Since our last blog in February 2020, who knew we’d be locked down, having treatment revised, hunting down toilet paper and pasta, shielding, paddling virtually with wrapping paper or umbrellas, not seeing family or friends for long periods, wearing masks, sticking swabs up our nose, being hugely grateful for a vaccination, and watching a lot of very old TV programmes…
In between last spring’s heatwave and this winter’s beast from the east we have had many zoom meetings, zoom social get togethers, zoom fitness sessions and zoom secret santa. We have missed seeing each other in person but have managed some socially distanced walks and paddles: in Canadian canoes on the Oxford Canal, O1s at Secklow and in our own dragon boat in September and December (more on the boat in a minute!).
We have also had a big welcome from Dorchester Sailing Club who have offered us somewhere to paddle in the winter where we don’t have to worry about high river levels, we’ll return to the Thames for the summer.
We’ve had some changes and are really thankful for all the hard work done by Sarah, Jen and Trudy as Trustees. Sarah and Jen stepped down as Trustees due to illness, and we very much miss Trudy who we lost in November. In a cancer community and team, we share this sadness hand in hand with friendship, support and fun.
At Dorchester Sailing club on a cold sunny Saturday in December we welcomed our beautiful new boat Kintsugi. The regulations meant we could take her straight from Dan’s trailer onto the water for a socially distanced maiden paddle! Kintsugi is the first dragon boat of this kind in Oxfordshire and is our very own! The silver scales and name looked stunning with the reflections.
During that first paddle we remembered Sophie and Trudy, all those who were still unable to leave their house, and alongside these sad feelings, a true gratefulness for having our own boat, being able to be together, and a real heartfelt joy in each and every paddle stroke. We hope we’ll soon be inviting you all along to dot the eyes and celebrate together! Paddles up!