"Christopher spots four red cars in a row on his bus ride to school, making the day a Good Day. Christopher explains that he ranks the day according to the number and color of the cars he sees on his way to school. Three red cars in a row equal a Good Day, and five equal a Super Good Day. Four yellow cars in a row make it a Black Day. On Black Days Christopher refuses to speak to anyone and sits by himself at lunch. The school psychologist, Mr. Jeavons, points out that Christopher’s system surprises him since Christopher is so logical. Christopher says he likes to have an order for things, even if the order isn’t logical. He acknowledges it makes him feel safe. He says Father puts his trousers on before his socks every morning because it is his order, not because of logic."
— Spark notes: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
A narrow road snakes its way up the hill from the harbour — we’re on St Helena Island, 1690nm from Cape Town —we follow it to the top and stop to catch a glimpse of the cold Atlantic Ocean cradled between her breasts. The swell is gentle and rolls in slowly while a bank of clouds hangs over the water like an albatross.
Everything is still, but we’d rather be back on the boat.
I smile like The Cheshire Cat when I look back at these photographs.
I smile because
(a) I took them — which means I was out there. We were out there. We crossed the Atlantic on our 43’ sailboat. Crazy. There were times when I wondered why we were doing it. It was rough. We kept watch each night for weeks — without sleep — dodging squalls with wind gusts upwards of 35 knots. The days were not much better. We had a following sea and we could not let it catch us.
We had to watch our back.
We couldn’t slow down.
"There are perfectly good aeroplanes," I said to Robb one night after throwing the cockpit cushions down the companion way (for the third time) and slamming the hatch closed so that the torrential rain would not flood down below and then quickly grinding in the genoa sheet before the sail could be mauled by the wind, "there are aeroplanes."
"But I’m scared of heights," he said and smiled while his knuckles turned white with his grip on the wheel.
Just because we live on the west coast and you all live in the future, doesn’t mean that I can’t post a St. Patrick’s Day post today. It’s only been a week. Or seven days. And nights. Oh, OK. I’ll get to the point.
These are pottery coasters that I took got from my Mom. They look like large green pottery Irish coins, well they are large green pottery Irish coins. We had them at home in the living room that was only used on Sundays or on special occasions like Christmas, or Sundays or when it was really cold and we all wanted to sit by the fire. There were more of them, but they broke. Not then, but after I took got them.
The condensation from my ice cold glass of white wine would trickle down the stem like a raindrop and make the base stick to the coaster. I’d pick up the glass to take a sip and the coaster would follow, but not for long. It would drop like a boxer after a smack to the chin, roll like a penny towards the skirting boards and smash.
A glorious summer (yes, no rain) with my uncle and aunt on their barge. We sailed from their home in Shannon Harbour, past Clonmacnois to Athlone, on up through Lough Ree and to the north, to Enniskillen. We caused quite a stir along the way and especially through the locks, it was a tight fit.
I can’t remember where we were tied up when I took this photograph, but I can remember the smooth velvety Guinness, the sharp, nutty cheddar we had with lunch, plates of steaming mashed potatoes dotted with butter, asparagus wrapped in ham and the sweet smell of Bushmills as we all kissed goodnight.