What next?

First there were the horses. For years there were the horses. Years and years. Decades. Then I gave up the horses and I enjoyed not having to do stable duties twice a day, 365 days a year. Oh how I enjoyed the rest not doing horses gave me. And then I took up a horse again with Prem who I successfully rehabilitated (mentally and physically). And when he was sound in limb and mind I found him a good home. Then I took it easy for a little while. Then there was the datacentre that grew out of a setup I’d built at home, then moved into the garage, then transferred it out into the wide world via (eventually) a dual-centred, real-time replicated, multi-racked, professionally-supported, many, many-servered business. I loved all those years of technical challenges, and when I’d overcome the last one the setup ran itself and that was great. And then I sold everything. Then I took it easy for a little while. Then there was the sailing. Learning old skills partially/long forgotten, learning about a geographical area and the tides, currents, and shifting wind patterns, learning about a boat and its characteristics and how to sail it by myself. Many challenges there. I haven’t mastered everything (I’m not sure you can ever learn everything about the sea and sailing) but I have the boat and the basics pretty much mastered.

Throughout all of those was the job, the 40-50-60 and sometimes 70-hours per week occupation. And occasional motorbiking. Most of those have gone now, only the sailing and occasional motorbiking remains. Except in the background, shadowing every spare moment of every day there is now the writing. And researching. And dogs. And reading.

The trouble is with the sailing, it being a six-hour round-trip away just to spend half a dozen hours on the water… well, it takes a lot of the gilt off the experience. I’ve said half a dozen hours on the water which is ungenerous of me. I could spend as long as I like on the water (providing I have organised dog-sitting or the good lady wife her indoors is at home to take up those cudgels). And I do enjoy sleeping on the boat, it’s a form of waterborne camping but with many more creature comforts than actual camping. But there’s a downside to ‘going away sailing’ although ‘going away sailing’ does dilute the six-hour round-trip issue.

In an ideal world I’d divide my time between dogs, researching, reading, writing, occasional motorbiking and sailing. But when the latter is, as previously mentioned, a six-hour round-trip away and when doing such sailing means I have to miss my dogs, the researching, the reading, the motorbiking, the writing, and my family, it all gets very difficult to stay true to the cause. Staying true to the cause is, for these reasons, even more difficult when ‘going away sailing’, believe me.

I don’t know if there is a ‘what next’ or if I shall continue to keep all these plates spinning, but this is not only hard work, it’s taking a lot out of me. I feel permanently tired. Sometimes I yearn for the easy simplicity of being back at work because that means the job takes priority. Everything else must take a back seat to the job; that’s how it is.

Maybe that’s my problem? I have to do my own prioritisation and I’m too heavily invested in all of these things to make a proper decision.

3 thoughts on “What next?

  1. Compromise.
    Get rid of the sail boat and buy a barge, then you can go up and down the canals. You’ll still be on water.
    But with a barge, you can go for long journeys, sleeping on it as required.
    You can take the dogs with you too.
    And the motorbike. I have a friend who lives on a barge and he takes his 250 Honda with him as he goes up and down the waterways of the UK.
    And, if it’s a big enough barge, you can take the whole family.
    And I bet there’s a canal within 30 minutes drive of your gaff.
    You’re welcome.

    1. Unfortunately the canal network is dying. Through a combination of factors the canals are contracting, they’re filling with weed, they’re under-dredged, the lockgates aren’t being repaired rapidly enough, and general canal maintenance seems not be a priority (reopening closed sections definitely isn’t). I read a canal group’s posts and the state of neglect is shocking. Let’s face it, handing over the operation and maintenance of the national canal network to a charity and then pulling all government funding was only ever going to go one way.

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