When we left Carina to move ashore at the end of the summer, we entered a new phase of our lives. After almost four years on the Rio Guadiana, the time had come to make a more permanent commitment to Sanlúcar de Guadiana. The move ashore also seemed like the ideal time to start a new blog.
I started writing the Carina of Devon blog in early 2012 to document our lives aboard our beloved boat. For seven years I have written of the joys and frustrations of our family of four living aboard a 36-foot Westerly Conway. I’ve written of the places Carina has taken us, the things we’ve seen and the lessons we’ve learned. I’ve written about culture, history and education, about our growing daughters and about our family experiences.
It’s been wonderful. Along the way I have met fellow bloggers (sailors and otherwise), I’ve been invited to appear on radio and television programmes, I’ve been interviewed by journalists and other bloggers and my advice has been sought on everything from anchor chains to caring for small children at sea. The blog has allowed me to keep in touch with far flung friends and has introduced me to new ones. Julian has contributed stories of his own experiences aboard Carina and it’s been wonderful for me to occasionally read about our life as seen through his eyes.
Reaction to my blog posts has often fascinated me. Some of what I consider to be my best writing, where I have written from deep in my gut, has been generally ignored by readers, receiving only a few views and no comments. Other posts, that I’ve thrown together in haste with barely a thought to content or quality, have received high praise from readers and many comments. Clearly, what I like to write and what my readers like to read aren’t always in tandem.
Over the past year and a half, however, I have grown less interested in writing regular Carina of Devon posts. There are other things I want to write about, other directions I want to go with my writing, and this blog is not the place for them.
Moving from Carina into a house in Sanlúcar seemed like the moment where an obvious line could be drawn under the Carina of Devon blog. For some months I have been working on a new blog called Me in Place, which I am now ready to send out into the world. Some of the themes of Carina of Devon will carry on. I will continue to write about living an unconventional life, raising children off the beaten track, environmentalism and living life as an outsider. But, as the years go by, I find myself reflecting more and more on my own upbringing, on how life in rural Ireland shaped who I am today, and I hope to bring more of that reflection into my new blog. In addition, the new blog will feature regular book reviews, and occasional recipes and ideas for living a simpler life.
Carina of Devon will still be here, and I will continue to respond to comments and contacts through this blog. However, this is my final blog post on this site. I hope you will continue to follow me on my new blog. Simply click the follow button on the home page or follow me in via my various social media platforms. I look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you for being my loyal readers over the past seven years. To those of you who have made your presence known with likes and comments, I thank you for letting me know that my writing moved you in some way. And to those who read quietly and anonymously, I know you are there, and I thank you. I hope you will join me on my new writing endeavour, Me in Place.