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Dinner last night was initially a confusing affair. We had requested, and got, a table for eight in second sitting, We arrived at our table to find two people already there; we made four; and shortly afterwards another couple joined us, so we were six. But shortly after that the most recent arrivals disappeared to another table – they were cruising with friends who had arranged for them to be moved to their table – so now we were down to four. The waiters took our orders, and a short time after that another couple arrived and we were back to six! The reason for the delay was that our table did not have its number on display and this last couple had been looking for the table for some time. (The waiter who had escorted us to the table had had a similar difficulty.) But after all this coming and going we had a good dinner although conversation was a bit limited because different people were at different stages of their meal – the most recent arrivals were half-a-course behind us for a while. Also  contributing was the fact thta a number of people were very tired – two of our companions had got on an Eavesway coach near Newcastle before 6 o’clock, so they had had a very long day.

Today has been very pleasant although we have been busy so have not had much time for relaxation. We slept well and late, and didn’t get to breakfast until nearly nine o’clock. Then at ten o’clock I went to the introductory ‘Tate Talk’. For those who don’t know about them, P&O have some modern experts on certain cruises this year, and our cruise is one of them. There will be a series of illustrated talks on various modern artists and art movements, e.g. Turner; Picasso; the Pre-Raphaelites; Surrealism, and this morning’s talk was a scene-setter and an overview of the Tate Gallery and its history. I enjoyed it.

At two o’clock I went to the the first of the actual Tate talks, on Turner. It was good, but unfortunately the projector being used wasn’t the highest quality and thus the illustrations didn’t match, in many cases, the reality of the paintings from which they were taken. Then at quarter past three we went to a quiz on music of the 60s. We got 33 points out of a total of 60 (20 questions, 3 points per question, 1 point each for the artist, song title & year of release), but one team scored a stunning 55 points. Mind you, there did seem to be a dozen or more of them.

The weather today has been sunny all day, though there’s been a chill breeze along the deck as we’ve sailed very smoothly down the Bay of Biscay. Later this afternoon the sun came round to shine on our starboard balcony, and it was plenty hot enough then. Now it’s time to get ready for dinner. The sea has been calm and Ventura has been very steady, doing an average of 17 knots since leaving Southampton.

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