Coming home by Lochlann

Summer 2015

The prospect of coming back to the UK had been hanging over us since we had arrived at the Caribbean. Decisions were made, scrapped and frequently forgotten. In the end we had made the
irrevocable agreement (because mum books the flights) that we would leave the boat at a boatyard and fly back home.

But as we were slowly island-hopping south towards Grenada (the island where we were going to leave the boat) we received an email from Dad’s sister Miranda. My grandfather Boppa was extremely ill and the doctors said he was too frail to operate upon. Boppa had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years earlier, and we had been worried about leaving England in the first place. So now we raced across the ocean straight to Grenada as fast as we could go.
Ken and Elsie

When we arrived we checked into the boatyard, got the boat out of the water, fixed it up, got onto a re-scheduled flight and high-tailed it back to England.
After we got off the plane, we hired a car and drove down to Cornwall. Before we got home we stopped by Nanna and Boppa’s home to visit.
Sadly, Boppa died two days later, but it was nice for us all to see him first.
He was 90 years old and had been ill for a while so it wasn’t really a surprise.
However, within seven days Nanna also passed away, this was a bit of a shock for us all. They were married for 67 years.
Smart boys

It was really strange walking into the house for the first time in 10 months. It is the longest I have ever been away from home. It felt extremely odd to be back so suddenly, like the last 10 months had been a dream, or that I was dreaming now. I walked up to my bedroom and turned on the light. It was like I had never been away. My older brother Olly had tidied it up a lot, but apart from that, it was exactly how I had left it. It was a strange feeling to be back. It was as if the last ten months had never happened. The feeling did not disappear the next day. It was about a week until I got used to being back.
Special day, big brother Oliver comes to visit!

There were quite a few very noticeable differences between being on a boat and being in a house, as you might have guessed. Having a bedroom is an obvious advantage to living on shore, while having a full-size bed is luxury. Internet and electricity are also looked upon in a different light. I really enjoyed being able to plug something in when it was out of charge, without worrying about whether the solar panel was in the sunlight. It felt very odd to enjoy being able to turn on a tap to get water, instead of using a hand pump. The most unpleasant difference however was, of course, the temperature. When we stepped off the plane the immediate thought was “let's go back!”
It was absolutely FREEZING!!!!!!!!!!!
We went swimming at Battery Rocks (our favourite snorkeling spot in Cornwall) and when we came out 10 minutes later we couldn’t feel our feet, hands and (in my case) nose.
At that point I really wanted to go back to the Caribbean.
The beautiful Cornish coast

Soon however, the advantages of being on land made themselves clear, the biggest thing was the library. I didn’t realize that you could order things from a whole network of libraries around Cornwall. So if the Penzance branch doesn’t have my particular book then I can look on the website to see if another one does! Since I discovered that, I have been going nearly every day and have been reserving loads of books.

One thing we had been missing on our travels were our rollerblades. For the first week in Penzance we searched and searched fruitlessly and could not find them. After going all over the house and the workshop, we found them in the kayaks, for some unfathomable reason.

Lunch with cousin Kesha
One of the really nice things about being back was seeing my cousin Kesha.
When we visited we talked about a show we are going to make together.
The Bash Street Kids’ “Interpretation of Macbeth!” We are going to try to make it as funny as possible.

For the first time in my lifetime we were in Penzance for the annual festival, Golowan. Fin, Kesha and I did a stilt walkabout show called the Creatures. It was a lot of fun, and we even got our photo in The Cornishman newspaper.

Bash Street Kids performing The Creatures on Mazy Day
Written by Lochlann, May 2015

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