Friday, May 16, 2008

the prodigal returns

It's growing dark outside on the sea, but I'm currently on the boat's
wrong side to be able to see the lights vanishing off to portside, so
I'm not sure if we're still tacking up the East coast of Scotland
heading for North by northwelcome, or if we're actually out at sea.

I'm going back to Shetland, bless my great good fortune. Can't wait.
Can hardly believe that I'm being given the chance to come back here.
Or there, since technically, I'm not there yet. And yes, it's still
grey out there, just like it was back last August/September/October.
But hey - I have high hopes that I will see a few sunny Shetland
days. After all, I have to see the fabled 'Simmer Dim' when it hardly
gets dark, when the sun barely shaves the horizon with its lowest
curve before heading straight back up into the blue heaven again.

At least, that's the theory.

Off out in the darkening, there's the silhouette of a huge ship with
all its lights on. Fishing? Freighting? Tall as a skyscraper, a vast
chunk of metal drawing across the surface of a dark blue sea. It's
all so like rewinding a well-loved tape, I'm working on another
hideous edit of another Witch Baby story, but sadly, further back in
the editorial process - this is Witch baby 2 v2.1, so if past history
is anything to go by, I still have many grey hairs to go. I don't
want to waste my time on Shetland on cudgelling a reluctant m.s. into
shape - but I'll have to do some work on it. Like I did last time I
was here. Plus begin roughs for a Mr Bear picture book, think long
and hard about 'Stormy Weather' for Bloomsbury and put together a
proposal for Mary at DK ,and, and.

What do I really want to do? Drink sundowners with Noelle and Tommy.
Run Quendale beach. Go back to the vicious cardio class at the gym in
Lerwick. Go to Makkin' and Yakkin'. Go back to Oyeasound and cross to
the island. Go to Eshaness and take loads of photos. Say hello to
Harry and Mandy, wherever they are. Swim that beach. Have a long walk
with Donald. Play my fiddle better, but not always on my ownsome.
Play with other people. ( never easy for an only child) Draw some big
smudgy b/w things for future paintings. Lose some of the blubber
( mental and physical) Visit Mr Stewart the fiddle maker. Laugh till
I have to leave the room. Only connect.

So, yeah. Should get that all done in the first week.

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