Many months planning.
Many meetings had.
To get to the start line was a real pain in the ass!
5 months of prep time.
3 months of training.
Would that be enough?
Who cares? Let’s get on and try it!
165 miles from Bristol, it was
To London: our destination, our homes and relaxation.
Our journey fraught with many challenges,
Not to mention: locks, Devizes, illness and capsizes.
The river was long and winding.
It felt like London was never arriving.
We battled against the wind, rain and changing terrain;
Finding some hidden gems along the way:
islands, inlets and sunsets we did;
Little presents to reward us for the miles that slid.
The repetitive motion of paddling this air-filled beast;
Was beginning to take affect on our bodies towards the end of the week:
Blisters, chaffing, cuts and bruises.
A little discomfort for the pleasure to do this.
It wasn’t much longer until London was in sight.
An urban metropolis with lights so bright.
The river was wider with more and more traffic,
slowing us down as we got excited.
It wouldn’t be long until we met Putney Bridge.
The final destination of this 9-day trip.
With a mile to go, the finish line in sight.
We grouped together and held our paddles up high.
The journey was finished.
The challenge complete.
We deflated our boards and put them to sleep.
Marcus Samperi / Feb 2017
Cue the referendum with a simple question:
Leave or Remain the European Union.
With no right or wrong answer it was set for June,
A difference of opinion, oh man didn't it boil over!
A horrible campaign of fear, smear and half truths
to convince the electorate to follow their views
Of which direction the UK should take
At the cross-roads described as the
most important to date
On the morning of the 24th it was revealed
that the British public had voted to leave
Resulting in a vacant number 10 and
calls for the opposition leader to enter the den.
A country with no leadership, weak opposition
and no clear plan
An EU that wants us to do all that we can
To leave as swiftly and as quietly
without causing distress
To the other member states
who want to get on to create
A unified Europe with common goals, trade
and free movement of people
The very things Britain helped to create.
Our country is now broken
Our nations' divided
Our population is fighting
And, our political parties are disembarking
Our proudest moment is not right now
Our flag is being stained by the minority
who have blown
This situation out of all perspective
Choosing racism, discrimination and xenophobic behaviour
To try and destroy everything that the country can be proud of:
a multi-ethnic, diverse and accepting society
Where people live in relative harmony
Looking out for each other no matter their
race, nationality or sexuality
Remember in this uncertain reality
we are all connected via our love for the country
Let's rise above those who wish to divide us
Stand shoulder-to-shoulder in an act of defiance
To show our ruling party we will not let
this referendum destroy everything that defines us.
To unify and heal our nation and country
and regain our United Kingdom.
[Marcus Samperi, June 2016]
In loving memory of the recent passing of Kathleen Turvey and Carmela Samperi:
Your battle has been lost,
Your flame has gone out,
Your teachings remain
and, your love still rings out,
It’s early days since you passed away
into Heaven where you will stay,
Watching over us with your caring gaze,
Guiding us in all the right ways,
You will live on in our hearts and minds,
your influence never far behind.
Thank you for all that you have done,
Now rest in peace, your time here’s complete.
With this I would like to say,
our love for you remains the same.
Now take your place through the pearly gates,
and we’ll meet again at some later date.
Goodbye for now, God bless and don’t distress,
the family is strong and will lay you to rest.
[Marcus Samperi, 2015]