Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Day Seventy Four: Lumpy, bumpy

Not only is it cold but now the seas have turned very lumpy but the good news is that the ship is coping with it very well and although it rolls a little bit no-one that we know off seems to be in great distress. Sky News says that there is rain around in this part of the Med but we have had mainly blue skies with occasional clouds and as I write this in our cabin the room is flooded in sunshine and the air conditioning has kicked in to keep me cool.

We have spent all day inside the ship, only going out across the Lido Deck to walk across it to get to the Conservatory for breakfast. We toned it down today and both of us avoided the vegetarian bacon, Hilary had toast and fruit while I had Weetabix and grapefruit. Then I went to the Theatre Royal to see the Concorde man as he was talking about the demise of Concorde with particular reference to the crash in Paris in 2000. If he is to be believed the official report that was put out by the French is a bit of a whitewash and they are trying to put the blame on Continental Airlines when a modified part fell from one of their planes and was run over by the Air France Concorde. His “truth” is that Air France had not done their maintenance correctly on one of the wheel sets plus they deliberately overfuelled the plane in order to compensate for excess baggage. The fact that a lot of records concerning the maintenance, the fuel load and the baggage load went missing hours after the crash only lends speculation to his turn of events. If ever there was a conspiracy theory about the fate of Concorde this guy is at the centre of it. We will never know what happened and now that Concorde will never fly again I see little point in finger pointing but the guy has to have something controversial in order to sell his book and to keep his lecture tour going doesn’t he?

We skipped lunch, apples only, and then went back to the theatre to see a talk by the Profiler which this time was quite frankly the most boring one that she has given. She has been given samples of handwriting by lots of the audience (including mine) and she spent her hour giving detailed descriptions to two men and two women on how she would read their character from her analysis. I found it very general although it may have had some relevance to the people involved but to the rest of the audience it was of no use whatsoever. (Hilary might have a different view).

Our next foray into the theatre was to see a British TV actress called Julie Peasgood who talked about her life. She apparently is best know nowadays as co-host with Alan Titmarsh as his “sexpert” but quite frankly I was not impressed with her either and if I saw her on TV I am not sure if I would be able to distinguish her from many of the other long blonde actresses and artistes that appear. She was followed into the Theatre Royal by a much more interesting interview with the cast of the Headliners and although this went along similar lines to the interview that they gave earlier in our cruise I think that the new Cruise Director brought out a bit more of their characters. She did involve the musical director Dean McDermott and we also heard a lot more about the musical arrangements and the technical side of the shows themselves. A well worthwhile hour.

I am looking out of the cabin window as I am typing this and as we are on the port side heading west what can I see? Sicily that’s what and in case you hadn’t guessed it we are currently sailing between the toe of Italy and the island of Sicily, we will progress like this until eventually heading north where we will end up at Citavecchia which is the nearest port to Rome. So tomorrow we will be off to see the Coliseum, The Trevi Fountains (three coins and all that) as well as all the ancient and modern monuments that make up the city of Rome. I believe that our view of the coliseum is drive by only but we will have to get the tour guide out to find out. That’s it for me, not a lot happened today so far, we can’t go outside as some of the decks are closed due to the strong winds and anyway it is too cold. We had a “Reflection” photo taken last night with us in our finest gear standing beside a grand piano and with our reflections in the lid, Hilary thought that one of them was good enough to purchase so that’s another one for the album. Tonight we have another go at getting our “free” picture taken again as when we were there last night they said they were sorry but that they had given us the wrong date and it should have been today, so all our early dressing up was in vain but it did give us the opportunity to have a glass of wine with Bill and Alison before dinner. Here’s Hilary….

Tiz I. Thank you for the messages – lovely. Jess, I’m sorry that I did not take any photos of the coral, which was so many different colours, or the fish – I was far too busy watching them all and had the camera sitting on my lap! What a failure! Hales, I will confirm the time we expect to get home when we get confirmation of our pick up time from the taxi company. Pat, we will all have to keep up the blog after we get home, we might be able to expand the idea and include everyone’s day or week! We will have to see what the gang all think about that. Sam, Dad and I are sorry to miss the bluebonnets this year but we have had a pretty brilliant time so we must not complain about it. We reckon that the change in the temperature (although it has been a bit sudden) will get us ready for arriving home. We did have breakfast out on the deck at the back end of the ship where the ship shielded us from the majority of the wind but it was not a long leisurely breakfast as we had previously enjoyed. Apparently the temperature dropped like a stone during the transit of the Suez Canal and has not recovered since! After the trip to Cairo I was exhausted and today I am still a bit spacey but recovered enough to undertake the next and last organised tour of our journey. This time to Rome! I am excited and looking forward to seeing the sights of this city. I will send the postcards from Cairo and Rome from Rome – we got back far too late to mail anything in Egypt. As I type we are passing Sicily and can watch the shoreline from our cabin window. Italy is on the starboard side and we cannot see that. We have just passed the volcano but luckily it is very quiet just now. We are due to berth at about 6am in the morning – about 12 hours time. We are watching the weather conditions in Rome on the TV so we know what to wear tomorrow. We will have to figure out how to cope with a busy day after all these lazy hazy days at sea, it will come quite hard I think so don’t expect too much initially. We are looking forward to seeing you all soon, take care, God bless.

OK it is now around 10.30pm and dinner is over and while Hilary went to the theatre I joined Peter in the cinema to see Quantum of Solace, it was so exciting that we both dropped off at one stage. Actually I quite enjoyed it but I have yet to work out exactly what the plot was, but great action sequences anyway. We are off to Rome at 8.00am tomorrow so I will post this and get to bed. Just before dinner we went to have a portrait session of photos and we have picked out 6 of them at great expense plus we are buying a CD with them on so that we can make our own when we get back. I will post one or two of them when we get the CD. Love to all.


samw7 said...

Hope you have a wonderful day in Rome. From everything I've heard it is a pretty amazing city. We are under the threat of severe thunderstorms, although all the doppler radars seem to indicate that they are going to go North of here. However, they could possibly interfere with Jeff's softball match tonight. We'll see. Can't wait for you to be home so that we can get back to our Sunday chats. I have missed them.
Love to you both, Sam

Julian said...

Hi Sounds like you are still enjoying yourselves. Hope you have enjoyed Rome and all their is to see. The reason I am in London is that the crew swapped boats whilst I was at college. We are still at the Tilbury cruise terminal and the starboard main engine is still in bits!
Love to you both