There's something a bit more than alliterative about sailing Turkish waters with a captain named Waters, but that's what we're doing on the 'Hilda May' out of Fathiye. Mountains all around us falling down to many, many little bays and coves where we anchor for the nights. Lazy hot days, sometimes interspersed with panic attacks as I'm supposed to do something nautical with ropes and anchor chains and sails. Everything has its own different name - heads, galley, taffrail, transom - I have to translate in my head before action and delay does not please the captain, who runs a tight ship while I softly sing that line from 'The Leaving of Liverpool' which paraphrased goes '. . . the captain's name was Waters and his ship's a floating hell'. The food in the small quayside restaurants is to die for: fish and prawns straight from the net. Most of them make their own bread in a wood fired oven as one rises in the early morning. Heaven. There is the added bonus of golden eagles flying over the hills and indeed we saw (and I photographed) one eagle owl on a branch. Scrabble of an evening on deck is a bloody affair, with the captain bemoaning the fact that flogging one's crew is no longer permissible. Nautical words count double, so you can imagine who scores most on that count.
On a recent blog I reported that I had found a new literary agent after the Maggie Noach Agency closed. I was premature. I met with the man, who seemed enthusiastic about my work, took my latest novel with him, called me the next day for an electronic version of the manuscript and promised to get back to me sooner or later. That was the last I heard from him. After nearly 3 months, four emails, one non-returned phone call (during which is assistant claimed he had not been told about me or my novel) I suddenly twigged that I was never going to hear from him again. I felt very stupid and somewhat angry. I could go on a little about good manners, honour, respect, and a few other social graces that seem to have fled in this case, and I could give the man's name, but I have absolutely no idea why he has not contacted me again after our first and only meeting. Straight dealing used to be standard, but standards seem to have dropped.