Tell us about what you have been doing during Covid-19?

Have you eaten out in a restaurant? What was it like?

Have you been on holiday?

Have you taken up a new hobby? Or learned something new?

Have you been exercising?

Have you been able to see your family? Or keep in touch?

Tell us about yourself and how you have been keeping busy.

Jenny, Sixtyplusurfers

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I have had to shield as I am classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and so I took to going out for walks at 4am last year. The air was beautiful, birds were singing extra loud and all was wonderful. I took photos of all the roads I travelled along and then when I got home, I put them all together into a short film of my walk and posted it on a local facebook page. It turned out that there were hundreds of others like me and they all went on my virtual walks and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Another thing I really worked on was my book. Well its actually four books. It is a Sci-Fi / Fantasy series. None of which have been published or even submitted, but it was the writing that really inspired me. To be able to go wherever I wanted to in the world I created, create adventures and a purpose to the whole story arc and let the book be about what I love to read. Book four is now 200 pages (The other three are all just over 400 pages long) So it is well on its way and I think this will be the last in the series. Though two characters have really inspired me to consider writing their story as well. Its fun and really uses my brain as I let it create the story. Hope I haven't bored you, Cheers.

Hi Alan, that's fabulous you have been able to do so many different and rewarding things.

Making your own Facebook page about your walks is a great achievement, and it's lovely to hear that people have been on your virtual walks.

And the book writing is amazing! Good luck with Book Four!

Jenny :)

Thank you

My friend who I served in the Royal Navy with over 40 years ago had been refurbishing an old boat that he found rotting away in Ramsgate marina 5 years ago, formerly renamed 'Rakes Retreat' by previous owner TV celebrity Hughie Green, the boat was in a sorry state and lifted out of the water onto a low loader and taken to St Olaves boat yard for refurbishment. Tony estimated 18 months for the refurbishment but this turned into 5 years when the enormity of the task hit home. On researching the boats past it was found to have been commandeered by the Royal Navy in 1940, fitted with a gun and used as a harbour patrol boat in Poole untill the end of WWII. The boat now renamed to her original name Estrallita also to part in operation Dynamo bringing back troops from the beaches of Dunkirk. On the 5th August 2021 Estrallita was lowered back into the water at St Olaves boatyard to start her maiden voyage to the VE/VJ commemoration being held in Poole on the 15th August 2021.

I was lucky enough to be invited as a crew member onboard Estrallita for her maiden voyage but unfortunately we were unable to complete our journey to Poole due to bad weather and high winds in the English channel so had to take refuge in Ramsgate marina for a week. We were unable to attend the VE/VJ commemoration but our crew member Michael Hawkins travelled there by train to meet the officials who organised the event and supply them with documents and research about Estrallita who would have been star attraction on the day being a Poole harbour patrol boat. We were made very welcome by Ramsgate RNA committee and members at their social club and met the Mayor of Ramsgate Raushan Ara while having a meal in a restaurant. We were also raising funds for the charity Combat Stress via a just giving page we aimed to raise £5000 but have raised over £700 so far.

There is a page on Facebook called 'Rakes Retreat' which tells the story of our trip with photos and Tonys epic 5 year renovation with step by step repairs he had to do to bring Estrallita back to her former glory!

That's amazing. Thank you for telling your story and sharing your wonderful pictures. Jenny x

Now thats a project! Well done!

Thanks Alan

Thanks Jenny

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