susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Inside the scroll of papers, which include sailing notes from another couple, is an elaborate invitation to join Gunter and Jeanne d'Arc for coffee and brandy, for the following evening. As we expect to be leaving in the morning, I go, with apologies from J, to explain after supper.

And as you will guess, I stayed for coffee and brandy that evening! G is Danish/German and Jeanne d'A is Quebecoise, and they live in a single storey clinker built house, the last house before the sea. It looks like a boat dragged ashore, dark red ochre coloured, ensigns flying, surrounded by bits of fishing stuff, for G is a sailor.

I am invited onto the bridge - full of an eclectic mix of allsorts - I could spend several days just looking at all the things on the walls, floors, windowsills. I spot a dentist's chair and feel at home. And a caribou head, shot and butchered by G & J. J makes her own cod liver oil and says its brandy for the morning.

In winter, the snow reaches more than halfway up the windows. The front door is a stable door, and G has to shovel the snow away through the top half, the bottom staying shut all the while. They have a pet gull, Harry, who will come into the kitchen and otherwise hangs around outside, staring in a meaningful way, until he is fed.

We yarn the evening away, spinning enough to make jumpers for the three of us and some over. I tell G about a boat delivery via Helgoland and the Kiel Canal - and it's where he spent his youth. We solve the world's problems and talk boats. G is ebullient, J d'A quieter.

J d'A gives me a small drapeau de Quebec and a lucky stone with a natural hole in it - I have since put it on my plaited bracelet. Also a larger stone for J, for his boat. I wore the flag twisted in my hair.

I think my lucky stone only works on the boat, because a fishing net snared my ankle, twisting it, and tearing a hole in my knee on my way home in the dark. Nope, not the drink, because it tried the same trick this morning (6 August) in daylight and sobriety.


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