Hello dear friends,

 

I hope you are well and have been enjoying some slightly more relaxed rules of lock-down, if possible.

I have been rather sporadic with my ‘daily’ posts lately and am horrified to see that my last poetry entry was uploaded almost 1 month ago! Where has the time gone?! This is good in one way as it clearly means that we have been getting busier, as we prepare ahead for reopening on 4th July. There has been an awful lot to think about, plan and implement in order to ensure the safety of our staff and passengers and I am delighted to say that we are definitely getting there, so here’s to 4th July!

However, I am also sorry for the lack of poems – I know that many of you have been thoroughly enjoying reading them and that they have helped people to feel connected and engaged, which is so very important.

So, without further ado, another wonderful poem for you. Today’s entry makes me think of all of the gorgeous wild flower verges which I keep noticing recently…for those lucky enough to live locally, have you seen the ones next to the pavilion on Exmouth seafront? If not, you must plan your daily exercise around swinging by – they are truly beautiful and the benefits for the butterflies and bees are tremendous. I actually have some in my garden too which I grew from seeds inside the house and then planted in a lonely border – they are easy to look after even for a novice green-fingered enthusiast like myself, are very pretty and seem to be thriving which is really rewarding!

 

There is nothing fragile in these meadow flowers,
Strong in communion they strive towards a loving Sun,
Bend gracefully, in gratitude to greet capricious showers.
Faithful to each other they create
a benefice of bold beauty
For us, forlorn creatures lost in cheap desires,
Designs of our own sad, devious devices.
This treasure, triumphant in its strength of faith,
Unveils true vision of a mystic state.

 

Written by Mary Truell

 

I hope that you all have a wonderful week and look forward to sharing the next entry with you.

 

With love,

Lauren X

Good Afternoon and Happy Sunday!

I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying this glorious sunshine that we have!

I hope that you will enjoy today’s poem!

 

 

 

 

Oh to be born on the first day of spring and the first sound you hear to be the birds that will sing.
A soft, gentle breeze blows against your fresh, delicate skin as the blossom starts to bloom your life will begin.
The possibilities are endless, just like white fluffy sheep, you’re new like lamb and it’s time to bleat.
Take in the beauty, go on have a peep, it’s all waiting outside, so go ahead, fall asleep.
In slumber we dream of all that can be, it’s right there in front, it’s there in that tree.
So whilst you slumber in the land of nod the world will keep turning at barely a plod, nature will nurture and plants they will grow just waiting for all that you’re yet to sow.

Written by Maisy Jones 

Take care, stay safe and see you soon!

With Love,

Lauren X

Good Afternoon lovely people!

Firstly, I am sorry for my absence – perhaps this should be renamed ‘a poem every week or so’?! No. I promise to maintain some sort of consistency from now on. I have relocated this week to my seafront office (previously based at our Marina office); I have seen lots of friendly faces passing by (from more than 2 metres away) and it has been wonderful to see some families out enjoying a little more fresh air. Thank you to everyone who has waved or popped by to say hello – you make my day.

So, today’s poem is rather beautiful and seems rather appropriate too, given that we have had lots of reasonably strong winds here on Exmouth seafront over the past week or so! I hope you enjoy reading as much as I have.

Sunday Morning

The wind blew incessantly,
Every new gust the beginning of a question.
The clinking of rope on metal rang out,
Like Sunday bells over the estuary,
And seabirds squawked and sang,
And paddled and poked,
And the wind.
The water was out,
Boats waited patiently for the returning ebb.
Leaving the veined estuary naked.
So dark and bleak and beautiful a place,
And the wind.
And the sky,
She seemed to reach out to the end of earth and beyond.

For a long while I ate my apple watching,
Watching the full water and retreating clouds.
And the wind, incessant.

Written by Liv Middlebrook

 

I look forward to sharing the next entry with you and in the meantime…

Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives.

With love,

Lauren X

Dearest Readers,

 

I hope you are all well today!

 

Today’s poem was written by a local man and is inspired by his experiences of being out on the water.

 

Ode to the Exe

The Exe is special all year round
Seen from the water or on the ground
It’s waters flow from wild Exmoor
Supporting life right to our shore

Winter birds come from far away
To feed in the shallows is their way
Ducks and geese both love the grass
While other birds have different repas

Seals love to hunt and eat the fish
For them it is a different dish
Cormorants too will have their fill
On all except the rare seen Brill

Bass and mullet will try to hide
From Ospreys that come from far and wide
And Mackerel sometimes make a dash
For fry that shoal and jump and thrash

Seagulls squawk and blackbirds sing
As sparrows dart into everything
Mute swans beat their majestic wings
As egrets wait for what summer brings

So stroll it’s banks and cruise it too
Around the Exe it’s like a zoo
Enjoy the sounds it has to offer
Or the sights only it can profer

Written by Keith Cornish

 

With Love,

Lauren X

Good afternoon,

I hope you are all well and like us, are feeling positive following yesterday evening’s announcement. We continue to feel quite overwhelmed by the level of support which people are so kindly showing towards us and in particular, our Lockdown Loyalty Card has been a real hit. This is hugely encouraging, as people clearly share our faith and confidence that we will ride the storm.

I have aimed to remain positive throughout the past two months (no, I can’t believe it has been two whole months either) and this week I want to focus on the silver linings of this adverse situation. As a business, we have managed to achieve much more than we would usually have time for, in terms of maintenance works and as a result, I hope you’ll agree that the boats really are looking smashing – we can’t wait for everyone to enjoy them again!

In addition, we have been delighted to be involved in helping to make scrubs and PPE for the NHS, through the great initiative led by Topsham Sails & Canvas (they are sail makers). Zena Stuart co-founded Stuart Line Cruises over 50 years ago alongside Tony Stuart and as a highly skilled seamstress, Zena has put her skills to good use at this time. Our efforts may feel like a drop in the ocean but every little helps and if everyone does something small, it’s amazing to see what a difference can be made – you only have to glance at the story of Colonel Tom Moore to affirm this. Overall, there have been so many great examples of camaraderie – people coming together and making the best of a bad situation, doing what they can to make good and hearing of these stories has made me feel so proud to be British.

There is no doubt that homeschooling presents a huge challenge to parents and children; working parents who have perhaps been enrolled onto the furlough scheme and are now juggling work and home education, parents with more than one child at different stages in their schooling, children who are missing out on vital social interactions with their friends, the outdoor learning facility businesses who have no work and the teachers who are unable to deliver the rich and diverse curriculum that they had planned for Spring. The challenges and misfortunes are infinite and everyone has been affected in so many ways but as with everything, there are always positive outcomes, sometimes you just have to look a little harder than others.

I must admit, that when I first read these poetry entries sent in from parents on behalf of their young children, I did shed a little tear. Perhaps current circumstances have heightened my emotions but it was truly heart-warming to think that our ‘little’ poetry competition had provided an unplanned, added dimension to home education for children and I am just delighted that so many children show such a keen and intelligent interest in nature and the natural world.

So bravo to the parents for utilising the competition in this way and here’s to the children who have delighted us with their creativity. Do enjoy.

Trees 

Once there was a wood called Willowland
Whoever came in came out in stains
The trees in there whistled like mad
But also like they were really sad
I wonder what the trees have to tell
I wonder what the trees think of us
Maybe they have lots of trust
Or maybe they think we’re all a big fuss
The screaming
The barking
The shouting
But also the wind
The leaves
The fresh air
So I think they have lots of trust

Written by Alfie, Aged 11

Bees

Buzzing surrounds me, it fills my lungs and my mouth
Buzzing, humming, noise
Where I am smells sweet
It feels knobbly and sticky
And it feels though everywhere has a fuzzy thing
A thing that is buzzing
When I came out I dropped on this bright thing
Then one of my family lands on it too
Pushing me off
Fighting, stinging, dying
I feel sticky, almost wet
Now I get the idea
I am free
I am flying
I am a bee

Written by Martha, Aged 9

Thank you to Alfie, Martha and Kate for sharing these wonderful works with us and keep it up!

 

With Love,

Lauren X

Dear readers,

 

I hope you are still keeping well! I think we are all looking forward to hearing an announcement this weekend about how we can all start to get back to normal but in the meantime, another beautiful poem for you to read! You may notice this was written by the same author as the last entry – both are wonderful and today’s poem feels particularly poignant as I am sure that you, like me, are missing dear friends and family.

 

The world in which we live in,

Is being turned upon its head,

A nasty ugly virus,

Of germs are being spread,

 

We can’t see our friends and family,

That’s what hurts us more,

No hugs to give, no hands to hold,

But they, re in our hearts for sure,

 

And if there’s an occasion,

when you can’t see your special friends

Keep them in your hearts a while,

You, ll have hugs when all this ends,

 

Keep thinking of your friendships,

The memories you treasure,

All the fun and laughter,

And the love you cannot measure,

 

So however long this goes on,

We have each other in our hearts,

Stay safe, dear friends and loves ones,

Will see you when this virus ends xxx

 

Written by Julie Haskell

 

Take care all and I look forward to sharing the next entry with you.

 

With Love,

Lauren X

Dear readers,

I hope you are keeping well?

I must first and foremost apologise for my absence for the past few days (although it is very presumptuous of me to assume that you have missed me!). Time is passing in a very strange sort of way, don’t you think? On the one hand, we are experiencing life in the ‘slow lane’ – which, by the way, has many wonderfully positive associations. But on the other hand, things in the world are happening so fast it feels almost impossible to keep up.

I continue to distribute my monthly newsletter via email and some of the feedback which I have been receiving from readers has been just lovely. Some of my writing has sparked conversations with readers via email – stories of historic family holidays in Exmouth, tales of boat trips with Stuart Line Cruises some 40 years ago and so on. These stories are wonderful – I just love reading them and I was delighted today when I received one such email from the very same lady as the author of the below poem.

Anyway, back to the real reason I am here, which is to present to you today’s poem. The theme of this poetry portfolio is of course nature and the aim is to make you smile. The following poem definitely made me smile and I hope it does the same for you too.

 

The World of Stuart Line Cruising – well, what can I say?
If you like an adventure, then come along for the day,,

All manner of trips on the river, and sea going ones during the year,
From Torquay, Sidmouth and Exeter, a favourite is to Countess Weir,

The Dartmouth Regatta, The Air Show, Teignmouth, Dawlish and more,
Fireworks, Santa and mince pies, something for everyone for sure,

The Exeter Canal is a must, full of history and plenty to see,
If I had to choose a favourite, this is the one for me,,

The info is forthcoming a plenty, the staff are as lovely as can be,
Wherever the boat takes you, is a joy for everyone to see,

So next time you visit Exmouth, and you’re looking for something to do,
Visit Stuart Line Cruises together, they’ll have a perfect trip for you xx

Written by Julie Haskell

 

Take care all, stay safe and well and here’s to resuming boat trips as normal.

 

With Love,

Lauren X

Ahoy there, sailor!

 

How are you today? Another drizzly start but brighter this afternoon and the gardens are looking so much better for it!

Today’s poem is rather lovely, drawing upon the notion that if we could just stand still for a moment. Breathe. Stop. Look. Listen. Then we could all feel so much better as a result. I like this notion.

I don’t do these things anything like enough but when I go for my daily walk later on this evening, I promise to look and listen to the natural world in which we are so lucky to exist.

Nature

Stand still for a second and let it touch your face;
The fierce icy wind that chills your bones,
The warming spring sun that caresses your cheeks,
The persistent rain that washes away falseness.

Stand still for a moment and let it permeate your mind;
The sweet smelling honeysuckle that lightens your mood,
The snow that freezes with icy, clean fingers,
The drying seaweed that pops beneath your feet.

Stand still for a minute and let it drop onto your tongue;
The salt flung through the air by a turbulent sea,
The gentle warmth from a refreshing April shower raindrop,
The sweet surprise released by an early autumn blackberry.

Stand still for a while and let it lift up your spirits;
The tuneful song of the courting birds,
The gentle call of a vixen to her cubs,
The enveloping rustle of the wind through deciduous trees.

Stand still and let it seep into your soul;
The spectrum of colours offered by a single view,
The seasons changing landscapes in their entirety,
The wonder of the natural world in all its regal finery.

Stand still and be blessed.

Written by Jo

 

Thank you for your gorgeous words and sentiments, Jo. Lots for everyone to think about.

 

Take care and have a lovely evening.

Love,

Lauren X

Hello!

I hope you’re keeping safe and well and feeling chipper, despite the rainy weather!

Today’s poem was written by Jennifer and was inspired by her wonderful memories of Guided Bird Watching Cruises with us – happy times.

GREENSHANKS

Grey ghostly birds hunt sticklebacks
in streams that flow
through borderlines of estuary mud.
They hunt alone, wading the shallows
with their long green legs,
a melancholy tread.
So many of their kind fly south for winter
that the ones who stay behind
are almost shadows at dawn and dusk,
silently haunting the half-light.
Until their high-pitched piping cry
repeats a warning loud enough
to wake the dead of night.

Written by Jennifer Keevill

 

Take great care of yourselves and until tomorrow…

Love,

Lauren X

Good afternoon, dear readers!

 

I hope you are keeping well.

 

Today’s poem is short and sweet and really tickled me! For those who may not be aware, this makes reference to the selection of ales which we serve on board, from Exeter Brewery. Their most popular ale is called ‘Avocet’ and this is without doubt one of the reasons that we chose to stock them! They are also absolutely delicious…

 

Our cruise down the Exe was outstanding
With many bird species a’landing.
“Avocet” Said a man
“No I’m fine as I am,
I can see so much better when standing”!

Written by Jane Penton

 

Thank you Jane, for making me smile.

Take great care of yourselves and I look forward to sharing tomorrow’s entry with you!

 

With Love,

Lauren X