I finished listening to “The Book Thief“” today. It really moved me. At the denouement I was sitting there in the sunshine, rowing along with tears rolling down my cheeks. So it may be best not to listen to the last part while you are driving. Or you might be in danger of a premature meeting with the author.

The “author”, in this case, being Death. The book is written from Death’s viewpoint. He’s quite a nice chap, actually – very sensitive, and with a wry sense of humour, which I suppose helps in that line of work. As he points out, he is not a killer. Death is simply a result, not a cause.

This book is set during World War II, when Death was extremely busy. He witnessed, and reflects on, the best and worst of human nature. The story centres around the life of a young girl in Nazi Germany, her foster parents, the Jew who hides in their cellar for two years, and the boy next door. The tale is told with simplicity, beauty and truth, and I highly recommend it.

Other Stuff:

I am having technical problems. Last night it took me about 40 attempts to send my blog (I send it as an email, and my mother posts it to the website). I haven’t managed to pick up any incoming email for 2 days, so apologies for not acknowledging your comments, but I haven’t been able to receive them as yet.

I am not sure what the problem is. The comms log has shown a variety of error messages, and has broken down at different stages of the process at different times. I will keep the show on the road somehow, but there may be some glitches. No need to be alarmed if there is some disruption to usual service.

Last night and today have been rough. I’m not complaining, as the wind is helping me in the right direction, but I was relieved this evening when it came time to retreat to the cabin to warm up. As I closed the hatch behind me, it immediately blocked out much of the roar of the wind. I changed into dry clothes, and gradually the warmth is spreading. It probably won’t reach my toes until I get into my sleeping bag.

And how late that is depends entirely on whether my comms decide to cooperate tonight – or not. It’s not fun sitting in this cramped cabin, on a seat improvised from flotation cushions, trying repeatedly to get recalcitrant technology to work when all I want to do is crawl into my sleeping bag and warm up.

A quote apropos of our friend Death this evening: “You meet your destiny on the road you take to avoid it.” Carl Jung

Photo: where I spend my days. Note the iPod tied to the cargo netting over the sea anchor on the right.

Sponsored Miles: Kathy Dervin, Karen Douglas – thanks for each sponsoring a number of miles.


  • Roz, I just read that there has been a huge “Solar Flare” that could well be disrupting your Communications equipment – several “Satellites” have already been affected… No worries, It is supposed to pass earth by 6/10/2011…

  • Greetings, Roz, from the land of Kafka, where the tragic history of WWII is evident in every cobblestoned step, even today. Dr. Faustus more than likely came from Prague, so we have a history here, you see, of selling our souls to avoid the Final Call. Life’s “pleasures “are now abundant here in Prague. Most citizens prefer to forget history. I salute you and your voyage, which I share with students and friends we meet around the world with Safe Planet. For your sacrifices of pleasure, in pursuit of teaching us all to remember the Ocean we came from: you have my deepest respect. Barbara

  • Good morning (it is morning in Western Canada) – thanks for rowing ‘my’ miles Roz. You thank your sponsors but I think it is more appropriate for me to thank you for your work. All I did was give a bit of money.  Row on and I hope that the technical problems resolve and weather cooperates.
    Row on!

  • Good to hear things going well. Death is an interesting character and as you say not really the villain. In many stories he comes to gently help. I particularly like Terry Pratchet’s Death from the “Diskworld” series. They are a good read and a great audiobook.
    Rrr… Row Roz Row. Jim Bell (NSW Australia)

  • I clicked through thinking who on earth would have nicked her book that she was reading….doh!! Lol. I will never stop wondering how on earth you have internet connection when I only have to sneak down the road and internet connection is lost in the Dales!! A mere 15 miles or so from Leeds…
    in terms of death.. I remember asking nana

    “What is life all about, Nana?”


    She said Life is a series of memories, good or bad
    is down to you, our Anna. So I asked what death was all about…and she said a
    chance to savour those memories. 

    Row, row that boat..each oar is closer to a nice cold beer….

  • We very much appreciate you taking the extra time to get your post sent when bedroll is calling out to you. You are one of the most consistent bloggers I’ve ever followed, and I know that doesn’t happen without sacrifice and dedication (and often some willful stubbornness to defeat uncooperative technology). 

    What is the temperature range where you are these days? I imagine being wet from waves makes it always a bit chillier, especially when there is wind as well. 


    • I am guessing that we will hear more, BUT, the storm is well above the Equator now, and likely to move North from there… Roz is still well South of the Equator (I am guessing), therefore this one should not cause any problems to speak of for her… But as I said, Her weather people are watching all of these things as they develop…

  • This is a repost. I had placed it on your facebook fan page a couple of days ago. I think it is appropo now. I am an ER and ICU nurse celebrating my 20th year witnessing both tragicaly horrifying and peacfully beautiful deaths. I share this again in hopes that it will honor not only Roz but the fans that support her. They are not my words. It is a cut and paste:

    The top five regrets made to during the final hours:By Bronnie Ware (who worked for years nursing the dying)1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it. 2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly,in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip.But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks,love and relationships.  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have sillyness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again,long before you are dying.  I first read this in the Observer August 2010 but have since found a link to the post on her website: http://www.inspirationandchai.com/Regrets-of-the-Dying.htmlJay again~ please pay attention to number five and support Roz! Among other important actions, two clicks on the orange button at top right will allow her to continue to carry her message globally…and it began with you. Peacefully~ You are amazing Roz!Keep Rowing!

    • @3d45754903bebd92b43e6359f9ab2278:disqus #5 is SO True, But so few people “choose” to be happy in spite of most of their life being wondrous. A good friend has had to struggle his whole life, But “chooses” NOT to see it that way… His life HAS been wondrous too – and that is what he sees every day. These are the inspirational people who can change the world, as he has changed mine, if We “choose” to follow their lead…

  • The ability to trouble shoot and work through problems faced
    in a rowboat or in the work place is truly an admiral quality.  Life will often give people hurdles. When
    faced with a hurdle there are three choices: 1 to turn around and not challenge
    the hurdle.  2nd to jump over
    the hurdle in a style that can be admired by all and most of all yourself. The third
    choice is to bust through the hurdle and go full bore. It seems that in the
    ocean all three choices are applied. 
    Cheers to you Roz.

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