pulling a Captain Call

“He didn’t tell him that even when life seemed easy, it kept on getting harder.”

“Well you could always pull a Captain Call,” – Matt LeBlanc, my maid of honor and our best friend said when we told him how upset we were that Basil died in New England.
A place that isn’t home to any of us. As always, that man is a gift to us and I don’t think he realizes it.
I’ve never thought about where I’ll die, because it never mattered to me whether I lived or not. I figure when I die my bones will be where they lay. I’ll be dust to the wind and no one will mourn because they’ll know how free I am. However, with Basil it always mattered. If I could change one thing I would have walked Basil back to Texas, even if it meant walking right through my shoes. Every stone making me wince but my bloody feet would have carried us home no matter what.

“It’s like I told you last night son. The earth is mostly just a boneyard. But pretty in the sunlight, he added,”
Augustus McCrae.

Everything went so fast and suddenly. Just a month ago he was still playing, running and being the beagle he always has been. He never stopped wanting to play, but by the end he just couldn’t. I wanted so desperately for him to feel the warmth of the Texas sunset on his face again, to roll around in the hottest and most dangerous grass of America again — where we all felt safe. After all. Basil was a Texas boy just like Jack. I do wonder if bringing him home in time would have changed anything, but realistically his legs would still have begun to drag, so I don’t know that it could’ve helped — but we all loved Texas. So it just might have.

“I’m glad I’ve been wrong enough to keep in practice. . . You can’t avoid it, you’ve got to learn to handle it. If you only come face to face with your own mistakes once or twice in your life it’s bound to be extra painful. I face mine every day–that way they ain’t usually much worse than a dry shave.”
Augustus McCrae.

Those who know me intimately know that I am to be cremated with my favorite book, Lonesome Dove. Jack bought Lonesome Dove for me from goodwill telling me “its a classic and you have to read it.” I remember the day we bought it. We’d had double Daves pizza with bacon and pepperoni, rummaged around goodwill and then ended up in Hobby lobby as we often do.
He didn’t tell me it would change my life. That it would shake every bone in my body and be the worst book hang over I have ever experienced in my entire life.
It took me a while to get around to reading it, because my reading list is from here to everywhere; but I started reading it a few months before we made our big move up north, I read it along the way and I finished it in our first months in our new place.  Six months it took me. We were making as big a trip as they were in the book. It is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. Just like Gus — Basil’s legs were ultimately the death of him. I didn’t realize that our ending would be somewhat the same, but it fits that Basil was our Gus McCrae. Because of the two I am definitely Woodrow.
Basil was a wonderful reminder that things can be good and life is precious we just have to realize it. Things aren’t always as bad as they seem.

“It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living. I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.” Spoken by Augustus McCrae. 

A memory that I cherish, that I have secretly treasured all these years is from when we lived in bum fuck Egypt Texas, in the little red brick house with snakes in the piping… where frogs in the yard were the size of a finger nail. The army of coyotes that we lived with sang us to sleep every night and where Basil got addicted to meth.

“The stars in Texas could have been taken from Van Gogh’s Starry night. They shine like crystals freckled across a deep velvet sky and are laced in a fluff of cloud. They bring the coyotes to song and lullaby bluejays to sleep. Crickets hum and tweak somewhere in the brush. When I looked up I was surrounded by a circle of what seemed the worlds tallest trees. The moon danced delicately around; being kissed by stars as it swung by. How small I was here. I was so far from anything familiar. Yet, I think I found it. “It.” What many never find in a lifetime, I found by the time I was 20.
I found me, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t find me in Texas.

So here I stand staring at the sky holding his hand: stars rolling on and time passing. Mosquitoes buzzing and bleeding us dry. Texas taught me that freedom does exist you just have to find it: whether it’s riding in the dusty brush or sitting at the bar with two southern gentlemen talking about absolutely nothing. Jack taught me how to find happiness in the darkest corners, how to fight for love and how to make tacos. Now I’m living in a wild and dangerous country, and everything is trying to eat me alive. Its true, Texas made a woman out of me and I wouldn’t change a thing.” 

This was taken from a previous piece I wrote about moving to Texas, and this is the memory that I have been visiting. It wounds me but its a place that I can escape to because it was a moment where there was peace, and we had everything ahead of us. We were three. Though Basil is not mentioned, he is in there. You just have to look. In every word. Every breath. Every single letter — he’s in there somewhere. As much apart of the words as the stars above us or the air we breathed. He was at our feet watching the stars just as we were. Watching us. Knowing probably that one day we’d be ok when he wasn’t around. That little comfort didn’t know how big he was. Truly. That boy could carry the world on his shoulders. He is the tank you wanna ride into war, because he will carry you out. Every time. And he’ll never complain. But he’ll be there. Taking every bullet and every piece of shrapnel.

So as our final thank you to you Basil, we’ll carry you home to Texas. Just as Woodrow Call carried Gus McCrea. We made a promise, and though others may find it stupid or too much for “just a dog”, it was a promise made in utter love. I would do it for Jack and I would do it for you. We’ll take you back to where the stars are so big you could pick them. Where we all were so happy, even through our growing pains. Where we were all so young, so stupid and ready to get out and live. That’s where we’ll all go — and we’ll go together. Like always.

How stupid we were to want to get out and live, when we were already dreaming.

“Yesterday’s gone on down the river and you can’t get it back.”
Augustus McCrae.

Live through it,” Call said. “That’s all we can do.”

crystal beaches & one hundred pelicans

I can’t begin to describe how amazing it was to be back in Texas for a week.
A well needed holiday for sure. Its been a difficult start to the year with work and the lack there of due to some dick nose giving me the flaccid shaft.
We flew out of Manchester NH, had a layover in Nashville. We were in Tennessee longer than expected. A bird splattered all over the wind screen and so we had to wait for a new plane. Terminology does wonders. We arrived in Houston around 11.00pm having left home around 02.00pm

As i watched the city lights roll  by flourish by flourish in the night on our way through Galveston, i see those memories i lived once upon a time flash in snippets as we drove. Of riding on some moody mare wrongly named “Angel,” drinking with friends in a place that also had a sign reading “Dirt Sold here,” and eating burgers in a black out whilst a woman, wielding half a fried spatular, tells some hick not to miss when he pisses in the dark. The craziest of my stories were born in Texas. And i mean the kind of thing you see in a film like the Big Lebowski or The Hangover. Now i’ve never woken up with a tiger in my hotel room and i don’t hate the Eagles, but i have been in some pretty insane situations since my time in the USA.

Now i was pumped to be back in Texas. By god, pumped like a teenage boy getting his first nudie magazine.
Our first day was spent sizzling in the sun, counting pelicans, socialising with family and wading around in the sea trying not to stand on fish heads. Our second day was about as adventurous as we got.
Back to Huntsville to visit friends, past old Sam Houston and all the old haunts.
We hit whataburger like a tonne of bricks and i wept eating my bacon burger, it was the best thing i’ve eaten in months.
Call me a soppy old boot — i dare you. But you haven’t tasted Texas till you’ve had Whataburger or Jerky from Buc-ees.
…so we got mesquite beef jerky from bucees.

Being in Texas and seeing friends from years ago was amazing, but it was hard. I realised how much i loved having these guys in my life and how they gave me something i’d never had before.
The will to live, laugh and make jokes at Jacks expense. You always come to terms with what you had when its gone.
I can’t stress this enough, but its also part of the growing pains. Learning the value of loving a friend, getting drunk as a skunk on Fridays and laughing at my attempt at ordering water at a Mexican food restaurant. That shit always goes wrong.
From now on i will forever order water with an American accent — to make life easier.
I’m also a little ashamed of the fact that i had two drinks and i was happy as a fat big in shit (not water by the by), but i had my best guys with me. A rare blessing if ever there was one.
Pretty sure the guy waiting on us poured double the alcohol in my second drink after i mentioned that the first didn’t taste like alcohol whatsoever.
So maybe i was a little high on happiness and a little too happy to be drinking with the four most handsomest(?) men in Texas, but i lived a dream that day. A dream that i needed fulfilled after all this time.
Good Old Texas.
Forever winning my heart over and over again.

The rest of the holiday was beaching. Alcohol, meat, partying and beach. Hot sun.
Laughing a lot and trying to get pictures of dolphins, but they really are elusive little bastards.

Ultimately — we had a great time with family and friends.
We want to move back more than ever.
But for now, here are a few shots from the trip.




where a cowboy is king

Texas.
Where a cowboy is king and its kinda ok to be stubborn as a mule.
I fit in alright.
Never was i the kind of girl who thought Texans rode to school on the back of a mustang, but i’d be deceiving you if i said i hadn’t hoped that there would some swinging saloon doors in my life.
I’m yet to find those doors swinging, but i found something else.
A place that is better than it ever could be in a book or on the tongue of a storyteller.
There are a lot of misconceptions about the South these days, but i find that you haven’t lived till you’ve made like Davy Crockett and gone to Texas.


Theres never been a home for me that made me realise “this is it. This is where i will die one day.”
When the sun peeks from behind the desert and winks at the piney woods in South East Texas, why theres nothing quite like it. Its burns like hell but you’ll never feel the sun on your face the you feel it there.


When i was younger a lot of the people around me were desperate to run off to America to be the next big film star, or some kind of uppity up in New York. I’d never heard anything so dull. What a typical dream – its been dreamt for hundreds of years, where is their imagination? If you have the power to dream beyond your means why dream of something magic. Having said that a dream is a dream to he who bares it. Then again, if i had had a dream it would be for something far greater far more than monetary success. I’d dream of the land — so deep  the moon could swim in it and horses could run boundless for years. I’d dream of a place where the sunset was always singing through the window. There is so much more to life than what instagram or twitter, even facebook tells you.
You don’t need to lose those 10 pounds to be beautiful. If you aren’t beautiful now you wont be then. It isn’t the pound its the mind.
You don’t need those long shifts to get to where you’re going.
You don’t need to suffer to live.
You just need to live.
One deep breath at time.


So when i dreamed i dreamed beyond the stage of the weeping clown that i am.
I dreamed beyond that horizon that swung behind heavy waves as our sails flurried, where two pirates sat eating biscuits under the stars.
I dreamed i would never lose myself to society.
Something i do every day is remind myself what i am and who i feel i’m mean’t to be.
I will feel every footstep under me even when it sucks ass to be alive.


All this brings me to telling you — i never even wanted to visit America. It didn’t interest me whatsoever. I’d closed that off because it was something everyone wanted, and all i wanted was to be left to be exactly as i always had been.
Would that bring me money?
I’d find a way and strangely enough…
I did.
And it meant moving to the United States to become a shit kicker.
Something i’d been sure wasn’t for me (the usa … not the shit kicking, who doesn’t love kicking shit?) — was exactly where i was supposed to go.
To experience life on a scale that stretches from here to Uranus.
Be careful what doors you try to close.


We’ll be travelling back to some old haunts in Texas this week, and i can’t wait.
To look at it all again with a fresh mind and a new perspective. Have margaritas with friends, family days on crystal beach and so forth.Hopefully i’ll also get some kind of a kick in the ass to get inspired and work harder on my novels.
But who knows what the future will bring. As long as it eventually brings me back to a place that belongs in my heart — i wont ask for more than that.


I can’t wait to be around familiar places and people.
Call me crazy — but i can’t wait for the heat either.
Yes i will complain about it when i’m there but i love to complain.
Galveston is one of my favourite places in the world.


The colours of the sea side town we know and love.

Cowboy and a freckled hound
See you in Texas!

The cowboy

i’ve got a jar of lone star

Everyone has different ways of coping with homesickness. Some people write about it, others embrace it.. but me? I carry a jar of dirt with me, yup — thats right. Texas dirt. Texas is the first place away from Denmark that i’ve ever felt at home or like i could stay there for the rest of my life; as a drifter thats saying a whole lot. I haven’t opened the jar since we left almost three years ago, the ground inside is from our little piece of land on the outskirts of town, the leaf was the first that fell and the empty bullet well thats another story.  My little jar of Lone Star sits by my bedside and comforts me when the days get too long. I think back to that brick house where the coyotes used to gather like fruit flies, where i ended up showering with a lizard and an angry scorpion consistently hid in my boots.

When night fell over Gazebo street our backyard became a fair ground of playing stars dancing for the limelight. We’d stand and watch them roll, shoot and shine for hours whilst the mosquitoes bled us dry. It was worth every minute.
I remember one evening when summer was turning to autumn. We slept with the window open. Around 4.30am i heard a high pitched eerie howl as beautiful as ever it could be. Outside my window was a lone coyote, right outside. I didn’t dare look but i could smell her breathing and i sure as hell could hear her singing. The wind was almost cool and soothing — rare for South East Texas.  In the distance a whole band of coy dogs began to yip and yawh, so my friend of the night disappeared into the brush. I will never forget that early morning, and though i was too freaked out to look through the dark for her, it is one of my fondest memories. I have a soft spot for coyotes and wolves, for farmers and ranchers they’re little devils, but to me they’re like me. Drifting from place to place and part of the pack.
My pack amounts to three, and thats how it should be.
So there on my bedside table is my comforting jar of dirt that wakes a memory or two.