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A Sea Day

Yesterday (Tuesday) was an unexpected sea day. We should have been at Dubrovnik but as previously posted the captain decided that it wasn’t safe to dock there for reasons to do with the weather. Instead we spent the day at sea.

We just had a lazy day. In fact we got up shortly before 8 o’clock, breakfasted, and then walked round the Promenade deck for about 30 minutes before going in search of a coffee. When that was finished we went to an art talk which featured a comparison of the art of Jack Vettriano and Fabian Perez. Interesting enough, though I didn’t feel impelled to buy. In fact when the speaker displayed a Perez image (‘Untitled II’) I nearly jumped out of my seat – the similarities between elements in that painting and Dorothy Lange’s 1930s photograph ‘The White Angel Bread Line’ is very noticeable. In fact I made a point of getting the photo on my phone screen and showing it to the speaker, and asking him if he was familiar with it…. He replied that the comparison was very interesting; and that he’d ask Fabian Perez about it next time he met him! I’m not bothered about the similarities, in fact, as I recognise that artists have always borrowed from each other.

After that we went to the Asian Lunch. This was an extra-cost affair, at £10 each, and was excellent. The dishes were a mixture of curries and Thai items. There was a combined starter – bhajia, samosa, a fried chicken dish, and a couple of dips. For main course Val had a lamb bhuna and I had a Thai chicken and ginger dish – both were very we had desserts and coffee, all washed down with a bottle of Tiger beer each.

After that we sat on our balcony for most of the afternoon enjoying the sunshine. Not only were we in the sun we were also out of the strong wind, as we found when at the end of the afternoon we ventured up to the Terrace Bar for some sparkling mineral water. First we found a shaded spot but were soon shivering in the wind. Even after moving into a sunny spot we didn’t get much warmer – the wind was coming from directly astern and was very brisk and fresh across the aft open decks.

That took us to time to get ready for dinner, which was our second and final formal night. We put on our finery and took ourselves down to Magnums and had a pre-dinner drink, and then went to the restaurant. This time we had to wait for 20 minutes or longer for a table but we think that might have been because it was assumed that we wanted a table for two. We didn’t realise this and were quite surprised to get a two-seat table – normally we are very pleased to share a table and meet people.

Talking of meeting people, before dinner we met Non Evans, a dynamic and successful sportswoman. Very successful, in fact – more caps, and tries, in woman’s rugby for Wales than anyone else; Commonwealth Games medals in Judo; an appearance on Gladiators, where she was robbed – robbed, she assured us – of victory; and occasional gigs as a commentator on the BBC. Her career culminated in an MBE ‘for services to sport’ in 2011. An interesting woman, and we enjoyed meeting her.

Because we were on a two-seat table we were finished in just over an hour so we repaired once again to Magnums, where we made something of a night of it. It was midnight before we took to our bed, which late for us, and also meant that we were definitely not going to be up early enough to do any DIY trips from Messina in the morning.

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