I rarely plan adventures. They just happen to me, swooping round corners and whopping me in the eyeballs.
Here I am ! Look at me!
And there it is, the adventure, full frontal and blocking my path.
I could, of course I could, step around it. I could cite a whole gamut of plausible and dull reasons why I can’t take this adventure by the hand and let it lead me astray; like it’s nearly lunchtime for instance, or I must catch this ‘dry’ for a load of wet sheets, or it’s only Wednesday and nobody adventures on a Wednesday.
But, I say, and but again, the best times I have had in my bonkers life have been spontaneous adventures, when logic is wheeched over the fence leaving ample room for imagination and emotion to fill the inner void. Then, and only then, does the adrenaline fizz like bubbles in my veins and my head feel light as goose down. I never get that fizz hanging out the sheets.
Yesterday we were planning to turn left. The day had arrived in its customary shapeless grey but as we walked the little girls through the woods that climbed into the sky, we noticed a patch or two of blue. Avoiding as best we could, the manic desire to search for more, we found a bridge with fast-running peaty mountain water and looked down to play Pooh Sticks. We went under the bridge and sloshed over the slippy rocks, and climbed up the banks till our knees were brown as caramel and we were dizzy with giggles. When we looked up again the day had shucked off the shapeless grey and the sky smiled blue and gold and warm.
So, instead of turning left for home, a sensible lunch preparation and an even more sensible change of trews and wellies, wet on the inside, (overly enthusiastic Pooh Stickery), we turned right and headed up and over the hill on the skinny track that first laid itself down, hundreds of years ago, beneath the feet of animals. We turned up the tunes and sang our way up and down again, stopping only to remove a jumper or to admire the view or to encourage a mother and lamb to step onto the verge. We passed by the little school shed with its beach hut stripes (The Square Rainbow) and turned down the track to where the little ferry would take us over to lunch. We pulled back the slide to reveal the red square, and the little boat cast off it’s moorings and began to move towards us.
Lunch, as I have said before, is a really delicious experience at the Boat House. The welcome is warm and gentle, the food superbly prepared and presented. We sat outside, watching the seabirds, and eating fresh prawns and I don’t mean those piddling shrimps most people understand to be prawns. I mean island prawns, big and meaty and you only need four to be quite filled up. The bread was straight from the baking oven with a lovely crust, the salad crisp and fresh and the dressing delicious. But, it is not just the food that makes this place, run by Becky and Emma, so very good. It’s the light in their eyes, the passion and enthusiasm for their business, their island welcome, their no-fuss-about-anything attitude. They think outside the box. They don’t say NO. In fact, there is not a single NO visible on the island – such a joy to see in a world where NO is the most overly used word in all public places.
On the way home over the hill, past the Square Rainbow, we stopped to buy fresh strawberries from a roadside stall with an honesty box. It was the last bag and as we put our money in the little till, and I saw the amount of cash already there, I thought…. how wonderful it is to adventure, to take risks, whether it be leaving an honesty box by the roadside, or opening a restaurant on a tiny little island or simply by turning right instead of left.