Cruise Log

It feels real good to be home. A bit surreal, too, but that’s to be expected (the jet lag adds to the effect).

Snippets from the trip! Back to the regularly scheduled programme.


The ocean is breathtaking. I can’t get enough of it, even from this stateroom window wedged between lifeboats. It’s nothing new, not a revolutionary thought, but it feels so substantial. (I’m a flimsy soul). I’m also in the process of finding my sea-legs, so writing is a nice distraction.

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I’m on a cruise that’s heading from Lisbon to London. It’s strange to be on board as a guest and crew member (performing, as usual). Not complaining, though. I get to have rehearsals in the morning and tea in the afternoon (in the Bistro where they have an incredible stock of bread, cheese, and pastries. I mean, there’s a chocolate fountain and they decorate strawberry mousse with gold leaves. It’s wild). The best part is when I have time to walk along the deck at night. The ocean is vast and empty, and the horizon is no longer a line, but a thick, muted stroke of black. I have to be careful not to lean too far over the railing as I squint at wave patterns. 

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We were walking through Bilbao and we stopped at a roundabout to take a look at our map, when I looked up and saw a dark, thin man with the most beautiful hands. June-heat hands, thumbs rubbing against index fingers. He then curled his fingers into his palms before dashing across the street, tie flapping and hair swept back. I didn’t say a word.

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We also went to the Guggenheim in Bilbao—stunning architecture, of course, and a pleasantly vibrant soundscape! Lots of birds and street chatter and gurgling water from the nearby river. The exhibit space inside was surprisingly small. The Anselm Keifer room was impressive. I sneaked a picture of his Die Berühmten Orden Der Nacht, which was one of my favorites.

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Reading Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. Fitting, isn’t it? I saw a sunset the other day and her phrases shone through: butterfly powder, a fulvous dress in the evening.

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The ocean is ungodly, unsettling, uninhibited. It’s also gorgeous in the mornings.

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At St. Jean de Luz: clear waves along the shore, tangled fishing nets, wide slabs of diagonal earth jutting out from cliff sides. A wooden fence on a hill, gravel pathway, empty benches, wild grass littered with daisies and flowers. Smooth pebbles on the beach. Still pools of water lapsing on moss-covered rock and weathered stone.

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Oh, Frasassi water bottles, how I’ve missed you. 

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Gorgeous architecture and design in Bordeaux. Cigarette butts everywhere. Crowded. Nice balconies and alleyways.

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Guernsey! We found a small shop wedged in between housing complexes uphill; bought some Through the Looking-Glass postcards mixed with sci-fi book cover postcards. The shop lady laughed and commented on the bizarre assortment.

(It’s a really charming place).

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Pointe du Hoc: I didn’t think it’d be so pretty, but it was. Lush grass and deep green fields. Bomb craters with flowers. Some of the German bunkers were still intact. I ran my hands over the walls with bullet holes. Grimy and rough. 

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Omaha Beach was huge, though I couldn’t tell if it was because of low tide. There were some preparations going on for the anniversary re-enactment (which happens to be today), and there were kids running along the shore. We only stayed for fifteen minutes but it felt much longer.

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Visited the famous harbor in Honfleur; I can see where Monet got the inspiration. Also spotted some Bruno Catalano sculptures in an art gallery!

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Bus ride from Tilbury to London: goddamn, the English countryside is gorgeous.

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Flight back home: number of times I cried while watching Room—seven, nearly eight

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