FIELD DIARY – Friday 13 April
Not much daylight left now. So why waste it on writing a diary no-one is going to read? But as my heart stops pounding and my pulse begins to slow I find myself falling into old habits: organise shelter for the night; write up field diary. Perhaps in some future time surveyors with theodolites will come to turn this island into desirable real estate. ‘Sought- after location, split-level design, ocean views’. They will stumble across my mouldering remains and read my diary to find out what happened. What will it tell them? How can I find the words? I can’t even begin to make sense of how I got to this place, so perhaps I should start by describing my surroundings.
My refuge is not a true cavern. It could best be described as a shallow rock shelter gouged progressively by pounding waves in primeval days when the sea level was much higher. It has a narrow slanted entrance, clean dry air quality, and a half- circle of small ceiling holes letting in a surprising amount of daylight. Although not large, it has a number of advantages. I noticed some of these when I first explored it, but in my new and different circumstances I was afraid that it might turn out to be dank and fetid or, worse, too small for occupation. It’s fortunate that I’m not claustrophobic because, particularly with the tree masking the entrance, it’s a pretty close fit. Still, there’s not much chance I’ll be putting on any weight.
Taking stock, I have between me and starvation a 100 gram bag of sultanas, a 100 gram bag of peanuts, six stems of fruiting karkalla (about nine fruits), and two honey menthol lozenges (found in the pocket of my anorak).