24 March 2006

Back to life, back to ‘reality’

Huge apologies for recent silence… and I don’t even have the excuse of a non-functioning satphone now. My feeble excuse is that life has been hugely hectic and a logistical nightmare – on my boat everything I needed was within 23 feet, but back here in England, and without a home to call my own, it has been a challenge to get myself to where I need to be, on time and suitably clothed. There have been times when I’ve yearned to be back on my little boat bobbing around in the big blue, when life was relatively simple.

I got back to England on Monday and spent a couple of days with Natalie, my old rowing friend-turned-nutritional therapist, in Emsworth. I popped down to the Dolphin Quay Boatyard to catch up with the guys and let Richard Uttley, boatbuilder extraordinary, know just how well Sedna had performed.

Now I’m back in London for a few days before I cross the Atlantic yet again to give a speech in New York. While I’m not recognised in the street here the way I was in Antigua, there is enough media interest to make life interesting. In the last week there have been various newspaper and magazine interviews, and I’ve been on BBC South and Channel Five News – the latter fortunately was on the day of the fundraising party on HMS President (courtesy of Cdr Mike Pearey and the Royal Navy) so I was able to turn up still wearing my studio makeup, i.e. looking significantly more glamorous than usual.

The party was a great success, raising more than ?5000 for the Prince’s Trust, thanks largely to the magnificent efforts of our guest auctioneer Mr Nick Bonham from the famous auction house.

In the midst of all this activity I’m struggling to keep that little kernel of serenity and strength that I tried to nurture in the latter stages of the row. When I was in Antigua I looked back on the race and wondered which was the dream and which was the reality, and similarly I now find myself wondering which was the real Roz – the one I finally found out there on the ocean, or the one who seems to be re-emerging now I’m back on dry land. I’m desperate not to forget all that I learned out there, but this will be at least as big a challenge as the row itself. But if I do forget, then what was the point of it all?

(Apologies for lack of photo – for some reason the dispatch interface won’t accept my photo selection. Technology – pah!)

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