Letters To The People Who Mean The Most To Me AKA Me Being Poetic and Sharing Stories I Think Are Funny

I’ll admit it – I’m a little nervous to post these. Most of the people that these letters (which are all extremely heartfelt and honest, btw) are addressed to read this blog and some of these are words I’ve never said to them before. I’m half expecting a flurry of messages telling me to ‘be less cringey omg’ or ‘I actually never said that’ or ‘I thought you were over it’ after this post because, although I’m keeping it completely anonymous (you’ll never guess who mwhahah) if one of these letters is to you I’m pretty sure you’re gonna know about it lol.

So anyway I’m lowkey scared that y’all (can I say y’all?? I’m British it doesn’t work like that round here lol)…ahem, as I was saying I’m kinda scared you guys are gonna think I’m a tad dramatic after this post, but that’s fine ’cause I’m a writer and it comes with the job 🙂 

Before I launch straight into this (who am I kidding I’ve already rambled for ages), I’d just like to say that this is a Close Friends Edition. I’m thinking of doing a family and family friends post too at some point in the near future. Also, having the right people in your life is so important and although I’ve struggled with the whole friendship thing and finding people who actually ‘get me’, I’ve been prettyyy lucky.

Here goes me being poetic and sharing stories that are only funny to like me and one other person, but enjoy! Note: these are in a totally randomised order 🙂

A

You say you don’t have a poetic bone in your body, but tbh I’m convinced that every single part of you is poetry. The way you smile, the way you’re broken but every fiber in your body just wants others to feel less alone, just in the way every word you write touches my heart and makes me breathless for a moment, the way you can always make me laugh.

Our friendship is being there for each other through absolutely everything, when you’re at your lowest you know you can reach for me because I will love you no matter what, and that will never change. It’s you I text the minute something exciting happens or when I’m close to crying on the floor because I can’t do this anymore. You’ve helped bring me through so much and you’re not afraid to tell me what’s best for me, even if it’s not always what I want to hear haha.

I’m so incredibly proud of you just for being who you are and I appreciate you so much. Keep laughing, keep smiling, keep writing and being the beautiful person that you are. Most of all, never give up on the world and never doubt yourself because you have SO much to give.

I’m always going to be a little jealous of how effortlessly aesthetic you are (ummm how??? teach me your secrets mwhahahaha), but despite of that, I love you and one day we WILL travel the world together and see amazing places and meet cool people and fix the broken pieces of the world and write poetry all day ❤

Be

Apparently I wrestled you to the ground the first time we met. We were five years old. We’ve grown up together and even though everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has shipped us since day one, we both know we’ll never be anything more than best mates.

Yeah, you’re annoying as anything most of the time, but again, it’s just because I know you too well. There’s too many memories to count. Putting my coat on and coming out in the pouring rain to keep you company when you had to litter pick after school for hours, that entire magazine we wrote and illustrated when we eleven, me and T terrifying you when we chased you through the woods that night and you didn’t know who we were (we never let you live that one down), countless camp outs, the time we drank champagne at that party and you spat yours everywhere,  you swimming in the river in your underwear (not as weird as it sounds I promise) and me trying to pretend I didn’t know you when people stopped and laughed, building tree houses, the fact that we’re so evenly matched that whenever we have a wrestling match neither of us can ever win, arguing about music, all the stupid inside jokes and the banter, the time we ran six miles on the hottest day of the year and both nearly threw up, the long walks where it was just the two of us and we’d talk about anything – politics, religion, our plans for the future, sport.

There’s the sad memories too. How hard you found it to fit into your new school. How much you struggled. How much you hated it. I haven’t forgotten that. We’ve fallen out a few times over our differences and I kinda wish we were as close as we used to be, but you’re a typical teenage boy now and you’re more interested in video games and your school friends than playing in the mud.

And that’s fine. I’ve moved on too. I guess this letter is bittersweet for me. I guess it’s kind of a goodbye because I know in my heart that we’ll never be the same as we were when we were kids. Just remember, I care about you and if you ever need me, you know where I am.

(I’m laughing in my head rn because I know if you read this and know that it’s for you, I’ll never hear the end of it and I’ll get told off for being so ‘cringey’ ahaha)

T

Where do I even start with you? We’ve spent so much of our lives together, every single part of ourselves intertwined. We fit together like two pieces of a jigsaw, I know your every curve and edge. That comes from days spent in the sun, long walks where we’d tell each other everything, staying up until 2am and then setting our alarms to get up and watch the sunrise, but sleeping through them and being woken up mid morning by little sisters, making pancakes on the fire, singing together long into the night on warm summer evenings. Your voice has always been so beautiful, but you still let me join in even though mine is nothing compared to yours.

It comes from sitting on swings and talking about people we used to know. Poetry. Words that we like. What we’ll do in the future. What people have said to us. What we said to them. From hugging each other tight when one of us had to leave, from not wanting to ever be apart.

The inside jokes between us are actually insane. There’s pretty much an entire dictionary of words (mostly made up by you) that only we understand. A sentence that makes absolutely no sense to anyone else makes perfect sense between us. I don’t even know why…..it just does.

You’ve rested your head on my shoulder and told me about every insecurity you have about yourself and I have loved every broken piece of you just the same. We’ve argued many times, but it’s only because we’re both such strong-willed, opinionated people and because we know our friendship is strong enough to withstand it.

There have been times when we haven’t seen each other in months and yet we can pick up straight where we left off like nothing happened. You are honestly like family to me and I love you with all of my heart and always will (though you do annoy the hell out of me sometimes haha) It’s only because I know you too well.

Like when I post poems on my blog and am purposefully vague about who they’re about/for and you persistently text me until I tell you. We can’t keep secrets can we?

We’re not as close as we were, that’s for sure, but I love you with everything within me and I always will, you crazy wildchild ❤

H

You are actually the literal definition of a best friend – someone I can be so weird and crazy with and scream incoherently at, but also the person I can pour my heart out to, the person who will listen to me ramble on about life and not once complain, the person who I can have the deepest and most honest conversations with, the person who just gets me.

You are quite honestly the most stunning girl ever (inside and out) and I know you struggle sometimes, but you’ve gotta promise me that you will ALWAYS keep that beautiful smile on your face because I don’t know what I’d do without it (and obvs keep sending me all the pics you sneakily take of cute boys it’s very entertaining ahaha)

One day you and me and A are just gonna leave everything behind and disappear into the sunset and attempt to write novels and make crazy videos and change the world.

I love you honestly more than I can say. So. Much. Love.

L

Every day you show me that we as a generation are so powerful. I am incredibly proud to be just a teeny tiny part of what you are doing to empower young people and change the world.

I’ve watched you as an individual and your project, tC, grow over the years and have been on the receiving end of so many excited messages about awards you’ve been nominated for or influential people who’ve supported what you’re doing. I honestly couldn’t be prouder of you and everything you’ve achieved.

On top of that you are just the most smiley, positive, motivated and caring person that there is.

Ilysm and you have such a brilliant future ahead of you! In a world that’s so full of negativity, you have turned your desire for change into something empowering and a force for good and that is absolutely incredible (also did I mention how inspiring you are?? Asfgjklgjkll)

O

You were there when I first discovered my love of the ocean and of sailing and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have shared that first experience with. You already knew, it was part of who you are since forever, but it was all new to me and I completely fell in love with it.

Ah man, remember when no one knew your name for the first few days of the voyage because whenever someone asked you, you’d say something different? Remember when the others from the boat decided to follow us and we led them on that huge long walk right round the whole town? We were laughing our asses off whilst they puffed and panted up hill after hill and decided that shadowing us wasn’t such a great idea after all.

You were there when I saw dolphins for the first time. When I first came to know that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Sheesh, those are some good memories.

We haven’t seen each other for so long, but it’s still me you text when you’re going through tough times because you know I’ll always be there for you. And mate, you’ve been through some hard times recently and it’s broken my heart to think of that smile not being there on your face anymore. You’ve gotta keep going, mate, because you are truly the definition of awesome.

You don’t care what people think, you’re funny, you’re super cool –  that will never be taken away from you (not on my watch anyway, okay bruh)

I don’t tell you this nearly as often as I should, but you’re one of my best mates and I appreciate just being able to rant to you about whatever and trade sailing stories and I’m looking forward to the day you FINALLY teach me to surf asdfghjlll 🙂

Aq

Every time I talk to you I just want to shake you and make you see how amazing you are *shakey shakey* *starts dancing for no apparent reason* Anyway, you’re the crazy smart one who works so hard for her future, quiet until you get to know her, cares so much about everyone and everything kinda girl.

Your laugh is officially my favourite sound in the world and I can stay on facetime with you for hours just to hear it over and over again because the sound of your joy is the most beautiful thing.

I wish I could give you the confidence just to go out into the world and be who you are because the world needs more people just like you, but I understand that it doesn’t come naturally to you. You’re taking small steps and I’m so proud of you for that.

Your music, your art, your poetry, they are all pieces of you, fragments of your brokenness that you’re trying to put back together and I want you to know how beautiful it all is.

Thank you for being there for me and always giving me such great advice and you know I’ll always do the same for you. So much love and massive hugs xxx

R

We’re both on a quest to find our place in the world and find out how we can make a difference. We’ve both felt that hopelessness that comes from not knowing what we can do to heal the pain and suffering in the world and we both know the struggle of being someone who cares too much for their own good. I’m so glad I get to share this journey with you, so glad that you’re always by my side (figuratively).

You’re always there to catch me when I’m falling. Always there to be the ultimate Mum friend (especially since you call everyone babe) and share some of that wisdom you seem to have so much of. You’ve guided me through a lot and I don’t think you’ll ever know how much I appreciate that.

So many of my favourite artists and songs have been recommended by you and I now listen to them on repeat and am so happy that I have someone to fangirl with! You’ve always been so supportive of my family and whatever crazy adventure we’re on and you have pretty a beautiful, strong family too (who also happen to be pretty darn adorable). Hehe d’you think we’ll ever get tired of exchanging cute photos/stories of younger siblings?

I have so much fun picking apart and comparing poetry with you, sharing ideas for novels we’ll never write and trying to guess what colour you’ve dyed your hair this time.

Our friendship goes so deep and I honestly love you so much. Thank you for everything. I mean that.

M

When Mum first introduced me to you I was in festival mode. Mum was like ‘you gotta come meet this girl! She’s the same age as you and she loves sailing too!’ So I rocked up on the doorstep of your yurt with my barefeet, baggy T-shirt and windswept hair and….didn’t come out for hours. Boy, can we talk!

Since then we have bonded over our love of avocados, dinghy sailing, the great outdoors, home education, tahini, old rock music, greeting people with the phrase ‘heya’, and dark chocolate. Even now on the phone, we can talk for literally HOURS even though I’m pretty sure there’s not one topic that we haven’t covered.

I am yet to persuade you to come ‘big boat’ sailing with me because you don’t fancy the idea of wearing waterproof overalls that will mask any kind of fashionable outfit or getting less sleep than you’re used to, but I will persevere and you WILL come with me one day ahaha.

At that festival, we hung out 24/7. Rope swinging over the river at midnight, playing ping pong in the barn at 2am, dancing all day, being thrust into my crazy friendship group with any prior warning, but fitting in perfectly.

You’re a beautiful, unique and fun person and I am so happy to be your friend xx

OYT

I spent the best days of my life on a boat sailing round the Scottish islands with you lot and the memories are ones I will always look back on and smile. Words cannot express how much you all mean to me. You’re absolutely bonkers, but hey, so I am so it’s cool 🙂 Here are just a few moments that capture our friendship perfectly (obviously we did do lots of hardcore sailing amongst all the messing around *wink wink*)

 

  • Me and S desperately trying to teach F how to bake, but eventually giving up ’cause we were laughing too much and ending up just throwing anything we could get our hands on in a mixing bowl. Then being the only ones who would eat it – except Ev and Ew who decided to be nice and give it a go.
  • Walking along the beach on Tiree (a Scottish island), just sharing food and talking.
  • Playing the hand slap game with F and losing so badly, but not giving up. Him laughing at me and how red and sore my hands were.
  • MS getting stuck in a barrel and then literally not being able to get out again.
  • Singing the entire eight minutes of American Pie with Ev and everyone else just looking at us like we’d gone absolutely mad.
  • Singing along to Oasis songs with MC
  • Buying a card in Tobermory that said ‘Mostly Made Of Sugar’, giving it to Ew and him being so happy!
  • Playing Capture The Flag on the beach at Tiree – Ew lying on the sand in a sugar low and everyone mucking about.
  • All the girls swimming in the sea on Tiree – despite it being freezing – and all the boys except Ew being absolute wimps.
  • K tattooing my arm with a pen and writing ‘flat earther’ all over it. Me, K and F hoovering the boat and trying to hoover each others’ hair and squeeze ourselves into all the cupboards.
  • Mad seshing to Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Scooter and Of Monsters and Men. Everyone going absolutely crazy, turning all the lights off, getting K and Ev up on the table.
  • Banter 24/7
  • The whole world cup situation. Walking around Barra, phones in the air, trying to get a signal, jumping into the road and stopping cars to find out the score, using the binos to look in through people’s windows and their screens. Finding out that England lost and everyone being ecstatic, except Ev (who cried).
  • The boys walking around Tobermory singing the Balamory theme tune and the girls pretending not to know them.
  • The girls sitting drinking hot chocolate and chatting at a cafe in South Uist (being civilised for once lol)
  • Helping Os put his lifejacket on ‘cause he was feeling really ill and needed to go up on deck then the next thing I know Ta the bosun throwing me across the companionway and Os puking right where I was just standing.
  • Hours spent sitting on sail bags and the railings of the pig pen (a sort of cage where all the spare sails are kept) – talking and joking and arguing and the Scottish teasing the ‘dirty English scum’ and the girls beating up the boys and Z constantly falling out onto the deck.
  • Talking with a very sleep-deprived Ew at 3am on Anchor Watch and looking at the stars through the hatch. Waking F and Ev up for their shift and Ev falling straight back asleep, Ew farting in F’s face and F not even noticing because he was still ¾ asleep.

There’s weird dynamics between us now because some of us still see each other and others don’t, some of us keep in touch and others don’t, and we live all over the UK (and one of us in the US). I don’t know where this friendship will go, but the memories will last forever.

E

When two universes collide, two things that are both so beautiful, but somehow completely separate, the result is incredible. I learnt that with you. I only knew you from blogging – this crazy online world where we know each others deepest thoughts, but not the way the other smiles. And then somehow you were there in front of me in real life. Somehow we were drinking hot chocolate in a cafe and talking at a thousand miles an hour about life and writing and everything in between.

Suddenly you were real and it was weird (but in the best of ways). I had to learn to think of you with a different name, a real name, no longer just a pseudonym.

You came to my first spoken word performance, had dinner with my family whilst I was at rehearsals and then you were gone. I’m so glad our lives touched, though just briefly, one surreal whirlwind of hugs and excited words flying through the air.

We talk on the phone sometimes, but you’re busy and I miss you a lot. I’m so proud of everything you’re achieving though. Love you x

B

I just feel like when I’m with you I can be completely, totally and unapologetically myself. We can talk about everything and anything, make each laugh so much that we’re hysterical and I’ll always come away from a conversation with you with the hugest smile on my face.

You’re always so supportive of whatever’s going on in my life and so interested and enthusiastic. Pretty sure that when I text you I use wayyyy too many ALL CAPS and emojis, but you’re the kind of person who really doesn’t mind (and then replies in exactly the same way!)

Put us together and we’re absolutely crazy and will never stop talking, but we’re also full of ideas of how to make this world a better place. As long as we’re friends I don’t think we’ll ever run out of ideas, we bounce off of each others positivity and enthusiasm and desire to make a difference and that’s why we’re such an, um, explosive duo haha.

Love youuuuu!

I & G

I never realised you could get so close to people in only just over a week. The amount of memories we managed to make sailing those few hundred miles from Plymouth to Cowes and then back to Gosport is just absolutely insane.

The Small Ships Race itself was an intense five hours, half the deck underwater, the boat on its side with waves crashing just about everywhere, trying to tie knots knee deep in water and hear the skippers commands over the howl of the wind. As we attempted to eat seawater drenched fish finger sandwiches with fingers that were so cold we could barely open a bottle of ketchup between three of us, we’d look at each other and grin because, despite being soaked through to the skin and freezing cold for the umpteenth time today, this is what we born for, this is where we’re at our happiest.

At the party after the race, everyone else from the other crews had their make up perfect and a flawless outfit and knew all the words to the latest songs – we made up our own moves in our damp hoodies and the space buns we’d spent hours doing for each other.

We’d lay in our bunks at night and talk for hours when the boat was quiet and everyone else was fast asleep. You guys have been through so much and yet you are two of the strongest, most positive people I know. Partly, it was your stories that made me realise just how much I needed to do something to make a difference for my generation.

I can remember walking round the Harry Potter and Marvel shops for hours when we stopped in Weymouth and having to hear the entire plotlines of ever single book & movie , falling asleep in a tangle of limbs as the boat sailed through the darkness at 1am (always alert for the next tack or gybe), taking crazy selfies and modeling in the mist on deserted country lanes, skipping down the road, me diving off the boat and swimming round in the sea (you guys watching and laughing from the deck), working hard and loving every minute, singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs.

No amount of emails, text messages or facetiming could ever continue the bond that we had for those beautiful days, but it was a snapshot in our lives that I’m sure we’ll never forget and one day, when we’re all skippers of our own boats, we’ll meet again out on the wide, open sea……

Xx love you crazy gals Xx

Thanks so much for reading, people!! I’d love to see some of you steal this idea and do the same ❤ 

Gracie xxx

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Empty

Sad eyes on smiling faces. I can’t bear it when I see my friends and other young people of my generation hiding their pain behind this mask of fake confidence and a don’t-care attitude. I’ve seen them cry, I’ve heard them talk and sometimes we don’t see what’s deeper down. So why don’t we all quit hiding and start sharing. Here’s a poem lol 👇

Empty

emptiness.

they say it’s like a blank space.

they say it’s so shallow.

they say it’s a defence,

but what does it replace?

what i want to know is

-honestly –

does it make it better?

or does it just numb the pain?

just for awhile, of course, ’cause we both know it won’t stay away.

 

well, i guess maybe i wouldn’t know ’cause,

i am not the suicide joke,

or the false laughter that follows,

i am your tears as you sob into my shirt,

’cause this is your story

and i ask you ‘why joke about what almost killed you?’

 

that laughter makes me angry.

why, why do you make this into something funny?

all i want is to tell you it will be okay,

don’t be ashamed of your pain.

you’re not empty. you’re not empty.

 

you are made from heart-shaped scars,

deep breathing, panic rising,

you are talking to the stars ‘cause you’re hurting

and they’re the only ones listening.

you are biting your lip and tasting blood and screaming

you are strength because you are tired of feeling weak

this is your story

you are anything but empty.

 

you are made from shattered glass and picking up the pieces

you are made from getting hurt and feeling like you’re worthless

there is ugliness in your pain

but from that truth comes beauty

do not hide behind that mask of empty, empty, empty.

2018 – The Year Of The Ship

2018. Where do I even start?

I’ve honestly been staring at this screen for over six minutes and I still have no idea. So much has happened this year and it’s all going through my head right now and I can’t even….it’s just….a whole year is such a long time and I’ve changed so much and experienced so much and I don’t know how to begin explaining that.

I’ve called this post The Year Of The Ship because that’s what it is in my mind. Sailing ships and friendships ☺️ here goes….

Life’s weird. I wasn’t expecting to go on a sailing voyage and come back like ‘Bam, I know what I’m gonna do with my life now’ but hey, that’s what happened! That first trip sparked my love for sailing and the ocean and the whole seafaring way of life and I realised that I could use this to make a difference. 

I’ve been on three voyages since and, in total, have spent a whole month at sea this year! I’ve met some of my best best best friends and have completely and irreversably fallen in love with sailing and sail training.

This year has been really hard and full of challenges.  I feel as though major changes are constantly being thrown at me. Teenage life isn’t easy as I’m sure many of you well know and trying to juggle relationships, my future, feelings, new responsibilities and changing the world is pretty demanding, ya know? 😉 

I honestly think 2019 has made me a completely different person and that I’ve changed so much, in a positive way, for sure 🙂 

I think I’ve finally found a world I belong in and at the same time, a way to make a difference. I feel both lost and found, if that makes sense. As if I’ve found a place and people to belong to and yet I’m still searching and still trying to make the world a better place. 

I also just want to mention all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with this  year – blogging friends, real life friends, the crew of Pegasus voyage 1 & 2, the crew of Alba Explorer and all my Small Ships Race mates. 

2018 hasn’t been an easy year for anyone and I’m so so so proud of everyone for getting through it and being the incredible people that I know. Love ya all. Stay strong. 

I think that pretty much sums up my unsum-up-able year lol. To listen to my soundtrack for 2018 click here for a playlist I made for a few friends. It’s full of all the songs that mean the most to me and I’d love for you to give it a listen 💕 

How has your 2018 been? What’s been the most important thing to you this year? Would you say that you’ve changed a lot? Did you listen to the playlist? 

 

 

Music I Love 🤟🎶 (A Tag)

Heyo people 💙

I saw this tag on my good friend Ruby’s blog and I thought it would be an amazing way to share the music I love with you guys.

Rules: 

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their blog.
  • Share the tag graphic – sorry, sadly I couldn’t manage to get this onto here :/
  • Link to the original blogs ( Scribes & Archers and Of Rainy Days and Stardust Veins)
  • Answer the questions (I made up some of my own too #sneakyyy)
  • Tag 5 bloggers and give them 10 questions to answer (or just pass on the questions you got)

What is your favourite song?

Had to pick three, sorry not sorry 😉

I find it really hard to explain why I love songs so much, but these are just….I don’t know…the lyrics, the feels, the memories they bring back 😍 I will never get tired of listening to these.

What song defines you as a person?

I have to admit to loving Disney music maybe slightly more than I should??? And everything about this song is so me 😁

What song brings back memories? (I made this question up, but I really wanted to answer it #rebel) 

Every time I hear this song it takes me straight back to my sailing trip in Scotland last summer. I made some of my best friends and learnt so much. If any of you are reading this now…. 🤗…and keep seshing 😉

Just summer and dancing madly☀️🎶

What song takes your breath away?

This beautiful, heart-breaking piece sing by my amazingly talented friend Elm is just 😍😮😭

Favourite song from a musical?

Rebellion. Revolution. One of the best movies ever made 😍🤯

I cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to be Calamity Jane 😂

Me and my Dad love watching Oliver! and this song will always make me smile 🙂

What is a song that you can’t help but love?

Just love this ❤️

Lol, this song is so crazy, but so perfect 🤟👌

What’s one song you can’t help but dance to?

*starts dancing* 💃

*dances even more* 💃💃💃

What’s a song you can’t help but sing to?

Know all the words #proud 😝

What is a song that makes you cry?

Oh my god….😭

So so sad, but so powerful as well 👌😢

 

This just hits home for me….and the video as well…😭😍 Also it reminds me of my friends in Scotland 🙂

I cry every single time. So emotional.

All round amazing song?  

Woah, so good. 🤯 So good 🎶 This is music, people 👍

A recent discovery, but I love it 👏

Another fave 🤟

Such an underrated song, but so fun and full of energy with great lyrics ☀️

I tag whoever feels like doing this! It’s super fun. Let me know if you do this tag. Did you listen to any of these? What did you think? What are some of your fave songs? 

 

 

 

 

 

Scotland Sailing Voyage: Collab With Ma Crewmates 🌅

The cool kidz 😂

I am really, really excited for this post. Like, really excited 😁 Not only do I get to talk about the best week of my life, I also get to collaborate with some great friends to bring you a post about our voyage with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland!

Here goes.

There’s literally SO much I want to say about the voyage, but I’m going to start with the basics.

  • There were eighteen of us ( 6 sea staff and 12 crew aged between 12-14) onboard Alba Explorer – a 72ft yacht that’s been round the world twice (I think???) and now takes young people like us on sail training voyages 🙂
  • We set off from Oban which is on the West coast of Scotland and sailed round the Hebrides visiting loads of different islands.

For me the voyage was incredible because, not only did I have an amazing amount of fun, make the best friends, learn loads of new things and get to spend time in my favourite place (the ocean), I also took another step towards my future and towards working in sail training.

Alba Explorer – or part of her, anyway!

Now, I’m going to let my friend and fellow crewmate Eva take over 🙂

 Well, I had never sailed before and I was very nervous. When I arrived I met the crew and let’s just say some of the boys were far from gents! So that made me feel even worse. On our first day we were put into our Watches and I wasn’t with my friend so I was even more annoyed. But then I got to know the girls I was in a group with and realised they were both very nice. Never judge a book by its cover!

So after the first day, when I was below deck, I realised I suffered from sea sickness which let me tell you is not a nice feeling! But once it passed I got back to baking and sailing. So after feeling homesick, sea-sick and sorry for myself we stopped and harboured at South Uist and got off the boat. That was the day before the World Cup!

I mentioned it to the rest of the crew which was a big mistake because they were all Scottish and hated England winning! Anyway the game was the semi finals so I was really excited. I wanted to watch the game so badly, but obviously there was no telly on the boat.

The next day we arrived at a harbour and one of the watch leaders took us all on a walk. If you haven’t been to Scotland then you won’t know that the scenery is absolutely beautiful. The walk was lovely, but I was dying to know the football score. There was no phone signal or WiFi so there was no way of knowing. “We’re so isolated we don’t even know the football score! I mean prisoners get to know the football score” I thought to myself.

So every car that drove passed with its window open I shouted, “What’s the football score”. Then eventually a man told us that Croatia won and I was so annoyed! 

Anyway those were the worst bits! The rest was so much fun and I wish I was back there now. The ocean was beautiful and we saw so much wildlife like dolphins, whales, basking sharks, puffins, seals, jellyfish and lots more. I learnt how to sail and had a real adventure. I also made three new friends for life which I think was the best bit!

Aw, Eva, that was great ❤️ I agree – the boys were certainly not gents 😂 and yes, it was beautiful. I wish I was back there now too.

Ewan was another crewmate who joined in this collab. Here’s his part about the voyage.

The voyage on Alba Explorer was extremely fun. I had previously been away on Alba Explorer for a weekend, but that was no way near as fun as the week as you didn’t get to know the others in the crew or set foot on land. Some of my highlights were watching the dolphins jumping at the bow of the boat and the barbecue when we swam in the freezing waters of Tiree. It was very fun and I would definitely do it again!!!

I loved swimming in the sea too, Ewan, but it was definitely freezing 😁

Photo credits to Eva

Next up, we have Sasha’s piece!

I really enjoyed the voyage; it was so fun sailing round Scotland and meeting new people. The sailing was really good and in the evenings we all played games which were really fun. Overall it was a really fun trip.

I’m so glad you had fun, Sasha! ❤️

Fergus is the final crewmate to share his experience in this collab. Here’s his contribution.

Arriving in Oban, I could see the 95 foot mast of Alba Explorer from what looked like miles away which was a sight to behold!

I was quite nervous at the start knowing I was going to spend a week with 17 other people on this boat, but to my relief they were all very nice and great fun. There was a boy called Zach who had come from Washington DC to visit Scotland and Ireland, and also 3 girls who came from England; Gracie, Sasha and Eva. The Clyde Cruising Club Dinghy Section was well represented with myself, Stan, Ewan and Oscar all on board. The skipper’s son was there as one of the crew members too.

I really enjoyed going round the Hebrides and it was without doubt the best week of my life! We traveled to a little bay near Loch Drambuie on Mull, staying there for the first night, then went all the way up to South Uist, then to Castle Bay on Barra, followed by Tiree, Tobermory and then finally back to Oban. It was amazing!

On three of the nights we anchored. On the first night the captain, Stuart Simpson, the first mate, watch leaders and bosun did ‘anchor watch’. On the other two nights we had planned to moor up to pontoons however THE SAME BOAT took our place twice! So the crew had to do anchor watch. Anchor watch is where some crew members need to stay up during the night and watch the anchor, hence the name! The First mate draws a box around the boat on the navigation screen and you have to report to someone if the boat floats outside the box (I know, exciting eh?).

All the hard work was worth it because I and all the others were awarded the RYA Competent Crew certificate!

I can thoroughly recommend an OYT voyage to anyone who is interested in sailing. It was exciting, challenging, rewarding and great, great fun!

Yeah, I totally agree with all of that ♥️♥️

This was so much fun to put together and it brought back some great memories. Thanks to all my fellow crewmates who contributed and to YOU for reading.

Bye!

 

 

~the ocean + me~

I honestly think that I have saltwater for blood, the rhythm of the tides for a heartbeat and the dance of the waves in my soul. There is never a moment when I am not wishing I was at sea.

I have an obsession – with the ocean.

I want to share this piece that I wrote as part of my application to a spoken word programme in London. I haven’t heard if I got in yet, but I’ll be sure to let you all know. Anyway, I believe it captures exactly how I feel about the ocean.

Ode To The Ocean 

You fill my empty solitude with salt and spray and sea,
The never-ending water and footprints on the beach,
Your rise and fall and ups and downs,
You’ve showed me all my dreams,
And thanks to you, I know exactly who I want to be.

The sense of freedom and of flying,
The immortal fantasy of never, ever dying,
Just gliding through the waves forever and eternity,
Ecstatically content and exactly where I want to be.

The mystery of your rugged beauty chained to age-old rhythm,
An ever-changing surface with no predictable pattern,
And far below that, in your depths, are things we’ll never see,
Wild waters that are both forever trapped and forever free.

You sure know how to transform yourself into a masterpiece,
Stunning sunsets, vivid colours melting into your blues and greens,
Epic storms that summon the winds from all edges of the seas,
Black skies, lightning strikes, moonlit clouds sitting on the breeze.

Your waves they tumble and they crash,
Then they rise again from the ash
Like life’s one, constant motion,
Like a phoenix from the flames – the motion can’t be broken.

The wind in my sails and the waves beneath me come from you,
This feeling inside me tells me what I need to do,
And it tells me just where I need to be.
With you, where I belong, out at sea.

Here’s an audio of me performing it – https://youtu.be/hwBGzQWqt3s

We’re moving into our new truck very soon (super excited about that) and I’ve been decorating my bed. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to having my own room and I’m putting a lot of effort into making it look aesthetic. It’s really just a reflection of me and who I am, but my main theme is the ocean. I’ve printed out tons of photos, quotes, lyrics and poetry about sailing, waves, tides, beaches and the sea – as well as making my own ocean neon sign! I haven’t got a photo of it finished, but here’s one of it half done.

It now has a big swirly wave underneath 🌊

Another thing about the ocean is all the memories it holds for me. The best days of my life have been spent in its company. It’s given me a purpose. I’ve met some of my best friends thanks to it. Ocean = sailing = 😍😍😍


That was a kinda random post about the ocean + me. Hope you enjoyed!

 

On Friendships, Being Different and The Future…

*Note: not attacking/blaming anyone here. These are just my own opinions. If you disagree feel free to say so and we can discuss it 🙂* 

My little sister came home crying today because she feels so different to all of her friends, she feels like she doesn’t fit in. Truth is, she doesn’t. She doesn’t even want to. 

I walk past and see her standing there surrounded by her entire peer group. They’re all around her – singing stupid songs, doing silly things and talking about TV shows and movies she has no interest in. I catch her eye. She looks so sad and alone.

Later, back at home, she’s pretty upset. “Why can’t my friends be normal?” she asks me. Her perception of normal makes me smile. “They are normal” I tell her “It’s you who’s different.”

She doesn’t want to fit in with them, to be the same, to wear the same type of clothes, to talk the same kind of rubbish – she just wants her friends to be themselves,  to have fun and not care about being ‘cool’ and fitting in. She just wants them to see what’s good and important, to realise that what they’re watching, listening to and basing their small-minded lives around is nonsense. No one ever did anything notable by being like everyone else.

Look, I understand how hard it is to escape from. This stuff is all around us. Our own society is telling us how to think and act, but our whole future is at stake here!

I understand my sister’s struggle. It’s kinda like there’s something that sets us apart. Like our eyes are opened.  Like for some reason we can see the stupidity and danger in following the crowd. I listen to the rubbish some of my own friends and I feel like screaming at them “wake up! Is this how you want to spend your life??!?!”

Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually even likes this stuff – TV shows, music, internet trends and crazes? Maybe everyone is only obsessed because with it because it’s popular and they think they’ll be left out if they don’t join in with the hype?  Wouldn’t it be cool if one person was like ‘guys, what’re we doing? This is seriously so bad!’ and everyone else admitted they never liked it either?! There’s always got to be a first one, right?!

When I talk to my friends one-on-one we have the BEST conversations. Sure, they’re often a bit crazy, but that’s okay. We talk about our dreams and hopes and our struggles and things we’ve done and learnt. How we feel and things that have made us laugh or smile. We talk about memories and stories and things we’re scared of. Things that make us happy, things that make us sad. Very rarely do I have these conversations when there’s a big group of us. Everyone’s so worried about being popular and liked and fitting in that the conversation always turns back to the same old nonsense. ‘Here we go again.” I think, without enthusiasm. I either roll my eyes and zone out – or listen, get all worked up and offend someone. Oops! 😂

If you’ve known me or have been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll know how much I’ve struggled with friendships. It hasn’t been easy for me to avoid peer-pressure. In fact, I’ve probably succumbed to it more than I’d care to admit when things were really tough. I’ve found it so hard to find anyone like me and by ‘like me’ I don’t really mean into the same stuff – I mean not afraid to be themselves and be an individual.

I remember this one day when I just had to let it all go. Holding in the words was suffocating me and I needed to breathe. I wrote this whole long piece, but this was what stood out to me the most when I say back and read through it  at the end:

Do you ever know for certain that you’re not like them or like them or them or them or them? 
but you wonder who you are like?
And you wonder if you’ll ever find anyone like you?

This is why I’m so grateful for the friends I keep in touch with online. They are what real friendship looks like. Blogging friends, friends I’ve met sailing, friends I don’t see often enough, but talk to via email. I’m so lucky and happy with the friends I have in my life and I don’t know where I’d be without them.

So yeah, I’m worried. I’m worried about the future of our world in the hands of this next generation – my generation. We’re lost and the only thing we have to guide us is the negative influences of our society. You see the sickening results of it all around you – mental health, suicide rates, kids nearly losing their lives after jumping out of cars for some new internet trend. Need I say more?

It’s crazy. It’s tragic. And it has to stop. If you’re with me, let me know. It’s not easy for any if of us, but we can do this together, okay 👌❤️

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

Get To Know Me Better!

Hiya all,

I often think that there’s SO much my blogging friends don’t know about me. Oh sure, they know all about my ideas for world change and my deepest inner struggles, but not much about, well, me 🙂 So today I’ve decided that I’m going to tell you guys a lot more about myself. Here goes!

 

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? My name is Gracie and I am 14 years old.  At the moment I live in a van on a farm in *looks out of window* rainy, old England.

I am a teenager with an infinite mess of feelings, dreams, plans and struggles. I am a writer, a spoken word poet, a teacher, a blogger (obviously) and someone who loves baking, cooking and being with others. I am studying socio-anthropology (the social study of humanity) as well as doing yoga, film-making and Italian. 

I also am home-educated and I love it! I get to make decisions about what’s relevant to my life and my future and study what I’m passionate about.

My greatest dream is to be able to help others, but I often feel unbelievably helpless and wonder if I’m more naive than anything else? I live for those crazy of moments of abandon that make me feel like summer, songs that inspire rebellion, campfire smoke settling on my clothes,  sunsets and the times where my words fly from my heart and through my lips like it is their very purpose to change the world.

I get lonely, I get discontent, I get anxious and worried and I can’t bear to not know what’s happening, but I believe that this is the right path for me.

My family lives a very unusual lifestyle. Ever since I was a very small child, my parents have tried to teach me and my siblings to help others when we can, to challenge the way our modern society works, to make a difference and make a change, to be ourselves and be honest. Through the life we live, we hope to practice all these things.

*casually quotes my about page* lol

I have traveled a lot in the UK. In fact, my family and I are about to leave everything familiar behind and go off traveling permanently, perhaps even around Europe and beyond. My Dad has built a tiny home on the back of a vintage truck and we are going to live on the road, making the statement that alternative living is possible for other families, that there is another way to live your life in our crazy, messed-up world. We are advocates for positive change within our society.

I don’t know what the future holds…..

I obviously can’t sum up my whole being in just this one post, but I hope you’ve got to know me a bit better and enjoyed reading this. Feel free to do the same if you think your readers could benefit from getting to know you more!

I want to make my posts a bit more based around my life and a bit more personal. Here are a few ideas I’ve had, please vote for your (personal) favourite. See what I did there? XD

See ya guys later! Don’t forget to vote!

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.