What stands out for me when I think about the time we spent are bright moments.
Watching seals and otters sunbathe on rocks during a ferry crossing. Making coffee for us both in the tent every morning at sunrise. Catching my first wave. The sheer pleasure of swimming in warm water. Laughing with new friends. Sunlight. A cerulean blue ocean, again and again. Rain hammering on the tent roof whilst we slept. Freewheeling downhill with the wind behind us. Watching the sun set over the ocean every night. Playing music and singing in utterly random places. The feeling of closeness. The constant sound and rhythm of breaking waves.
It was beautiful. And it was easy. And we got sunburned on all but 2 days out of 17. There was zero phone signal. No internet to be found anywhere. This was not a bad thing. All in all we covered around 400 miles, roughly half of which was cycling. We visited 9 different islands. And we camped by the ocean each night.
Each day we’d wake before sunrise. I’d make coffee for us, then I’d meditate and work on music and Jen would read. We’d break camp a few hours after waking and start moving. We stopped wherever and whenever we wanted. We took little ferries between the islands. We drank more coffee. Ate the greatest home-made cake in the world. Read a lot. Had beautiful and weird conversations.
At the start of the trip we bickered a bit, not really being used to living day to day with each other. Then on the fifth day we had an argument proper. We resolved it under ‘Our Lady of the Isles’ and didn’t quarrel again. Some shit had obviously built up that I was unaware of and we needed to work it thru and get it out of our system. In some ways I am massively sensitive to my emotions and inner life; in other ways, I feel like a deaf mute groping his way in the dark.
All issues resolved, we were beautiful and a lot closer than before. There is nothing like living in a confined space whilst working hard as a team to bring you properly in sync with your person.
I did music most days just for my own pleasure and wellbeing. I would sing in the mornings, or if there were any suitable gaps in the day. I would play at night on the beach.
I love the process of making music this way, with no result in mind. It’s like drawing in the sand with your toes. The ocean washes it away. The only thing that’s important is the actual moment of doing.
Nights were peaceful and beautiful. Except the one in which I was repeatedly woken up and ordered out of the tent in to check that we were not surrounded by Killers, Thieves, Demons and/or Pirates. (It got old after the third time, when it started to rain). This was how I learned that: telling Jen horror stories before bed time was unwise.
The last place we traveled to was the island of Tiree where I hired a wetsuit and surfboard and caught my first waves.
I surfed every day we stayed.
(This is me catching my third wave. Ever.)
Just when we started to feel like: we would like to be home now, our time was up. So we came home.
Bean (my cat) was glad to see us. She blissed out and drooled a lot. (She drools to express ecstatic happiness).
Since I have been back I have been squaring stuff away from the trip and easing myself back into music. The pieces are there, they are growing, this is a joy to me. I am looking forward to the next 6 months.
All in all this trip, was a little slice of heaven.
Here is a Heart Shaped Wave for you.
Big, Ocean Sized Love.
My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist. If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music. Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.
Also, every month I send out a newsletter packed with Interesting and Exclusive Things. If you sign up today you’ll also get 3 FREE tracks of my music as a welcome gift.
And lastly, if you’d like to find out what I’m up to on a more day-to-day basis then here is my brain on Twitter: