Susan here … after the last few weeks, I am more than ready to be stranded on a desert island for a long, long time. I want quiet, simplicity, sunshine (so drizzly and dreary here), and lots of peaceful solitude. You can come too –there are plenty of uncharted islands and remote spots to go around for all of us. We could find our own archipelago.
What would you bring with you? A stack of keeper books, of course, but what else?
You've been gently stranded – you know that a rescue helicopter or ship is on the way, but it will take a while to reach you, perhaps a week, a month, a year (trust me, I'm tempted!).
Where is this? It's like a paradise. You've washed up on an island with soft white sands, palm trees, lush plants, sunlight and warm, balmy winds, the shushing rhythms of the sea filling the air along with birdsong. This is a special, almost magical place with plenty of fresh water in trickling springs and lots of easy, enjoyable food sources – coconuts, berries, bananas, mangoes and other fruits, nuts and seeds, veggies too, enough to sustain for a long time. No need to fish, but you can if you want to deal with that (no thanks!).
Someone has been here before – there's a roomy hut, solidly built and beautifully fitted out in the shade of a palm tree grove. It’s a perfect glamping getaway, with fresh linens and soft carpets, a comfy chair, a table, a few dishes. (The outhouse is glamorous too!) The campfire is already laid out with lots of dry kindling. There are candles and a lantern. And lots of silky pillows on the soft bed.
The island has everything to support a gentle existence for quite a while — beautiful beaches, a calm surf at your toes, lovely little pools, glorious dawns and sunsets, lots of warm sun … and higher up, mountains, pine trees, springs and lakes, flowers along the pathways—even crystals and gems in the rocky hills as you walk around your island.
But it is a deserted island and all, so there's no internet, no email and social media, no news reports. No memes. There's a little crank generator so you can have some electricity if you need it. Otherwise there’s nothing to do but read, write, walk the beaches and follow paths up into the hills, and spend time however you like. You can nibble fruits and nuts and drink lots of cool fresh water (you could even make juice and coconut milk, and find herbs for tea). You can read on the beach – maybe you’ll make a chair out of fallen branches, grasses and leaves, or maybe you’ll find an old beach chair somewhere in that lovely hut.
So – what would you want with you for this gentle stranding, this escape and chance to jump off the grid? What’s most important, what are your very favorite things, what might you have in a bag or two that washed up with you? A few favorite books. Notebooks and pens. Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat. Skin lotion, lovely soaps. Sandals, sweater ….
A few of the Wenches have some thoughts on this. One of us is actually away on vacation at the moment, off to some balmy tropical place and experiencing a little of this secluded peacefulness. Here's what the Wenches have to say . . .
Andrea says– No surprise that books are on the top of my must-have list. And while I wholeheartedly support the no internet-e-mail rule, I would like a connection for my kindle so I would have an unlimited library. (Hey, the days are long and lazy on a desert island!) Like our intrepid Regency travelers, I’d also bring my watercolors and art pads. I’ve neglected doing art, and would love to get back dabbling in painting. I have just one other requirement for the island—it has to have a laid-back beachside bar, with funky music and cool libations, for all of us to unwind after a hard day’s work. Because, you know, writing IS hard work.
Nicola says –- For me it would be fresh linen and a comfortable bed. Hammocks are all very well for lazing around in the day whilst I read but I need a proper bed with a memory foam pillow! And a topper if the nights are cool. Yes, there is an emphasis on sleeping here! Also on the list would be my lip balm and hair brush. Oh and Maud, my… ahem… cuddly sloth. I never go anywhere without her, as the photo indicates.
Mary Jo says –- Sorry, but no desert island for me! I want my beach side bungalow to have a/c, electricity for recharging e-reader, a comfortable bed, and maybe a local cat to move in with us for the duration. And a few good restaurants nearby. Indeed, this is exactly what we've had on Virgin Gorda in the BVI. (Mary Jo is not interested in roughing it!)
And Susan, me, says –- I want to read, write, draw, wander, meditate and just enjoy the quiet. And sleep. So I’d bring whatever would support that – some favorite books (I could read Mary Stewart's books over and over and never be bored), notebooks and pens and pencils, sunscreen (that Irish skin!), my favorite flip-flops, my favorite hand lotion (usually something with a vanilla scent), sunglasses … and a cotton throw to use for a blanket, a light wrap, a covering for my beach chair . . .
Are you ready to totally get away? What would you bring along — and which keeper books would you make sure to have with you?