POSTED MARCH 9, 2020
Europe, even southern Europe, is not very hot in winter. The south over the winter is at best, temperate, and if you are from a northern climate while it is nothing like the extreme cold in Scandinavia or The Baltics, it’s not the season anyone is looking to pay to go out on a rickety old boat in the ocean. So sometimes I use the time to get some things upgraded or repaired on En Plein Air as we did last year in Greece, but other years it’s the time for me to catch up on some things, like going back to Canada, seeing some people, seeing my neurologist and doctor and dentist. I look for an inexpensive place to moor for the winter season, and now that Captain Ciara is on the scene she is part of the decision making as well.
So my plan for this year is to do that Canada trip in April but right now, as I write this, I am sitting on a train, and using the train’s wifi, on my way to Ireland. Ciara is staying on the boat, which is currently moored in Malta, and she has one of her female doctor friends visiting from Medicins Sans Frontieres. That’s the organization Ciara worked with for many years when she had to get away from her ex-husband. I don’t know if her friend is more than a friend but they certainly seem close so I hope they have a good time while I am away. Malta is not hot in March, but relative to Europe it’s pretty nice. The temperature when I left was about 17C but sunny so if you are doing anything where you are moving around its short sleeve and shorts weather but not first thing in the morning or later in the evening when the sun goes down.
My trip is to satisfy one of those wishes that “Django the Gennie” agreed to grant Ciara when she agreed to join me as captain. I have referenced before that her ex is a bit of a piece of work. Well, I am not going to detail all of it but from the stories she tells, he was always abusive, and when she “came out” first to herself, then to him, it really got bad. That’s when she left him which was not long after they had married. She has gone her whole adult life since that time trying to function with him ignoring court orders, being physically and verbally abusive to her, and threatening to her friends and family. She left the practice of medicine in Dublin when her mother passed and joined MSF, but still, he would on occasion find her and she would move on. What a way to live.
We all have choices in these matters – fight or flight and Ciara has made a lifetime of flight. Now you might think in this sad story this is the point where there is a turn – a point where our hero/heroine decides to fight – well that’s where you would be wrong. My task in going to Ireland is to lie to the guy and give him back the wedding ring and tell him that she has died just to get him off her trail. It’s not really the underdog winning story we all want but it’s a choice she has made in response to the reality she lives in. So I am off to a little place in southern Ireland where he lives a rural life, does odd jobs as a carpenter, and generally hangs out with others like him.
I am traveling with just a small backpack with some overnight stuff, Ciara’s wedding ring to give back to him, and a bottle of Bourbon – yeah he likes Kentucky Bourbon more than Irish whiskey so you know he is a bit messed up by that alone.
If you surveyed most people who know me, on where I fit on the Macho/ Normal / Wimp measure of fearlessness, most would put me somewhere in the Wimp category unless it is for a cause I believe in, which would push me up into the Normal category. For the task at hand, I have quite a bi-polar perspective – I am mad as hell at this guy and scared as hell as to how my dialogue with him is going to go.
I am going to have lots of free time when I get back to Malta so you should see several posts this winter. I really have a few good ideas for some food-related ones.