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Published: October 29th 2018
Sent to you at 1140 P.M ship's time, while sitting on the crew stairway close to my cabin because this is the only place that our internet now works!
Sunday, October 28
The ship’s satellite internet connection seems to be down. I have tried four times to upload yesterday’s ramblings but with no success. It may work better later today when people are out at dinner, drinking, gambling, etc. Or even late at night when bad little boys and girls are asleep.
That last statement may come as a surprise to those of you who know as early to bed types. THAT is one of the beauties of doing a crossing. We become night owls of a sort! It is a new and exciting existence, full of danger, thrills and beauty in unexpected places. For us, at any rate. Which means less James Bond and more suburban dog owners amusement park! Not exactly Miss Moneypenny but rather Mrs. Credit Card.
We did not even get back to the room last night until midnight. Dinner with our new friends at our table for six went on for more than two hours, then developed into a visit to the Chart Room for a cognac, a jazz trio and a lot of laughs. We had decided to splurge and buy ourselves a bottle of our favourite celebration wine, Chateauneuf du Pape. Our wine waiter practically drooled as he described the vintage he could offer. (Okay, so it was $100. Like I said, a splurge.)
Our table mates were as captivated by his enthusiasm as we were so I figured what the hell and told Dejan (the “j” is pronounced “h”) to bring six glasses. One of my better moves, I think. Heck, everybody got happy, and all from one glass of free wine! We were already getting along really well, this just kinda raised the (forgive me) bar.
We were still up by 830 this morning and, perhaps penitent, perhaps hungover (or both!) decided we would attend the church service to be led by the ship’s captain at 10 a.m.
It was lovely. The captain is an amazing public speaker with shocking amounts of presence. He was witty, he was warm, he led all the hymns, did all the prayers in a meaningful way, and explained why we had to sing the egregious “How Great Thou Art.” I was going to sit that one out except that he said he understood that it was very popular in America and he wanted to include it to commemorate the people shot at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. Then of course I had to join in with everyone else.
We are invited to a cocktail party with the Captain and 1500 of his closest friends tonight and I hope to have a chance to tell him what a wonderful job he did. It was a thoughtful, carefully put together, and beautifully presented service by someone who cared deeply about what he was doing. No doubt he had help in assembling the bits and pieces but his sincerity in presenting absolutely shone through.
We stayed put for a lecture from a man who had been a Buckingham Palace press secretary for 12 years, grabbed a quick lunch and headed out for a talk by an art historian. His topic was art and design involved in the great French liners of the ‘30’s, including the stunning Art Deco Normandie.
I must confess that it was not so simple as walking from one venue to the next. Actually there was a break between the latter two lectures of only half an hour and we rushed off to grab a quick lunch. As I was standing in line, clutching my plate, Susan said that she had seen sushi somewhere and went off to investigate. She came back as I moved along, reported that she had been wrong and went around a corner behind me. Okay, I thought, perhaps she has gone to check somewhere else. I didn’t see her again for 15 minutes.
You disappeared, she said. It seemed pointless to mention that I had done nothing of the sort. But I did, anyway. It will surprise none of you to learn that that particular conversation went nowhere (unlike my wife. Ha! As this is MY blog, I get to tell MY version. So there.)
Then, just to prove we are incredibly slow learners, we stood up, said right let’s go, and headed off to the lecture on ships. Why, you may ask, do you say slow learners, Tim? Weeellll, let me explain. You see, we were at a table right on the aisle so all we had to do was rise from our chairs and pivot to be facing in the direction we wished to travel. Which we did.
Without looking at each other.
Susan pivoted toward the stern and strode off, convinced I was behind her, heading for the theatre. I pivoted towards the bow, striding off, equally convinced Susan was behind me, heading for the theatre.
I take some comfort in the fact that we were both, technically, sort of right. Susan was just as much behind me as I was behind her. Despite the fact we had decided simultaneously to cross the borders of reality and venture into a sort of Twilight Zone of bad sitcom plot lines. I wonder what the couple sitting next to us thought of our Laurel and Hardy routine.
After a few steps, it occurred to me that either Susan had stopped talking to me, or it was ominously quiet to my rear. I checked. Ominously quiet, it was then.
Meeting up at our cabin 15 minutes and a certain amount of frantic rushing about later, and being a long married and loving couple, we wasted no time in remonstrating with each other.
Nope. Wasn’t a waste of time at all. Pointless, maybe, but not a waste of time. Nothing like a good remonstrance, I always say. That settled, we decided that we would go and hear the remaining few minutes of the lecture.
And so we set off for the theatre, carefully keeping track of each other and not being obvious about it at all. No sir, uh uh, not us. As we went very much in the same direction this time.
Towards the theatre. Which is up forward. Which you get to by heading towards the bow.
That’s probably enough of that for now, don’t you think?
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