11th January: Above the Sahara


On our way back to the military airport to catch our plane back to normality, we passed a new attempt at growing trees. A camp of sad, waist-high conifers hunched right over and dead on one side. They could be useful if you needed to know the direction of the prevailing wind ā€“ except that you never would, because invariably the same wind would be clutching at you, also shaping your body into a lopsided hunch.

But right now, though, Iā€™m flying through a very different kind of air ā€“ miles above the Sahara desert with the icebergs still gliding in my mind. The journey back with the others ejected from the land of whiteness is crackling in my brain. Watery molecules of memory are slowly forming in the strata of my brain. Dancing through the night in the hot, rolling bar, of the Earnest Shackleton. Staggering drunk and dripping into the frozen moonlit air. Alone on the deck with the ghost-blue icebergs, drifting silently through a black and bottomless sea.