Monday, September 10, 2007

Back home...

We had a lovely ten days in Beaufort, a couple of weeks ago... Time scoots.

Amazingly, the kayak never left the roof of the 4-Runner, thus an extremely handsome appendage as we explored the neighbouring countryside, visiting the occasional antique (aka junk) store. I finished my packed three books in three days, thus scarpered quite happily along with FliesWithKiwiBird to all the local second-hand stores (what we call "op shops" in NZ) to find more.

I'm a Ken Follett fan, having met him a few times in the UK, and then brought him out to NYC for a UCL alumni function I organized - so happily downed another of his. I'm also a dead keen fan of Dick Francis, who used to be the late Queen Mum's jockey, and writes a mean mystery based around the British horse racing industry. I've also recently discovered Carl Hiassen, and I get a huge kick out of reading his Florida Everglades-based novels, as invariably they'll be some mention of a place I passed during this year's Everglades Challenge. I also enjoy his not-so-tongue-in-cheek way of exposing the criminal treatment of the Everglades by big business and politicians alike. As I'm a big fan of anything icy and Antarctica in particular, I found a copy of Kelly Tyler-Lewis' The Lost Men. Shackleton's 1914 expedition is an amazing saga, and I've pretty much read everything on his endeavour. In his own book, South, he devotes a chapter to his Ross Sea party, who were to lay the depots for the second half of his traverse. For the first time, Tyler-Lewis' book covers the full story. A good read. Another story that's fascinated me since childhood is the shipwreck of the Medusa. I had the good fortune to see Théodore Géricault's magnificently stupendous and gruesome painting in the Louvre, "Le Radeau de la Méduse", a few years back. I've always wanted to learn the tale behind the story, and found a copy of Alexander McKee's Death Raft. What a tale. I was also lucky to find a copy of The Kite Runner, the first novel by Khaled Hosseini. Another P.D. James sneaked its way in as well. But to cap it all off, I found an old, well-worn copy of Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny - one of those books I've always meant to read but hadn't quite got around to. What a classic. I rang my dad when we got home and we ran through the books - we're big "what are you reading now" talkers - when we got to The Caine Mutiny, he remembered reading it soon after it was published in 1951, and he immediately said, "that was the chap with the marbles". A good memory.

Of course the highlight of the trip was dipping the wee one's toes in the Atlantic Ocean for the very first time! And his very first trip to West Marine, for a bit of hardware for a scheme I have to re-rig my Pacific Action Sail...

3 comments:

Michael said...

Ooooo...aaaaa... looks (reads?) like a fun holiday! Was Andrew pleased with his purchases and toe dipping?

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 said...

West Marine... the atlantic ocean... high sea adventure reads... sounds like someone is planning an adventure to me?... keep us posted... drop Andrew into a life jacket and lets do it...

David said...

Uh, oh. I am found out. No more getting away with my Captain Queeg imitation.