Saturday, 30 September 2017

And All I Ask Is A Merry Yarn ~~~

Hello Friends!

Being Welsh, poetry and music are in my soul, but my blood is also awash with salt water, for I cannot bear to be more than a few miles from the sea at any time.


I love the sea, in all her many moods, from the sinister, glassy green swirls amidst the foaming maelstroms of a tidal race, to the calm blue skittering with points of reflected starlight on a summer day, and the raging storms that batter our coastline on a wild and woolly winter's day ~~~ I love them all.


One of my favourite poems, by the English poet and Poet Laureate, John Masefield {1878~1967}is this one ~~~

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
~~~~~
I don't think I have ever lived more than a stone's throw from the ocean. I grew up near the sea, along with the farmland and fields that lie between the village and the coast, my playground was a coastal inlet and the beach; and I was often out at sea, bobbing about on the beautiful, blue briney with my dear Daddy as soon as I was old enough to not be a hazard.  Today marks the eighth year of his passing, and truly, I know not to where those years have flown.

My Happy Photo of me, Daddy, and Skip aboard Sea Crest
We often worked together, he ran boat trips, and for more than half the year he plied his trade ferrying tourists around, and landing them on, Ramsey Island, now owned by the RSPB.  During the winter months, he sometimes fished, but oh! the weather was not kind, and we fretted deeply while he was out in the bay hauling nets and pots, but it made ends meet during the lean, winter months.  I ran the office, and I also crewed. At age fourteen, I could take the boat, single handed {with supervision, naturally} around the island, having learned the tides and reefs, and other perils which are hidden to most.


It was grand, a simple, but privileged life.  When most of my school friends were working Saturday and summer holiday jobs waiting tables, or selling ice creams, postcards, cheap souvenirs and buckets and spades to tourists, I was outdoors ever single day, hanging out with the other boatmen's children, waiting to see if we could hop on a boat for a ride, or splashing about in the sea, eating our picnics of soggy cheese and tomato sandwiches and drinking warm pop. 


There were very few regulations in those days. Yes, the boats had to pass inspection and be fit for plying the waters with passengers on board, we had to have insurance, but none of the overwhelming plethora of health and safety issues that prevail today. Common sense was the order of the day and that was good enough for everyone.  


We sold tickets from the house where we lived in the village, and gave directions how to reach the boat.  We had a large, deep front window where we put our signs advertising, and I took advantage of this.  When I came home in the evenings, after a long day on the quay, I made candles, and jewellery from local stones and shells that I gathered from the beach. I displayed them in the window, and my mother would sell them for me to interested passers by. At the end of my first summer, when we returned to school, and all my friends had spent their money on weekly trips to the nearby town and were now broke, I still had all my money intact, and was the envy of all when I bought a stereo record player {which I still have, and it still works}.


I had the very best of both worlds, and it put the sea in the very centre of my heart and salt water coursing through my veins.  


As I have travelled about, and lived in different parts of the world, I don't think I have ever lived more than fifteen minutes drive at most away from the sea. At times, I have seen the ocean just a few hundred yards from my windows! Now, I can walk to the high cliffs overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean in a very short while. The sea holds my heart; it is my home. 


Until next time ~~~
~~~Deborah xoxo

19 comments:

  1. My father (deceased now four years) was of Irish heritage, and like you, he loved the water. As a teen, I learned how to sail a small boat because of his passion. And he was able to retire a mile from the Atlantic Ocean, taking his dog(s) for walks along the coastline and breathing in the fresh salty air. He was in his element. I didn't inherit that same passion, but I did inherit his love of words, books, poetry -- he often quoted from the poem you shared. He was definitely a man of the sea, at least in his heart.

    Such a lovely post, Debs. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Marigold. My father was a sailor, through and through, and loved being on the sea more than he did the land, I'm sure, although he loved nature in all it's forms, and knew the land and it's seasons almost as well as he understood the tides and the ocean depths, for he was also a diver.
      I, too, have Irish blood in my veins, on both sides of the family, it seems!
      Deb xoxo

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  2. I like to see the sea and photograph its moods but not keen on being on it!

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  3. Oh, thank you Deb, for all these lovely ocean views for this landlubber by circumstance! I have a bit of the Irish blood in my New England veins, plus Swedish and Maritime Canada (PEI)! So rightly come by the forlorn landlubber label with just cause!! Ahoy there! Jane xoxo

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    1. Ahoy there, indeed! You have a rich family heritage there, my friend
      ~~~Deb xo

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  4. I love the water too--my dad was retired Navy and going out on his sailboat was always a cherished memory. Your photos are just stunning!

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    1. Thank you, Susan. Life on the ocean wave!
      ~~~Deb xo

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  5. Such a lovely post with the most wonderful photos and I loved reading about your childhood experiences. Such a beautiful photo of you with your father, boat and dog. No wonder you can't bear being far from the sea.

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    1. Thank you Ragged Robin ~ I'm thinking I may share more childhood adventures soon.

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  6. I love this! You have such wonderful memories to relive in your heart--all connected to the sea. Have you ever read Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift from the Sea." If not, you must!

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    1. Thank you Cathy. No, I haven't read that book, so I will find a copy on your recommendation. I'll let you know.

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  7. Another wonderful memory Deborah such treasures we hold in our hearts. Thankyou for sharing yours. The wild North Devon cot was my stamping ground now it the far North of Scotland Different places but the pull of he sea never fails.

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    1. Thank you, Denise. North Devon and the north of Scotland are both incredibly beautiful places too. Let's face it, Britain is incredibly beautiful.

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  8. Forgive me, my friend, I thought I had commented already. I could feel your memories as if they were my own. I could feel your longing for the sea. I know your 'day to day' does not let you take a walk on the beach. I wish it did. You need to be at/in the ocean each day.
    I absolutely love the photo of you and your precious Daddy. Has that much time passed by? It seems impossible. You are adorable and Daddy so handsome. A precious photo and memories, for sure.
    The poem is wonderful. Thanks for sharing it here for us to read.
    Please tell us more. :-)

    Love and hugs,
    Darlene

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    1. Nothing to forgive, I know how busy you are, and often our technology plays up too! Remember, although distant, I can still see the ocean from my garden, and I can close my eyes and be there in an instant. Thank you, my friend ~ Deb XOXO

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  9. Deb, please excuse me for being so lax with my reading and commenting. Somehow your blog evaporated from my feed, but all is well and I can find you again. This is such a wonderful post! As others have said, I could almost feel the sea from here. I do hope you'll treat us to more growing up stories...we can tell you've been enterprising and creative from a young age. PS - I'll be in Wonderful Wales again in August! Jen

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  10. I feel the same about the ocean, dear Deb! The mysterious ocean fills my soul with joy! You are so fortunate to live so close to her. How wonderful your childhood must have been working with your Daddy. Thank you for sharing your memories, my friend. xoxo ♥

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  11. Hi dropped by your blog via Countryside Tales. Enjoyed that bit of Masefield and breathtaking photos. Thought you might like my latest poem blog poemblogtwelve.blogspot.co.uk Toodles, Mark.

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