While Alan went out and as we understand it, had a perfect day, we stayed behind!!!
The day started for Alan and George with a real American breakfast with the family, bacon and eggs, toast and coffee etc. No wish was left unfulfilled.
From birth I've been a bit of a gypsy, never living long in one place. I've sailed solo round the world and love travelling, believing that it is often better to travel wisely than to arrive. A life without dreams is like a butterfly without wings, it cannot fly.
Brec and Sandy cooking breakfast
After breakfast, Brec took Alan and George out to see the area and to his Studio. For the German readers, this is true Katie Ford country with smart wooden houses set in beautiful countryside and close to the sea.
Brec has a studio in which he does his paintings in an old warehouse and Alan and George found it to be a fabulous place.
In one corner of it Brec has arranged a gallery of some of his work and in a loft arrangement above this he has a study or den with lots of lovely books and interesting things that he has collected. Perhaps his most interesting item was a small glass jar of shells collected by Joshua Slocum, the first ever solo circumnavigator.
After stopping at a Deli to get some lunch they set off to the Yacht Club where Brec kept OTTER the yacht on which he sailed round the world.
Before they could have a sail though, the salt water pump on the engine had to removed and a new impeller fitted as it was not pumping water at all.
Brec being efficient, had everything to hand and so it was only a matter of minutes to fix. Then they were off for a short trip in brilliant sunshine around Long Island Sound.
What upset us most was when we heard that Brec has "Pugsly" his little furry friend who circumnavigated too, aboard and we were left behind!
On the way home they went to a beach where Alan did some beach combing before coming home to a diner party with a couple who had sailed around twice, once in the 70s and again in the 80s. Consequently the evening was spent telling tall tails of storms at sea and other things like that. Swing the lamp we call it. Either way Alan maintained he had had a perfect day, the very best for along time.
|Jamie and Hanna bear in my cabin|
|The Nienburg Crew|
I must say I do admire the manner in which the Dutch live with and on the water. Generally the water level of the canals we sailed on was higher than the surrounding fields on which the cattle were grazing. The little towns were all very picturesque and many of the houses near or on the water had their own jetty. The Dutch are also real party animals and enjoy a party and their food and drink, so we had a good time out at night.
Since I have been back I have changed my cycle route to go twice passed Hanna, once on the way out, when I just stop to say "good morning" and once on the way back when I can sit and chat for a bit. This morning I was surprised to pass one of Hanna's daughters out jogging early, I rather think she was surprised to see me too, but as we were both concentrating on getting fit we did not stop to chat.
During the weekend I discussed with M my intention to walk the Pilgrim's way, as he has done it now three times on three different routes. He gave me some very useful tips and it was in the course of our discussions that I have decided that next year I will walk the Camino from the French border as he did the first time. But I will do this pilgrimage for Hanna's soul and not specifically for mine. I think my soul needs a bit more and so will walk for it's redemption from Vezelay in France in 2016. I will cycle from here to Trier via Cologne, but accommodation in Germany for pilgrims, unlike the Camino is non existent. One has to overnight in expensive Hotels or B&Bs.
You may remember that I picked a stone up off of Hanna's grave to take on the pilgrimage, well today I picked up a second stone from directly opposite the house where Hanna was born. This stone is a little larger and so I can write her name on it. I will carry both on the pilgrimage as it seems fit to do so, one from near her birth place and one from her final resting place.