Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Jeffrey Box3. On Space and N America.

The trouble with the Jeffrey Box is that it’s easy enough to get everything out, but the devil’s own job to replace it in such a way that the lid fits. If my mother had one skill, it was being able to fit a month’s provisions into a shoe box. She had an abiding distrust of space, and refused to countenance a mere cubic centimetre of the stuff in anything she packed. It’s a trait I failed to inherit.

Tonight’s Good Reads were some of the letters and postcards I sent home from the North American cruise when I was in the navy. What a tedious little Victor Meldrew I was. Anything I could find to complain about, I complained about. The Captain promised this, and now he’s saying that. The price of beer in Quebec is exorbitant (They only sell it in bottles, you know!!) I didn’t get any mail in either Sydney, St. Pierre or from HMS Torquay this morning.

(Sydney?! Where the blip did I get Sydney from? The only Sydney I know of is, well, rather more than a day’s cruise from Canada. I swear I wasn’t on anything. There was nothing to be on.)

The postcard from New York was more upbeat, though:


(…and then some damn Yankee waffle about the Hudson River being the gateway to the world. It isn’t even the gateway to freggin’ Sydney.)

My mate and I visited the Empire State Building, Times Square, Broadway, Central Park, Wall Street, Washington Square and Greenwich Village. New York is a really great place. 2 weeks to go to Portsmouth.

It seems they didn’t teach me about the Oxford comma while I was in New York. And it couldn’t have been the day I walked back to the docks at around midnight and was later told that I shouldn’t still be breathing, because I was alone that night. And if NY was such a great place, why enthuse about Portsmouth?

The letter I sent from St Johns, Newfoundland was quite upbeat too, because it was all about the reception we were invited to (beer on the town. Yippee! I seem to have had a minor beer fixation.)

…I was rather lucky to meet a young lady with a car. I know how to pick ’em. And then lots about how I spent the whole weekend with her and her family, and how they had a dishwasher, and four cars, and a summer house on the other side of the peninsula… It finished with:

p.s. I’m thinking of getting engaged.

I only added that to put the wind up my mother. Like many people I’ve known in my life, she never knew when I was being serious and when I was joking. On that occasion, I was being serious.

But mostly the letters moaned about anything I could find to moan about.

(I’m looking at the open box right now. I don’t think the lid is going to fit.)

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