susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Friday 28 pm

Still trying to get to L'Anse aux Meadows. The Vinland Motel recommends I try the Grenfell Interpretation Center - which I do. There I meet G, who suggests coffee. I pick my dry and dusty tongue off the floor at the mention of caffeine and follow him to the cafe on the lower floor. G is a busy chap - Coastguard radio, with a selection of local organisations, songwriter, fossil hunter, beer mat and old comic collector, rider of skidoo, motorbike and a unicycle, magician to children, father of a beloved young daughter.

"Listen!" he says, but I know when I'm beat - he talks for a living.

He can't manage LaM - he's on call - but escorts J and me round the Grenfell House, left intact nearly a hundred years ago, down to Lady Grenfell's silk underslip. It's a house to covet, and enormously expensive to maintain, but it's on the tourist trail. Then on to the Rotunda - the best hospital foyer ever - floor to ceiling ceramic tiles, making huge abstracts of the country, the sea, the people. Unglazed in dark browns and grays, shot through with glazed metallic blues and reds. It's a giant circular sculpture, rather - and we're inside it. I run my hands, blind, over the knobs and fissures on the central pillar. Created late 60s/early 70s, I believe. Of the period and utterly stunning within a very institutional exterior.


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