11th January: Above the Sahara


On our way to the military base to board our plane back to normality, we passed a new attempt at growing trees. A huddle 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.

Right now, though, Iā€™m miles above the Sahara desert with the icebergs still gliding in my mind. The journey back, with the other stragglers ejected from the land of whiteness, is crackling in my brain. Watery molecules of memory are slowly forming in the strata of my mind. Moments becoming images. Dancing late into the night in the hot, rolling bar, of the RSS 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.

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