Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sleepless and Seattle

Lying awake and idly Googling through the stilly watches of the night, I was minded to check up on Professor William R. Catton. Of course I knew he was American, but out of all the universities in all the states in that great Union, where do you think he was from?

The University of Washington in Seattle. That would be the very U-Dub I kayaked past on my afternoon of full-body work-out with Evergreen Escapes, after the three-hour bike-ride around the city. Another coincidence - or is it? No, honestly - is it? My grasp of the coincidence theory that he demonstrated to us in that lecture was sufficiently co-disciplined with mathematics that it slid through my meninges like mercury through my fingers, back in the days when broken thermometers were given to me as a child to keep me amused, with who knows what consequences for my future, ie present, health.

So I don't know whether I've just proved or disproved what he was talking to us about. But it's a connection, and that'll do for me - between, this time, poor rattled Christchurch (still getting big aftershocks: 5.1 the other day) and the sunny day I spent in Seattle with Eric pedalling along the waterfront and through its quirky suburbs past ships and statues, a lock and a troll, and then kayaking with him past gently swaying houseboats including the one from Sleepless in Seattle, under bridges high and low, and past the university's stadium to Washington Lake where I might have caught a glimpse of Bill Gates's house on the far shore. Or possibly not.

There were lots of rowers out, sweating away, making a mockery of our watery ramble: obviously taking to heart the sanctioned annual row-team graffiti on the concrete banks. We got back to the landing place just as the sun was setting, spotlighting the city skyscrapers and the Space Needle. Excellent day out.

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