dinsdag 6 mei 2014

Where is the Sea

From the bar in the hotel in Dunoon, near Glasgow, we had a lovely view of the Clyde. It was a quiet evening and we enjoyed a pint of beer not saying a lot, just taking in what we saw: the Clyde and an amazing sunset. If you stretched your head a bit you could see the smokers in front of the hotel. They were quite loud compared to the quiet lot in the bar.

The door was opened and an elderly man kept it open while a little old lady struggled to pass it with her Zimmer frame. Because of the struggle they obviously wanted to get a seat as soon as possible and not to walk across the whole bar. Politely they asked us if they could share our table. Of course we had no problems with that.

They were a bit more talkative than we were at that moment. We got an explanation as to why she had to use the Zimmer frame and the reason she would be glad to get rid of it again. “I did miss her a lot when she was in hospital”, the old man said. “We have been a couple for six years now, so we are very used to each other’s company. We do have our own houses, but we are a couple.” My wife and I nodded that we understood. “I have a huge house”, he added to make it more logical.  “Yes, he has!” she agreed. He added more: “But I keep it very clean.” “Yes, he does!” she agreed again.

They were 92 and 91 and still fond of travelling, seeing different places and enjoying the scenery. “I wonder where the sea is”, he said. My wife pointed in the right direction. “Oh! I really expected the sea to be the other way.” He was silent for a little while.                                     

“I have something with the sea and the oceans. I joined the Royal Navy in 1935. In the second world war I was on ships that protected the convoys with goods for Russia. We would sail along till Iceland where the Americans took over from us.”

“I do wonder where the sea is from this point of view”, he wondered aloud. My wife pointed towards the direction again. It surprised him again, he really thought it was the other way. He told us he joined the navy when he was almost 15. It had not always been easy, but he would do it again if he could.

My wife asked him what his function was in the Navy. “I was a navigator”, he answered.        

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