And then I woke up….. at sea, again. We are cruising slowly along the eastern coast of Scotland, on the way to Harwich, where the cruise started, ten days ago. It is encouraging to not be seasick, as it means I’ve managed to gain my ‘sea legs’, and don’t have to take any more of the medication, which, while effective, has a side effect that can be most unpleasant, and to which I will not again refer….. I know, it sounds pompous and obscure, but, it is grammatically correct, and better than saying outright that which could drive y’all away in disgust…. Instead, we’ll go on….
The weather yesterday in the port of Invergordon, near Inverness, and Loch Ness, home to Nessie, (the world’s oldest monster, having first been sighted in the fifteenth century), was, to put it simply, miserable and cold. The temperature hovered around 38-40 degrees all day, with a wind that reached gusts up to 50 mph. To get into the town, only a couple blocks away from the ship, we had to walk on a pier about 100 yards long, and I almost lost my hat into the bay a number of times. It was so strong a wind, it literally almost blew me off my feet, and I am no lightweight (I’m about 205 lbs, right now, possibly more after 10 days of eating well…. I’m afraid to actually weigh myself…). It also rained in spurts, so I made only two quick forays off the ship, going a bit crazy again buying little stuff for ffolkes back home….
I did get some nice pix of the landscape, and the quaint village of Invergordon where we are docked. There is a small museum just across from the ship, showing exhibits of the history of the town, and of the area. Inverness has long been considered the capital of Scotland and the Highlands, and the port area has a long history of involvement with the royal navy. I got some nice photos, and found more little pieces of jewelry for my daughter, Patricia, and my adoptive daughter, Cheryl, as well as a couple of cute little stuffed Nessies for my grandson, and Cheryl’s son Marcus. (I told you I went crazy….) I also found more magnets, and a nice pocket watch with a Celtic Knot design for myself. I feel like a real capitalist…..
That last comment is about all the rant I have in me, I think, so we should get started on the rest of today’s pearls…. Section one will be for an old-school pearl, two, of course, will be a poem by somebody, and section three will show the photos I got today in port….. Shall we Pearl?…..
The following pearl is of the old-school variety, but much fresher….. The quotes sort of picked themselves, with little or no assistance from yours truly, and seemed to know just what they wanted to say, because it took only a few minutes for it all to come together. The point of it all is, of course, left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader, and please don’t throw anything at me….. I’m kind of run down from all the rich food I’ve been consuming for the past two weeks while on this trip. My stomach, and my brain, will both be glad when I’m home again…..
“A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.” — Lord Dunsany, The Laughter of the Gods
“Patience is sorrow’s salve.” — Sir Winston Churchill
“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” — Frederick Douglass
“In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying.” — Bertrand Russell
“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.” — ee cummings
“If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours…” — Smart Bee
“A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”
Probably the biggest rip-off among all the seriously overpriced stuff one encounters on a cruise is the internet access. The cruise lines have figured out that access is important to their customers, so they will condescend to provide it to them, at a cost that is, needless to say, outrageous…..
I bought the best deal on that access, and I’m paying $0.36/minute. This has been barely enough to get my blog posted each day, with a bit left over for checking email, and reading some of the news. What this means is I don’t have enough time to go look for anyone else’s poetry, so I’m going to go once more to the well, and offer up one of my own for your perusal. I hope you enjoy it…..
Baleful chairs become the enemy, heralded in red
seemingly welcome softness beckons with a smile,
waiting, content with slaughter, they are finally led
screaming in agony, deluged in venom all the while.
Desperate distraction becomes such a friendless fire
for all the patterns of autumn’s pale dismay,
leaving sincerely latent trails in spirals of twisted wire,
while memory insists, again, upon failure, palpably evil, and fey.
Fat, jaded tears would have fallen in good time,
if only the suitable suitor had scaled the garden’s wall.
Credence for discounted prices luckily in their prime
bring only fascinated eyes into such a hallowed hall.
Searching for answers is ever a clever portrayal
with studious accouterments to fulfill each common rule.
Arguably patient pictures of science and honest betrayal
shall evermore languish, in light of passion so elegantly cruel.
As noted above, I got some decent pix of Invergordon, including, at the end of our stay, a local drum and bagpipe band that piped the ship off as it left the dock. I even figured out how to get a few seconds of video, complete with sound, of one of the numbers they played as they marched off. I don’t think I know how to put that up on the blog, yet, but, it was still pretty cool to be able to get it with my new camera…. Any who, here are some of the best shots of the day….
This will be the final Pearl for the trip, and it may take me a couple of days before I can get posted again, as the trip back to SF promises to be a marathon event…. I have someone to take me from London to Heathrow, but then must find my way onto the plane, where I’ll sit, and stand, and sit, and stand for the next 11+ hours to get home. I have a car set up to take me back to Vallejo, but I expect by then I’ll be pretty well toasted, and won’t be feeling much like writing, or doing anything more complicated than breathing and sleeping for a day or three…. So, I’ll say adieu for the time being, and hope you enjoyed these little travelogues as much as I enjoyed posting them…. See ya in a couple of days…… Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.