I could not sleep well after failing to find the insect queen’s worker. I tried to put the time to good use by picking up my pen, but the muse evaded me on both Serendipity Island and Black Friars. I jotted down a few notes about the imagery I got from the queen’s dreams, which may prove useful some day. Likewise, I made note of my thoughts from the other day about my dreams, and the possibility of alternate realities, but nothing more. The creative spark was not there, which echoed my miserable failure at casting Mitternacht’s light spell, even with the new crystal. Aside from the worries about my insect friend, it was a rather lonely time searching for the worker; I saw nobody else about the island while I was doing so.
Thinking about that dream, especially the scenes from that last night in London when I looked through my belongings and decided it was time to go; put me in a maudlin mood. I pulled my battered and sea-stained trunk from out of the wardrobe and spent an hour or so wallowing; sifting through my memories, the ones held in the faded ticket stubs, calling cards, playbills and other paper ephemera of my life. Some memories eluded me, however, imprisoned within the salt-caked pages of a few signatures from my older journals, the leaves cemented together by their encounter with the sea. Looking at them, I realised that the months they had remained in my trunk, in the dry, had loosened the leaves a little, and I resolved to see if I could recover those memories.
I armed myself with some of the thinner knives from the kitchen, sheets of blotting paper and spare fabric and copious amounts of steam from the kettle – it seems somewhat decadent to be able to just press a switch and summon boiling water in such a short time, but I wasn’t about to complain. Within an hour, I had managed to peel apart a couple of pages, and they were still readable. They were notes from around the time I joined the crew of the Odiham Castle. I had to laugh at this rather serendipitous moment, for that was when I first went to Bremerhaven, got taken to the Blumengarten by my crewmates, and that, dear journal, was where I first met Katharina – the reason I now have this very different life, and, of course, the reason I set out for Bremerhaven on the voyage that brought me here. It seems strange, looking back at those entries and realising how little I knew back then. I need to transcribe these pages as they are hard to read. That will keep me busy for a while.