January 10th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Chris in our new hammock

A dreadful night for me.  Val was sleeping in the hammock, while I took the tent, but I couldn’t find any sleep, so all I could do was lie and think.  If insomnia strikes when you are at home, you can get up, make a cup of tea, eat corn flakes, read, but in a tent…  Eventually, I did get up, went for a walk out on the jetty, chatted with Val for a bit when I got back – she was awake too.  Then, luckily, I spotted a vacant hammock, so commandeered that.  Then, later, after another little walk, I returned to it with the sleeping-bag, + slept like a baby for what was left of the night.

The day, perhaps fortunately, was very lazy.  We explored the island – there’s not much to it.  Lying in the hammock, reading – I swapped Mr Vonnegut for a thriller, which I polished off in a couple of hours, most of it spent at the end of the jetty.  This was to escape the island’s only drawback – the sandfly.  On our first day on the island, we had escaped their attentions, because the wind had been strong enough to keep them at bay,  but now, since the wind had dropped, they were out in full force.  Vicious little bastards too.  Very small, + apart from a sharp initial stab, not too irritating… at first.  But gradually, their cumulative effect is very painful.  So, one has to escape.

In the evening, Val + I went out for a meal, to Evelyn’s, one of the small restaurants – an excellent meal it was too.  Val had chicken, I steak, + both were served with a large helping of potato salad, + some coleslaw.  Unfortunately, Val was not feeling too well at this stage – tired + weak – so she went to lie down in the hammock, while I went off in search of Chris + Shane, who’d proposed buying a bottle of rum – I didn’t want to miss out on any excitement – + eventually discovered them, rum-less, in the ice-cream shop.  I debauched myself a little more, + we sat + talked awhile – there were 2 Aussies there as well.  At 9 I excused myself, + went to listen to the news.  People killed in Guatemala, a call for unity in Europe by Haig, + severe weather in USA, Europe, +, of course, England (snow drifts in Cornwall.)

Never been a great fan of hammocks, except for a quick doze.  And the additional attentions of the sand-flies just made the whole situation worse.  I haven’t commented much on our reading material, but Vonnegut has cropped up a fair bit, and I have long been a fan.

The restaurant was pretty much a standard home, offering a limited menu, with all of us, six or so, sitting around an ordinary dining-table.  Made for a slightly stilted atmosphere, as  nobody had much to talk about, there being little going on on the island.  And then, my usual hunt for news of the world.

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