Friday, 23 January 2009

Day Fifteen: Or is it?

Somewhere along the line I think that I must have got my days mixed up as we definitely left on Thursday January 8 and now it is Thursday January 22, and that is fourteen days later and yet my cumulative tally as a heading has reached Day 15. Guess I screwed up somewhere with my daily numbering but as I have to be online at the P & O exorbitant rate to look at all the pages I have written it won’t be adjusted any time soon.

We are truly appreciative of all the comments that we have received for the blog and our 9 followers are doing us proud with their replies; we just sit in the cabin and blether on as we remember the happenings of the day – at least Sam does although Hilary is a lot more organised and does keep a daily notebook. We took the bull by the horns today and went to reception to ask for a statement of what we had spent so far and then ambled off to our cabin to check it against the receipts that we have. The problem is that Sam doesn’t always remember to give the receipt to Hilary for logging and the consequence is that we have spent about £100 more than we thought that we had. Most of that is for internet time because you don’t get a paper receipt for minutes purchased on line.

Today has been a strange day for us as it has not gone according to our routine, for a start the sea is a lot more lumpy than usual and Sam found it slightly nauseous when he was typing away last night for the blog. However that feeling has gone today even if the sea is still lumpy. It was a pretty normal start with breakfast – 2 Weetabix for Sam and fruit for Hilary – followed by a stroll to look for dolphins (only a couple this morning) and then it was clay modelling time which Hilary will tell you about later. Sam lounged outside with a book for just over half an hour and then got fed up with the inane chatter of two old biddies sitting nearby and being the gentleman that he is he got up and walked away without even telling them to belt up! It was back to the cabin to meet Hilary for lunch, yes real lunch this time an official sit down with the officers, free champagne and wine and 3 courses to eat. Dress code for the lunch was Smart Casual which for Sam meant throwing on a polo shirt and khaki pants while Hilary kitted herself out in a tailored white suite with fine pin stripes. She was so pleased to discover that not only did it look good but she had at least an inch to spare around the waist. It was another good Ross buy and she looked really good in it too, I hope that she wears it again; for all her concerns about comparing herself with the seasoned cruise ladies she has beaten them all in my eyes.

First we had to find the Oriental Restaurant as we normally use the Peninsular and the ship has a strange layout. Both restaurants are on the same deck with the Oriental being further aft and the only way we could find to get to it was to go to the Peninsular, go down a deck and walk under the Peninsular, then back up a flight of stairs and there was the Oriental. We hope that the regulars who use that restaurant find it more easily than we did. Our dinner companion Peter had previously organised that our 6 regular RTW’s (Round the Worlders) would share a common table but as we approached it we noticed that it was laid for seven and an officer was standing by to greet us. He introduced himself as Fitzgerald Rodriguez Accommodations Manager and it transpired that he was from Goa (as are many of his cabin staff including Geraldine). He was a charming dinner companion and answered all kinds of questions about P & O, how the management structure operates, the problems with the laundrettes and lastly about his family (two boys aged 10 and 13) and how often they get to see each other etc. It appears that the crew’s families get an entitlement of 2 months cruising a year and this allows him and his family to meet up with their relations in the UK. The champagne glasses were raised to toast “Absent Friends”, in this case we meant Richard and Keiko. Both Hilary and I chose to have the vegetarian French Onion soup (a little sweet for my taste) and the fillet of salmon in a very nice cream sauce. Vegetables were minimal, which was good, but our good work was undone when we had the whisky soaked Bread and Butter Pudding for dessert. Having had champagne and a glass of Chardonnay with his lunch Sam rolled his way back to the cabin blaming the lumpy sea for his progress – a good time was had by all and we went away happy that our new found officer friend promised to look into getting Richard and Keiko the free fountain pen and ball pen set that are normally reserved for the RTW.

Tiz I. Jimmy Edwards, the clay model now has the back of his coat and two arms although the hands are missing as yet. Tomorrow there is no class as we will be in port – Acapulco. We only have three more classes before we get to San Francisco and the teachers leave the ship to fly back to the UK so I will have to work really hard during that time to get him finished. Apparently, I have to ask the bar staff if they will save me a wine bottle box (I think its Martini) and an empty large water bottle which will perfectly fit over the model when it is finished. These will be used to transport him home safely. Yesterday the ship was rolling quite a bit and I was concerned that Jimmy might slide off the counter top so he was wrapped in Sam’s socks and surrounded by cushions while we went down for dinner – one cannot be too careful. Everything else had to take the risk of sliding around! I love strolling along the deck after breakfast and leaning on the front rail to watch for dolphins. How they don’t get stuck under the ship I don’t know but they are fascinating to watch. It is the only time I actually go out into the sun but I am definitely going a strange shade although I am still lily white compared to most of the other residents of the ship. I have not been able to start the scrapbook because I have found difficulty in getting the photographs printed for me. Today I talked to the professional photographer and he thought that I might be able to do a deal with the manager of their shop on the cost of the printing if I need enough! Well that won’t be a problem, I have lots. So I might be able to get started soon, it all depends if the price is right. The embroidery is coming along and there is a chance that it might be finished before I get home – its only taken a couple of years so that’s not too bad for me; Pat I will need your help to figure out how to make the bag. Julian I liked your comment about the mules. They are amazing and the drivers must like fairground rides to cope with the very steep gradient on the slopes between the locks. Great stuff to watch even in the rain. Great news to hear that Marlene is planning to do the Reiki with Hales and Sharon at the end of February. My love to everyone.

Just returned from a nice simple dinner, we were not planning to go as we had such a big lunch but we are glad that we did. We both stuck to a simple salad and dessert but enjoyed the company as much as the meal itself. Alison and Bill came in a little tipsy again and Alison brought her evening wine in with her and when Richard said that he was feeling under the weather and didn’t need wine and we said that as we had wine with lunch and didn’t need any either you could see their faces drop. However it was soon rectified when Bill decided just to buy a half bottle between them and so they proceeded to tipple their way through the meal before leaving early to go to have drinks with the Chief Engineer that they had made friends with earlier in the trip.

The evening entertainment in the Theatre Royal was Let’s go to the Hop, a superb Rock ‘n Roll show put on by the ship’s young entertainers. We thoroughly enjoyed it and were among the many who gave the cast a standing ovation at the end, those kids worked so hard and as we left the theatre they were standing by the exits. We stopped and talked to them and gave them all the encouragement that we could, they deserved every bit of it tonight and when I asked the lead singer of the night if I could borrow his Teddy Boy Zoot Suit he laughed and said “Anytime.” I can’t close with the latest picture of Hilary’s model as she hasn’t taken one tonight but I will add one as soon as I can.

Tomorrow it is Acapulco and we are off at 9.30am to meet and hopefully release some baby turtles into the wild, it seems that this is a conservation thing similar to the one that they have in Hawaii except that here they retrieve the eggs after they are laid and hatch them out so that they are not eaten by predators. The babies are then released once they have grown big enough, of course they still get eaten out in the sea but apparently their survival rate is significantly increased, so we will give it a go and let you know what it is like tomorrow night. Goodnight all.


Jessica said...

Hello! Nathan and I here. Tomorrow we're heading to Shanghai to enjoy the lunar new year there and prepare for mom's arrival.
Sounds like you're having an excellent trip so far. Nathan and I have decided that when we retire we want to do something similar. We're rather jealous.
Much love!

samw7 said...

I suggest that you hold on to the photos until you hit San Francisco and then take them to a Walgreens, since you are going anyway to pick up dad's acetaminophen. You can either do the one hour or use one of the machines. Just a thought. Keep the updates coming. As Jeff said, if we can figure out a way to afford it, we are hoping to come over in the summer.
Love you both. Sam