For Berrimilla's first circumnavigation, the International Space Station
and the North West Passage, go to

Thursday, November 12, 2009


0630/12th position 1947 02454, trip 137/24, CT 2453nm.

Norm - yep, 3 x 3. Doubt whether there's a ghost but possible. Would fit with commercial aspects.
Brian, thanks - I like it too. I watched him go past at Charing X. Feb 1966 I think.
Izz - gotcha and tks for BoLpost
Hilary - good to hear. Pse tell Hillross to go ahead as per your note. SJ sent us SMH extract. Pre China hug for K. More later.

The Burning of the Leaves

Now is the time for the burning of the leaves,
They go to the fire; the nostrils prick with smoke
Wandering slowly into the weeping mist.
Brittle and blotched, ragged and rotten sheaves!
A flame seizes the smouldering ruin, and bites
On stubborn stalks that crackle as they resist.
The last hollyhock's fallen tower is dust:
All the spices of June are a bitter reek,
All the extravagant riches spent and mean.
All burns! the reddest rose is a ghost.
Spark whirl up, to expire in the mist: the wild
Fingers of fire are making corruption clean.
Now is the time for stripping the spirit bare,
Time for the burning of days ended and done,
Idle solace of things that have gone before,
Rootless hope and fruitless desire are there:
Let them go to the fire with never a look behind.
That world that was ours is a world that is ours no more.
They will come again, the leaf and the flower, to arise
From squalor of rottenness into the old splendour,
And magical scents to a wondering memory bring;
The same glory, to shine upon different eyes.
Earth cares for her own ruins, naught for ours.
Nothing is certain, only the certain spring.

Laurence Binyon

posted by Iz - who didn't know the poem before Alex quoted it today

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.