Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Seeing stars

Leonid meteor shower, November 2009

I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself all day, because in the small hours of this morning, walking down the jetty with a coiled polypropylene rope over my shoulder and my eyes on the stars (looking for the promised meteor shower), my feet went from under me and I ended up bouncing off the jetty and landing on my back on the stones of the foreshore.

I wanted to yell, partly in pain and partly in hopes of attracting Lynn's attention - or even sympathy, this being a considerable drama from where I was.. lying. But I was winded and nothing came out. When I did find some air, and the initial shock subsided, my first thought was that my back was broken and the tide was going to come in over me where I lay - not such a foolish notion, as two of my lower vertebrae are held together with steel screws and I've often wondered whether they would pop out if I really put them to the test - and my second thought was that this was a rather splendid position from which to watch the skies.

Then Lynn showed up, wondering how me and my torch had so comprehensively vanished. She gave me a hand to turn over onto my knees, and eventually to stand up. I seemed to be more or less intact, so we finished off the well-practiced routine of stern anchor and long bow rope to shore, which is necessary when we're tying the rowing boat to the jetty at two in the morning and but require access to it first thing in the morning; and went to bed.

Getting up four hours later to head to the mainland, I felt like an old man and thought, not for the first time, that island life could be a bit of a trial.

And to add insult to injury, we didn't see so much as a single shooting star..

Ah well.
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