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Hummingbird - One month to Christmas

Dear family and friends,
Whatever time zone you are in, you would have no doubt woken up today to the realisation that Christmas is just a month away. Now, whether you are excited or totally sickened to the pit of your stomach by this thought, 25/12 approaches and with it, comes the promise of a present, or presents, depending on how good or greedy you are or deemed to be by your loved ones.

Anyway, if you have found yourself struggling in the lead up to the day of great paper shred, thinking along the lines of:
- “Say, I wonder if Fraser would like a new pair of Merino wool pants this year…”
- “Hmm, Rachael could really do with a pull-up bar affixed to her door this new year…”
- “Would Erika like more wool so she could knit me a jumper instead?” (if this sounds like you, you might need to revise Dickens)
you might find this post particularly helpful.

Everyone knows or has a spouse or mate who contemplates starting divorce proceedings over the way your hold yourself in your sleep (get your mind out of the gutter, people), who gets a bit frisky at the suggestion of having to share a fluffy passionfruit soufflé (bloody preposterous that, cheeky git) or goes blind from the fury of having to replace the toilet roll yet again.

Yet, 3 weeks on a 60ft boat with 11 others in relentless heat has a remarkable ability to distil and perhaps distort such irritants. For example, hearing your cabin mate snore is an excellent sign he is alive and available for a deck action should squalls gang up on us; great consideration is exercised so that the last frozen mango is split in twelfths so everyone has a bit of relief whilst toiling with Mer-Pass overhead; and you don’t even lift an eyebrow when the drinks order coming down the companionway is “two milky teas, one milky coffee milk in first, one mint, one special herbal, and please fill up this bottle”.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are making good progress towards Nirvana and therefore enjoy very simple pleasures in life and seek to be kind to each other. Today, at the hour of 1 in the second phase of the day, I approached the heat-stricken souls powering their own little segment of the boat and asked them what they really, REALLY wanted once they got to St. Lucia. These are the responses:
- Holly: being able to walk further than 18 metres
- Jen: Icy lemonade
- Erika: lemon sorbet gelato
- John: Pina Colada, a good one
- Tony: a litre exactly of beer
- Michelle: a beer and an ice-cream
- Cui: three large beers
- Fraser: beer in the yacht club with fellow ARCers
- Chris: a pint in a frozen glass and something else he cannot tell me about
- Nicky: a glass of champagne and a podium finish (as soon as the sun went down, she changed her mind about the “iced water” wish)
- Rachael: bathing in G&T
- Myself: Nothing has changed – I still want a puppy.

Let us refresh our minds with the image of our spouse/ parent/ mate / colleague before they embarked on this trans-Atlantic journey. Would you imagine in just three weeks, such a spiritual transformation was possible? Would you recognise this robe-clad, glowing and peaceful individual lugging 20kg of unused foulies and foul used clothes behind them as the walk through the arrivals gate at the airport?

I sincerely hope this news of renewal will help shape your present-shopping ideas. However, I would also like to request that you be patient with us as we really are trying our best to purify our minds and souls, and everyone is travelling on their own path at their own VMG to enlightenment (with the people at the bottom of the list in particular, needing more time and devotion to their meditation).

Therefore, if when presented with an icy lemonade, your wife dramatically lowers the atmospheric pressure of your immediate surrounds and winds change, might I suggest you remind them of their time on the ARC, or immediately pacify them with something found in list 2 (see below), whichever will you feel will save your relationship.

Happy shopping and good luck!

List 2:

A year’s supply of Gordon’s Pink Gin – new pair of prescription sunglasses – an investment property in Tuscany – a new pony – a trip to Fiji – Garmin’s newest activity tracker – La Perla smalls – a drone cam – ballroom dancing lessons – an IWC – a hot-air balloon ride – a major boat repair job – a new kitchen – a pair of men’s socks made of the finest unicorn hair – Grand Stand seats at the F1 race of their choice – books on mindfulness – a voucher towards another R3 trip.

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