Thursday 15 March 2012

That was never 11 days we had just then

Why yes, that was rather a long gap between posts. Mainly it was because of marketing: selling stories linked to events and dates, and though the ones I've been fully occupied writing about are marking the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic a whole month from now, and Anzac Day even further away on April 25, there's been a bit of a rush to do it because I've got some travelling coming up. On Sunday I'm being whisked off to Buenos Aires on LAN's lovely business class, and thence to Iguazu Falls, Lima (again) and then, most excitingly, Easter Island. I once reviewed a book that was set there - rather unimaginatively titled 'Easter Island' - by Jennifer Vanderbes, who had clearly done a great deal of research into ancient angiosperms that she didn't want to waste, so by the end of the book I was quite the expert (temporarily) on fossilised pollen. Never heard the term 'palynology' before? Now you have.

Then after I've been home for less than a fortnight, I'm away again, for an incredible 6 weeks this time, to Europe: partly private but mostly work, and it's going to be very busy. Fun and interesting, but busy, and tiring. It doesn't help that there are three very old animals in this house, who miss me when I'm gone, and who so far have always been here when I've got back from a trip but, one day...

So anyway, the Titanic. I keep bumping into it, so to speak - of course, in Ireland last year, when we went to Cobh which was the ship's last port of call before setting off across the Atlantic, and where there was a really good exhibition in the old railway station there. Then there was an astonishingly, not to say anally, comprehensive travelling exhibition that I came across while I was in Copenhagen, that absorbed me for the best part of two hours while rampaging Hamburg football fans laid waste to the city outside (well, almost). We'll be going to a new one at Greenwich Maritime Museum while we're in London; there are, I discovered, others in Southampton, Liverpool and Cherbourg, all Titanic sister cities that I've been to; and several in Halifax, Nova Scotia where I haven't been, but have been increasingly hankering to go to over the last few years. Lots of the recovered bodies were buried there, including one J. Dawson, who was actually James, a boiler-room hand, but that doesn't stop a steady stream of fans of Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack going there to leave red roses on the gravestone:

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