Sunday, May 21, 2006

Where is the Ark Royal?

Although these days even a shell to my ear is enough to make me sweat, the sound of the sea was once music to me. A cold sweat, I mean. An echo, perhaps, of the waters out Murmansk way. Skies full of Heinkels and plucky (this was then) volunteers waiting to unload our cargo of (on this occasion) Hurricanes.

We sailed surrounded by tankers, each one- to quote the ship's cook who rehearsed, rehearsed his hatred of Spam- a bomb just awaiting its detonator. One lucky cannon shell. One incendiary. He advised me not to think about it, as the sky clouded over with (I think) 88s, and returned to his kingdom in the bowels of the ship, where, I imagine, he still sits.


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