Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The return of The Pirate

High Tide00:30 (2.60m)
Low Tide06:23 (0.70m)
High Tide12:33 (2.90m)
Low Tide19:01 (0.30m)

Sea Temperature: pockets of cold and warm drifting about so impossible to tell
Sea conditions: calm with a good swell
Weather: still, brooding, Himalayan style clouds on the horizon
Joined by: not a soul

Topics of conversation:
Welcome back to The Pirate, who is delighted to be home, despite having had a wonderful holiday in Oxfordshire, attending the Folk Festival near Thame. Although he returned yesterday evening he couldn't wait to swim till this morning and had a quick dunk at very low tide last night. Normal service has now resumed.
DK battled his way home last night too, through the trail of devastation on the East Coast of the US, left by Hurricane Irene. We didn't expect him this morning, a rest is certainly needed after a journey which included roads blocked by fallen trees, driving cross country, through fields and floods and having to squeeze through a gap in a stone wall to get out of Middletown. No phone, power, internet etc. but, surprisingly, the flights were not delayed and they made it safe and sound home to a sleepy village slowly being deserted by second homers and holiday makers. Clearly The Pirate has been suspended in a wonderful world of folk songs and campfires, as he hadn't even heard about Hurricane Irene...  
One of the other bonuses of the festival was a presentation by Pat Ryan, who writes about the origins of the stories of Shakespeare, he is currently a research fellow at George Ewart Evans Cetre for Storytelling and he told the original tales from Scandinavia and Italy that were the inspiration for Hamlet and King Lear. They were supported by performances from Bruce Alexander and others. We talked about the power of storytelling and The Pirate's potential as such as well as the aural tradition of myths and legends. Storytelling is one of the things I miss most now that I no longer teach full time and the excuse to wallow in reading myths, legends and fairy tales many times in order to be able to tell them to a class, rather than read them aloud.
Folktales were on my mind as I finished A Summer of Drowning before my swim this morning, it's been an interesting juxtaposition over the last couple of weeks, reading about boys drowning in Norway whilst swimming with boys of norwegian ancestry, but in a good way!
We agreed that the water was cooler, however not as much as Mertz claimed on Monday. He's vowed that he's had his last swim and has packed away his trunks but we refuse to accept that summer is over, despite all the signs to the contrary. DK, The Pirate and I will not stop here. September is a good month and we have plenty of sunny mornings to come, even if the water is cooling...

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