Sea Day 2 of 4

Fruit, Sudoku, pasta, massage. Oooh lovely. With a view of the ocean from my massage bed, which is so still, here in the Doldrums, it looks like a fitted carpet that has come away in one corner and rucked up a bit – rather like those in some of the corridors on board, in fact! Hot and sticky. Even the wind is so hot, it’s like when the nozzle swivels on your hand dryer and you get a unexpected faceful of hot air.

Then back to the cabin to finish the David Silva book I am reading (The Kill Artist). It’s a real page-turner. I was late for dinner, simply because I could not bear to leave it unfinished. Very enjoyable. So glad my San Francisco cousin recommended this author. I had never heard of him before, but I really enjoyed this. We actually bought the second in the series as well, but mum’s still hogging that one. Tsk.  In fact, now I come to think of it, both mum and dad are currently reading books that I paid for! There’s something wrong with this picture…

I am currently also reading one of the most fascinating non-fiction books I have ever read. It is called Rust. And it’s about… rust. It’s hypnotically interesting. I can’t break my gaze from it. It’s astonishing. Did you know, for example, that the USA spends more on anti-corrosion products and research per year than the entire GDP of Sweden? Feel free to read that again, if you need to. Yes, that much. Or that sea-based oil rigs have an extra number of feet added to the length of their legs, to compensate for the “rust layer” that will be eaten away over it’s lifetime?! I’m telling you, this book is un-put-down-able. It’s absolutely fascinating. I will never look at a flyover in the same way, never mind the Statue of Liberty. Or this ship, come to think of it…!

At dinner, had to send back the avocado, because the dressing they had covered it in was oil and mustard, with no hint of vinegar whatsoever, and then it was 70% oil. Olive oil, which I hate anyway. It was utterly inedible. The head waiter apparently stood over the chef while he made a fresh batch, which was better, but still not ideal. Still, the roast chicken and roast potatoes were very nice. The portion was enormous though. I only managed one potato, and that was overdoing it – they served me with two. Must remember to skip the potatoes altogether in future. I don’t normally have potatoes at all on board, but it’s hard to resist a nice roastie, now and then.

Tomorrow we traverse the Panama Canal – all day, and it’s the Queen’s 90th birthday, which has been commemorated on board by? A crown on the front of tomorrow’s newspaper. That’s it, apparently. Pathetic, isn’t it? Ninety years of service and they can’t even summon up a bit of bloody bunting.

Recent rumours #1: There was a punch up in the Belvedere self-service restaurant yesterday. Apparently one passenger has the shiner to prove it. Whether it really was about who got the last portion of trifle, I doubt, but anything’s possible. People do get very grumpy in the Doldrums.

Recent rumours #2: TWO people got taken off at Huatulco, ostensibly to the  US Naval Hospital near the port. Allegedly both died. Caveat: This is third, maybe even fourth, -hand information, so perhaps don’t take it as gospel.  They don’t normally tell us when people die. We’re just supposed to marvel at their sudden disappearance and hope for the best.

Tomorrow is also a rather sad milestone. It marks 14 days to Southampton. That’s it, game over. No wonder we’re all so depressed and grumpy. This is day 101, only 14 left to go. Time to actually seriously start worrying about packing! Argh!

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