Friday, March 27, 2009


Change is inevitable; nothing can stop the process. Even in the womb before we are born subtle changes take place until after nine months we emerge into the world in the form of a disproportionate mini-human with a large head. As we continue to grow our proportions subtly change so that by comparison with the rest of our body our head would appear to decrease in size. In fact our head grows larger, but our body grows proportionately larger.

Change is everywhere, but perhaps it is best typically represented by the changing seasons. Just now, the spring flowers and blossoms are cheering up the scene. They remind us of the life cycle. In their youth their colours are scintillatingly gorgeous, but as spring fades so does their beauty until they crinkle and putrefy into ugliness far removed from their former glory.

A change is a panacea for getting out of a rut or for beating ‘the blues’. We deliberately employ this remedy to stimulate the mind; that’s why we love taking a break from the workplace by way of a holiday in a location removed from the familiar. In the past my wife and I have had the privilege of visiting different countries to break the routine and open the mind.

The current ‘Credit Crunch’ and the global financial downturn are bringing about vast changes in people’s lives, particularly those in the poorer countries of the world, countries where there is no welfare state to cushion the effects of unemployment and loss of income. Some are profiting from the situation, like cobblers whose businesses are flourishing, and property speculators who are snapping up bargains as apartments and homes come under the hammer. The rich and the powerful seldom suffer to the same extent as the poor, while both polarities of the community experience unavoidable change in the form of situations beyond their control. The rich, providing they have spread their monetary income resources, will remain rich, while the poor can only expect to get poorer.

When I look back over my life I realize how fortunate I have been to have owned many different small sailing boats. Boat ownership continues, despite the economy, and indeed, owning a boat could be seen as an investment for the future as the fiscal situation improves, for surely it will, because history shows that the pendulum of change swings first one way then the other.

My latest acquisition is a 1977 Seawych 19 sloop with considerable more accommodation than ‘Faith’, my 14’ Paradox. Because ‘Ladybird’ has been well looked after by several owners she is in remarkably good condition and I am looking forward to changes she will bring to my sailing experience, particularly being able to share her with others for their enjoyment as well as mine.