I finally did it - I moved out of The Barn.
(Okay, technically I only half moved as everything went into storage
and haven't actually gotten a new place, but let's not split hairs.)
So yes, I moved. Success!! Two exclamation points fully earned.
In order to celebrate the fact that I had managed to do this very
normal thing that people do all the time (and they do it without banging on about it for
months on end), I jumped onto a plane and headed for Europe. I've been
considering moving back over to that side of the pond and I thought this would
be a good chance to check it out again and see how it felt to be back in my old
hometown of Brighton.
It felt brilliant.
I was only able to spend a couple of days in England as the real reason
I was there was to join up with a group of friends who were all off on a
sailing holiday around Greece to celebrate a big birthday. My former flat mate
W is a fabulous person and it seemed only fitting that we spend an entire week
celebrating the fact that she exists.
There were 9 of us on the 51foot sailing yacht that we'd rented from a
very, very dodgy company out of Greece. They definitely stitched us up with the
boat as pretty much everything that could go wrong with it, did. A few times
when we anchored in a harbor, the harbor master would come out, see the old tub
we were knocking around in and laughingly ask us if we'd like a little extra
help because he was only too aware of just how poorly the damn thing ran.
Still, she was our rusty bucket and we loved her.
There were 5 cabins on the boat so I was sharing with my friend K.
She's pretty much the perfect person to share a tiny 4 foot x 6 foot x 3 foot
space with. She's calm and funny and lovely and she doesn't snore. Every single
other cabin had a very loud snorer in it, so I felt pretty smug that we'd
managed to get the only non-snoring cabin. That is, until K informed me that I
snored. Oops. I blame the fresh sea air.
We had a great time, sailing around the Ionian Islands for 7 days. It
was also of a reunion of sorts as a few of us had been on a similar sailing
holiday on the Amalfi coast. Considering that only 5 years had passed, the
dynamic of the boat had definitely changed. Over half of the boat had children
now, some multiples and there were two engagements in the works. Instead of
staying up until 5am every morning, dancing and drinking on the dock, we were
mostly tucked up in bed by midnight after (quite) a few sedate drinks on the
To be honest, I liked the change. I'm notoriously bad at staying up
late and after getting baked by the Greek sun and wind all day, I was
practically passing out before I made it to the bunk! Plus, these early nights meant
not having to deal with murderous looks from the neighboring boats while we
were kicked out of yet another harbor for excessive noise. I still can't go
back to certain ports in Italy. Good times though. Damn good times.
- Italy, 2007
We had a little bit of everything on the trip. Hot sunshine, crazy
stormy seas, swimming in secluded bays and clinging for dear life onto the side
of boat as we tried to navigate through a storm we'd inadvertently sailed
straight into. I even suffered a terrible sailing related injury. Or I sliced open the skin between my finger while washing dishes. Whatever sounds more dramatic, that's what I did. As the first aid kit on the boat was about as rubbish as everything else, I opted to pour gin on the wound and bind my fingers together in hopes that it would heal. Thankfully, between the gin and the X-Men bandage, I haven't developed gangrene. Yet.
It was, without a doubt, one of my favourite holidays ever. Ever, ever. And it made me realize just how much I
miss life with my Brighton friends. Although I'm always 'myself' and I sincerely
loved (and miss) my friends in Santa Barbara, I'm a far more relaxed and laid-back
version of Kara when I'm in Europe. This is definitely something I'll be
bearing in mind as I try to figure out just where in the world I should live
over the next few months.
Next up: Cannes. I'm off to France now to play the WPT National Series
there before returning to the USA to get stuck into the WSOP.
Good luck to the CR guys out there already!