a journey.

I have been getting through some of the emotional stuff after my recent trauma. I had a few flashbulb memory images that kept flashing into my minds eye- wheeling seagulls above my head, and the chimney stack I navigated my swim by. These things are settling down as they always do, and today I deliberately wore the clothes I took my swim in.

Next week I will fetch back my canoe, which washed up on the island of Bute, 10 miles or so down the Clyde. I believe that it is undamaged! I will then need to take a wee paddle… no doubt as far as the rope that Michaela ties me to will let me go!

Our horizons shrink so small. I am determined that mine will stretch far still- although I will be more careful in the reaching after them!

Life will still have its twists and turns. And there is so much beauty in the day we walk through…