The high tide of the Equinox

The Sea covered most of the black rocks in front of the house by the Sea. Far, far away, the grey waves merged with the leaden sky. The Land was bracing, waiting for the final assault. The trees moaned in the howling Wind. The rocks shook under the crashing waves.

The time had come. The Equinox had arrived. The highest tide of the year. When the Sea takes over the land; when ships wait, in the shelter of harbours; when trees shudder and animals hide; when fishermen go home without a word.

The Equinox had arrived.

The time had come, the time to fight.

The boy came out of the small house by the Sea. He walked on the terrace towards the water under the pouring rain. The sand on the small beach was long gone. Only a few rocks were still resisting the blows of the Sea. He’d never seen the tide so high. Dark clouds and lightning danced on the horizon. The Sea chose its allies well.

The waves roared. Breaking on the last visible rocks. The Sea knew. It knew everyone was trembling. The tide rose, nothing or no one to stop it.

The boy approached the Sea. Went down the three stairs that led to the last visible black rocks.

The time had come. The time to face the Sea. To face the Equinox.

The Sea looked at the child. So small. So fragile. Scared?

The Sea started the game, sending its strongest waves towards the child. Splashing at his feet. To scare him away, to break him. The Sea played its game… a game of death with the little boy.

The tide rose with every wave. Swallowing up the rocks. The boy wouldn’t move. He looked at the water, the high waves. Soon the boy found himself almost surrounded by the Sea. He jumped to another rock. How long had he been outside?

The Sea pushed the child from rock to rock, forcing him to retreat. Using its power, the fear it could feel in the child. The Sea could drag him down with a single wave. But no. Not yet. The Sea has all the time in the world. It has more power than Time, more than Earth. More power than a small child.

The Wind wavered, undecided. The child hoped the Wind would take his side. Would it blow from the land? And stop the Sea? Or from the horizon? The Wind hadn’t made up its mind. It blew from the Land, from the Sea, came back from the Land, turned around to knock down some trees, rip a roof off…

The boy was alone facing the Sea and Wind. He jumped to the last standing rock. Soaked from head to toe. The Sea salt stung his eyes. He could smell the Sea, a smell of triumph.

He couldn’t move back anymore without giving up. The rock he stood on was tiny. He looked behind. Between the terrace and the Sea, there was a small concrete jetty where boats moored in quieter times and a low wall to… “protect” the house, or so they said.

He turned to face the wide-open Sea. From grey, it’d turned to black. The boy’s heart gave a start. The Wind was blowing from the Sea. Wind and Sea had joined forces.

The time had come. The boy grabbed a rusty iron ring on the wall. Hooked his arm inside the ring. He faced the Sea.

Wind and Sea beat the child up. Waves, walls of water broke over him. The anger of the Sea was growing. The game was over. The Sea would take the child. Wave after wave, it crashed on the wall and the foolish child. The boy could hardly breathe anymore. The Wind bent palm trees near breaking point.

The tide rose and rose. Covering the child’s feet. His knees. The rocks could no longer be seen. The boy could feel the Sea dragging him away.

How long did it last? The fight between the Sea and the child? Nobody knows. The boy’s arm hung to the iron ring with all its might.

It was the Equinox. The High Tide. It was time.

The Wind gave up first. Abandoned the fight. Fleeing to the horizon. The waves were smaller now. The water stopped rising. The boy was still holding the ring. The waves turned away. The water began to descend, uncovering the knees, the feet.

The boy let go of the ring. Walked away from the wall. Back to the terrace above. The Equinox was over. The Sea was retreating. Defeated.


This is a work of fiction. The place, Sea, and jetty are not. The house we lived in on the coast of West Africa was real. It may even still exist. Twice a year, the Equinox would push the sea up. Up. Up. Only a few inches below the terrace that led to the jetty, the rocks and the sea. Sometimes the Equinox would combine with the rainy season. One could not tell sea from rain. Little Sister and I never thought of hooking ourselves to a ring and face the Sea. We could have. After all, what is Fiction? A reality that could have happened.

Note: I wrote the original story years ago. In Spanish. As many other stories. Being lazy, I couldn’t face the idea of translating myself. It would have been like re-writing the whole thing again. So I did an experiment. I used Word translator. Some will wring their hands. (My apologies to Bona Fide translators) The result is mixed. Text is reasonably well translated. But not with my words or my style. And obviously grammar is sketchy at times. I had to go over the English text three or four times and I’m still not entirely satisfied. But, Hell, you guys got the story, right? (Featured image in the “front page” by Pinterest. Photos below are mine, or my parents’ rather.) Strangely enough, the Equinox was a but a few days ago.

The jetty outside our house, and the sea at high tide, normal tide, outside the Equinox.

Our house, hidden behind the palm trees, seen from the jetty. Low tide.

African fishing boats, with their “Latin” (Arabic) sail. Low tide. We knew the tide schedule by heart then. The tides set up the day’s programme.

Little Sister, barefoot, during the High Tide of the Equinox. The Sea is only a few inches below the terrace.

Yours truly, age 8 or 9, after the High Tide of the Equinox… wondering about the next plan.

202 thoughts on “The high tide of the Equinox

    • Thank you Cindy. The story came to my mind 20-30 years “after the fact”. And I thought: “I missed an opportunity”. (And probably a spanking if I’d dared done that) All well with you?

    • Glad you liked it. The story and pictures. To us, we felt in the middle of the storm. The waves did crash on the terrace for a couple of days. Super fun for us. Hope all is well with you?

  1. I am so very happy you are writing the Africa stories again. Maybe I have missed some as I didn’t realize how much WordPress had changed in the way in notifies about new pieces, but maybe I also wasn’t paying attention, locked as I was in my own book writing. Thank you thank you for returning to the Africa stories.

    • HI Janet. So glad you liked the story. Though fiction (fortunately) you can imagine how close it is to heart. I have a few Africa stories in the pipe-line. How have you been? How’s the new book going? Did you get your shots? We got our first one 10 days ago, it felt like an opening up of the world. Abrazo, “Juanita”. 🤗

      • Yes, we’ve had both shots but we’re still home and being very carefully masked when we do go out. I sent one book to the publisher and finally, finally began the Mexico book. Maybe I’ve already told you that. Other than being able to reread whatever it is I’ve written and thereby remember, my memory is rattled by these times and I forget most of what I learn or hear except for what I write!!
        I just finished a chapter on traveling in the Yucatan and swimming in a cenote. And another of finding a note in a bottle on the beach. In Spanish the note read: “the boat Santana has broken her propeller and is about to sink. Please inform the Captain of the port or equal authority.”
        As you can imagine, that sent us off on another adventure, and meeting El Capitan del Puerto.
        I am so happy finally writing this book. It lets me live in Mexico again, at least in my head. Abrazo a ti, mi amigo.

      • Hi Janet. So nice to have news. Glad for the 2 shots, but regardless, one has to be careful. Mask remains a must.
        Your Mexico book sounds great. Swimming in the Cenote must have been an experience. Now, the note in a bottle?! OMG. I hope the crew survived. The sea can be so beautiful and so cruel.
        Un fuerte abrazo a tí también, “Juanita”. 😉

  2. I enjoyed your story, my dear! The photos are wonderful, and you were a beautiful child.
    The story, even using a translator is very good! Thank you, and be well!

    • Thank you dear Resa. Looks come and go. I hope I’m still a beautiful old man, but I have my doubts… 😉 Ever so glad you liked the story. very close to my heart as you can imagine. Also gave the name to the entire “Equinoxio” concept. gave me a sort of umbrella for my writing, posting, pictures, what have you.
      The translator has its limitations. Though it has improved in recent years. I have so much stuff written in Spanish I want to share with you guys I can’t really translate it myself. But I will do other tests with perhaps slightly longer texts and see how it takes to edit.
      Hope all is well with you? Any new about when you can get your shots? Stay safe my dear friend. 🙏🏻

      • just a thought – tho I haven’t researched them, I know there’s more than one translator, some better than others… tho I agree with Resa that the above is great 🙂

      • I’d used Google a long while back. Fairly bad though I know they improve everyday. That time I used Word translator. The thing is time. Translators are not that bad, but to get the results I want, in the rhythm and words I want, I practically have to re-write everything. Which was the case for the high tide. So I really need to do an experiment: translate one story myself, see how long it takes then use a translator, rewrite as I want it and measure time. Then pick the best method time-wise. My problem is I have close to 30 stories in Spanish…

  3. An enjoyable read about the elements and our interaction with them. The translation wasn’t noticeable and some are! But of course, you edited it as well. So herein the story’s title and photos we get a clue as to your blog name.
    Your childhood home looks idyllic and a fabulous place to grow up. What adventures that boy in the photo must have had?
    I like the African boat too. Those sails look like something from a fairy tale

    • Glad you liked it, including the translation and editing. I had to change… shall I say 30-35%? Which is reasonable as compared to a 100% translation. It is a very important story for me. My father explained to us, in advance what was going to happen at the Equinox. And we weren’t disappointed. You saw the picture of my little sister outside. A great adventure twice a year. Plus all the others.
      fairy tale? We lived inside the book…
      can’t complain.
      Hope all is well with you?

      • Living inside a book. Like Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder.
        Good to hear you are well. Everything continues on fine here. The rain has been welcome, although some folks have had much more than their share and have had to evacuate. We are high and dry, albeit a bit sodden here and there. The sun is out today again. The rain has now gone. Hope the kangaroos stay out of trouble (my latest post)

      • No. I don’t live in Sydney. Much further north in the state of Queensland on a peninsula north of Brisbane. Hope you enjoy watching Skippy and his mate.

      • I was always pretty good on geography but very rusty on North or southern American states as to where they are. Geographic knowledge is always good to have if you go to a Trivia night. Do you have those over your way?

      • There was a time in the 90’s when we played Trivia. But it sort of faded out of fashion. and we haven’t seen one friend in a year. Only our daughters and family.
        I will have to go to Australia to learn about the geography. I’d always been tempted but it’s more than 30 hours flight form here. However, since our flight to Singapore in 2017 was about that long and we made it, it re-opens the possibility. Once this mess is contained.

      • Yes indeed you should come to visit. There is much to see. I know the flights are long. I think there is a flight that used to go via New Zealand and that country is worth seeing too. Kill two birds with one stone?

      • Possibly. “D’une pierre deux coups.” NZ also looks beautiful. I think if you’re going to fly that far away, spend time hopping around. new Guinea has always tempted me too. We’ll see. have a nice week-end my dear.

      • New Guinea! Yes, but they are in a terrible situation with Covid. Lawlessness is rampant too. I have known folks who got a job up there, landed and two days later scrambled on a plane to come home because they couldn’t cope with the dangers. Beautiful tropical land though. We have close ties with New Guinea. It was a territory of ours until 1970’s so we still help them out a lot.
        Hope your weekend is enjoyable too. We have 2 new Covid community cases, so everyone is on high alert. They dined at a nearby restaurant!

      • New Guinea must be a Haven for corruption. Sadly. It must be quite beautiful. Every country is affected by Covid, in different manners.
        Now a nearby restaurant? Hmm. Remind me, it’s that strange ancient custom where humans gathered to eat in public in front of total strangers? Gross, if you ask me.

      • Unfortunately the majority of the world seems to operate business in that way. (So said a friend who worked for UN in finance). Western oriented democracies such as Aus, Nz, Usa, Europe, UK seem to be the exception to that , would you say, Brian?
        The contact tracers seem to have done a great job identifying other community cases. The next 10 days are critical.
        You said “gross,” do you mean generally or during Covid?

      • “operate business in that way”; “seem to be the exception” >>> Sorry, you lost me. Can you elaborate?
        Contact tracers is sthg Europe has failed miserably at. A shame.
        “Gross”. Sorry. It was a joke. Which means a bad joke when you have to explain it. I was trying to look at restaurant eating in a futuristic way, when all contacts between the human race have been reduced to a minimum. And humans have totally lost the restaurant concept. L;ike I said, bad joke. (I love restaurants BTW.)
        In your case did you eat at that particular restaurant shortly before the cases were detected? Hope not. 🙏🏻

      • I suspected it was a Covid related joke so perpetuated it a little. No worries! You do seem like the type of guy who would enjoy fine dining!
        Re the corruption comment: Now I have to explain a little more! Lol.
        This gentlemen who worked for the United Nations finance division responded to a comment I had about there being a certain amount of corrupt business dealings in some parts of the world. ie. that you wins contracts and do business by doing favours or work for people who you know rather than by merit. Bribery etc also seems to play a part in business decisions. This fellow then remarked, “tbh, Amanda,” he said – “the majority of the world operates in that way.” Just his opinion, but he would know this more than I do. What do you think, Brian? What patterns have you seen, in your travels about the globe?

      • Look at it closely. The top 10 countries in terms of (no)corruption. Norway is one of the most “honest” countries. Most of the countries I have lived are the most corrupt. A tad depressing.

      • New Zealanders seem to top the list. And Denmark. Pretty nice folks. New Zealand is a small isolated population though, and Australia a larger, more diverse population. Interesting that New Zealand has a better public opinion about taking refugees/immigrants than Australia these days. Perhaps Australia is more desirable as it is warmer – sounds more attractive than a cold land down south. Still it is interesting as the indigenous folk can have strong tribal and family ties. So Denmark is up higher than Norway. Norway is more tolerant of immigrants these days too. Maybe this is a differentiating factor? Singapore is such a regulated country is so many ways but grea that they are bucking the Asian trend. They have done a lot of things right economically, given they are a small island country!

      • Those are the people on top. Another factor which is not easy to… “measure” is population size. Smaller or mid size countries seem to fare better. And Singapore, well. I’ve been there. And I was enchanted. Maybe it is (too) regulated? But, living in the third wolrd most of my life? Some countries could use more “regulation”.

      • Second, corruption is inversely correlated to “development”. I once ran an analysis between GDP per capita and Transparency’s corruption index. The R2 is very high: the higher the corruption, the poorer the country. The lower the corruption the richer the country. Frightening really.

      • I think that makes sense, Brian. The poorer the country, the more desperate the folks. They have to use wile and wit and whatever means they can to get by. Tribal and family connections may be more important than in wealthy countries where friends and networks and perhaps merit, rises in significance for businesses.

      • The thing is it goes both ways I believe. Countries are poor because of corruption. Simply because the money is stolen from the people. I once heard on the radio (forgot her name) an expert saying: “corruption is the most efficient way to steal from the poor”. And I would add, based on my research, to keep them poor.

      • I imagine that the countries are poor because of corruption, Brian. I recently was told about an area of land in Masai warrior territory. The road in there 10 years ago was almost undrivable. Aid was delivered by a Japanese organization to build a new road every year for well over five years, and it never improved until the area became a highly commercial tourist area. Aid money was, every year, delivered to the local councils for roadbuilding but as soon as it hit the ground, it disappeared. Apparently, this is a frequent occurence in Africa, (according to a UN employee). It is such a shame and makes Westerners very cynical about aid. I am not sure there is an easy solution, is there?

      • I suspect 80-90% of foreign aid since independence (50-60 years ago) went in the pockets of the powerful people. Whether local or national. The only solution (also based on my research) is education. Higher education. That is also highly correlated to honesty.

      • I am a champion of more education too. I think it is a basic human right to fundamental education but also the right to access to cheap or preferably free higher education if you show potential in that area. Does that sound elitist? I hope not…

      • No. Of course some will call just about anything “elitist”. Some love nothing more than to keep the plebe in ignorance. easier to control. Higher education pulls all the rest up.

      • That is what I love about Education, Brian. Its ability to transcend class barriers. It gives opportunity to all! And in that can raise society to a different level. I think we touched on that topic before. In connection with job opportunities. It would be great if everyone could experience the American dream, but there aren’t enough high paying jobs for that. It may be capitalism but someone still is left, or has to clean the toilets…. I feel a tad cynical about that.

      • Or sweep the streets. Some have to do it. The question is: can Society organize in such a way, sweeping the streets can be a decent job? Some societies do. Some don’t.

      • And “dining” out? Yes. Ever since I was a student when all we could afford was the local Chinese restaurant to lunching clients in fancy places. A change os scenery. Different food. A bottle of good wine. Who needs more? 🍻

      • Can’t tell. Too many. A good chickem tikka massala would be at par with oysters from Brittany, or Moros y christianos (Beans and rice) from the Caribbean. Coq au vin? Dozens of dishes, depending on where you are. An absolute no-no would be oxtail soup. 😉

      • France is surrounded by three seas: The North sea and the Channel, the Atlantic to the West and the Mediterranean. Seafood is delicious in France, in Brittany, on the southwest coast and of course in Provence. With very different culinary traditions.

      • oh and to answer your question. No I didn’t eat at that restaurant but did briefly consider it. Glad we didn’t follow through. The restaurant is within a market. I was at the market a few hours earlier than the case in question. A close call.

      • Just over a week or so ago. There are now 4 cases and we are entering a three day lockdown. These four cases have been all over our area. The cat is out of the bag! I hope the strict lockdown contains it. The next 14 days will be very critical. I have a wedding to go to on April 10, which was postponed from last year. I feel for the bride and groom. They would be very nervous.

    • Hadn’t thought about the theme, but you’re right. Washed away? No, no! No way. (That little boy is me in another time-space frame.) No way. I must confess I’ve “killed” many a character as a “writer”. Sometimes the story can’t end any other way, but there is enough grief in the world. Especially right now. Thanks for the visit and comment Liz. All well?

      • I was relieved when your alter ego didn’t in fact get washed away–it was just touch and go for a few moments! All is as well as can be expected, all things considered. (How’s that for a mealy-mouthed answer? 😉 ) I hope all is well with you and your family, Brian.

      • Touch and go was the idea of the story. So it worked. 😉
        All things considered are good. We can only adapt to the current circumstances. Take care Liz.

      • Not really. I’m just writing the stories as they come. Some of you guys have suggested a memoir. (Not sure my life warrants one) What I have done though is to put all the stories in one folder and write an inventory: title, year, words, pages. Then after a while I may decide to put it together. (Or not) 😉

      • Haha! Thanks to your good influence I just wrote it this morning. Not exactly a children’s tale. (Which I should explore, thinking of the grandkids…)
        Not sure when I will post the story, hope you will like it. Have a great week, Liz.

    • Looking back at what you thought, I apologize. It must have been a terrible feeling. I am all in favour of redemption these days. The good guys must be rewarded. 🙏🏻

  4. I absolutely LOVED this story, Brian! You hooked me with the first paragraph. And I love the pictures … you were a cute kid, I could almost see the wheels turning behind those eyes!

    • Thank you Jill. Glad you liked it. Though short, it was a difficult story to write, to give the impression that I can see in my mind’s eye. Sea and rain and wind wreaking havoc on the land. 8And us kids delighted jumping on the terrace under pouring rain and the crashing waves over the teeny fence.
      Wheels? What wheels? 😉

      • You did it well, for I could sense the crashing waves, the sea rising with each incoming wave. I felt the story, and when you can make your readers feel it instead of just reading the words, then you’ve done your job well. You know what wheels … 😁

      • 🙏🏻
        hence the choice of words. The original automatically translated version did have the story, roughly, but not the exact words or rhythm. Anyway it was fun to re-write.
        Thanks for reading.

    • Thank you for reading.
      yes, totally. ‘Equinoxio’ gave me the whole concept of what I do now. Writing, blogging, images. Even sketching. It’s like my umbrella.
      Stay safe.

    • Really can’t complain a out the childhood. The return to Europe at the end was a bit of a challenge, but fun too.
      I’m glad i didn’t. I would have got the spanking of my life! 😉
      All well?

      • If you had still been there for a spanking, that is … 😉
        Thank you for asking, we are fine. Denmark has not been off the worst. All in all we had less deaths in 2020 than in 2019 … (all causes), which is somehow a bit weird.

      • I just talked at length yesterday to an old Danish friend who lives in Copenhaguen. He says he takes all due precautions but feels – realtively – safe.
        Stay safe. 🙏🏻😷

  5. I’ve never lived that close to a large body of water unless you can count the two years I lived on Crete. I don’t count it because the home was three miles inland.

    • Two years in Crete must have been wonderful. Like “My family and other animals” (though that was in Corfu) What were you doing there?
      Even a mile inland is different. My little sister and I literally lived in the water. All activities were centered around the sea.

      • My husband was active military, the Air Force. His last assignment before retiring was on Crete. The base was next to the Mediterranean, but we lived off-base in a quadplex between Gouves and New Gouves. I didn’t want to leave because the people were so wonderful. If I could live any place in the world that would be it.

        Although we had ample access to the sea, we spent most of our free time in New Gouves, which is also next to the sea. The beach there isn’t all that nice though. It didn’t have sand. It was all pebbles.

      • Lots of pebble beaches in the Mediterranean. But the experience must have been unique.
        Have you read “My family and other animals” by Gerald Durrell? (Lawrence Durrell’s little brother?)

      • No, I haven’t read My Family and Other Animals. After checking it out at Amazon, I put it on my wish list.

        I didn’t see as much of Crete as I wanted to, mostly because of my husband’s work hours, but I did get the know the local people.

      • How’s the wish list work? Is it out of print? Might be. It is an old book. But charming.
        Crète… One of the hubs of Western civilization. Must have been nice.

      • The book is at Amazon and they have it in print. All you need to do to have a wish list there is sign up with your email address. I have 3 lists; one for casual reading, one for books about writing, and one I keep for gift ideas.

      • I didn’t know about the lists.
        Thing is, I worked in Marketing for 30 years, so I am weary of anything that gives “them” more leverage on my tastes…😉 (And swamp my inbox)

    • Thank you. Es como un “sumario” de mi niñez. How the Sea ruled us all the time. High tide: go swimming, take the inflatable tide out. Low tide, go fishing. Storm? Go jump in the puddles outside…
      Stay safe.

  6. And this is how you got your blog name. Powerful stuff. It didn’t feel like a (machine) translation. However, as a translator I cannot believe that you’d put your own words into a machine’s mouth to spit it out again, (in)different, not yours. As you say, the style is not yours and you let it happen.

    I love the story though. I’m always on the side of the sea, but not this time. “After all, what is Fiction? A reality that could have happened.” This is marvellous. Let it happen.

    • I knew you might react. I have done so much translating – the right way – in my life, I just don’t have the time to do it now. So I use the machine to get a “draft”, and then work and rework and rework until the style, structure and words are closer to mine. It’s not perfect but it’s practical. Fact is, I’m not sure I wouldn’t spend much more time translating directly. LOL. (Probably not)
      My apologies. 🙏🏻
      Glad you liked the story. And I do believe a lot of fiction is just that.
      I also believe we urgently need to re-write mankind’s story. Before it’s too late. Buona notte. (My words. Not a machine’s) 🙏🏻🌹

      • Ahh, no need to apologize. It’s just that any machine translation that I was given to correct was so terrible that I always preferred to start translating from scratch. Less hassle this way. But yes, possibly takes more time.

      • It is mostly terrible. I know of a large report that was given to a -human- translator who apparently used a machine and produced a shameful work. Had a whole team of people for days trying to fix it. No dice. They had to re-do it all.

  7. The translation appears to have given it a certain spare, lyrical quality. I enjoyed the tense battle between boy and the natural elements. Your childhood sounds extraordinary.

    • Spare is something I try to achieve. I like short sentences. (I had a good teacher!) Lyrical might be a by-product. Because of the story itself. Now when I was editing it in English, I decided to put capitals on the Sea, the Wind, the Land. Couldn’t really tell you why. It was a nice exercise. Both times. This time, I probably changed 30-40% of the words and verbs.
      can’t complain about the childhood. 😉 The next question is how to get back to reality. 🤣
      All well Libre?

      • At least in English, the capitalisation lends a sort of personification to the Land, Sea, etc.
        Back to reality? We’re in a strange, liminal space. I understand a temptation to cherry pick, to choose the best from a life with freedom of choice and movement, and also the best from the things some of us have gained from lockdown (no commute to work, seeing more of the kids…) Whatever the case, rushing it is unlikely to be the answer.

      • Personification was the idea. Works the same in many languages.
        Cherry pick is a good option. Honestly I can’t complain (that much) about lockdown. We have a reasonably large house. See the kids and grandkids frequently. Sunlight most of the year. There are worse cases. Family of four stuck in a 2 bedroom flat anywhere…
        And no, rushing won’t do. I’m just curious what kind of ew Reality will be invented. Take care Libre

      • Same here – we have had a lucky lockdown, kept our health, my job, seen more of the children, got my first vaccination… I am aware it’s easy for me to feel no sense of urgency. I understand why many businesses won’t feel the same.

      • You’re on the right path. But yes, I am concerned about so many small businesses, held afloat – or not – by printing money on a grand scale. Nobody seems to remember teh Weimar republic. But pubs? Hotels? Cafés, small shops. A cousin of mine in Paris has a “brasserie”. They had to let everybody go, but as owners, they don’t get a dime form the gvt…

    • Hi Lumi. Yes, it was. But I have found many stories that I have written to start from… “Reality”, and slowly move sideways. And could have happened to someone. Elsewhere. Come to think of it, the reason your Finn friends or colleagues don’t really listen to your stories (though real) of your distant experiences, is just because they can’t connect. It’s not real to them. They haven’t seen what you – or I – have seen. So they dismiss it.
      Tout va bien?

      • Hola amigo, yes all is good now, thanks. We have recovered, I think. And you guys? Funny story, a woman at work (potentially my next boss) was curious about my blog. It’s so rare for anyone to react if I mention having a blog – the exact same response if I mention my slightly more tropical childhood or solo traveling decade when I was in my 20’s. Thank goodness for the blog where we can tell our stories, fiction or not!!!! I find the easiest stories for me are real life ones spiced with a little fiction.

      • Glad you’re back on your feet. We’re ok here. Just got our first shot, so this should “re-open” ways to a “normaller” life.
        Don’t give your blog address to your next blog. If I recall you do make some comments about work… Tut. tut. Tut.
        Fiction is spice indeed. Bon dimanche.

      • I’m glad. You never know. I understand many HR people scrutinize job candidates’ Facebook and social networks. Some might do it for current employees. Wouldn’t surprise me. Better safe than sorry.

      • And I must add how happy I am to have come across kindred spirits here on WP, like you Brieuc! Like the fact that you have experienced this too: people not wanting to hear our stories. It’s perplexing, but maybe what you’re saying is the answer why

      • Very happy too. You and a few others, make blogging worthwhile. There are many people out there who understand exactly what we mean. They can relate. For one reason or the other. many have traveled but not all. I think they just have open minds. And very important, they accept other people’s ideas even they disagree. I have noted it several times. Not like Tweeter, where everybody apparently is at each other’s throats. here? If they’re not on the same wavelength, they just pass. Nice really.

      • Yes. I think it’s a good type. Like I said, I’m pretty sure not everybody always agrees with what I may write. But they just pass it by. I do too. Enough conflict everywhere to add on to it. Bonne semaine Lumi. 🙏🏻

    • In real life? Not in fiction? Actually, no. It was great fun. Tropical rain and high waves mixing. It was like being on the bridge of a big ship, in the middle of a biiig storm. My little sister and I just loved it. Kids.
      Glad you liked the story.

      • Both really! Maybe I’m imagining a tsunami lol The ocean and the waves are mesmerising, especially when it’s stormy ⚓️

      • Exactly that. Mesmerizing. Now there are places and periods where it is not safe to stay close to the water. Brittany for instance, and I imagine some (all?) coasts of England when there is a storm.
        be good Cherryl.

  8. Wonderful post Brieuc. Absolutely magical and I mean that in the best sense of the word. 🙂 A beautiful time and place to have spent a part of one’s youth. An age of innocence in more ways than one.

    • Thank you.Yes on all. I also learned a lot with the contrasts. We’d spend the summer’s in our two centuries old house in Normandy. A different universe. I always joke I got my first pair of shoes at ten, when we went for Africa to Holland. Drastic change of weather… ❄️ ⛄️

  9. This has been up in my tab for days! Finally sat down and read it. Considering you used a translator, it’s not so bad 🙂 I loved the story.
    And look at those eyes of yours… Wow! What a cutie patootie.
    Wonderful photos.

    • Glad you liked it Dale. The translator does part of the job. I went over the text 3 or 4 times. And changed probably 30-40% of vocabulary and/or sentence structure. it’s all right.
      Cute? LOL. That was a long time ago.
      Joyeuses Pâques.

      • Merci. Je ne me rappelle plus si tu as des enfants. Dans tous les cas ils doivent être trop grands pour cacher les oeufs dans le jardin. Encore que par chez toi il doit encore y avoir d’la neige?

      • Oui, Deux grands de 23 (mercredi dernier) et 21. Pas mal trop grands. D’habitude, je leur achète du chocolat mais ils n’en mangent pas vraiment… why bother?
        Chez moi, il n’y en a plus sauf les endroits où on l’empile pour dégager les stationnements. Et j’arrive des Cantons de l’Est où je suis aller marcher dans la montagne. Il y en avait encore pas mal – les pistes de skis sont encore ouverts…

      • 20 ans? Grands Dieux. Ça fait drôle non? Y’a pas si longtemps y t’naient dans nos bras, maint’nant ils ont de la barbe. 🧔
        marcher dans la montagne? Hmm. Quelle merveille. J’adore la sensation de la montagne. Paix et tranquilité.

      • Ouais… Très drôle. C’était hier… Où est allé le temps?
        Oui. La marche… de la neige, de la boue, mais quand-même plaisant.

      • Sérieusement… la différence entre aujourd’hui et lorsque j’avais 12-14 ans est incroyable… on faisait de la motoneige et on pouvait partir de la maison et se rendre dans les sentiers. Maintenant? Il faut se rendre pas mal loin pour trouver assez de neige!

  10. Jeu d’enfant, jeu dangereux. Affronter les éléments, se mesurer à eux, est une des folies de l’Homme, un délit d’orgueil. Parfois il gagne, parfois pas…
    C’est une très belle nouvelle que celle-ci, merci.

    • Exactement. Parfois pas. Je pense parfois à la raclé que j’aurais prise si j’avai eu cette idée à l’époque! 🤣
      Merci pour le compliment. C’est une histoire importante pour moi. 🙏🏻

      • Ah ah, ben oui, faut se ménager ! Quand on est enfant, on n’évalue pas le danger comme un adulte le ferait, on ne l’évalue pas de la même hauteur, on n’est théoriquement moins proche de la mort, on a moins peur peut-être, alors tout est possible pour certains. Quand j’étais enfant, c’était du noir dont j’avais peur, du noir, des fantômes, des monstres et tutti quanti. J’ai tenté un jour, un soir, de conjurer cette peur, en vain. Peut-être un jour en ferais-je une histoire aussi…

      • Je découvre ta réponse, j’ai écrit depuis, je ne suis pas encore au point mais t’en avoir parlé m’a donné envie de coucher cela sur le papier. Un jour bientôt peut-être sur le blog, par conséquent…
        C’est un vrai bonheur de se balader sur tes pages, merci pour tes beaux partages…

      • Super. L’écriture est à la fois un bonheur et une thérapie. On couche des choses sur le papier. On s’en libère…
        Mes pages? Ravi de partager. Et ravi aussi de voir que ça touche les autres.
        Mais, chère amie, n’est-il pas fort tard dans notre beau pays? Ici, il est bientôt 20h, ça doit faire pas loin de trois heures du mat?
        Proust ne disait-il pas: “Longtemps je me suis couché de bonne heure”?
        Biz. Bonne nuit.

      • Oui, il est tard ici, je ne travaille pas demain, heureusement. Et je suis un peu déboussolée en ce moment, je dors peu, puis je dors beaucoup, puis peu à nouveau… Mais là, j’y vais ! Belle soirée à toi, Biz too

  11. P’tit Mzungu contre la mer et les vagues! Bien sur qu’il a gagné! 😉 Magnificent story, mon ami. And the photos are so special, as always. Maybe the inspiration will come to edit it with more of your own words. Bises.

    • LOL. Mzungu kidogo (petit). Merci. It was a fun story to write. The thing with my stories is that every time I “go back” to one, I change stuff. A word here, a phrase there. Punctuation. Endless. So I try to avoid it. I don’t want write the same stories over and over again. And translating one myself would be like rewriting it. I just need to make an experiment. Grab the same story and translate it myself. See how long it takes. ‘coz in the end I edited this one several times.
      Biz back.

    • Thank you. It is an important story to me on a personal level.
      I can imagine work getting in the way. I still do posts in advance. Right now I have 8. Which is good, because I have been a bit distracted lately.
      Buona settimana.

      • Wow, 8 in the bank, that’s 2 months worth I think for you – it is for me. I can’t seem to get ahead now and fixing up my old posts. But, can’t do these in advance as the URLs are broken if linked within another post. A real pain. Grazie 🙂

      • yeah, it’s about 2 months since i do one a week. A relief, I just published one this morning in 10 minutes. Last minute check.
        Why do you have URL problems? Did you change you site name? Buona sera. O notte?

      • Love that method and it works. You’ve got it under control.
        Nope, site name still the same. So, when you re-publish a post, WP adds the date in the URL. If you’ve linked internally to another post then the link is broken as the old link contains the old date. Can’t do relative links instead of absolute linking, which is a pain. A relative link wld fix the problem. Think it’s because on not on a business plan that I can’t do relative links. Also, on the business plan, you select the URL structure, so no silly date. Oh and by the way, the date in the URL is bad for google’s SEO. 😤

      • Don’t know about the relative link. I do have a paying plan. The cheapest I think. Which is fine in terms of storage size.
        And I don’t really care about SEO’s. 90% of my visitors are “old friends” such as you, which is fine by me. I have enough traffic for my taste. Cheers “Mate”. 😉

  12. this is wonderful, so the original must be phenomenal 🙂 there must be translators that are better than others? just heard this morning of a verbal translator which sounded amazingly good!

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