Grand Old Warships

Lately things have been a bit like the Himalayas! Since the last update there has been some high highs and quite low lows… I shall start with the lows though to end on a high note!

The Fighting Temeraire a metaphorThe low points have been tough to put into words and really were the origin of this post’s name by taking inspiration from Skyfall. The quote is certainly not an exact allegory for my family as I feel no ignominy. However, death is always inevitable and a grand old warship is a good metaphor “It always makes me feel a little melancholy - a grand old war ship, being ignominiously hauled away to scrap. The inevitability of time, don't you think?”

I know that I hate change and seeing how things have been permanently changed since my childhood it has really hit home. My Uncle (the time that I knew him) was a nomad living on his bike and in a tent repairing the mountain huts between the north of Scotland and the south of the Pyrenees. His knowledge of the land was incomparable and could teach you so much! There are so many treasured memories like being in Scotland and picking bilberries or the lakes looking out at the Old Man.

MBA Jim Curtis cycling
Uncle James on his bike that I now have

My grandfather really was the battleship! We had the nickname as grumpy grandpa and would bite if you didn’t use the spoon for the marmalade… That said, he was an awesome grandfather, patient, forgiving and as ever a teacher. Of course Gma and pa were a unit who would take us marauding the canals in Europe feeding my insatiable appetite for the water! If you’ve ever attended one of my talks you would have seen the photo of me and my brother and a dinghy, no points who was ashore and who was afloat!

Windermere wall with grandparents
On the wall in Windermere with Gma and pa

I have to say though that my whole family are fantastic but being up north to remember both it slowly hits home how times change. The garden and pond that I used to roam and build rafts on is slowly overgrowing, the shed where it was a treasure-trove (and strictly out of bounds) is now too small and being removed, but the memories will of course always be here.

On a more positive note, well this was a couple of days ago, was that the future although complex was being strongly forged towards the Vendée. This has now had to be re-routed but am certainly more knowledgable and have acknowledged that this isn’t the first and will no means be the last hurdle but also not the last opportunity!

It now means that I’m going back to the drawing board with the tools I’m amassing from the wonderful people who I have met along the way to give my decisions more clarity and structure. I have had a little holiday in the little town of Les Sables d'Olonne for the start of the Vendée Globe. Again it is difficult to put into words the atmosphere surrounding the race and village... The the words I would go with would be: excitement, interest and love for the race. It was just amazing the buzz that just engulfed the area, people were just so enthralled by what was going on. Sailors themselves were held with higher respect than the majority of today's A-listers, in fairness they are currently sailing around the world where as apparently to be famous you just need to release a sex tape... 

Currently Alex is tussling for the lead and the power of the foils are really shining through! Best of luck to them all though as there are 29 different reason why they're sailing around the world!

Vendee Globe race village with Hannah Stodel
This last week at the Vendée Globe race village

ZAPA corner….

I came across a Ted talk many moons ago where it talked about procrastination, a big word and one that most people have negative connotations with. It's also one that I wouldn't describe myself with, nor would anyone you'd ask! However, after listening to Tim Urban's talk a couple of times that negative connotations are melting away, yes being lazy and not productive is an issue, it's a different way of thinking and coming up with better and new ideas. It only clicked yesterday that this was me and ZAPA, by letting the ball roll gently forwards, talking to people, getting advice, I'm meeting some amazing people and learning things that will make it a success. If I went headfirst into it like I usually would then I wouldn't have met a family member who's sharing his hindsight or a mutual friend who can help make this happen... There are of course so many things left to do but here's Tim's talk that I thoroughly enjoyed:

Arthur Conan Doyle column

Here's my Arthur Conan Doyle little column about how I’m finding sponsorship…

I recently came back from France with Hannah Stodel, a 4 time Paralympian who knows a thing or two about finding sponsorship! Sitting in the car discussing what needs to be put in place before taking the next step forwards was invaluable and almost is becoming my roadmap and shopping list. It's as if I have given my literal/engineering mind it's supercharger, turbo and nitrous! Heck you should see what is happening to the man cave 😛

Rehab/Physio corner

Been having a good chat with Hannah whilst having my leg in the air trying to improve my flexibility (my hamstrings and glutes are abysmal)! I've now got more of a plan of how to improve my strength... Now just to work out how to get to Perform in Southampton as I no longer work there :S Still, might just mean I get fitter but not something I particularly look forward to now that winter is upon us!

It looks like I really need to make the most of the off season to get prepared for what ever rollercoaster gets thrown my way next year!

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