A year later, I’m in Faversham once again, right in the heart of Kent, the garden of England: Many friends, like Lena and Bob, welcomed me as warmly as they would a member of their own families.
I now sleep over a boat bearing a celtic name, moored at Hollowshore – Oare – about a mile away from Faversham. John Walpole kindly allowed me to stay aboard for a while.
Early in the morning I wake up by the sound of seagulls and ducks, then I grab a bike and ride through flower fields and green meadows – where cows and sheeps run away at my sight. Eventually, I reach the docks where I’m getting Clodia ready for the long journey awaiting us.
The emotion to see it was huge: Clodia was my house for three long and troubled months last year.
It’s now moored in the Iron Wharf, a boatyard where over a thousand boats are docked, and enriched by a community of bizarre, but very wise, liveaboards that taught me a lot.
They are of great help, such as Captain Alex (a nice lady) living aboard the Sheppey Queen, an old wooden ferry that carried thousand, maybe millions of people across the Thames and the Swale.
Alex was once working in the London media industry: She now teaches her wisdom of healer, beside being a great cook (I can tell, I’ve enjoyed very tasty and healthy meals)!
In Faversham I also had the pleasure to meet the guys from Creek Creative. They involve the community in many activities related to creativity, craftsmanship and art.
With little money and plenty of passion, Bob, Anne, Georgia, Simon, Keith and many other organise wonderful events, meetings and workshops.
They invited me to present Man on the River, which happened last Sunday in front of a warm and appreciative audience.
Richard Fleury, film director and member of Creek Creative team, is shooting a documentary called “The Quay”. He told me many stories about the Standard Quay in Faversham, a magic place where the Thames Barges still live and are being restaured. These historical, large flat-bottomed boats, used to carry goods to London cruising the Thames upstream, thanks to their excellent maneuverability.
Unfortunately, speculators want to set the area free from the Quay, to let space for new constructions. This is a valuable land, nestled beside the Creek, a canal running from the Swale river up to Faversham: Centuries ago the Roman ships, as well as Henry VIII’s fleet many years later, used to sail it upstream waiting for the right tide. By the way, the current tide is about 7 metres.
A very special friend gave me his support: I can call him an angel, among many other angels that I met here. His name is Moray: He’s a Scotsman born in Hong Kong, and a very conscious traveler. After practicing for a long time as a lawyer, he’s now mastering natural medicine, being a healer too. He fed me with his wisdom and his food, that’s quickly bringing me back to a very good physical shape.
It’s a nutrition based on a simple diet that purifies the body from all the junk that we usually swallow, from too much coffee and industrial foods. It would be as simple as observing nature to greatly improve the way we eat, but I don’t want to be too obvious nor shallow.
Clodia is now moored next to the Sheppey Queen. In the last few days I practiced rowing, carrying aboard two special guests: Susanna and her daughter Carlotta, Italian friends that invited me for dinner where I had the pleasure to meet Jonathan (Susanna’s husband and Carlotta’s dad).
Clodia is in a great shape, I’m catching up. I’m relaxed and happy, just waiting for Bruno and Fine and enjoying Faversham’s angels.
Right now I’m in Beaulieu, close to Southampton, Hampshire, along with Lena and Bob. We came to visit a fantastic nautical fair, full of old stuff. We have set our tent in a huge meadow, next to the ruins of an ancient abbey: We are cuddled by the sound of traditional songs played by local musicians. Tonight I sleep here, then on the 21st I plan to get to London to help the guys from Thames 21 in cleaning the Thames riverside.
A little change of programme: I decided to restart the journey from Faversham. In London there is the royal wedding and the odds to get through safely are very little: the Thames will be full of large ferries (whose high waves are quite dangerous for a small boat like Clodia). Moreover, in Faversham they still need my help to save the Standard Quay.
See you soon.