Hello and welcome to the latest blog of The Olivia Rose Diaries on October 11th 2021.
Apologies for the blog being late this week. It’s been hectic and when we finally arrived back at Le Shack the mobile phone signal which gives us our internet connection, so often eratic over the weekends, had disappeared completely.
We left the UK a week ago and drove off to catch an early morning crossing on Eurotunnel. If getting back into the UK in September had felt like running a gauntlet of Covid tests and paperwork, then returning to France couldn’t have been easier. We printed and signed our ‘déclaration d’honneur’ to say we were fit and healthy, but nobody asked to see it. All we had to do was flash our Q code to prove our vaccinations status and we were through.
It is a long journey back to Le Shack and so we stopped off on the way down at Olivia Rose. She had just come out of the water, as you can see from the photos below, ready to spend the winter on chocks on dry land so we could paint her hull and do various other bits of maintenance that would be easier if she was out of the water.
Our main job for the next week would be take out all the plumbing associated with our loo, which had died on us just as we arrived here back in August. Unfortunately the pipes went under the shower tray, under the petition wall to the bedroom and then up under the bed, where upon they turned around and went back out again! This meant the shower tray had to come out as well. No loo, no shower and, for other reasons I won’t bother you with, no running water. A week was quite long enough on that basis so I was very glad to get back home to Le Shack.
Driving long distances gives you plenty of time to think and so as we trundled along the seemingly endless miles of motorway I found myself pondering about what it is to live a nomadic life, as we do, and where the concept of ‘home’ fits into it.
What makes a place feel like home? That wonderful song ‘Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home’ sums it up pretty well for us. When we are on the boat our home moves with us but it is different back at the cabin. It ties us down and, much as I love it there, I know I will need to keep moving on over this winter. Staying six months in one place is not for me anymore. Thankfully we have new adventures on the horizon – but more of that next week.
With no internet, I am writing this blog by hand, sitting at our bench by the door in the sunshine. The cats turned up within 24 hours of our arrival, both of them looking very well, their coats sleek and glossy. Blackie has curled herself up in the crook of my elbow as it rests on the table. Every now and then she turns around, pushes her tiny bullet head into my neck and gives me a sand-paper rough lick. Spot is sitting a few inches away trying, and failing, to out-stare Blackie into moving so she can take her place. They are both purring – that deep, thrumming hum of a very contented cat.
No doubt about it. I’m definitely home. For now.
See you in the next week or ten days.