It rains. And rains. And rains. And rains. Yes, this beginning is remarkably similar to the chapter ‘In Which Piglet Is Entirely Surrounded By Water’. Except unfortunately, this is written in the first person. That would be me. Or the damp version of me.
“Let’s go north!” they said.
“As quick as we can!” they said.
“No!” said I. “There is too much rain up there.”
– blank stares –
“Let us noodle slowly up southern New South Wales. Let us wander Pittwater, explore Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie, the Nambucca River, Camden Haven… Enjoy the journey rather than focusing on the destination.”
“But muuuu-uum, we want to go to ISLANDS. Proper islands, with white sand…and turtles! And COCONUTS.”
The problem, I have realised belatedly, is that the rest of the crew are jaded seafarers. No longer content with weather being a balmy 20℃ with water temperature to match, or the noodling exploration of the coast of New South Wales. They have turned their flat and calculating eyes north, and can barely be persuaded to examine anything else. Especially if it’s not an island.
Meanwhile, I am Piglet, entirely surrounded by water. And I mean entirely. It is around me, below me, leaking through the hatches on to me and falling from the clouds above me with unrestrained enthusiasm. The washing flapping outside all over the rigging is having the fifth rinse since being hung out with a hopeful heart, and looks sadder with each one. The solar panels exist as mere decorative rectangles and the generator is our lifeline.
I think of Jean, of Belinda, of Melissa – each in their lovely houses. All of them probably think they would love to swap places with me, fanging up the coast on a catamaran. And they probably would, for the first two days. It would be the third day that would break them. The damp. The inability to open the hatches for fresh air because: DELUGE. The crew niggling at each other. Sticky floors…
Their tolerance, I suspect, would be far lower than mine BECAUSE THEY ALL HAVE LOVELY HOUSES. I have a small wet caravan back in the land where, if the temperature cracks 14℃, there is a celebratory feeling in the cold, cold air. More to the point, if I had a lovely house, I would probably be in it. I don’t have anything against Winter, as long as I get to control the extent to which I am exposed to it. Winter is a time of cold clear skies, woodfires (though polluting), soup and mulled wine.
That last sentence? That is what I very much hope I will be experiencing this time next year. Which will naturally coincide with a Winter in the north having minimal rain and consistent southerlies. Don’t care, because I may have somewhere to plug in my slow cooker. And might’ve even found a job.
Cutting the rope from the propeller.