Wednesday 6 April 1988, Koei Maru 30.
My breakfast (actually yesterday) was steak again, with prawns, chips and macaroni. 3 enormous steaks was all I could manage. I am beginning to tire a little of them, but I do love them so.
The time is going quickly now. The days drift from one into another and I’m sure that in no time at all I shall be home on holiday. I think for me Italy has to be the answer.
I have just eaten a fruit salad that had some peculiar jelly-like cubes in it. They were clear and disintegrated much more easily than jelly. I asked Abe what it was and he said it was made from ‘sea leaf’ so I take it that it is agar gel from seaweed. It was completely tasteless and probably only in the fruit salad as a cheap filler, like sawdust in sausages.
From the same conversation it looks like we will be returning to Stanley on the 9th or 10th of this month – it is good to know that it is sooner rather than later!
Thursday 7 April 1988, Koei Maru 30.
I can’t help thinking that my diary and my mind’s capabilities are being severely disrupted by the volume of letters I am writing – they are sapping my inspiration. I also feel cheap because of them – I write many of the same things to people – sometimes using exactly the same words…
e.g. Houses in Stanley – Allotment garden. ‘Well to do’ shanti town.
Reading a great deal – David Copperfield. Theroux.
Zzz snore! – I only hope that those to whom I am writing enjoy the letters I suppose it is better than no letter at all.
Her waggoner, a small grey coated gnat,
Not half so big as a little round worm
Prick’d from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazel nut
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out o’minds the fairies’ coach makers.
And in this state, she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love
O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on curtsies straight;
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream;
Nananuma has been very sweet. He has made an order for cornflakes and milk for the next voyage – what a good bloke.
It is at this moment as I write (10 minutes to 7am) and it is still not light, and very little sign of becoming so.
Friday 8 April 1988, Koei Maru 30.
Radioed Crag today – I definitely have a month off in Britain. Much of the conversation was about getting picked up, time in Stanley etc…
I have talked with the crew much more over the past couple of days. The poor chaps care only about one thing – sex – they wait with eagerness to get to Montevideo, so they can see ‘street girls’. I find this very depressing – they discuss very little else.
I am in a bit of a void at the moment, reading wise; the print in HG Wells selected short stories is too small and I have difficulty reading it. The alternative, Conrad’s Typhoon, is impossible – the dictionary syndrome – it is irritation to a degree. I have a mental block with Conrad.
Saturday 9 April 1988, Koei Maru 30.
How odd. I was sitting wondering what to do, trying to shake off a terrible dreariness when:
So off I went. A message came from the KSJ office to say that the ETA for Koei Maru No30 in Stanley will be 7.00 tomorrow morning – they will arrange for me to be collected by the warrah.
This is good news – whoopee! yahoo! A day early
The other bonkers thing is that it has turned out to be bloody cold and when I came back from the radio room it was bloody snowing hard. Can you believe it? Yup. April bonkers showers.
Sunday 10 April 1988, Koei Maru 30.
I got up with the sun, although I hadn’t been able to sleep a wink, I feel at least that I have been to bed. It is a very cold morning and the ship has arrived in Berkeley Sound – it is almost enough to make me cry, to see land again – it is beautiful and covered in a light scattering of snow. I must brace myself for the bad news that I might not be picked up until tomorrow – God I hope it’s today. A lovely thought – after my week in Stanley, only half of April will be left and then it will be May.