The Curvature of the Horizon
For twenty-four days, my world had been 582 feet long and had a population of little more than a thousand souls. My rare ventures onto terra firma threatening more disorientation than relief, Kobe was the first time I had allowed myself to become conscious of a two-tiered horizon: one that vanished into the haze, the other that curved upwards in both directions. My eyes stuttered against the concept of distance, just as my legs searched for footing on the motionless docks.
Unlike Mary Russell, I’ve never been on a cruise. And although the cruises offered by National Geographic or up the rivers of Europe have their appeal, the very idea of being trapped in a floating Disneyland would have me eyeing the lifeboats. So researching shipboard life for Dreaming Spies was a matter of the second hand (an amazing number of books were written about cruises during the Golden Age of the twenties and thirties) and the immobile. The photo is taken on board the Queen Mary, where the decks do indeed curve up and give an odd effect to the idea of “horizon.” The Queen Mary is now a very pleasant and fascinating hotel in Long Beach with a marvellously helpful and informative Commodore, who showed me about and answered a lot of idiotic questions.
If you’re near Long Beach, do drop in and challenge your horizons.
My upcoming events are here.