Thursday 14th January – Sea Day 4 of 4, for now at least
Today I had a shower. This may not seem momentous at first glance, but bearing in mind what was on my bathroom floor yesterday, I feel so brave I can’t stop myself feeling like someone should give me a medal for bravery or a Purple Heart or a prize of some sort. Or at least a chocolate. Not much chocolate on this ship. Or at the very least some antiseptic wipes for my feet. But today was calm, and the humidity in my cabin was astonishingly high and the carpet was still reassuringly wet in patches (damp means clean – hence reassuring, but also hence the internal humidity), so I went for it. The shower has that lovely stuttering raindrop setting, which I find almost unbearably luxurious. It feels fantastic.
When you become hypervigilant (as in astonishingly paranoid about germs on the floor, no idea where that piece of unprovoked paranoia came from), and then relax, you notice the silliest little things. Despite the fact that it was very calm today, the water still sloshed all over the bathroom floor, so it got another wash. Which is a Good Thing, definitely. Bizarrely, however, it went AROUND the bath mat, which stayed bone dry til I stepped on it. Very odd. I have no explanation for it. Maybe something about the way the ship is moving? Or the camber of the floor? I dunno. Just odd. Entertainingly odd. But odd. That’s the sort of minutiae you spot when you have become really really paranoid about the floor.
Lunch was lovely. We sat outside, and Subodh brought out my GF burger in a GF bun. In the shade, because Mum once took a drug which caused increased susceptibility to sunburn and now will never, ever sit in direct sunlight ever again, no matter how many times you point out that she hasn’t taken that drug in five years. Either that or she has vampire ancestry that she has yet to mention… Sitting in the shade was just a little too breezy for long-term book reading without a cardigan around your shoulders (which I had), but it was nice to be outdoors. Dad and I moved into the sun after Mum went to a talk by a Magistrate. It was good to get a bit of Vitamin D and some sun on my face. Shame the muzak was so loud.
Apparently, because the air con vents are on the deck above, and make a constant whooshing noise, no passenger can possibly stand to sit on deck and read or sleep without sixties and seventies disco blaring out at a volume so loud you cannot converse with the person next to you. Never mind that some people LIKE white noise… When I asked them to turn it down, they said they couldn’t. So I went into the cupboard and found the OFF button myself. No one batted an eyelid. When I later went to the loo, I came back to find it was all back on, but they had turned it down (suddenly apparently, you CAN alter the volume). When I asked why they couldn’t leave it off altogether, the bar manager tried to convince me that someone had asked for it to be turned back on, although he couldn’t actually look me in the eye when he said it. A new war of attrition begins here. If you think I’m letting you ruin my sunbathing time for the next four months with non-stop Tom Jones, Motown and Abba, you are sorely mistaken. And if I have to go into that cupboard every day myself and turn it off, don’t you worry, I will. I’ll poll the passengers if you really want to argue with me on this. Don’t think I won’t.
Other than that, it is a lovely day. Having passed the weather system that was making things decidedly uneven, the sea is now so calm that you have to glance over the side to be sure we are still moving. It’s a perfect royal blue (aquamarine for the artists), so much so that if you painted it that colour, people would say “Nah, it’s never THAT blue”. It’s the colour that P&O intended their new livery to mimic, I think. They failed miserably and ended up with a dusty/dirty imitation thereof, but they tried. Personally, I miss the old cream/yellow/buff coloured funnels, but I am a notorious creature of habit, who hates change at the best of times (hell, I’m still sulking about puberty), so maybe I’m the wrong person to ask.
So, so far, a lovely day… So far. Let’s see if we can get all the way through it without P&O making me cry. Nothing like a lofty ambition to keep things interesting…
I talked about chocolate earlier and now I have a chocolate craving, so let’s see what is available on board in the way of solid cocoa products.
- I seem to be finally starting to relax. I’ve slept for two hours straight.
- Visited my bathroom. Found FOOTPRINTS. Now, I don’t care what your definition of cleaning or sanitising or disinfecting a surface is, but leaving your dirty footprints on it doesn’t count, not from where I stand. Called the Deck Supervisor and said he had to redo the whole room tonight while I am at dinner. He tried to make excuses, but I reminded him that I was taking the risk of walking around in sewage and this was not good enough as a reassurance the floor was clean. He agreed to redo the whole room when I go out. There is a formal tonight, and gala dinner and drinks do (which, as my regular followers will be aware is the only chance of a free drink on P&O), so they will have over two hours to clean my room again from scratch. I do not feel safe here.
UPDATE: Turns out our bumpy weather was us passing through the depression that is now forming into Hurricane Alex, the first January-born Atlantic Hurricane in about sixty years. Spiffing. Luckily we are heading south as it heads north. Good luck to the Azores.
- Came back and found a NEW, different footprint this time. Different tread. Called the Deck Supervisor. He rubbed it out with his finger and said he could not deal with this and needed to escalate it to his manager. I said I was going to the Spinnaker Bar and he could come and find me there. He agreed.
- Went to Reception. He never showed. They sent for the Night Manager. His name was Cyrus. He made a whole load of excuses. The day manager person was busy with some burst pipes which is why he didn’t bother to come and see me before he went off shift. The sewage wasn’t sewage it was “overflow”. The footprints were made of carpet shampoo. This is a man who has, to my knowledge, never been to my cabin, remember. He said an Assistant Someone Or Other would come and see me at 5pm tomorrow. After he had gone, I went back to Reception and spoke to Mika, who had taken my original call, and seems to be the only person on the ship who does her job properly and tells the truth without making excuses (her and Subohd are pretty much it for decent staff on the whole bloody ship, so far). She said it would not be an Assistant someone tomorrow at five. She would make sure it was a ‘proper’ manager. She’s finding it as hard to understand as I am, I think. If not, she gives a very good acting performance. I said if they are not there at 5 PROMPT, my next appointment will be with the Captain himself, who I happen to know from previous cruises. I’m sure he’ll be delighted to hear this story, and will be SOOOOO proud of his team.
I’m going for a walk. It’s a formal night, it’s warm and dry outside, I’m all dressed up (I look lovely, if I do say so myself). I should feel pretty and glamorous and cheerful, not seethingly angry and stressed and sad and disappointed and exhausted. I’ve wasted enough of my evening on these incompetents and dumb insolents. Time for some fresh air and some alcohol, methinks. Someone said before I left that I should make my blog more ‘positive’. I’m trying, really I am, but it’s not easy!
Oh, here’s a positive: my toe doesn’t hurt as much any more. Only if I do a lot of walking in one go. So that’s good then.