I had a little starstruck moment today, which boosted crew morale considerably. I had called Mum, as she’d texted to say that my transponder hadn’t updated my position for a few hours, and I wanted to reassure her that I was okay and to find out if it had started working again.
We didn’t have a very good connection on the satphone, so I was sure I must have misheard when Mum said that Anna Nicole Smith had posted a comment on my blog. This would have been very surprising, as a) I couldn’t imagine why a curvaceous starlet with a penchant for very rich, very old men, would be reading my blog, and b) she’s dead.
[Or at least, I think she is, although after prematurely lamenting the demise of Terry Pratchett last week, I should be careful.]
So it made a lot more sense, although almost equally surprising, when Mum repeated the name: Alexander McCall Smith, author of Corduroy Mansions, the book that proved so wonderfully enjoyable and therapeutic after my trauma with the boat’s defective electrical system a few days ago. It is one of those books that is as comforting as a pair of old slippers, or, indeed, Belgian shoes (you’d have to read the book to understand that reference). The characters bore strong resemblances to people I know in real life, and the book mentioned one of my favourite London restaurants, La Poule Au Pot. It was all reassuringly familiar.
He had written to say: “I’m glad that you are enjoying Corduroy Mansions, Roz. I very much enjoyed writing it and I think that all the characters – Freddie de la Hay and the rest – would wish you all the best in your venture. With warmest wishes, Alexander McCall Smith”
I was chuffed to bits that he had picked up my mention of his book, and had taken the time to post a comment. Thank you kindly, Mr Smith!
After Corduroy Mansions, I started listening to Decision Points, by George W Bush. At the time of writing, the former president has not yet posted a comment on my blog. Re Decision Points, in the interests of full and frank disclosure, I should tell you that I went into it with as open a mind as I could muster, but have to confess that I could not get through to the end. I abandoned the attempt shortly after reading about 9/11.
Conditions today were windy (20-25 knots) and rough, and I was rowing across the waves, so it was generally a splashy and bashy kind of a day. A few ill-timed gusts made meal preparation a rather trying experience, including a very messy incident with some freeze-dried raspberries. But I survived and ended the day a nice number of miles to the good.
UncaDoug – on being outrageous in the Marshall Saunders sense of amplifying influence… that reminds me of a book by Margot Katz called something like “Tarzan and Jane: How Women Survive In The Corporate Jungle” (in which I was mentioned). She described it as “turning up the volume”. In other words, once you find your voice, TURN IT UP. Be yourself, but more so. Today I was listening to “Don’t Eat This Book” by Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame. He has done a fantastic job of bringing attention to the health risks of fast food and the insidious influence of Big Money by doing exactly this. It works. So let’s supersize our messages – it’s time!
Pippa – good delegation strategy. In “normal” life I find Twitter is a fantastic source of tech support. Out here, I have been most impressed by the response to my “damsel in techno distress” plight – many emails and comments offering advice. Much appreciated!
Currin – lucky you, getting to hear from Jane Goodall. I keep getting so close to meeting her, but we haven’t quite managed to be in the same place at the same time. One day, I hope! Also enjoyed your suggestion as to what the fish might have thought when they saw me, compared with what I thought when I saw them. Very amusing!
Karen – if I hear of such a book I will let you know. But it is just possible that there is a book that has yet to be written. I must read JBT’s book. I have been thinking a lot on that subject of oneness/enlightenment, and wondering “so if I did manage to experience that, then what?” It sounds as if her book may offer an answer – hopefully not involving having a stroke!
Marks the Spot – your friend Dave Morss? Karen’s husband? Ah!
Quote for today: The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) (I fear this may be true)
Photo: the last time I was at La Poule Au Pot (with Ellen, a friend from San Francisco)
Sponsored Miles: Thanks today to : Bill Spinks, George Cathcart, Laura Prouty, Ian Hamby, Steve Leahy, Richard Miller, Brad McDonnell.