Roz and Ellen

I had a little starstruck moment today, which boosted crew morale considerably. I had called Mum, as she’d texted to say that my transponder hadn’t updated my position for a few hours, and I wanted to reassure her that I was okay and to find out if it had started working again.

We didn’t have a very good connection on the satphone, so I was sure I must have misheard when Mum said that Anna Nicole Smith had posted a comment on my blog. This would have been very surprising, as a) I couldn’t imagine why a curvaceous starlet with a penchant for very rich, very old men, would be reading my blog, and b) she’s dead.

[Or at least, I think she is, although after prematurely lamenting the demise of Terry Pratchett last week, I should be careful.]

So it made a lot more sense, although almost equally surprising, when Mum repeated the name: Alexander McCall Smith, author of Corduroy Mansions, the book that proved so wonderfully enjoyable and therapeutic after my trauma with the boat’s defective electrical system a few days ago. It is one of those books that is as comforting as a pair of old slippers, or, indeed, Belgian shoes (you’d have to read the book to understand that reference). The characters bore strong resemblances to people I know in real life, and the book mentioned one of my favourite London restaurants, La Poule Au Pot. It was all reassuringly familiar.

He had written to say: “I’m glad that you are enjoying Corduroy Mansions, Roz. I very much enjoyed writing it and I think that all the characters – Freddie de la Hay and the rest – would wish you all the best in your venture. With warmest wishes, Alexander McCall Smith”

I was chuffed to bits that he had picked up my mention of his book, and had taken the time to post a comment. Thank you kindly, Mr Smith!

After Corduroy Mansions, I started listening to Decision Points, by George W Bush. At the time of writing, the former president has not yet posted a comment on my blog. Re Decision Points, in the interests of full and frank disclosure, I should tell you that I went into it with as open a mind as I could muster, but have to confess that I could not get through to the end. I abandoned the attempt shortly after reading about 9/11.

Conditions today were windy (20-25 knots) and rough, and I was rowing across the waves, so it was generally a splashy and bashy kind of a day. A few ill-timed gusts made meal preparation a rather trying experience, including a very messy incident with some freeze-dried raspberries. But I survived and ended the day a nice number of miles to the good.

Other Stuff:

UncaDoug – on being outrageous in the Marshall Saunders sense of amplifying influence… that reminds me of a book by Margot Katz called something like “Tarzan and Jane: How Women Survive In The Corporate Jungle” (in which I was mentioned). She described it as “turning up the volume”. In other words, once you find your voice, TURN IT UP. Be yourself, but more so. Today I was listening to “Don’t Eat This Book” by Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame. He has done a fantastic job of bringing attention to the health risks of fast food and the insidious influence of Big Money by doing exactly this. It works. So let’s supersize our messages – it’s time!

Pippa – good delegation strategy. In “normal” life I find Twitter is a fantastic source of tech support. Out here, I have been most impressed by the response to my “damsel in techno distress” plight – many emails and comments offering advice. Much appreciated!

Currin – lucky you, getting to hear from Jane Goodall. I keep getting so close to meeting her, but we haven’t quite managed to be in the same place at the same time. One day, I hope! Also enjoyed your suggestion as to what the fish might have thought when they saw me, compared with what I thought when I saw them. Very amusing!

Karen – if I hear of such a book I will let you know. But it is just possible that there is a book that has yet to be written. I must read JBT’s book. I have been thinking a lot on that subject of oneness/enlightenment, and wondering “so if I did manage to experience that, then what?” It sounds as if her book may offer an answer – hopefully not involving having a stroke!

Marks the Spot – your friend Dave Morss? Karen’s husband? Ah!

Quote for today: The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) (I fear this may be true)

Photo: the last time I was at La Poule Au Pot (with Ellen, a friend from San Francisco)

Sponsored Miles: Thanks today to : Bill Spinks, George Cathcart, Laura Prouty, Ian Hamby, Steve Leahy, Richard Miller, Brad McDonnell.

13 Comments

  • http://rozroams.squarespace.com/

    Well I was going to just post that your blog Episode 37 was online and available, but I could not resist making a comment.

    I lost five friends climbing up the fire escape in tower one that trajic day. The most poignant statement I remember about the entire horrific event, to this day… while I was still too much in shock to even grieve… is that my president, at the time suggested that I “go shopping”.

    Row strong Roz! We need real life heroes.

    Row Roz Row!

  • http://rozroams.squarespace.com/

    Well I was going to just post that your blog Episode 37 was online and available, but I could not resist making a comment.

    I lost five friends climbing up the fire escape in tower one that trajic day. The most poignant statement I remember about the entire horrific event, to this day… while I was still too much in shock to even grieve… is that my president, at the time suggested that I “go shopping”.

    Row strong Roz! We need real life heroes.

    Row Roz Row!

  • Sorry to hear about the raspberries – I’d post you some raspberry muffins but I don’t have your current address! 

    I must get Mr McCall Smith’s book back off the shelf & read it properly. I first started reading it at a time when I needed some distraction from humanness – so put it down after the first chapter. I think I was expecting another easy read like the wonderful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. From what you indicate I should have persevered in the first place.

    Roz, you may like to know that we had our wettest half hour in many years on Friday night. The rain came in such force that our roof leaked just because the volume of water was more than the roof tiles could defend off. Hopefully the dams will fill and the underground water tables will be replenished enough to cope with our VERY UN-WATERWISE population for another year!  

  • Roz!  So great to be able to follow you on your journey.  Been thinking about you.  Let me know when you’re ready to hear about your next adventure!  I have plans for you, baby ; )
    Much love and warm hugs from Borneo,
    Cynthia xoxox

  • Roz, thanks for honing my message … “outrageous” actually applies more to kids, youth … they can be outrageous whereas we adults need to turn up the volume. I am finding my voice and I am being bolder about using it, increasing my volume.  BTW I just ordered  “Tarzan and Jane: How to Thrive in the New Corporate Jungle” — thanks for that tip.

    Hey Cynthia! As I began to write this, I noticed that you commented a few minutes ago. You and Roz are shining examples of turning up the volume, and you are both very influential to me.  I can’t wait to hear about your plans for Roz’s next adventure! Congrats on your success http://ti.me/SabahNoCoal

    Celebrate Wins of Change!

  • Am just loving reading these blogs Roz – you & Sarah, and of course Ed are the heroes in my world.  You are all doing the things I so wish I had of done when younger & fitter.  Just do a couple of paddles for me please!  I am with you in spirit every inch of the way!

  • Roz –Your fish yesterday appear to be dolphin — the fishy sort (Coryphaera hippurus). Best wishes for your adventure and your mission.

  • Yes, that Dave Morss. I met Dave in my second year of High School, 1970. We used to rent a 2-seat plane (Belanca Champ, $11.00/hour) from the flight school that Karen bought years later. Doing anything with Dave automatically becomes an adventure. I don’t know if I could stand having an adventure every day for months like you. You are inspiring on many levels! My family and I cheer for you every day!

  • Roz, Steve here in Colorado Springs. I would like to ask you, do you listen to different types of music depending on if the ocean is calm or rough when rowing? Thanks!

  • I really loved George Bush’s book. It’s all about spiritually guided Decision Points. Maybe no great waves or insights suitable for sea captains, except what not to do on an aircraft carrier. But if you are in the mood for value-driven behavior and exploring the value of faith it’s worth finishing.

  • Hey Roz,

    Just sponsored a couple of miles for you.  I’ll try to do more as you go.

    Headed to my second treatment today.  I’m looking for inspiration and I need look no further than you and what you are doing for so many people.  I am simply trying to get through this.  But maybe there is inspiration in that for someone.  Who’s to say.

    Keep it up.  Looking forward to connecting with you at some time and in some place.  I know it’ll happen.

    I wish you favorable currents.

    Laurey in Asheville

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