Thursday – probably. 21st?

I am having a ludicrously good hair day today. I don’t want to go to bed because it will muss it up.  I don’t want to do anything but play with the perfect curls and wag my ponytail in front of the mirror, like some demented puppy trying to catch its own tail. Apparently the trick is to go swimming and then remember that the water in the shower is REALLY soft, and not use too much shampoo and conditioner, as you have been doing for the past fortnight. You live and learn. Mind you, I couldn’t have over-soaped anyway, because my arms ache too much from swimming to hold them above my head for too long. The current was even stronger today, as we are both pitching and rolling. Not by much. You’d have to stare pretty hard at the horizon to even notice it. But enough to make swimming in a straight line, with no mini-tsunamis smacking you in the ear sporadically (still deaf from yesterday as regards the right ear), nigh on impossible.

Tonight was Black and White formal night, and I got in my usual, not very high, dudgeon about women not wearing black and/or white. Seriously, it’s hardly a major ask. But we saw blues and purples and bright red and gold lamé (I shit you not) and even one woman wearing rainbow shoes. That was not a mistake. That was a deliberate LOOK AT ME act of defiance/ignorance/ stupidity/ attention-seeking/whatever. Everyone ELSE looked chic and elegant, and the whole thing was lovely. And that last sentence had nothing whatsoever to do with a free and gratis G ‘n’ T on an empty stomach. Oh no, not in the slightest. I found Sheila by the pool at the cocktail party before dinner where they hand out the Only Free Booze On Board, and we debated the pros and cons (mostly cons) of every woman’s outfit, particularly focussing on those centred on the less monochrome parts of the spectrum. Dinner was delicious. Turns out, what the chef is REALLY good at, is cottage pie. Divine. Chalk that one up for future reference.

Tried to do some yoga this morning. Boy, am I stiff! This may take a bit of time to work out the kinks that appear to have developed over the past few weeks, no, months, of neglect. Did I go to yoga in December? I don’t think I did. Which means it’s over six weeks. Well, that certainly explains a lot. I didn’t hurt myself. I just found that when I tried to do things I was taking for granted that I could do in November, the necessary limbs, muscles and joints were not nearly as keen as they had been before. Stiff isn’t really the word. I moved a bit like Brian the Robot from Confused dot com. Short, jerky movements that didn’t achieve the intended effect. And my breathing was a mixture of short and panicked gasps, with added long sighs on the outbreath, to basically empty my lungs and reduce the risk of hyperventilation/ getting too high on excess oxygen intake. Oh well, I’ll have another go tomorrow, and hope things loosen up a bit soon. I will have an extra hour to play with, because the clocks go back again tonight to GMT-3.

Talking of tomorrow, it’s Salvador in northern Brazil. 28 in the shade and, to put it politely, has been chucking it down all week, to such an extent that there have been warnings of flash floods. Oh. Goody. That’ll be fun then! It looks like a pretty enough place – especially the old town. I have found that the trick with the port talks (which are recorded in the theatre and then shown on the telly in the cabins) is to watch them with the sound off. That way, you learn a bit about the best places to visit, without having to listen to all the negative scare-mongering and lies with which the lady giving the talks inevitably peppers her speeches. See? Every problem has a solution.

Then we will have a sea day to recover/prepare for Rio, which seems to be a fairly daunting undertaking in and of itself, and which will in no way be tempered by the fact that, due to all the construction going on in preparation for the summer, there will be no transport available to get us from the ship to the town. No shuttle buses, probably no taxis. Nowt. I hope it’s not far, because otherwise people are going to be right annoyed. Not least the 600 people disembarking and the 600 embarking.

Our mood will probably not be improved by having to give back the hour that we gain tonight, as Rio is GMT-2. Yes, that’s right. Two cities in the same country, on the same coast, but in different time zones.  I can’t imagine that causes any problems for the locals, or the administration of the country, or, for that matter, the Olympics/Football/other sporting events that keep flooding into this country. Who comes up with these ideas?! You couldn’t put a kink in it (Kiribati-style) so that the whole country is in one time zone?! Really?! How do outsiders do business with more than one city at a time?! Ludicrous. Come to think of it, I can’t imagine it’s easy to process speeding tickets from automatic cameras here, if they have them. The complexities are ludicrous. When you send an email, it arrives an hour before it was sent! How can you compile evidence of a crime using date and time stamps?! No wonder the country is apparently a bit of a mess.

Stopped for a hair wag. Sorry. It really is very pretty. It looks the way I hoped it would look when I started using Finesse shampoo and conditioner back in 1987. The girl in the advert had such perfect curls. I wanted hair like hers. It didn’t look like it then, but it does today. I’m not even sure they make Finesse any more! But Herbal Essences (the green ones) has now (finally) really hit its stride. I just hope it lasts.

Here endeth the fourth sea day of four, and the penultimate sea day of this sector/cruise (which ends at Rio, where the next sector starts). Those going home have had a very nice two-week holiday. I’m barely bedded in. The waiters are trained, but my cabin steward still needs work. Well, tomorrow is another day.


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