In my imagination, which is transmitted via the rowing machine, I am rowing down to Cornwall. We won’t get there this spring, to meet up with our climbing club friends as we had planned. It’s a warm sunny spring day as I set off from Langstone Harbour at the end of the road. I have already been to the corner shop to forage for the basic of the food cupboard that have run out, or will do in the next day. I pick up the last box of eggs and feel guilty. I locate the last small loaf of bread. They are well stocked with mushrooms and have just had a delivery of carrots and broccoli, but there’s no cheese or meat in any form. I climb on to the rowing machine and set off.
Today my pace is slightly faster than on yesterday’s practice paddle. It must be the superb conditions. I head along Southsea Front. The sea is flat. The conditions are almost idyllic – turquoise waters, cloudless sky, no swell, and a slight current. It’s just coming up to high tide which should push me on towards the entrance to the harbour. It’s an amazing stretch of water full of history – the remains of the submarine barrier; the beautifully restored and elegant South Parade Pier (shown on the home page); Spitbank Fort; Southsea Castle from which the sinking Mary Rose was viewed; and the Square Tower, Round Tower and hot walls, which fortified the seaward side of the old town of Portsmouth. It was from the hot walls that the crew would be transported out to The Victory. And, now I’m remembering how my great aunt said that her uncle used to venture out dressed as a woman to avoid the pressgangs. At first I thought this was a bit of fiction, but when I worked out the dates., I realised that there could have been some truth in the story.
I finally ‘put in’ to work out how to restock the Baileys which is running out. How can I cosset myself with a coffee or hot chocolate laced with this luscious cream if I completely run out of supplies?
Have a good day and keep healthy and positive.