Monday, October 25, 2010

Postcards From The Pond 3

Monday 25 October 2010
Lat 34 22.35’ N  Long 13 56.07’ W
(A couple of hundred miles west of Casablanca)

As we sail south the waves get lower and the temperature gets higher and you begin to think you have discovered a short cut to paradise. Yesterday was another of those relaxing days at sea when you think you have nothing to do in the afternoon and then remember that  uou had promised yourself a small recuperative snooze. The lunchtime glass of beer and the recuperative snooze are rewards for meeting my writing target for the morning. And being able to write sat at your desk in your cabin with the balcony doors thrown wide open to let in the warming breeze that has casually drifted out from the African coast makes it both easy and pleasurable to meet any target you care to set.

Last night was the Captain’s Gala Reception a glittering occasion when everyone dressed up in their best and strutted around the ship (if you imagine the recent Willow Ball set to a gentle rocking motion you will get the idea). To celebrate the occasion H, E the LW and myself had a formal portrait taken and as I walked through the photographic studio this morning I noticed it on display. Later, when I took the rest of the party to look at it, it had mysteriously vanished and we are left wondering who on earth would want to buy a picture of the four of us.

At dinner last night I easily won my lie detection challenge. Over coffer and a cognac I entertained my companions by recounting a vivid dream I had experienced the night before in which I had been invited to do a presentation to the senior management team at Marks and Spencers. The high point of the presentation was the unveiling of a Bee Chart which clearly illustrated M&S’s organisational challenges within a competitive retail environment. When it came to that point in the presentation I suddenly realised I had no idea what a Bee Chart was (I still haven’t in fact I suspect I invented the concept) and, even worse, I couldn’t find a bit of paper to draw one on. The dream ended as I ran up and down the underwear aisles looking for something white to draw my diagram on.

Everyone identified this as the big lie of the night which, of course, it wasn’t. I had dreamt just such a dream the night before (feel free to analyse it if you wish) : the big lie was my statement at the beginning of dinner that I had not eaten anything during the day following my over-generous breakfast. I suspect I may have a future in international crime after all. Time to return to my cabin now and continue the story of Alice Longstaffe and Putzi Hanfstaengl (ah, wouldn’t you just like to know). Tomorrow we should make landfall in the Canary Islands, I will let you know if we do.
Yours, as always AB


  1. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Sounds like you're enjoying your trip. Keep eating and relaxing!
    :) The Bach

  2. "Yesterday was another of those relaxing days at sea"
    My God, I want to say that too!!!
    Such wonderul imagery in that 1st paragraph.
    "balcony doors thrown wide open to let in the warming breeze that has casually drifted out from the African coast"
    Wow, wow, wow!!!

    The pic purchaser, and the Bee Chart...HA! I had a work related dream last night myself. I don't want to understand it, I would rather forget!

    I am going to look you up on Google Earth. Nifty!

  3. if you are off Casablanca then either Google maps is wrong or the captain is feeding you misinformation....are you sure you are not in a new series of Lost?

  4. Ha, I love your dream plus your lie but I love the sound of your cabin opening out on to a balcony and the soft breeze drifting in. Wonderful. Keep enjoying and writing and having your wee sips of the brew.

  5. Keep sending the postcards...and give my regards to Putzi!

  6. Hi Alan, bit worried you seem to have demoted the GLW to simply LW. Let's hope she doesn't mind !! Your holiday still sounds fantastic ... you must have cast all worries from your mind to be able to have those weird dreams ... unless it was courtesy of the late night cheese board?

  7. Throwing open the balcony doors -- how lovely. How absolutely lovely!

  8. Warmth... relaxation... DROOL!!

    I love your dream. It creased me up!

  9. "Life is very cheap in Casablanca"

  10. Looks like we are holidaying at similar times.

  11. Ooh I had my 11th birthday on the Canary Islands mid trip to Australia. As for the dream? I'm not even going there

  12. With it getting warmer and quieter you might be coming to the edge of the earth. You may just fall off. Sounds like a great new movie story of Hithcock, write it. It would parallel with the Titanic movie.
    It sounds like you are getting a lot of r and r.

  13. Just the thought of the breeze wafting from the African coast through the open doors of your balcony is making me green with envy. And I live in the tropics!!! Can't beat a relaxing cruise though.


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...