Saturday, 21 March 2009

Day Seventy: Eat, sit, read, swim, sit, listen

I could finish the blog right there with the title as it pretty much sums up our last on board day in the Red Sea. The clocks went back last night AND ANOTHER HOUR TONIGHT, THIS IS RIDICULOUS, but we still managed to lie in until after 8.00am before we got up and prepared for the day. Although neither of us was particularly interested in breakfast we did manage to get to the Conservatory where instead of pigging out on vegetarian bacon, sausage, beans, eggs, mushroom and fried bread as I did yesterday I managed a more conservative grapefruit and two Weetabix washed down with a cup of tea.

As we were out of the breakfast room relatively early we found two sun loungers on the port side which, at least temporarily, were in the shade and I baggsed them with towels and books so we could keep them for a while. We both sat and read our novels for an hour or so - I was right at the end of the library owned Harlen Coben and Hilary has just started a book given to her last night by our dinner companion Peter. Incidentally we were invited to their cabin last night so that Hilary could pick up the book, we could get a website for a cheap cruise travel agent (yes we are thinking of another one) and so that Hilary could see a highly decorated patchwork elephant that Christine had bought in Cochin. Their cabin is on Deck 6, the same level as the Peninsular Restaurant, and is an outside one with a window, very similar to ours but with just a shower instead of a shower/bath. They seem to have a few more drawers and an extra mirror but other than that the layout was pretty similar to ours; however the big difference was that they have their beds as twins whereas ours are pushed together. It means that they probably have a bit more space to turn round in, we have two narrow strips either side of the bed and their central space is obviously twice as wide as ours but overall I think that we made the right choice for us. We have both learned to live with each other’s snoring and luckily neither of us is that bad for long. We keep our cabin tidier too and we don’t have the problem of having to put on and take off about 15 stuffed animals on the bed each night – remind you of someone Julian?

As 10.00am rolled around I decided not to see the Concorde talk, today’s was not so much about the aeroplane itself but how Britain lost its position as a prime supplier of modern aircraft so I continued reading until the profiler lady was due to start and we both toddled down the stairs together. Hilary did divert slightly to pick up our passports – yeh we have them back in our possession again as we need to carry them in Egypt tomorrow. Just a geographical note we have Sudan to our left and Saudi Arabia to our right at the moment, but that will soon change to Egypt on the left (port) side. The subject for the profiler today was “Doodles” and she started off with some famous ones that have been sold in aid of the epilepsy association, it was interesting to see the difference between Sarah Palin (who doodled her name over and over getting bigger with it each time) and Barack Obama (who drew cartoons of other Democrats at a meeting – a good likeness of Ted Kennedy too). We couldn’t just doodle as it has to be something you do while you are paying attention to what you are actually doing but she did give us some tests designed by the Israelis to show how good we were at Creativity, Performing and Leadership. Hilary felt that my answers nailed me perfectly as being someone who always shows confidence while leading others into blind alleys….. I’m not sure that I want to go along with that but I am still hopeful of having my own performance in front of the Headliners.

While in the CyberStudy last night putting the finishing touches to my Headliners tribute poem I spotted one of the dancers and showed it to her and asked if I could read it to them when they were together. She said that she would see what she could do and we left it at that, I am waiting for the call back….

OK back to today, after the talk we went back to our sun loungers (still reserved with towels, naughty, naughty) and I soon finished my book and went to get another and on my return – now getting close to lunch – I noticed that one of the pools was empty so I took the opportunity for my daily swim. I was in the small pool so lengths were out of the question but I got some good exercise on front and back and some good star floats before I decided to call it a day as I didn’t want to get burnt by the sun (doesn’t that sound good to you folks in England? Remember that big yellow thing in the sky that makes you warm? Well take it from me you can have too much of it!) Swim over I relaxed by the pool reading my new Patricia Cornwell novel called Scarpetta until I was dry by which time a band called Natural High was performing live music that you could sing along with or dance too. But they were just the preliminary to our highlight of the day when the Oriana choir came on at 3.30pm for their renditions of several well known songs. We had a particular interest as both Bill and Peter our dinner companions were taking part – I have posted a picture, Bill is on the left and Peter is on the right. It was enjoyable fun but even from our distance we could see a certain amount of jostling for position by the men so that they could be seen and heard by their friends and family in the audience. It probably happened with the women too but we don’t have a spy in their camp to tell us what is going on. Singing over it was time to retire to the cabin and prepare for a semi-formal (i.e. jackets for the men) dinner tonight and get ready to land at Sharm el Sheikh tomorrow. Here’s Hilary……

Tiz I. Sharm el Sheik tomorrow and we have not booked ourselves on a trip so who knows what we will do! I was talking to a lady that I met a few days ago and she was telling me that there is not a day at sea between tomorrow and the Cairo tour. Now that tour starts at 5.00am and I am not sure whether I want to go out tomorrow and get tired in the heat when the next day will be starting so early! We will see. The Cairo tour (where we will see the pyramids and the sphinx) will take all day until about 7.00pm while the ship transits the Suez Canal. We meet up with the ship in Port Said at the other end. Apparently, tomorrow, the only beaches which are clean and have easy access to the shore are privately owned by the big hotels, maybe we will get a taxi and go to one of them for a few hours tomorrow. I have discovered that I really enjoy thriller, mystery books by Harlen Coben and could not put the book down until my eyes closed on me – too weary to read any more! Great fun, and I have always read biographies until now, a convert and at my age already! I am going to have a practice pack to see how big the new suitcase will need to be! I have been so careful not to buy big souvenirs (except for the table base) and we still seem to have quite a lot of new stuff. My practice pack will have to be done while I am on my own – I don’t need too much advice or nagging about ‘do you really need that’ or ‘you were the one who wanted to buy that’ stuff. I also have to sew the damaged suitcase back together – the one that arrived on board with half the lid peeled back – it is amazing how I can find so many things to do instead of sewing that suitcase! It only has to stay ‘together’ until we get back to Chub Tor and then it can be ditched. I’ll see if the emporium sells duct tape! Well that is it for tonight so take care and God bless.

Have to close with a review of the Headliners new show, it was certainly one for people who remember the swinging rat pack and of course it was great, worthy of any spot on a TV show or between the real headliners on a Royal Variety – these kids are good and I hope that we get to meet them. That’s it we are in for a fairly early night as we are trying to store up some energy for the day after tomorrow when we leave the ship somewhere between 4.00am and 5.00am. Can’t say I am looking forward to that. Night all.


Pat said...

Sounds as if you have been having a restful time and it sounds as if you will need all your energy for Cairo. It also sounds an exhausting day but well worth it to see the pyramids etc. Thats alot of sounds in the last few sentances, sorry about that.
Guess what we have had a week of sunshine and today in Exeter it reached 60 but alas it is supposed to get colder next week. Hopefully it will then be good for April 1.
I went up to Chepstow last Wednesday to see my friend Pam. It seemed very strange not having to worry about leave etc, really good to be retired after all.
Have a lovely time in Cairo.
Love Pat

Liz said...

Hi there,

I really hope you enjoy Cairo as much as we did. My memories are chandelier lights in high rise homes with no windows and the amount of people that live in the city cemetery. The cemetery is like an independant city within the city of Cairo - really odd.
I also remember the whirling dervige dancers, amazing. I hope you get to see them.

Oh and if you go to the museum, go and see tutankarman, (because it is blissfully cool in there!).

Okay, enough of my rambling, have a fun day. Love Liz xx

Sharon and Georgia said...

Hi Guys,

Its taken me nearly an hour and a half to catch up on the blog. You have had some great adventures since I last read including,seeing whales, close encounters with Johnny Depp's cousins, and Uncle Sam turning German!

I am sorry to hear some of your experiences in India were not as wonderful as they should have been. I loved the rugs and the elephants. You haven't mantioned seeing Slumdog Millionaire yet. Please go if it comes on or when you return home. An amazing film and one you can relate to a little now you have seen a little of the raw India.

We all miss you and are so happy you have had such an extraordinary experience. Keep on enjoying!

We all love and miss you xx

Marlene and Tara said...

I have just had an offer accepted on a two bedroom apartment in Hayle! It is brand new, ground floor and lovely. Was on the market for £119,995 and I put in an offer of £110,000, which was accepted! Should I have offered less? I don't really care, I am thrilled. Tell you more about it later. xxx

samw7 said...

Hi There
Just catching up as Saturday is my no computer day and today I spent most of the day over at Tess's apartment helping her to pack as she is moving in mid-April to a less expensive apartment. Cheryl's test came back and there were some remnants of the cancer in her tissue so she will have to undergo radiation and maybe chemo, but she'll know more this week. She is in good, positive spirits. Glad that you ended up having a surprisingly good day in Sharm el Sheikh. Hope you enjoy the pyramids as much as I did, they truly are an amazing human achievement. Since Dad has found his love of bartering, he'll have to use those skills on a trip to China. It's such a part of the culture there.
Liz - Glad you have taken the leap. It will only pick up from here
Marlene - Congratulations on your flat. That's such great news.
Love to you both,