The drive down to the cruise terminal in the south of England was so good, I wanted to do it again; however, the same could not be said for our progress through the cruise terminal itself, a cavernous building tightly packed with awkward old people all trying to get in front of everyone else by any means possible, some push and shove and others hobble and others deceive; one man who put on this air of being a poor confused old man pushed a case trolley, containing only four handbags, in front of some people way up in front of us, and they let him do it, once there he turned round in a pathetic way saying he had lost his wife and started waving at her and two other people only just joining the queue at the back quite a way behind us, the other people in the queue didn’t like this and they wouldn’t let them down the 20 yards of people to him because there was no room to get passed, a later when the queue had moved along a bit there was wider space down the side and the pathetic old man gestured for them to come up to him which they did and all four of them changed from poor old helpless people to the confident tricksters who got away with it – as you can tell, it didn’t bother me at all – I knew the old man was a trickster because when I kicked his walking stick away from under him earlier he didn’t fall over.
The ship is very old but looks as if it has had a refit so in a lot of places it looks bright and airy; when we boarded we were told our cabin was down a number of decks, I have never been so far down in a ship before, we were so low down, when the ship was ready to leave the dock the Chief Engineer asked me to pass him the starting handle for the main engine. Out cabin is compact, well you can tell this because when Florie asked me to pass her our suitcase in, that had just arrived, I had to stand outside until she had unpacked and stowed it away; we explored the ship and found it very pleasant with lots of light airy lounges with easy chairs near to bars.
In the evening our early dinner that we had booked turned out to be a late dinner which could not be changed due to 750 out of 800 passengers wanting early sitting and the dining room only holds 500; but the dinner tasted OK and the waiter was very good as was the show in the theatre that we saw, so all in all it has been a good first day.
Oh what a night!
The night from hell, we have two single beds in our cabin and they are fitted in spaces with bulkheads (ships walls) at each end, I am 6’1” tall and I sleep stretched out needing about 6’7” of bed length so I was cramped even laying diagonally in it; the main engines were working hard just a few feet away vibrating the whole cabin bed and all making a lot of noise in the process so I had a night tossing and turning trying to get comfortable in a noisy vibrating cabin, I was glad when dawn came so I got up to start this diary to my friends, I miss you all and wish you were here. Suffering alongside me, no, no don’t get angry I didn’t mean it that way, I only meant that as my friend we could go to the bar together and drink this thing through as friends do, I’ll write more later.