In August 2003, convinced that the performance would be sold out, Chris and I queued for half an hour for tickets to see Pirates of the Caribbean as soon as we boarded the ferry to Santander for our first camping trip in Spain. It turned out that we had miscalculated the likely demand and we ended up holding hands in the dark, the only two viewers in the tiny cinema in the bowels of the ship.
Chris loved Captain Jack Sparrow. Quite understandable. Who wouldn’t want to be Captain Jack when they (don’t) grow up? She also fancied Johnny Depp. Bit of a mystery that, when she already had me. Ah well. No accounting for taste.
One detail of the film that we both loved was Captain Jack’s compass. For those who haven’t seen the film I should say that rather than pointing North, this particular compass points to whatever the holder most desires.
In the end, after years of struggle and bickering, and even without the benefit of a magic compass, Chris and I discovered that we wanted exactly the same thing.
To come home.
Home to ourselves; to each other; and to the lives we were meant to live.
Home to the planet; and finally, to the cosmos.
Which is why I’ve called the memoir of the last 18 months of Chris’s life, that I’ve recently finished writing, Homeward Bound and why I’ve used the image of Captain Jack’s compass as an illustration.