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Whilst volunteering on the Isle of Wight in early July, I dropped into the newly opened office of Girls for Sail, the UK’s only sailing school for ladies, with a view to asking about their apprenticeship scheme. I left scarcely fifteen minutes later having paid a deposit for my involvement…

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Sailing with Mike saw the number of days I needed to kill before heading back to Cowes reduce significantly by half, from an initial eight to merely four. Thanks to the fantastic invention that is Couchsurfing I soon found a place to spend the remainder of my time ashore,…

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Having finished Kingsclere’s website in the lovely Gurnard, and with a little above a week to fill before I was due back on the Isle of Wight for the beginning of Cowes Week, an event that felt extraordinarily providential took place. Somebody got hold of me on Crewbay.

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I came to the Isle of Wight through helpx.net, a website dedicated to bringing volunteers with skills who want to travel together with host families in need of said skills with space enough to accommodate said volunteers. The deal you strike is simple, for bed and board you work…

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Jul 19, 2015
Visiting Pete

This is yet another update post that I am afraid I can promise will make for an entirely uninteresting read. Having only recently returned home from Devon, where I was tasked with the job of helping my maternal grandmother reduce her book collection following on from the death of my grandfather, I…

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There is only so much that I can find to say about the unenviable task that is helping one’s grandmother to sort through her possessions and get rid of them, either to the dump or to various charity shops. It was a sad necessity because none of the relatives have room…

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May 30, 2015
Then We Were Two

Today saw the departure of Kyosuke for Europe, so now we are but two- or three, should you include little Eavie the puppy. Last week I said goodbye to Kyra and then Asier, but (re)gained a new recruit in John. John had volunteered on the site previously but in returning he…

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Gloucester held their inaugural Tall Ships Festival this Whit bank holiday, featuring “the brigantine Morgenster, handmade schooner Atyla, Baltic trawler Keewaydin and topsail schooner Vilma”, according to the City of Gloucester’s website.

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The second weekend of my stay here in Mitcheldean dawned with less ceremony than the first. Whereas last week we feasted on pancakes before jaunting off into the forest for a group walk, today I elected to strike off on my own. Breakfast was a sombre affair on account…

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Mitcheldean boasts a micro-brewery, called Bespoke Brewery, which specialises in ‘forest bitters’. This gave rise to Asier and Kyra asking me what differentiated a regular bitter from a forest bitter — were they merely termed such because they were brewed in an area that was largely forest, was it…

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