Message in a bottle

14 08 2012

We live in an increasingly complex world. Technology invades virtually every aspect of our lives. Gone are the days when you can “switch off”, disconnecting yourself from the hubbub and the chaos. If I choose not to answer an email, text message, or a phone call it’s like the world is ending! Now in a wonderfully ironic twist of fate, I am very “techy”. I enjoy my tech, I enjoy hacking, I enjoy playing on my PS3. Technology really does bring a new dimension into my life. Incidentally I refuse to even acknowledge the term “Geeky” as it seems to have been adopted by the media, and is used ad nauseum to describe anyone wearing glasses who likes computers !

Despite being a self confessed technophile, I enjoy the disconnection. There is a wholesome feeling in doing a manual task, building something, repairing something or even creating something. During my last visit to Florida I was discussing (for some unknown reason) casting notes into the sea with a dear friend. This seemed like such a cool thing to do…and I vowed to do it with my daughter upon my return.

So upon the aforementioned return, under the glare of a rare Summer sight (the British sun) the little one and I began to furiously scribble our notes to a stranger. My daughter is 6, and was super-excited at the prospect of a stranger and their little girl opening the bottle and finding her note. I explained carefully how it could be years before someone finds it and replies to the email address. Yes Tech even invaded this escapade ! She was unperturbed by this and wanted to do it regardless.

We wrote our notes on the rear of photocopied recipes. I figured that someone could read the notes, be inspired, then make a nice cheesecake ! Notes written, rolled and gently placed inside our wine bottles I screwed the cap on as tight as possible. We made our way towards the River Mersey in Liverpool (Albert Dock). The sun was beating down, it was glorious. People were relaxing in the sun, watching the world drift on by. Soon they would be watching our bottles drift along on the outgoing tide.

I must have looked like a really irresponsible parent, wandering along…6 year old in tow…carrying a plastic bag containing two empty wine bottles ! What tickled me the most was my daughter’s complete apprehension regarding our exploits. She was really concerned about littering and getting into trouble. I had quite the cavalier attitude and simply said “Nawww, just hoike it in hun” ! I accosted someone who looked in danger of relaxing too much to take a picture of us both.

The moment had come. Like I was hurling a Molotov cocktail into a bunch of marauding zombies, I hefted my bottle into the sky. My daughter followed suit, with a suitably satisfying grunt as she threw it. Both landed on the water with a very apologetic and quiet English “SPLAT”.

Our destiny was cast into the water. We watched our bottles slowly make their way towards the river mouth. Out into the Irish Sea, perhaps further afield than the Atlantic Ocean. Who knows where the bottles will end up ? Will they stay together, will they drift apart ? Will they be smashed against the rocks of some far off shore ? Will a child find it in 10 years time and be inspired to write about, as I was…who knows ?

Strikes me as ironic how a simple act of putting a note in a bottle, and throwing it into water can be compared to path that we weave through life.

Who knows…

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Incidentally for obvious reasons names and faces of the innocent have been removed !

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