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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Cripps

Seek the joy: how stupid of me to forget

“Time is short, life is fast, there is not enough time”. Said a million people every single second. Guess what? It is a motion that has swallowed the Rat too of late. This once slow-living, wait-to-watch-the-roses type of creature has had the treadmill speed just a little too high. Even the thought of stopping to organise a child’s b’day celebration was starting to make the stomach rise. Yet, it would seem, ignoring the ‘you do not have time for this’ gremlins and forging forth with the day, as promised, was the best thing ever, all round.

Middle Small has been waiting patiently for the correct time of tide to take three willing friends out on the water as a belated Birthday celebration. Waiting a month is no easy feat for the generation that finds the 24 hour wait for an Amazon Prime delivery an endeavour. Tides, travel times and temperatures had little alternative chance to align before the Spring. Pressure on the parental figures was palpable. Adding to which the preceding day had unleashed 50mph winds, casting doubt on the feasibility of the whole trip - it wouldn’t exactly make for a great party atmosphere to be flung overboard on your first ever sailing venture.

As the day dawned, it was clear that Middle Small's meticulous planning and optimism should never be doubted. The sun shone, the skies were clear and the wind was more than advantageous. The land-lubber support crew, eager to toast to the impending adventure, only narrowly beat the boat to the pub, setting the tone for cheers and laughter that echoed through the day.

With Best Beloved at the helm, and Middle Small leading the crew, the guest sailors enjoyed the their Deben adventure with enthusiastic whoops of joy and laughter - clearly audible from the shore. They delighted in the returned greetings from kindly walkers on the riverbank. Standing, watching, focussing on nothing yet the abundance of nature around and the happy sound of slow-pursuit, the Rat joy-tank was filled once more. As we watched them return, Smallest Small ran to assist, thrilled to play his part.

Yet, no adventure is complete without unexpected encounters. Apologies were owed to a young 'snogging' couple who found themselves on the receiving end of the loud disdain from the 11-year-old social etiquette brigade. “Get some air” was the advice issued at confident volume from the day-sailor.

Once the sailing party were back on shore, it was time for the long-awaited dip in the water. The October temperatures couldn’t stop the newly self-pronounced experts of the tide and they all leapt in. The smiles were everywhere: the gang in the water, the onlookers from the shore, and the Rat. There it was. The realisation of what really matters. Grabbing every minute of fresh air and sunshine joy. Middle Small’s brilliant plan had delivered more than just a day on the water; an enormous reminder of seeking the joy at every possible turn.

That, after all, is what Ratty Golightly has always been about. Seeking and capturing joy. Both in the prints carved in the studio or the stories, words and pictures created for clients. Cheers to Middle Small for the timely reminder and the undying spirit of adventure!

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