A Travellerspoint blog

ist Port of Call


sunny 21 °C

We have spent our first full day on board. We all (except Len) joined the ballroom dancing class yesterday and learned how to do a basic waltz (again!). Funny thing is we all know how to dance the basics, but re-learning is giving us the confidence to get on the floor again and not feel too self-conscious. The instructors are Dan and Abbey - they are good friends of James and Ola Jordan and Brendan from 'Strictly' and Abbey did the Australian version as a professional, so we are in safe hands. There was a fair swell as we crossed the bay of Biscay, so the dancing was a bit wobbly!
The day was pretty uneventful really, just 'monging'.

We played bingo in the afternoon but at 10 pounds a go (and it only lasts 30 minutes!) it's a bit pricey.

Last night was the captains welcome aboard party, so we donned the glad rags and had a good time. Dinner was six courses (Lobster Thermidor for most of us) and champagne sorbet. Gym here I come!!!! Mandy and I went to the slightly highbrow musical concert after dinner and listened to some beautiful music - soprano, tenor, baritone, a concert pianist, two guys who played something that appears to be a giant xylophone and a string quartet. We had spoken to the cellist in the embarkation queue and we discovered last night why she carried the cello aboard instead of chucking it in the baggage trolley - it's 150,000 pounds worth, on loan from the Royal Academy!! The other three instruments, two violins and a viola are collectively worth the other 200,000 pounds!
Later, we danced the evening away in the company of the ballroom instructors and half the entertainment staff.

Today, we are sitting in the sun in the dock at Vigo (pro. VEEGO) in northern Spain, just at the southern tip of the bay of Biscay. We have just had a wander around town and bought some essentials Martini and Whiskey (yes it correctly spelt - it's Irish) for the cabin so we now have a nightcap to see us off to sleep!

We are off across the atlantic in a couple of hours, so five days at sea. Lots of dancing classes and banjo practice!

If you want to log in and post replies messages, as Richard has done( thanks Richard), please do - it would be nice to hear from you all.

See you tomorrow. Bye

Posted by Plunker 05:38 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

On Board

And heading south!

Well we are on board, despite Len's attempt to get himself arrested by smuggling a table knife on board! We met at Mum and Len's place (supposed to be there at 12 but we were an hour late due to faffing with other stuff) and Mandy was there on time for once - typical! The journey was uneventful and we arrived at the Hilton, Southampton (via a cream tea at Arundel en route) safely. Had dinner and then I suggested we spend what was left of the evening playing cacnasta, in the knowledge that mum and Len play regularly with their friends. I got the cards and they both couldn't remember how to play - great, this is going to be a long trip!!!
Next day we embarked and as Len's overnight bag went through the Xray machine, a table knife could be seen quite clearly! Happily they concluded that he probably wasn't a terrorist and just confiscated the knife. He says Mum put in, in case it might be useful?! Can't imagine how the mind works can you? Mind you, with several thousand similar knives on board ship, even if he was a terrorist, he would have to attack someone somewhere on the gangplank presumably??
We did the emergency drill (Mum and Len fell asleep, of course) and then we were off. We sailed past Oceana, which was due to sail from Southampton an hour after us, so we had the usual competition to see whose foghorn is loudest!
We started dinner a bit late last night because Mandy, Mum and Len all got lost en route to the restaurant - hopefully things will get better.
Now the good news..................the banjo arrived on board safely!!
Loraine is managing to stay sane so far and so am I - just. But we aren't sharing the oldies cabin - Mandy is, so she is in severe danger of throwing herself over at some point in the next three weeks!
We watched the F1 qualifying in the hotel (in bed of course!) and saw Lewis get Pole, and although we can't see the race on board, we just bumped into someone at breakfast who says sky news has just reported he got away cleanly and is leading - yippee - GO LEWIS!!!!!! Keith, you'd better be recording this race and the next (and if you are, make sure you keep it till we get home!).
We are currently off the west coast of france and the sun is shining - it ain't a bad life!
That's about it for now, see you tomorrow.

Posted by Plunker 01:03 Comments (1)

Nearly there......

On leave!!!


I am just about to set my email out of office and leave - hooray!!
I took the white tux and Loraine's black and white ballgown to the dry cleaners today. There I was greeted by a sign that said the express service was suspended due to the machinery being serviced - just my luck! I spoke to the really helpful bloke behind the counter and he said we'll be ok as long as the clothing isn't white (this isn't going well already!). Oh dear! I explained that the jacket was white and he said "well, a jacket shouldn't be too much of a problem long dresses and ballgowns are the problem really" (d'you ever have that sinking feeling?). I took a deep breath and said "well actually.... this is a ballgown" and then held my breath as I waited for the inevitable. He looked at it, shook his head a bit (very dramatic dry cleaner) and then announced that it was more black than white, so he'd get it done for Friday 11am. (In fact he said he'll work late Thursday if need be to get it done - what a star!) Struth - that was close!! So, we'll pick up the cleaning on the way through on Friday. We did try the one dry cleaner in Rye, but Rye closes at 5 so we concluded that there was at least one advantage to living in London, but it was outweighed by Camber generally! We'll just have to get more organised.
I have a day at home tomorrow when I shall try and rid the car of the awful smell (milk got spilt in the boot and although I thought I cleaned it up well it still stinks - nice!) and maybe give it a wash. Then it's pack the cases and all systems go go go!! We'll pick up the oldies from Bexhill on Friday and link up with my sis (Mandy) at their house, rearrange luggage and so on, strap the oldies in and off to the Hilton, Southampton for a peaceful night. Saturday we'll probably wander round Southamptons shopping mecca and the back to the hotel for lunch and transfer to the dock. Tune in on Sunday for the next bit - assuming that I can afford to use the pc's on board!

Posted by Plunker 07:09 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

The house is sorted and the cruise is getting closer.....

Time to switch priorities!

The house is pretty much sorted now; Everything (well almost) works now. The shed is relocated and the contents are in it instead of in the conservatory. I have a chainsaw now, so I can do some serious gardening!! We have found half of the back garden so far, so things are moving forward. I need to get the other half cut soon, get the trailer loaded with the scrap from the shed and start to make the place look tidy. We shall have a big bonfire at some point.
Now that home life is settling down to normality, we are beginning to concentrate our minds on the cruise. The five of us spent an evening on Sunday, sorting out the shore excursions, parking and pre-cruise-night hotel, so we have made progress. I have at least one suit that needs dry-cleaning and I suspect there will be dresses that require similar treatment. I will try and arrange a new mortgage so that I can pay for it all!

Posted by Plunker 06:35 Comments (0)

We Have Moved - Hooray!

Yes I know it's not actually the cruise, but hey.............!

Well, we finally got the shack in Camber! This is bit late, but nevertheless here's the story:
We finished packing on Tuesday evening 927th) and went to my daughters to dinner; on the way, the clutch on the MX5 went, so we invested another £380 in that - great! We knew it was only a matter of time, but what a time!

The move went, er, OK. The bloke who did the removal quote miscalculated the lorry size required, so we managed to use just about every inch of space in it, plus three cars and a pick-up.

When we picked up the keys from the estate agent they said to Loraine that we may find the garage key confusing - to which she answered "yes, very probably - there is no garage!" The girl was confusing our shack with another property - so we arrived with a set of keys which we prayed would be the right ones (they were).

When we got inside, there was no electricity and the company wouldn't re-connect until I could prove who I was and that I owned the property (the previous owner didn't pay his bill!) and surprisingly enough, I had nothing in writing to prove I owned it - the solicitor has all the paperwork since we only completed an hour before! The classic was that all our landline phones are cordless and therefore require electricty, so though BT had connected the phone line, we couldn't use it. So due to the very poor signal I spent 45 minutes standing in the road outside the house on my mobile trying to convince EDF that I really did want the electricity reconnected and at one point, when the battery started to bleat and run out, she said "that's OK, give me your number and I'll ring you back" DER!!!!!!!!!! And she works for an electricity supplier - worrying really. We ended up carrying on the conversation with my son-in-law's mobile. The solicitor managed to convince EDF and we eventually got reconnected yesterday, about ten minutes after we bought candles, assuming we would have another night in the dark!

The boiler didn't work, but luckily and by pure chance John phoned us and volunteered to come out and fix it, which he did - fine chap that he is!

My son-in-law described the shack as 'quirky', which was quite polite (for him anyway), given that nothing is straight (not even some of the floors!) and most of the internal doors can be closed with some effort! We have one key for which we have no lock - but we shall keep looking - there may be another shed that we have yet to find in the back garden.

There was a parcel inside the front door which was addressed to nextdoor, which had been delivered on the 30th - didn't say which month or year!! I took it round last night and they reckon it was getting on for a year ago!! Presumably the estate agents hadn't noticed it, even though it was about two feet square.

We went to the local chippy at ten past eight to get dinner (we had electricity but the food was in my daughters freezer) and discovered it closes at eight!

We have managed to clear the front drive enough to get the cars on it; tonight I shall play with my new brushcutter and attempt to cut my way into the back garden.

It is an interesting time.

Posted by Plunker 04:04 Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 18) « Page 1 2 [3] 4 »