I gotta say, I’m actually pleased that I did not see this coming.
I gotta say, I’m actually pleased that I did not see this coming.
As long as one did not nod off for too long.
10. Dame Edith Sitwell would start her day’s writing lying in a coffin.
The hurricane is coming tomorrow. I have found that when I try to experience a hurricane when it is actually upon us, I don’t get to see very much. Wind and rain, fog and cloud. Often you can’t see across the street.
So I went down to the harbour today. Hours before the storm, though reports indicated there would be waves. It certainly was cloudy. There are new docks at the Container terminal, and one can go out (or so it looks) almost a third of the way into the harbour. On a cement walkway which is fenced off from the terminal itself.
Had I not known a hurricane was coming, I would have noticed little change. The white caps which are always present at one of the points of the shore were longer and higher. There was a lot of stirred-up vegetation in the water, and a noticeable number of jelly fish. In an hour I saw but two sea birds, one cormorant and one seagull. One ship went out and one ship came in. There was no excessive wind, and though the clouds roiled more than usual, not by much.
As I stood standing, one of the huge trucks which move the containers came to a roaring stop behind me. I though this odd as there were no container ships at berth. The driver apparently wanted to talk.
“Are you going to jump?”
I assured him I was not.
“Well – the only people I see standing here are fishing.”
He was on a break and had time to kill. All the while listening closely to the two-way radio which exploded information from his cab, he nattered away. There had been higher and numerous white caps two hours earlier, but they had calmed. The small container ship I had seen leaving (and I wondered where it might be headed, for it was obviously a coastal vessel) was going to the islands of St-Pierre et Miquelon, a small group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland and Labrador. He wished the boat well. So did I.
He talked some more (commenting, for instance, about the terrific view from the cab of the gigantic cranes). But he now had to leave.
“I have to change the fours and threes into twos.”
“Pardon me?” asked I.
“For the storm tomorrow. Where we have containers on the dock stacked three and four high, we have to level all the stacks off to two high. Don’t want the wind knocking them over.”
I couldn’t tell which ship had left port, but I did note the one which scurried in. It was a Research Vessel, the Western Patriot. And damned happy (I would guess) to have made it to port.
When In Rome!
an Abyssinian (I made her),
a Brataslzvian (he was worst),
a Cannibal (uh-oh),
a Colombian (smoking hot),
a Cynic (she didn’t believe the Canadian),
a Druid (he prayed for the Dominican),
a Fool (ha ha),
a Helgolandian (he was and gone),
an Iraqi (they three went into a bar),
a Lush (one in every crowd),
a Monster (them is the odds),
an Olympian (he was game),
an Opportunist (coulda been me),
a Pole (he vaulted over the rest – *joke*),
a Québécoise (I’ll never forget her / Je me souviens),
a Russian (great dancer – he had the steps),
a Southerner (I melt when she says ‘Y’all) ,
a Transvalanian (out for blood),
a Vulcan (he was eerie),
an Xanaduian (and on her dulcimer she played),
an Xaverian (he shot daggers at the Dominican),
a Zarahthustain (thus he spoke a lot)
The Canadian won the first game.
Alison Alexandra seems destined to edge me even further.
In There Was A Time, Oh Pilgrim, When The Stones Were Not So Smooth, I currently find myself writing about a wedding ceremony where the bride is dressed in a tuxedo, as are all her attendants. She is a fashion designer, and has created a line of female tuxedos. She is unveiling them at her own wedding.
An excerpt from: The Bonner Prediction – a NATO thriler, for International Dog Day. Louie is a Cane Corso, adept at both defence and attack. In this scene, he has earned (trust me) a little down time.
05:14:31 ZULU Time
“I’ll sweep the house.” Bonner puts the keys on the dining room table.
“That’s fastidious.” Bess looks at her watch. “It’s a quarter past one in the morning. Who’s going to visit?”
Bonner gives her a closer than usual look to make sure she is kidding. She winks and sets out to find dishes. He stops her with a hand on her arm.
“Are you familiar with NATO safe houses?”
“Nope – never been in one.”
“Don’t try to use the back door.” Bonner points through the kitchen. “It’s wired with explosives.”
“You call this a ‘safe’ house?’
“Makes it safer for us.” He removes his hand. “It will explode if someone aggressively attempts to break it down.” He smiles. “We can also detonate if from here, if necessary,”
“But this wasn’t your idea?”
“No – alas.” He starts away with his handheld. “But I approve.”
The house is conventional in its layout, ready for a family. She wonders if there are families any more. If these buildings have been relegated as guest accommodations, she doubts either diplomats or military travel with a family.
She removes the food from the containers and places it on dishes. As she puts them in the microwave, Bonner passes with his electronic handheld. She thought he might give only a cursory search (no one can possibly know they are staying here) but – no.
The walls, the light fixtures, the electrical outlets, the appliances, the taps, the windows, the doors are all given a sweep for tell tale signs of transmission. The doors are closed and their locks are tested. As with any place of sanctuary, every room can become a ‘safe’ room. If this dwelling is like others she has experienced, the windows can even withstand an RPG.
When Bonner is finished, he goes to the cupboards and removes napkins. On his way past the fridge he takes out a bottle of wine. He shakes his head disapprovingly.
“Screw top.” Bonner carries the wine and napkins to the table. “Not the usual standards of NATO.”
“I was planning on Sprite.” She looks toward the kitchen as the microwave beeps. “NATO lives it up while we Swiss live in parsimony.”
“If NATO inclined towards having us live it up, they would have put us in more graceful accommodations.” Bonner twists off the cap. “At least it’s white.”
“Where’s the dog food?”
“They’re a tidy group. I bet food will be in the kitchen.”
As Bess takes the food from the microwave and hunts for plates, Bonner searches for dog food. Not only does he find a bag in the corner, together with a foil pack of dog treats, but there are two shiny, new, metal dog bowls – one for food, one for water. Bonner guesses that a member of the supply personnel is a dog lover and raided the stores of the guard dogs.
“Two scoops.” Bess is putting the salad into a bowl.
“What about treats?”
“After.” She looks at him. “I bet you don’t have kids, either.”
“Nope.” Bonner puts two generous handfuls of food into the dish. “I’d make a lousy father.” He runs water from the tap then fills the other bowl. “There’s time.”
“Not that much time.” Bess takes their food to the dining table.
“Ouch.” Bonner has little interest pursuing this thread. He opens a cupboard and takes out two wine glasses. “Louie is fed and watered.” He carries the glasses to the table. “And now, soon to be us.”
Bess looks over to Louie. He is attentive to her, but also has side glances to the kitchen. She waits until he is only looking at her, and then makes a hand gesture.
Louie is out of the room before Bonner can pick up the wine bottle. His claws clatter across the kitchen floor, quickly followed by crunching and the scrape of the dog bowl on wood.
“He’s not going to savour, is he?”
“Nope.” Bess takes her wine glass. She is about to take a drink but stops. She extends the glass toward Bonner. “It’s been a night.”
“But our wee family is safe to home.” Bonner clinks her glass. “Though Louie’s table manners could be more refined.”