Oriana 9

Today is Sue’s birthday. Like myself she has successfully navigated life’s course through calm and stormy seas and docked peacefully in the harbour of six decades! Thirty eight years ago she acquired the latest in biological GPS systems to guide and accompany her succesfully to this significant miles-stone and today we celebrate under clear blue skies on the edge of the Arctic Circle, being waitered on attentively by the excellent crew of the MV Oriana. To day is a lazy day. We woke around 8am, Sue opened the cards and few presents that we had brought packed away in our suitcases. On returning from breakfast on Deck 7 we discovered a card and bowl of confectionary on the table in the cabin from none other than the Captain himself, properly autographed. We wondered if he had travelled down to stowage class himself or was it the Health and Safety Officer deputising for him again? Never-the-less it was a lovely thought and much appreciated.

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During the morning we attended a lecture on Comets and then a port presentation on Bergen. Afterwards Sue looked for a spot to read her book and I rushed off to a lecture on WW2 Propoganda, however by the time I got the the theatre at the other end of the ship it was full, standing room only. Returning to the cabin I changed and visited the gymn to fight the flab. Sue and I met again for lunch and chose to dine in the Peninsular Restuarant and 3 courses later I had undid all the good work of the previous hour.
The afternoon was spent at the rear of the ship reading our books, but it got so hot that I retired below decks to the Anderson Lounge while Sue continued to soak up the sun. We met again later to change for the Black-tie dinner.
The entertainment before we ate was a talent show by the ship’s crew. Hugely entertaining, particularly the rather bizarre final act which defies description, but had tears rolling down my cheeks. When we eventually sat down to dine our fellow table couples provided champagne and cards for Sue. She was more than a little surprised to how they knew, but accepted that some things just have to remain a mystery.

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The final show of the evening was a song and dance show based on all the acts and musicals that had appeared at the London Palladium. As ever, it was brilliantly done and afterwards as we walked around deck 7 to catch some fresh air, ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ kept running through my mind as we leaned on the guard rail and marvelled at the still bright sky to the north of us and the total darkness to the south.
Tomorrow we visit Andalsnes.

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