For Berrimilla's first circumnavigation, the International Space Station
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ritual again.

2000/11th 1850 02454

Armistice Day - a day of significant ritual for some. For me, it is Laurence Binyon's poetry -' and they shall not grow old as we who remember them grow old ' - hope I've got it right - and the memory of my father, who survived WW2, as a man who could not reinvent himself in his middle age and who, I now think, was sad and disillusioned. I wish I had known him better. And Dave and Mike who was in my seat and all the others I knew and trained and flew with long gone and still young in my memory.

And renewal and rebirth - Binyon again and his poem 'The burning of the leaves' - Prof, I owe you for that one. And too, your namesake and his heritage, scarred into history outside Bailliol College.

To the mundane - daily ritual list for Berri: The Murphy Consultation at breakfast, the Priming of the Fridge three times a day, the 0700 report to the blog and the expectation that there might be mail waiting as I send it, watch changes every three hours, the 1700 Consultation with Dr Grindy and dinner together. The daily walk around the deck, the routine of day after day slogging it out and watching the miles go by. Sticking ones head up and looking around the horizon for ships - and cloud formations. Gourmet cup-a-soup in the night. And just living inside ones head and remembering that, like storms, long days pass and each is its own notch in time, its half kilometre in the marathon, one that is done, gone, scored on the scratch pad of life out here.

And we're getting close to the shipping lanes out of Rio.