Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Today was the second “At Sea” day, and I did even less than I did on the first At Sea day. Now that we’re deep in the Atlantic, far off the North African coast, the weather has grown wilder, with the wind whipping spray off the waves and riming my balcony with a thin layer of salt. The side to side roll of the ship has become more pronounced, so that it’s harder to avoid befuddled Belgians in the buffet area – you think you’re walking around them as they stand there, stunned into immobility by the concept of two kinds of fresh melon, but then the ship lists ever so slightly and suddenly you find you’re on a collision course.

The ornamental pond in the piano bar has taken to sloshing a little, and small round objects will unexpectedly roll off tables, but the décor of the ship has been cleverly designed with as few hanging components as possible, so most of the time you can’t see anything swaying or moving. By and large the only noticeable effect of the ship’s movement is in your own body, as it declares that you are on an incline that you weren’t on a moment ago. But the glass fronted lifts still go up and down, the lucite grand piano hasn’t rolled off its dais, and the cocktail waitresses haven’t dropped any drinks, so I guess everything is okay.

I visited two new sections of the ship today. Tiring of the worthy novels on my Kindle, I found the ship’s library and borrowed a page turner about vampires. Most of the books were ordinary airport thrillers by John Grisham or Sue Grafton, but among the less expected selections were plays by Shakespeare, a French-English dictionary, some cowboy comics translated into Italian and Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’, which isn’t exactly what you call a light cheerful holiday read.

I also discovered that the ship’s candy shop also sells Lego. So you can guess what happened with the rest of the afternoon.

Other than that, there was the buffet, the gym, the couch and now the piano bar, where I’m drinking a luridly coloured cocktail with a little umbrella and a maraschino cherry in it while I update my blog. Just like home, really.


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