I must go down to the seas again to the lonely sea and sky
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
Sea Fever by John Masefield
I don’t actually want a ship. We had a small boat when we were kids and it was blimmin’ hard work … and all we did was meander up the River Severn. I can only imagine the horrors of being on a proper ship, particularly in the dark old days; it must have been hell. But there’s a certain mystique to the shipping world of the bygone era. Let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy a good tale about a ghost-ship or a good romp about pirates? And that was just what I saw today. Voyages, the latest exhibition by the awesome Anderson & Low, brings together fantasy, magic and myth through their highly original depiction of some of the model ships stored at Blythe House. Der fliegende Holländer, Moby Dick, the Marie Celeste, the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Hornblower all come to life through these images. And I’ve discovered that books about ships and the sea have their own literary genre, nautical fiction. I feel inspired to add a few to my ever burgeoning TBR pile.
Voyages is on at the Science Museum until the 25th June and so if you get the chance, I urge you to go and see it.