An Experience At Sea 🌊⛵ (Photos and Highlights)

Hi all,

Yep, I really did go to sea! ⛵🌊 And it was incredible.

On Saturday I (very reluctantly) returned from a four day home-ed sailing voyage with The Island Trust in Cornwall. I learnt some brilliant skills, met some super cool new people and made some fantastic memories. The whole experience will stick with me forever.

Pegasus – the vessel shown below – was our home for the time we were at sea.

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Describing the whole trip would take a long, long, long time so I’m just going to be sharing a load of my highlights and some photos with you guys today.

Enjoy!

  • Making some absolutely awesome friends! If you’re reading this right now, guys, I just wanna say how much of a pleasure it was sailing with you and getting to know you over the time we spent together last week.

Just in case you didn’t know – I’m on the very right

  • Learning how to crew a sailing ship and how it all works. Working as a team with the others to sail Pegasus 72 nautical miles all in all was absolutely brilliant.

Creds to Megan – another crew member 🙂 Pegasus is on the left.

  • Sailing at night! Learning to navigate and not getting to our destination until midnight was preeeeetty cool. The land and the sea were sequined with what seems like millions of lights used to find our way – a beautiful sight.

Megan’s again ❤

  • Seeing wild dolphins! A surreal experience. I still can’t believe it.

Thanks for this one, Isaac.

  • Sunsets.

  • Watching a sailor set the record for sailing non-stop around the world in the smallest boat. We greeted him at the finish line and had the honour of being pretty much the first human beings he’d seen in the best part of a year. I hope he appreciated the horns and the mexican wave 😁

  • Making a sand sculpture of a mermaid with Megan on the beach.

  • All the HILARIOUS inside jokes 😂😂😁
  • Enjoying the sun, the waves and the views up on deck. Feeling the motion of the boat (fortunately I wasn’t seasick 😀)


  • Steering! I loved the feeling of (kinda) being in control of the boat and of having to really concentrate on all the elements of navigation (the wind, landmarks, where we’re trying to go)

Now for some other random photos (credits to Megan, Isaac and Craig – the skipper)

Anchored in a coastal river mouth for the night.

A HUGE ferry.

Another stunning sunset.

The bow (front) of Pegasus.

Not sure if this was early morning or evening? Either way – very pretty.

Dusk on the water.

Another bow shot.

Look at the skyyyyy!

So yeah! A very special experience and one I hope to repeat in the near future. Thank you, Island Trust for making this so amazing! ❤❤❤

I hope you enjoyed reading about this and seeing all the photos!

Gracie xxx

Best Day Of My Life – My Spoken Word Performance + Meeting A Blogging Bestie IRL For First Time EVER!

Yesterday was undoubtedly one of the best days of my life. This was because of two major events –

  1. I met a blogging friend in real life for the first time ever.
  2. I performed spoken word poetry live on stage in front of an audience at a theatre in an urban music show.

I really can’t believing I’m telling you this. It  still all feels totally and utterly surreal.

Note – I’ve written a lot about this ‘spoken word poetry’ and I’ve suddenly realised that a lot of you probably have no idea what I’m on about. You know when something’s, like, the centre of your world? Well, you don’t really think about other people not understanding it or not having heard of it, do you? That’s how I feel.

Anyway, spoken word poetry is basically poetry that is written to be performed. It’s extremely similar to something called ‘slam poetry’. You may have heard of that.

I love love love spoken word. It is how I express myself. It is what I feel born to do and when I was up on that stage yesterday, I felt confident, I felt like I belonged. When I looked around the theatre and saw all those people here, listening….and then I looked at all the new friends I’d made sitting there, watching me, as well as some very special people right in the front row (more on that soon 😀), I felt so happy and so content and so….like I’d found myself. Weird, I know, but true. It’s impossible for me to describe the feeling – belonging, maybe? Or ecstasy? Lol.

Sadly, when my Mum tried to record during the performance, she didn’t manage to get it (instead she got a very blurry photo – don’t ask 😝)However, she very kindly agreed to film me performing both pieces again today. Here it is –

Oh, hold on, before you watch. If you want to hear more about the show click HERE!!!

Bonus photos below!

A very excited, energetic me before a day of train journeys and rehearsals left me an exhausted wreck.

Adam – my spoken word ‘mentor’ and the evening’s host.

Now, the blogosphere and ‘the real world’ are two completely different universes and two different identities for the blogger and, although I’ve always dreamed about what beautiful things might happen if these collided, I never once thought they would.

I was wrong.

A few weeks ago I was writing about my show (and gushing about how excited I was) when a very lovely human left me a comment. I quote:

Is the thing in London something you book for? Because honestly, I’d love to come and see it. No joke. Love you lots xxx

 

And my reply?

Oh my goodness {you totally should come and see it} Yesssssssssssss!

And so yeah! It happened. And it was absolutely incredible, better than I ever could have imagined. I got to meet and hang out with the AMAZINGGGGG Elm!!!

Oh and btw, this all happened on her 3 year blogoversary so get on over to her and wish her a good one, please!

I would like to thank her and her lovely friend who I also had the pleasure of meeting for being such fantastic humans and for supporting me throughout my performance. You guys really made me day – you deserve loads of love. Actually, this post is dedicated to you.

In a way, this post is a collaboration with Elm, she will be posting later on about her experience as an audience member so watch out for that.

 

Thank you to everyone who wished me luck or sent me messages of support before my performance. Loadsa love to you all.

I think that’s all, yeah. I’ll stop rambling now. Peace out, guys.

The Gift: My Second Story + The Exciting Start Of An Anthology

Hello there people! As promised, here is the second of my life-changing experiences that I said I wanted to share with you all. If you haven’t read my first post of this series, That Time I Stood Up For What I believed In,  please click here.

I am also still looking for bloggers who are willing to step forward and share their own stories with the world, by contributing to my anthology. All you have to do is comment below, leaving your experience and I’ll put it in a post with some other people’s, to represent a diverse array of positive and negative experiences that made us who we are today.  I have a few participators at the moment, some who’ve given their stories, others who’re still writing them. It would be great to have many more though.

So without further ado, I present:

The Gift by Gracie Chick (ME!!!)

I stand pressed against the wall, I can smell the chlorine from the pool and I’m gazing down at its green-blue depths through the glass of the viewing area window.  I am surrounded by jostling, noisy kids with wet hair, just come up from swimming classes. My own ponytail is dripping down my back uncomfortably. 

Usually I would be joining in the conversation, laughing and joking with my friends, but today is different. Today is so much different.

Bittersweet feelings are flooding my body and my mind, they are intensified as a familiar face emerges from the crowd. She looks at me sadly, and then just walks up and pulls me into a hug, I hug back, my eyes pricking with tears. 

I’ve only lived here seven months, but great and strong relationships can be formed in that time. And it’s often when you go to leave them, you realise what amazing friends they’ve been. 

Her Mum calls her name and she glances over her shoulder. 

“Gotta go.” There’s a moment of sad serenity as we say goodbye. 

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Another friend comes and stands by my side and together we watch her run out of the door and down the street, away from the leisure centre. “Hug?” my friend asks. “Yeah.” I hug her too, it seems that’s all I’ve done this morning. “Thank you for everything.” I say “For making us feel so welcome, for being so kind and thoughtful, for teaching us so many new things, for becoming such a great friend.” 

She smiles and thanks me too. “I’ve got something for you guys. I gave it to your Mum.” She says and then she has to leave too. I wave to her with a brave face, but inside I’m welling up with sadness. 

Back at the place that we wouldn’t be calling home for much longer, I suddenly thought of my friend’s words about the gifts she’d left us. Me and my siblings opened the packages that had been given to us by my friend’s family, people who had taught us so much. They had welcomed us into their own house, shared all their skills and passions with us and showed us true hospitality and kindness. 

They had already given so much. I opened the envelope addressed to me first and I started to read the letter inside. It was from the eldest daughter, my friend and teacher, thanking me for listening, learning and showing her so many new things. Then she began to tell me about the gift she had given me. 

 

 She had bestowed upon me the most precious thing she owned. I would prefer not to say what, because it is quite personal, but it was the meaning and the sentiment with which it was given that really touched my heart. 

Reading her honest, heartfelt words made the emotion that already filled my body spill out in the form of tears.

I could not believe that she had valued me so much as to give me the most meaningful thing in her life. In her beautiful letter she explained that it was ‘ the most precious thing that God granted me to have and I am thankful to have it.  “I have thought many times before about giving it to you, so now is a good opportunity”. 

I felt this great and overwhelming emotion, a mix of honour, sadness, joy and strength. I could the bond of our friendship getting tighter, not weaker, as we had said goodbye. I had the feeling that this relationship would just get stronger and grow as time went on.

So there you have it, my second experience, The Gift. For someone to give me the most valuable thing in their life, as a symbol of our friendship, showed me how important relationships really are. I made up my mind to treasure this gift and keep it always.

I hope you enjoyed reading it and now it’s your turn. Please send me an experience to include in my anthology, which will be spread out over several posts, so I can learn something from you.

I’ve decided to share the two experiences that I have received in this post today! Starting with one from the amazing Thoughts In Life.

Honestly, what I have learnt from a personal experience is to not allow others to change you. I was influenced when I was younger by a person very close to me and I became a person that today I cannot recognise. I became distant from the people I love, my attitude became unbearable, I changed for the bad. But after a while I realized this wasn’t who I was. I started changing my life around, and started being myself. No matter who you meet in life don’t allow them to control you or turn you into a person you are not.

And now for one from my Auntie Melissa, one of my most loyal readers.

I vividly remember when I was about 9 being in the school playground with my friend who was being bullied. We could’ve cowered in a corner and continued to be scared, instead we stood together and passively defied the bullies. We wouldn’t fight or call them names back, but together we refused to be afraid and do you know, they went away and left us alone after that.

I learnt that you just have to be true to yourself and your beliefs and in this case, for me, it is to ‘treat others as you would like to be treated yourself’. In a kind and caring way. I still practise this as much as I can today and in my current work very much believe that if I want change, then I have to make it happen in my life before I can help and advise others to do the same. How can I ask someone to change something that I myself will not consider?

What did you think of all three stories? Please don’t hesitate to send me one yourself, it doesn’t have to be super long and detailed or a major experience, it can just be a little memory you have that always sticks with you and that you learned a lesson from. It can be short and brief, but powerful, like the ones above. 

Thanks y’all and bye for now..

Gracie 🙂 🙂 🙂

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That Time When I Stood Up For What I Believed In

Hello People!

I’d like to share with you two personal experiences that I hope will shape and inspire my future.

In return, I’m asking you to send me the experiences that have affected the way you live your life. I had the idea of creating an anthology of all YOUR most memorable and meaningful life events. All you have to do is comment your story, along with what it taught you in life. Then I’ll put them all together in a post (or two!), like a virtual book. P.S. If it’s a bit longer or more detailed, post it on your own blog and send me the link. Anyone is welcome to take part, so please don’t hesitate.

I’ll start off the anthology with mine. One of mine happened a long time ago and the other only yesterday, but both of them have made a huge impact on my life and thoughts, they’ve both taught me priceless lessons and showed me things I never really saw before.

I’m sorry that this post is so long, but please keep reading, as it’s so important to me and I’d love you to give me some feedback.

Today I’ll start with the first one, which was about three and a half years ago. The second one will be coming very soon……!

That Time I Stood Up For What I Believe In by Gracie Chick (ME!!!)

 I walk across the shiny wood floor, my walking boots thud dully and I listen to the sharp clackety- clack of all the other kids smart, black polished school shoes. I stride towards the other ten year olds, my usual shy smile replaced with a proud, confident beam. The source of my strength comes from the two gold lines that run down the sleeve on my ironed green sweater. Last week I was made a Sixer, an honour given to a few responsible, respected cub scouts. 

As I stand beside my fellow cub scouts, I can almost feel those lines radiating heat. “Gracie Chick!” A voice snaps me out of my imagination.  As I hear the leader’s words, I learn that the legendary Sixer’s conference has been called and I am told to join them, I need no encouragement.

All the younger and newer cubs, that I had once been a part of, whispered about what went on in that back room and, although everyone had their theories, none of us really knew. I knew that I was entering a new and exciting world now.

I watch as the more experienced and older members discuss what we’ll do on the special day that we get to ourselves, to practice team building and leadership skills. 

The suggestions keep on coming and I listen with interest. Suddenly someone says “What about laser tag?” and everyone agrees. “Yes! Yes! Laser tag. Perfect.” “Okay, well that’s settled then.” The leader glances round the room. Slowly and nervously I raise my hand.

“Yes, Gracie?”

“Um, what’s laser tag?” I asked tentatively. 

Everyone jumps in to try to explain it to me. 

“Basically, it’s a dark room and you get a laser gun and run round trying to shoot each other.”

“Kill as many people as you can.” 

“It’s just a game really, but it feels like a proper war.” 

I leave cubs that night with a furrowed brow and troubling thoughts on my mind. In the car on the way home to the farm where I live, I relay all the information to my Dad. I finish with “I can’t believe they find that fun!” 

My Dad thinks for a while and then says this, “Me neither Gracie, killing is never a game. Pretend guns or real guns, shooting is shooting. For too many people all over the world, war is real life. What would a kid who’s lost his family to war say if he saw people treating it like a game?” 

“I don’t want to go, Dad.” I whisper “I think it’s wrong, totally wrong.” My Dad nods sadly, he knows how much it meant to me. 

When I go home that night, I tell my Mum too and between my parents they come up with an idea. “Why don’t you email your leader and tell her how you feel about laser tag? Maybe you could talk to all the others about your reasons.” 

So I sat down and wrote this email to my cub leader. 

Dear Akela  (That’s what we call our leader)

I just wanted to talk to you about why I’d rather not do laser hub.
I feel that running around shooting people is not a game, because war makes people suffer and die!
If you’ve already booked it, it’s ok! I’d just rather not come. Maybe if you haven’t already booked it we could have a meeting about it in sixer and seconder council and I could share my views? Then we could have another vote? I’ve got some suggestions if it’s not too late.
I’ve never played shooting games with other kids and I don’t really feel comfortable doing it at cubs, if that’s all right.
I’ll mention my ideas when we have the meeting (if we can have it).
Yours,
Gracie

 

She replied the next day: 

Dear Gracie.
Thankyou for your thoughtful e-mail, I do completely understand your point of view, my own children were strongly discouraged from playing with guns when they were growing up for exactly the same reasons.
Having said that I do feel that Laser gaming is just that – an  imaginative game which has developed with all the new technology out there & I suspect that those Cubs who came up with the idea & who voted in its favour do not necessarily equate it with real life warfare. You are absolutely right that if at all possible we should discuss it.
I have added it to next week’s programme (Sixer / Seconder Council) although suspect it could develop into quite a debate. Just so you know where we are with planning,
Keego & I had discussed the possibility of going to a centre in Eastbourne where there is a laser quest option but there is also bowling. Can I talk to you tomorrow at X Country?  Akela
I started thinking immediately. What would I say? How would I explain myself? To this day, I still swear that it was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life. I wrote draft after draft on paper and then I scribbled it out and started again. 
Finally I decided on the words I would use and I was ready that next Wednesday nightthough my heart kept doing somersaults and I was scared of what the other kid’s reactions might be. They’d been so adamant about laser tag, how would they take to my suggestion? Would they think of me differently after this day?
I clutched my piece of paper as I walked through the door that night. I still remember the clean white kitchen, with out-of-date custard creams and black currant squash on the side. The other kids all gathered around the table. My Akela nodded at me and I managed a quick nervous smile before I began reading off of my paper. 
Last week we discussed the possibility of doing laser tag as our Sixer’s day out. For my own personal reasons, I’d rather not do that. If you’d like to know what they are, please feel free to ask me later.  However, I have another idea. I’d like to invite you all to come to my farm and play night games in the woods. We can light a campfire and cook over it.” 
Akela stepped in. “Who likes Gracie’s idea?” She asked brightly. A flurry of enthusiastic voices filled the air and almost made me fall over with surprise. I’d been gearing myself up for disagreement and disappointment, yet everyone seemed to positive.
And so that’s how it happened, my boldness changed their minds. We ran around the woods for hours, laughing and joking. We made our own food and stuffed our faces with chocolate fondue. Our bonds as a team certainly became stronger and we all made memories that night. 
And what did I learn from that experience? It taught me that I had to be the change I wanted to see in the world. It taught me that people will listen if you give them good reason to.
I want to know about the experiences that have shaped your lives? What’s the most meaningful thing that ever happened to you? Tell me your stories, I’ve told you mine. As I always say, your beautiful comments always fill me with hope. 
I especially value your opinions on my more personal and thought-provoking posts, so please send me a few words and I’ll reply. I’m also welcoming of comment discussions! 
Don’t forget that the second experience is coming soon, so watch this space….
Goodbye for now and remember to send me your own stories and thoughts!
Gracie
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