Monday, 30 November 2009

All journeys require transport!

All journeys require transport, and my first attempts started off with a tricycle that later progressed to a pedal car.

I spent my Sunday afternoons helping Dad wash his car along with mine. I loved cars and had a collection of toy cars instead of dolls, spending most of my time crashing them together, a habit which I tried to leave behind when I eventually progressed to 'real' cars!

A holiday treat was of course a donkey ride on the beach, but due to my allergy to animals this usually ended up with puffy red eyes and itchy red lumps on my legs. I would have loved to have gone on to horse riding and show jumping but all I could manage was feeding lumps of sugar to the horses in the farm behind our back garden. This saved my parents a lot of money of which they were no doubt relieved!

As life progressed I had the chance to take flying lessons at Biggin Hill airport, I remember that first flight well, a shaky take off that felt like the plane was going to fall apart! More disconcerting was the fact that you had to look up, down as well as left and right before making a turn, which I felt left rather a lot to chance when, even in those days much more technological forms of monitoring were available. I would love to have continued, but I could barely afford the basic lessons and had little hope of paying my way through to a pilots license. So that was that!

So down from the clouds and into the water it was! I suddenly found myself with a whole new life to experience when I started to live on a 21' yacht moored in St. Katherine's Dock. Sundays were spent sailing down the Thames accompanied by plenty of red wine and feta cheese, salads and maybe some mackerel if we were lucky enough to catch any! I loved the feeling of freedom that came with floating away from the city life, all problems left ashore and forgotten. Of course many adventures came along in the form of storms and over shallow moorings, but nothing that could be compared to sailing in the open sea. Before I was to leave the UK on a 'World Trip' I took a sailing course in Dartmouth for a Day Skipper certificate. This gave me the chance to learn about general navigation and chart reading as well as the chance to skipper the school boat. It was a great experience in a beautiful area.

And then, as if it was back to the beginning again, I had to learn to ride a bike again, for some reason this was the hardest thing of all! Never did seem to get to grips with it.

Even now, here in Phuket, in a place full of motorbikes, I still keep to four wheels!

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