susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Jack emails me:

He's read the blog.
He hs taken out a contract!

See why I love him?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Flying over Newfoundland

On the way out, I flew over Labrador, with Newfoundland gleaming silver across the Straits of Belle Isle.

On the way back, I flew over Newfoundland at night. It was tucked up and invisible, sleeping under a quilt of puffy cloud. Once, I made out lights twinkling below - Cornerbrook? - then gone. Newfoundland seems to do that - appear and disappear into the fog and cloud. I bade farewell through the tiny aircraft window, flexing the inner pane as I pressed against it, trying to see through the blanketing cloud, as we exited over Twillingate and flew out into the darkness, over the Atlantic Ocean.

So, what's it like to be home?

It goes without saying, I am thrilled to see children and grandchildren again - and the dog, of course, though he's not quite yet speaking to me ... the hens don't give a squawk.

However, once back in the old surroundings, the tedium of ordinary everyay old style living was and continues to be - hmm - just tedious . Too many possessions, pieces of paper, dirt, too many people - so, whether at sea or on land, there are the boring bits. What I miss is the simplicity of it all. I knew I was going to like being a water gypsy - and I did, and I do.

There's also that funny 'time' thing. Less than a week back home, and the summer seems like a distant memory, or something I read, or something someone else did - which is true. Summer was surreal, but so equally is returning home.

I've only been able to 'settle' back because I have a couple of projects resulting from my journey, and the prospects of running away again. I've been looking at boats for sale like a loony, with no money to buy one! Such mixed feelings ...

I'm fitter, slimmer, blonder and rejuvenated - before I left, I felt as if I was wading - literally and metaphorically - through a life of sludge. It's been one of by far the best things I've done in and for my life. Might sound a bit over the top - but it's so. One of the reasons might have been because I was able to be just me - not mummy, grandma, ex-wife, ex-partner, sister - liberating in the extreme.

Leaving, on a jet plane

For the third time in a week, I catch the train up to New York - this time with my bags. The time has come to say goodbye to this side of the Atlantic Ocean and a summer of travelling from the south of Chile to the north of Canada.

New York is lived at a manic pace. When I try to get meaningful information about getting to JFK airport, the answering gabble, even when repeated, turns to nonsense by the time it reaches my ears, and total mush in the brain. Eventually, dragging and carrying two heavy bags up and down various stairs, I find a tiny office in a corner of a waiting room. Ticket? I enquire. They dont sell tickets, and my face drops. I dunno what to do - I need someone to hold my hand in this vast and echoing underground maze of a concrete tomb. So they take pity, and lead me to a bank of machines. I have no dollars, but credit cards are a wonderful invention. I am then bodily turned in the direction I need to go, and pushed off on my way.

On the train, the lady in the next seat is talkative, and incomprehensible. She's speaking English, but so fast, with such a strong accent, and the noise of the train - the combination is impossible, so I grin like the loopy foreigner - no, alien in this country! - I am. She looks pleased. I feel like an exotic in this country. People really do love the accent! And they all think I know the Queen. They are most impressed when I say I have seen her in the flesh, and her husband, and a couple of the kids.

I check in at the airport - no liquids, no toothpaste in the carry-on, and even shoes have to go through the scanners. Which is why I'm wearing my now-faded pink gummybears flipflops. I'm taking a couple of books and a handbag on board. How strange, to call it a handbag - so formal, for such a scruffy little red bag full of old receipts.

The flight home is the usual - force feeding, anodyne films, dozing in a variety of squashed positions. Used to that on a boat, though. As we approach Heathrow, landing gear down, runway below, the plane gives an almighty wobble. High-pitched, broken scream of fear from passengers - and for that split second, we know we will die that terrible death. But we're down, and safe. We wont be an incident.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Turning tricks

Lest I forget:

J: "Wanna do a trick at the wheel?"

Me: (gobsmacked) "J! A gentleman of your years and character, propositioning the crew?"

Yeah, yeah - course I know what it means - just thought I'd run it past you!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I only open my mouth to change feet

'Great pants!' says a well-upholstered woman, grabbing at my trouser leg at the art fair.

'You can have 'em,' is my deathless reply. 'They're too big for me.'

Fortune cookie

"Let everyone hear your great singing!"

You have been warned. It's currently "Wonderful Tonight" after that concert last night.

The Bush needs trimming

Overheard - not everyone loves the President. Why not?

PS - I dont need to explain irony, do I?
It's like steely, coppery, tinny ...

New York, New York

So good, I've been there twice this week. It has the same, but different, vibrancy, noise, people and colour of Hong Kong.

First time was a couple of days ago, to visit the Museum of Modern Art, with my nephew Tyler, and friends of my sister-in-law, Heidi. Got a bit of a glut - so many famous painters, so many famous paintings. Decided I didn't like Picasso's women - they always look fed up - but continue to like Magritte - sooooooooo black, he's funny. By the time we all got to the modern modern art, I appreciated the impressionists - they put thought and work into their paintings. The latest stuff, well, a large canvas painted blue, ditto khaki, ditto black, ditto red - all by different people. I feel I've done something similar on walls, but never felt I could claim it as art.

"They're taking the piss," I muttered to Ty, not wishing to offend the surrounding afficionados.

"I hope so," he replied. "At least it would show humor." (sp. - he's American.)

Then we had to hurriedly avoid a bit of red string leaning against a wall. I thought it was marking the site of a future installation, but no, that was the installation. Ho ho ho.

Americans at play

Tonight (Saturday 30th Sept) Heidi and 3 nephews and I went to see Eric Clapton in concert at Madison Square Garden - ah, the smell of the marijuana, the roar of the immense crowd! The music was great, of course, but too loud in the upper registers for my sensitive ears. I poked my fingers in them, and then I could listen without wincing - and enjoy. Actually, I was using my brother's ticket, but not because he had an attack of brotherly love. Poor chap has a nasty cold and felt too rough.