Woke about 9.30 and decided to pack. I hate having this chore hanging over me so I like to get it done so I don’t have to think about it anymore. I didn’t bring much with me, so it didn’t take long! Short cruises really are a whole different ballgame to long ones. I only have one case with me on this one. Remember, on the African and Asian Odyssey we had 19 pieces of luggage between us! This is a breeze by comparison!
Talking of breezes, today is the first day of this holiday that has really felt like a ‘normal’ cruise. The sea is flat as the proverbial Shrove Tuesday fare, the pools are open and the sun is shining. It may not be exactly cossies and suncream weather, but people are out and about on deck, sleeping in the sun, albeit in cardigans. There is always a breeze on deck, due to the movement of the vessel, so it has to be really hot to be considered outright balmy. It is, however, quite warm, bordering on full-blown hot in the direct sunlight, especially when the breeze drops. Some people even have their legs out. Personally, I think that’s pushing it a bit, but each to their own.
It would appear that the trick is to open up your sunlounger of choice, allowing the accumulated rain of Scotland to drain out of the various channels, nooks and crannies. Then you add your sun towel from your cabin – everyone gets one – and then you lie down, fully clothed, and fall asleep. It all looks quite blissful.
Despite a stiff neck from reading in bed last night, I feel pretty good today. Better than I have for a while. Of course, now that I am fully relaxed and in holiday mode, it is time to go home. THAT’s the drawback of a short cruise. Just as you get going, it’s time to stop. I have a hankering for a long one. I think I will devote lunch to trying to convince Mum and Dad of the same thing. Time to settle in for a long one.
Apart from anything else, I have had barely any time at all to sit and gaze at the water on this trip. Today, the sea is a sort of turquoisey-green colour. Similar perhaps to the colour of an empty wine bottle where the sunlight hits it. Not dark, bottle green, but a cloudier, lighter one. It’s a colour you don’t see anywhere else, I don’t think, so it’s hard to think of a comparator. The best I can come up with is the green of the leaves on a rose – bluey-green – but slightly lighter. It is so green and far from blue, in fact, that the foam kicked up by our passage is actually a yellowy-cream against it, and pale green as it sinks. Very little proper white to be seen. But the constant motion and activity remains as hypnotic as ever.
Having finished the Terry Pratchett book and returned it to the library, last night I went back to the book I had brought with me in the first place. ‘On the Map’ by Simon Garfield, who also wrote the last book I read that I truly loved, which was ‘Just my Type’. The latter was a history of fonts and typefaces and was endlessly fascinating from start to finish. ‘On the Map’ gives the same treatment to the history of mapmakers around the world. It, too, is a ridiculously enjoyable read. Did you know, for example, that it used to be customary to put East at the top of the page, i.e. Jerusalem, and so that’s where the word ‘orientate’ comes from? Any amount of neck stiffness is worth it for this book. I was only prepared to put it down last night after I fell asleep and dropped it onto my nose.
After lunch, mum went to a concert and dad and I went to the Future Cruises desk to discuss long cruises. Then we went out on deck and had a Classic Magnum each. I had, by now, changed my top, because the door to the toilets had gouged a hole in the one I was wearing earlier, so I had to hand it in to Reception to be mended. Although the sun had gone in, it was still quite pleasant in our little corner, out of the wind.
It’s not often I laugh out loud while watching the news. A Greek minister (Administrative Affairs apparently, whatever that means) has just said, with a completely straight face, that “Our banks are not insolvent. There is no solvency issue. It is an issue of liquidity which could be easily solved if the ECB just gave us more money”.
Last formal tonight. I went with a simple black long jersey dress with nice jewellery (bracelet and necklace from my friend, Angie; new watch from the sale held in the onboard shop yesterday). Others really pulled out the stops. Saw some really beautiful dresses tonight. I didn’t have much time, because dad left me asleep in Andersons (bar designed to look like a private club – all wingback chairs and dark wood and QUIET) and I didn’t wake til 5.30. I was supposed to be at a drinks do at 6! You’ve never seen me shower and dress so fast. Have to go to the drinks receptions, when they occur. It’s the only time you get a free drink! After dinner, we sat and planned tomorrow (Dublin) and then went our separate ways – me back to my book, mum and dad off to their quiz.