I can scarcely keep up with my life any more. Opportunities abound and time is short. What a time to be alive. My grandmother, bless her sweet soul, was rocking by the fireside between bouts of chutney making and faggot grinding, when she was my age. My mother was chasing her blood pressure all over the place, with never a moment for pleasure. I ,on the other hand, find that the flow takes me to wonderful and unexpected places. This weekend it took me out to sea.
I last stepped on a yacht when I was fifteen but only a month ago I wrote a poem called Sailing. It must have jolted the Universal memory bank because suddenly out of the blue, so to speak, I get an invitation to weekend off the coast of Cornwall. Ignoring the forecasts that predicted an end to our weeks of stunning weather, I said yes and off I went with ominous clouds gathering off the Atlantic and the gods getting ready to rumble across the heavens. It climaxed on Saturday night, by which time we had managed a lumpy ride out into the shipping lanes and copped a look at The Superyachts moored in the shipyard. There might be a recession going on but it would appear to be hitting only the bottom end of the scale.
Much of the weekend I was stuck in harbour thankfully, counting the raindrops hitting the portholes and trying to avoid The Predator on the TV. The company was congenial and there was lots of experience passing between us as we waited out a break in the weather. There were several men on board; real men who watch films like The Predator and treat women as if they are too delicate to crank a sail. I’ve reached the age when this is a great relief. I know when I get to Morocco I will be treated in that special way reserved for a mother and an older woman in a society where men rule. When I was young I minded. Now respect for the female has become a matter of note. So all I have to do now is learn to dance backwards. Is it too late? I’m learning to fill up my shuffle from I Tunes, surely I can learn to be led around the dance floor?
The past is a construct that changes with each moment. My youth was a long time ago. I will remember this and do not expect too much from the opposite sex. Be kind to men is my motto and let them dream of young girls and virile limbs. All I ask as an ageing woman is to be indulged every so often with some attention, some respect and a safe place on the back of a yacht from where to watch the physicality of the masculine and remember that I have been well loved. After all, if I could create an amalgam of the men I’ve loved and subtract the bits that didn’t work, I would have the perfect man. For in that amalgam I include Elvis in his leather suit and Daniel fully clothed in the shower licking the drops off each of my fingers in turn. A woman needs to carry on dreaming , even to the end. Even if she’s all at sea.