Friday, December 20, 2013
Evanston: a wonderful world; a far from wonderful world; buying British; the eye of the needle
Thanks to the BBC, and to James for the link, I unconditionally guarantee that you will be delighted for two minutes by clicking here. Have your sound on.
My copy of THE FORBIDDEN ZONE arrived late Wednesday.
It is a slim book and could easily be read at one sitting. I did it in two, reading The North yesterday, and The Somme this morning.
Mary Borden stands with the very best writers of WWI. I agree with Malcolm Brown who says in the forward that coming across the book is “the literary equivalent of finding a gold mine while rooting for gold dust.”
There are sketches and five stories, one of which is “The Blind.”
Malcolm Brown uses a word I avoid, ‘genius.’ The book is, I think, unforgettable.
In one sketch, ‘The Beach,’ a man is sitting with his wife on the beach just outside the hospital where he is being treated. We know he has lost at least his foot and may be further mutilated. His wife is young and beautiful and he is thinking that he should set her free, but knows he can’t. She glances at him, seeking the man she knew and fell in love with but can’t find. She tells herself she must keep on loving him, but doesn’t know if she can.
This is not a wonderful world. The variable is obvious.
I’ve written that war is a failure of the imagination. Reading THE FORBIDDEN ZONE is a cure.
I’ve spent about $2000 in England this week.
I’m sure that those of you there are appreciative of my boost to your economy. The least I can do for the pleasure of watching the EPL.
A little more than half went to Oceanbrake for the Jordan drogue, bridle, attachment plates, shipping. I don’t recall ever before spending a thousand dollars on something I hope never to use. (If you are wondering, I only had a life raft when Carol sailed with me.)
Slightly less than half was for a Yellowbrick 3 tracking device.
This is a reversal of what I wrote on August 31.
I’m not entirely sure why I changed my mind. Part is my responsibility to Carol. Part a desire to play fair and let others follow me at sea, as I have enjoyed following them underway. Part is the ability to provide prior notice of arrival to officials in other countries as is increasingly being required. And part is that the Yellowbrick should be a non-intrusive, set it up, turn it on as I go to sea and forget about it device.
The main reason I chose the Yellowbrick over the Delorme inReach is battery life. The secondary reason is lower cost of service plans.
I will not use the Yellowbrick to communicate with anyone other than Carol and governments. I will not be sending or receiving email. I will not be updating any accounts, not that I have one with Twitter or Facebook anyway.
I still think that those of us who venture offshore have no right to expect society to save us from trouble of our own making, and do not expect to activate an alert, although I suppose if I were in intolerable pain, I might. That I will have that capability causes me some unease, as though I’m violating an important personal principle. Perhaps you understand.
If anyone else observes irregularity in GANNET’s track and initiates a search that I have not requested, I will haunt you for the rest of your days. And beyond.
I bought the Yellowbrick now so I can test it on GANNET in February.
Sewing is a sailing skill.
I stitched many sails until a sailmaker advised me that for passage repairs contact cement is better. I’ve done a good many other repairs to dodgers and lee cloths and clothes. That was when I could see with both eyes.
Yesterday when a button fell off my shirt, I got the sewing kit and discovered that threading a needle one-eyed is a comedy routine.
It went on too long and I ceased to be amused, but the button is back on the shirt.