1. Eating normally. By this I mean while sat at a table, off a plate, using a knife and fork. Ditto drinking; I miss glasses
2. Walking. The most steps I do in a row is maximum 3 – the distance from the rowing seat to the cabin. Despite all the rowing I’ve developed chicken legs as the muscles we use day to day just to keep us upright barely get used
3. Privacy/ personal space. In every 5 days, I get 24hrs when I am alone in the cabin and it is so nice! To retreat in there and be able to spread out as you wish and not have to spoon around the other person is such a luxury. Also some privacy on the loo would be nice too!
4. Not having your day entirely dictated by what the weather is doing. When we can row, we can row fast, generally cracking out about 4 knots (one of which we then lose to these never ending counter currents). But when the weather decides not to play ball, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it and that for me is the hardest thing to deal with mentally
5. Work. Now I know this sounds weird, but I’m worried about my brain turning to mush. So far I’ve kept it going by reading and podcasts but it’s feeling distinctly underused; there’s only so much mental stimulation Harry Potter can provide and I’m looking forward to having to use my brain again. Also where there’s work, there’s weekends, unlike here where we are essentially working 24/7. Value your weekends people.
6. A proper cup of tea. Not quite boiling water, American tea bags and powdered milk do not a proper cup of tea make. If someone can hand me a nice hot mug of Yorkshire tea as I step off this boat, that would be great
7. Other forms of exercise. I miss my bike, I miss boxing, dare I say it I even miss the (very occasional) jog here and there. The rowing is getting a little repetitive!
8. Basic levels of hygiene e.g. A shower and clean clothes. Yesterday I changed my base layer top for the first time in about 3 weeks and the clean one felt like such a treat. Might try and do that more often going forward!
9. Instant communication. Now perhaps this is a sad sign of the times, but think we all take for granted how easy it is to get hold of people instantaneously with phones. Here our only form of contact is email and often emails cross over so you’re answering questions from 3 days ago. That said, it’s quite refreshing not to be so connected all the time and to manage when you want to hear from people. Emails are a massive boost to us all and I know are much appreciated by all the crew.
10. Knowing what is going on in the world. I miss reading the newspaper, especially with all the crazy Brexit stuff that’s been happening. We’re so wrapped up in our own little microcosm of life out here that it’s going to be so weird coming back to the UK with all the change that’s going on. I must admit I did try to update my The Times app a week or so ago but sadly to no avail; for now the updates I’m getting from family and friends will have to suffice!