Day Six (I think)

Day Six – Saturday 16th January

Twelve hours’ kip. Now that’s more like it. I am starting to unwind.

Made it to the coffee morning at 10.30. Met a lovely lady called Sue, who has a broken wrist. Like someone else we know, she fell in her cabin while the ship was moored/stationary. Ahem. She had an operation yesterday Tenerife. She said the treatment was wonderful. Good to know…

Subodh came to our table at the coffee morning, and sat down to chat for a few minutes. Dad went and got a coffee and got one for Subodh as well. He was genuinely shocked. He said that, in twenty-one years with P&O, no passenger had ever got a drink for him. Wow, that’s dreadful. That’s what a life of service really looks like. Mind you, there’s a security of having held a job for over twenty years of which I, myself, am very jealous, along with, I expect, most of my generation. We are definitely considered more disposable than our parents ever were. Which is odd, because we have learned our skills just the same.

After the coffee morning, we went up to get some fruit before the breakfast buffet closed, and then sat and did Sudoku until lunch was served. The noon announcement told us that the ocean where we were was about 1.5 miles deep, and the sea temperature was 21 degrees, with the air temperature 22. It feels much hotter, however, because the light reflects back off the sea, so you are exposed to the same sunlight twice, and therefore get much hotter and are much more likely to burn. The sun was too fierce for me to feel like sitting out in, so I stuck to the shade again, for now. I’m pretty pale, so I really need to be careful.

The Hotel Manager visited my cabin this morning while I was out, and when I returned, it SMELLED clean. They usually use aroma-free chemicals, which is very unsatisfying and their cleanliness assurances are corresponding unconvincing (it’s hard to take their word for it if the room still smells a bit musty), but with the scent of chlorine, you can feel reassured that it IS as clean as they claim. Ergo, here probably endeth the sewage saga. I hope.

Apparently, we will arrive in Sao Vincente in Cape Verde tomorrow at around noon, so we only have half a day. Mind you, we’ve been to Mindelo before on a Sunday, and there is usually very little open, so we’re not worried about missing much! It’s a quiet little place, although that will undoubtedly change when the airport is in place and direct flights from the UK commence.(Perhaps I should clarify: Cape Verde is the island group, Sao Vincente is the island and Mindelo is the capital city/town). I may be biased, however. Last time we were here, on another Sunday coincidentally, they had launched a new national beer the night before, with many freebies, and EVERYTHING was shut – even the CHURCHES. Apparently, even clergy get hangovers when the beer is free. In the whole town centre, as I recall, only one shop was open, selling cold drinks, and that was run by a bloke called Mike, from Brixton. Hopefully, we’ll have a little more luck tomorrow.

Another formal night tonight, so much planning and preening to be done before 6.30. At least my toe is better today, so I have unstrapped it. I might not wear heels that are too high, though. No need to place unnecessary pressure on it just yet.

You may or may not have noticed that I have not mentioned any theatre West End-style shows yet. Today we found out why. Firstly, the Headliners Company didn’t board til Tenerife, but as the stage is broken and it isn’t safe for them to dance on it, there wasn’t really any need for them to be aboard any earlier. Hopefully it will be fixed soon, though.

  1. There are phrases that I never thought I would write. The following is one of them. Brace yourself.

Tonight I went to a show and watched a James Brown song (‘I feel good, I got you’) performed on a kazoo with ukulele accompaniment.

You can see why I never thought I would type that. The group was called Ukebox and they are VERY good. If you ever get the opportunity to see them perform, please do yourself a favour and go.

CORRECTION: Mindelo is not the capital. It is the main port (carved by the sea from a volcano crater). The capital is called Praia and is on a completely different island.  I’m sure you feel better for knowing this corrected information. I do.

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