tiistai 26. huhtikuuta 2016

Long weekends

Fluffy, friendly wallabies with fluttering long lashes. They move awkwardly, tentatively on the ground when they're not jumping. They grab my hand to get better access to the little pellets I am feeding them, they crowd me, they let me pet them ever so gently. I speak to them like people speak to babies. It is the most startling, joyful experience. Later on they can be seen laying on the ground on their side or sitting with their back against a tree trunk in shapes that bemusingly mimic humans. 

We see so many beautiful beaches, I lose count of them and forget their names. The memory sticks, though: the force of the waves, the crashing sound, water pulling away, sucked back in, fresh droplets pulling up sand and mixing into a frothy whirlpool that takes the colours of aquamarine and milk chocolate. We watch the surfers riding the waves, falling off their boards and wading back in. Such is life here by the beaches, the two constants: just as surely as the waves will come in and gnaw at the coast to then pull back out, so will the surfers go in day in day out only to come back in. They're not trying to get anywhere and that's what makes it so transfixing.

sunnuntai 10. huhtikuuta 2016

When the sun goes down

This is the farthest I have ever been, this is nearly the farthest one can go without leaving the planet. It sounds more momentous than it feels.

 What a darling little place. The streets are dark, half-asleep. I don't know what it is, but something smells like sweet, sweaty, tangy pine like the wood shop in the basement of my primary school that used to make my nose itchy. Maybe it's the eucalyptus? The ample layer of cinnamon-coloured bark on the ground? And the constant smells of a summer holiday just about to begin: insides of campervans that haven't been used all winter, airing out the lighter summer linens, flowers quick to bloom and fade in the rapid heat. Crushing sun-bleached shells under my espadrilles, like pulverizing baby teeth. My shoes get wet, the water is warm. I think of sharks and then turn to cross the beach, my back to the sun. I feel lucky, I feel present.

perjantai 11. maaliskuuta 2016

Stavanger, Norway

Bright Nordic winter sun. So high, so bright, so cold. Blue sky. Freezing Lysefjord, water turned into white foam at the back of the boat as we propel further in. Hot chocolate, frozen toes - your hands pushing mittens on my feet for thawing. Salmon farms, frost on your upper lip. 

A mezzanine to crawl into for an afternoon nap, the sun blazes through the window and we snooze on coarse blue linen sheets. The toilet runs, the party goes on downstairs, my skin flushes and itches, but we're okay, we're in love.