22nd December

This was a Slow Day. There really is very little to report! Slept late, met the parents for lunch, read a book. Dinner. Blog and telly. Bed.

It wasn’t just me having a Slow Day. The entire ship was. We didn’t set sail til nearly 8am, and we never went about 12 knots all day (about half speed). Dad and I had fun speculating as to why. Theories included:

  1. Trying to stay close to land in case the boiler gives out again and we have to turn back
  2. Traffic congestion issues in the Separation Channels
  3. Loss of one engine (but we’re not going in circles, says Dad)
  4. Bad weather ahead – need to give it time to get out of our way
  5. Hoping to go through the Western Approaches (the bumpy bit where the Channel meets the Atlantic and the Irish Sea) during the night, so we sleep through it.

At lunch, it was nice to bump into several waiters and head waiters and wine waiters who know us, so it was bizarrely easy to find food that suited us, and made the meal very relaxing (compared to last night!).

Finished my book: To Kill the President. Quite a good read. Looks at not only how one goes about killing an obnoxious POTUS, but also how it could go wrong, and do significantly more harm than the altruistic good originally intended.

Mum seems to be enjoying The Woman in Cabin 10 that I passed on to her when I finished it. A very good read, but quite claustrophobic.

Dinner was better than last night. We were given an extra waiter, I think, to help with the delays. Granted, we are down entirely the opposite end of the restaurant from the galley, but the food still arrives hot enough to eat.  Mum was quite pleased with her steak. I ordered cold meat and salad, which was very nice. I had what P&O call beef brisket.  This is, as expected based on previous experience, actually salt beef! We did order chips, both portions of which arrived significantly after the rest of the food – it was like eating in instalments! But still enjoyable. Anne was still grumpy and complained profusely at the slowness of service. To be fair, she was worried about getting to the show in time, tonight, and we were, again, the last table to be served, but we were done by 8.10, which is better than yesterday’s 8.30! I had a word on the way out with Sandeep, our head waiter, about rotating service among the tables, so that we are not always the last to be served. Tomorrow night is a formal night, so we’ll see how it goes. The head waiter asked if Anne wanted to move to a table nearer the galley, but Graham misinterpreted this as “If you don’t like it, move”, which was not what was said, nor the tone in which it was said. But I suppose, if you’re looking for something to complain about, it was a fairly unwise suggestion and easy to pounce upon!

I didn’t go to the Headliners show tonight – Stage Door. I only saw it six weeks ago! And anyway, I was starting to unwind, so I went to bed with my book and a Heinz Cream of Tomato cupasoup – hence, finished the book, as per the above. Watched a bit of telly (Dr Who Xmas special from 2014) and then crashed.

Still working on sorting the temperature in my cabin. Turned the thermostat fully one way yesterday to see what it would do – there are no markings. Turns out, that direction = sweltering. So turned it to the other extreme before bed, hoping for something cooler. Slept through, so that seems to be the setting of choice from now on. Now all we have to do is persuade people to stop smoking in front of the intake vents…

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