Að leggja höfuðið í bleyti

Að leggja höfuðið í bleyti , “To lay your head in the water” is an Icelandic saying which means to take some time to think about something, to look at a problem from a different angle or in a new way to find a solution.

I have spent the last 8 days in Iceland for Sea Shepherd documenting the whale hunts that occur here. Specifically the Fin Whale hunt. My college, Eleanor and I witnessed four of these endangered animals being dragged by their fluke up the fjord, winched on to the slip and meticulously butchered.  It’s been a real hard week. We have spent hours in the car on watch, taking turns to sleep, desperately hoping the hunters come back empty handed. The Fin Whale hunt has no research or scientific argument to it. The meat taken from the gigantic bodies by this small group of humans (led by one stinkin’ rich egomaniac….(He reminds me of a certain heartless Entertainment Park owner)) will serve no scientific or cultural purpose whatsoever, it will simply be sold to Japan, for shed loads of money.

I won’t lie to you friendzz…(mainly ’cause riddle me this: what would the point of a blog if I did?) this week I really did feel overwhelmed with sorrow and I did struggle. And I feel a bit silly admitting that, like “boohoohoo” “poor me, a privileged white woman sitting in a car in Iceland typing on my laptop”, but I really can’t help how I feel. Sometimes, pretty often, …okay daily, when I think about the shite, the violence, the injustice and most heartbreaking of all, the sheer apathy that continues to pervade our little rock, it just feels exasperating. But…. *deep breath*… life is to short, and there is too much to do to dwell only on the glum so I would hereby like to give thanks for these three developments, because they are just spiffing and have surely put a smile on my dial.

Number one is: I’ve had such a lovely response to my wee blog, thank yee one and all for taking the time to read 🙂 I was wondering what exactly the point of a having a specific blog would be but thanks to you lovely friends of mine sharing the link etc, I have had friends of friends reach out to offer me help, which is a bloomin’ big deal (as previously mentioned I need ALL the help I can possibly get). So, for example, a friend of a friend (and now a bona fide actual friend of mine) works at a Media consultant firm and she emailed me to arrange a meeting. So, a massive, huge, mega thanks to Christine and intern Beautrix of Studio Graphene for our wonderful meeting. They shared loads of their pro tips, and knowledge of marketing and social media in this crazy tech age we live in. I can’t really repay those ladies for taking the time out of their hectic schedule to help me get the “free Morgan” out, but they shared so many fresh and new perspectives on the problem, I endeavour to put what they taught me to good use and do them proud.

Number two: Before I left for Iceland I had an email back form an agent of a celeb, not the actual celeb themselves but but still had me happy dancing around Tariqs kitchen like a loon…a darn tootin’ happy loon. But not much else to report re the “#letters4morgan” but that’s okay cause I have a shed more to write and send off. I’ll mention no names, much as I want to cause maybe it wouldn’t be fair, maybe it would? Maybe I should? Hmmm, I won’t, for now, I’ll just be happy with the knowledge that at least on of the first batch made it in to the hands of someone real.

And number three: This was the week that Dr Ingrid Visser and one Mr Matthew Speigal spoke to the European Parliament about the unjust sentence Morgan now serves. This is a massive step forward and months in the planning. To have such an important stage to speak on Morgans behalf is so exciting, not only from Morgans corner but because there are countless non-human persons who have, like Morgan, been let down by the current CITES system. We will hopefully get an update on how Dr Visser et als presentation went in the near future.

I have spent many hours thinking and writing while watching over Hvalfjördur (Whale Fjord). Iceland seems like a great country and one day I’ll return to explore it proper. But here, just so we all on the same page, I have distilled…(que dramatic music)… “The Plan”.

Always listen to Joy

My granny, Joy Wallis, always used to say, “you don’t ask, you don’t get”. I don’t think that’s an original quote from her but has always stuck in my mind. I think that’s what half made me write to Wolfgang to start with years ago and has kept me sending postcards to him. That and the unyielding rage simmering deep in my belly. That rage was first ignited when Megs told me about Morgan one quiet afternoon in The Station. I couldn’t and still don’t understand how her situation has come to be. It’s just so utterly shite. The postcards have helped quell the rage to a point…somewhat…kinda, and while I’m not gonna stop sending the postcards to Loro Paque, they *clearly* are not enough.

It is time to harden up the gear.

I am lucky enough to crew sometimes on one of the most glorious sailing Barges known to human kind, her name is ‘Edme’ and she is magnificent. We raced the Medway Match this weekend and had a cracking good time of it. The truly great thing about Edme in this hectic old world we live in is she hasn’t got an engine so when we go places we can only get there as fast as the wind will carry us. It took us a full day sailing to reach Queensbough from Brightlingsea and it took us a day to get back. So once the gear was set I got to sitting back, stroking the various dogs on board and thinking. Obviously I spend a lot of time thinking about Morgan and what it would take to get her back into the ocean. It’s gonna be a big ask. I have tried asking Wolfgang nicely ….and admittedly not so nicely but it seems that whole avenue is really a non-starter. What Morgan needs is some really loud voices in her corner. People who are difficult to ignore, people who other people listen to. So I, with the help of the others on board, made a list of celebrities and I set to writing them to ask if they could help free Morgan.

I wrote to 13 of the biggest names we could think of and I figure I’m gonna have a butt load of time available to me over the next few month, what with all the bus, train, ferry, plane journeys ahead so I’ll write some more too. I kind of think if even one of these people was to tweet about Morgan it would help a tonne.
I was chatting to the lady in the post office when I went in to buy the stamps, she asked me what I was up to and I explained, ohhh you know just trying to free an Orca and I really need help so I’m asking the big-wigs, and then she asked for the money and as I handed her the money I explained what granny used to say and she said “Precisely my dear, the worst that could happen is they say no and you haven’t lost a thing……except for the stamp money” and we both had a chuckle and then, right then, over the radio came “Born Free” by Matt Monro and I stood and stared at the radio a bit till she asked me if I was okay. I was, of course, I freaking adore that song so much, almost to obsession it was just one of those special little moments,   I love when timings in life add up like that. I really thought, blimey, every penny on these stamps is money well spent if we get Morgan her freedom back.

“Stay free where no walls divide you, You’re free as the roaring tide, So there’s no need to hide,
Born free and life is worth living, But only worth living, ‘Cause you’rrrre borrrrn frrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeee”

WHAT. A. TUNE.

A sign of the times ;)

Got me some hefty sails to adjust, will need all hands on deck for this thankyouplease 🙃
#letsfreemorgan I have one month till I land in San Francisco and then will be making my way to Superpod on San Juan Island. 💃 I got me some learning to do 🤓 I’m so so excited and nervous and scared and happy.