I find that from time to time my brain wanders and the journey is triggered by almost nothing, a scent, a noise or a view be it ever so brief. When I was out wandering Solares Hill a while back I discovered all sorts of illuminated angles under the street lights. This shot of a cement path took me back to a visit I made to the Bay Islands of Honduras when I was sailing the Western Caribbean a decade ago. My, how time flies.
The Bay Islands sit off the North Coast of Honduras just out of sight of the mainland, and out of mind for most people. They are steep hilly lumps of rock surrounded by reefs, their major claim to fame. Divers love to visit these islands as development is limited and the waters are relatively pristine. For sailors the islands are a comfortable stop on the route to and from Panama and its always useful Canal. Another weird attribute is that they were settled by English speakers and now the islands are in a death struggle between native English speakers and Spanish speaking migrants from the impoverished mainland. The smallest of the three main Bay Islands is a place given over to diving, with a small town and a couple of cement roads. The town of Utila is crossed by cement paths, just like the one in the picture. And for one second I was back in Utila, walking the dogs before we went back out to the boat for night.
It happened that I found this strangely decorated house, a place I had not previously come across that shone with a particular light under the street lamps. I thought the car sticking out of the house gave the place an odd look, like a car parked in an art gallery.I wanted to go in the garden and sit at the tile topped table, but I figured if someone looked out they'd throw eight different kinds of fit so I limited myself to picture taking and moved on.
It is fashionable to hang one's laundry out to dry, in an effort to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, or to reduce the chances of burning the planet to a crisp, take your pick of the cause du jour. Hanging clothes out to dry in the Florida Keys is one of those things that are so eminently sensible it is a wonder they even have to be mentioned, but like solar water heaters and recycling hanging out laundry is one of those activities that are still much in the minority. The Keys recycle one quarter of the waste stream that mainland Florida manages. Solar water heaters are a rarity, and putting solar panels into the grid is such an eccentric idea no one can bear to speak of it- yet. I offered to be a guinea pig to keys Energy and they failed to respond. Still, I operate my house on my rain catchment system and I turn out unnecessary lights (I like a gloomy pool of light in a darkened room when I'm reading, what can I say?) and yes I hang my laundry up to dry under the house. So does this Key Wester, in what I thought was an evocative photo:I like the feel of air dried clothes and I hope the fabric will last a bit longer and get less shrivelled in the process. Plus its a green thing to do. I am nothing if not in the avantgarde. Very cool, that's me.
I have been having difficulty walking for the past couple of days. I think I was a little over zealous in the exercise department and my knee swelled up like a rather hot throbbing grapefruit, a most disagreeable sensation. There's nothing like hobbling to restore one's sens e of what is valuable and important in life. Old folk used to chide me when I was a kid by telling me that if one had good health one had everything. Well, I believe them now. And what's more my Triumph got another flat tire after I parked near the marine engineering lab on the last day of classes at the college. I suspect a fastener scattered by some careless students got me my flat tire. I maintain my equanimity through it all, especially as my wife loves to fuss over me with ice for my knee, hot tea and sympathy for the rest of me. And I get to look forward to some more motorcycle explorations not least because the great City of Key West is sending me to Tampa this weekend to learn how to be a better dispatch trainer. My horizons are expanding, more training for me and lots more roads to roam to get there.
On the subject of staying green one has to wonder why at sometime after four o'clock in the morning people leave their lights blazing. Me? I have an excuse for wandering at that hour, I am on a most virtuous lunch break, but most people are horizontal sawing logs. Which is not a time they need lights on around the house. But luckily for me they leave 'em on anyway.
These restored wooden homes look just lovely in the middle of the night.
Summer is moving in, a time when people grumble about the heat and humidity and when I hear them I wonder why they live here. I read about snow melting and the end of winter for people cooped in Up North. One of the best things about living in the Keys is not dreading winter. Even when I lived in California, a warm state for many people I found myself hating the prospect of winter. Santa Cruz is a place of heavy rains, bone chilling cold and the temperatures rarely get down to freezing. Mud mud everywhere and cold feet every morning. Summer in the Keys is rainy season- just one more advantage, in that when it rains its positively hot. I don't even dread hurricane season, words I shall doubtless live to regret. Be that as it may there are many people Up North who have had to survive their own weather catastrophes and they don't get turquoise water to accompany their disasters.