Thursday, July 14, 2011

Life's Crazy Mistakes

Time to stop being profound, methinks.  It's too wearing for the brain these days.  So instead I'll reflect a little on the fact that one makes some profoundly foolish mistakes in the course of life.  I often yearn to look back on a mistake free life but it isn't possible.  And what's more it would mean that I'd be so smug as to be unbearable.  Mistakes are humbling and humbling is good for the ego.

The latest mistake got us literally into deep waters.  My husband and myself were holidaying for a few days near Newquay in West Wales.  We'd been there before and I recalled that one could take a boat road round Cardigan Bay for an hour with the hope of seeing seals and dolphins.  This desire stuck with me and I asked John to reconnoitre while he was down by the bay.  He picked up an odd leaflet while there.  Later we went to the bay and, on asking directions, were told to get tickets from the Marine Centre. This we did and then sat in the sun till it was time to go.  We saw a nice little boat arrive and went to clamber on board only to be told that we had booked with a different lot and our 'trip' was to be in an inflatable dinghy!

I was absolutely horrified at this idea as I am not a lover of the sea.  Ponds, rivers, lakes, I love - but the sea is absolutely terrifying and one reason why I am not a fan of cruises. All that water everywhere. No thanks. My strong instinct was to pay up and join the nice, neat boat and forgo the other tickets but my husband was having a mean turn about losing the money already paid (and more expensive!) for the dinghy ride.  Right at the last minute, I had a strong urge to let him get on with it if he felt that adventurous.  I would abandon him and join the boat.  But I felt that wouldn't be fair, so I desisted and watched it sail away with a sinking feeling in my gut. So that was mistake number one.  Being nice to others.
My next mistake, and a totally daft move, was to go and sit in the bow.  We had to wear a lifebelt which says a lot. Off we went into the sea and though the vessel was going slowly it still pitched and rolled and the sea was FAR too close.  However, by looking at the land instead of watching the rolling waves, I was okay and John was whooping happily, enjoying the thrill of it all.  A child on board started wailing in terror and my heart was with the poor kid.  Anyway, I settled into relaxing with the pitch and roll and watched the birds that were seen wheeling and screaming to one another on the amazingly striated cliffs but there wasn't a dolphin in sight.  
If I thought all this was bad enough but bearable, it was when the boat turned back and we were now going against the swell that I really freaked out.  Huge waves rolled up before us, the boat curved to meet them and amazingly didn't capsize.  This was to be half an hour of hell returning to the jetty.  I simply shut my eyes and clung to the boat and to John (his arm has bruises to show for it!) while we surged up and down.  I prayed to be forgiven all the sins of my life just in case this was it. But I had a rude awakening back into this world of a sudden when an extra huge swell poured over us soaking us to the skin.  Now we had to sit and freeze till we at last got out on the jetty and sloshed our way to the car where I stripped some of the clothes off and wrapped myself in a long, dry jumper. Poor John had to drive back to our lodgings in wet trousers.

Really, you'd think by now I'd learnt to follow my instincts.  But no.
And we never even got to see a dolphin.

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Favourite Quotes

  • My home is my retreat and resting place from the wars: I try to keep this corner as a haven against the tempest outside, as I do another corner of my soul. Michelle de Montaigne
  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony: Mahatma Gandhi
  • Friends are people you can be quiet with. Anon.