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Shooting the Breeze

Where have I been you may ask?

Apologies for the sudden silence before Christmas, as you will see from above I got myself into a bit of a pickle, falling and breaking my ankle. I couldn't get to my workshop and all work stopped, as it was my 'sewing foot' (and yes the consultant in fracture clinic did honestly think I sew with my foot!)

This was a bright, dry, crisp Sunday in January, my first venture outdoors. It was flippin' chilly hence why I look like the Michelin Man. We didn't get very far around the Waterside so sat in the shadow of Brunel's iconic bridge which spans the River Tamar, the natural boundary between Cornwall and Devon.

Sat with me is Ann Glanville a Cornishwoman from the 18th century who gained fame rowing a four-oared watermen's boat. She was born in Saltash in 1796 and married John Glanville, a waterman. They had fourteen children. When John fell ill, she continued her husband's work to support the family.

She formed an all women's crew (famously dressing in white caps and dresses) and competed in gig rowing competitions around the country. At one watched by Queen Victoria, they beat an all-male crew. In 1833 the story goes that they beat the best ten French male crews by 100 yards in Le Havre. However another story says the French refused to put up a team so Ann's crew rowed against a male team from the Grand Turk. The women won! She continued to row competitively well into her sixties and in later years would banter with sailors as she rowed around warships at anchor off Plymouth.

A truly inspirational woman who I fear would not have been impressed by my inactivity over the last seven weeks. So I'm back, the pneumatic boot is off and that foot is itching to get sewing again!

More on Ann can be found here


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