Writers, (among others) ‘do’ self-isolation, it’s par for the course – in attic rooms, garden sheds, quiet cafés – though the latter is off the list for awhile – but whether writer or not, if the sea is close and you can do so safely, don a wetsuit and let the might of waves batter body and mind back into full life…oh and DO roar if you like. It’s so good.
The Hotel Lualaba would be home now, its roughness matched by a homely, friendly atmosphere, and just as in Juba, the petit chambre I was offered was like a prison cell. On the threshold of that little room I blew out a deep breath, surveying the spartan space and knowing that for several days this was it…and indeed that was it, a world so remote from today’s, a world of no internet, no texting, no uploading or skyping, no easy phoning, nothing…nothing but the isolated, insulated mind and where it went with what it saw. Never did I write so many postcards and letters, only to grasp later, a long, long time later, how that writing was as much about me writing to myself as communicating to those who knew or half knew where I was.