Sea Day 9

This morning we felt the movement of the ship for the first time, the placid sea of yesterday had been replaced by a swell with little white horses undulating by our window competing to reach some unknown finish line. Later on deck after breakfast we discovered there was a very stiff breeze making it difficult for the crocodile line of early morning ‘keep fitters’ on their laps among the deck chair sleepers. The sky was clear, the sun was up and radiating, eager to incinerate those fool-hardy enough to remain asleep too long, on the assumption that the cooling breeze would protect them from the ultra-violet.

We have been unable to watch any satellite TV the past few days, but overnight we must have changed satellites as this morning we had new channels. Mostly Italian stations (pap) but we do now have the BBC World Service AND a sports channel.

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We watched the weather (as Brits do) and note that the Mediterranean is having it bad. Italy has floods. Optimistically that is another week away.

Unfortunately, breakfast didn’t contain any essential elements for stimulating the brain this morning as the two quizzes we entered; Cities and Sport, left a lot for discussion on what might have been. Well, who needs a Costa diary or Costa pencil case anyway?

The rest of the morning was spent alternating between reading our books, watching the ‘Tango’ dance class and musing about the odd ship passing by.

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Lunch was paella on Deck 11 with 2 guilty bowls of caramel by both of us. It was that nice! We sat next to a very old French lady who we often see around the ship hobbling with difficulty using a walking stick. She sat quietly sewing the hem of a dress, occasionally stopping and gazing out to sea. We came across her on our very first night on the ship when she occupied the seat next to a very disgruntled Englishman, who quite rightly was defending the seat as his wife had just gone to the toilet. Despite speaking no English, the old lady won and another chair was fetched for the wife.  I had chalked the woman down as crazy and French (worst possible combination of the human species).

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Since then I have gradually changed my mind and come to respect this old lady. I have seen her hobbling around the decks obviously determined not to give in to age and infirmity. Despite having no company to rely on she is always dressed smartly (though her hair could do with a thorough brushing). You can tell that she invokes a fondness for her plight by those that take time to study her presence. Waiters willingly carry her food to the table she chooses and passengers will rush to move chairs or relocate them so that she may sit during performances. She acknowledges no help or asks for any. Such independence. We once saw her sat on the quay among the tourist stalls in the Seychelles, chatting merrily to some locals. Such independence. This lady could not have failed to have a history and I would love to know it, but the loss is mine as I speak no French.

Sue watched an Adele concert before continuing to read her book as I ran, cycled and pulled my way up the Red Sea. We met again for a quiz on general knowledge then after a break for coffee and peaches another quiz, this time on film posters. Good, but not good enough.

As yesterday we watched ‘Stage and Screen’, a show of songs and dances before we had our evening meal. The sea is becoming quite rough and our walk around the deck was done in a stiff breeze, luckily the ship’s stabilisers are doing their job admirably and dampening down the worst of the swell (much appreciated by Sue). Tonight’s scrabble did not go well (4:1).

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