Sunday morning. Sophie wants to know what we've got planned.
A good grooming is the first order of the day.
Her brother has his fringe trimmed. A PON that can see is a happy PON.
The newspaper forecasts a drought. Angus has to look up to see what 'nappes phreatiques' are. Lower on the front page there's an article about heavy snowfalls in the Pyrenees . Crazy weather
We went on a cruise once. From Vancouver to Alaska. The travel agent was reassuring '' It’s a very international clientele.The food and wine will be wonderful and the two of you will have a private table ''.
The cruise was populated by two thousand guests of a large liquor company and a coterie of off duty Delta airline stewards... and us. We were the only non-Americans on the ship. There was also rumoured to be a French diplomat and his wife on board. It seemed that after their first dinner at sea with some of the 'we're here to party' airline stewards they developed a nervous ailment, locked themselves in their cabin and survived the next two weeks on room service. We never saw them so they may only have been a figment of shipboard gossip. Our dining companions ( the private table turned out to be a table of twelve ) were a group of Chicago night club owners and their wives/nieces. A cheerful crowd whose martini fueled behavior bordered on the ebullient. They called all the Filipino waiters ‘’Miguel“ in a friendly if politically incorrect way. The Norwegian ships officers would be greeted as 'Sven'. As in '' Hi Sven. Shouldn't you be up on the bridge driving this thing ? There's icebergs about ".
One of the mid-Western gentlemen suffered from narcolepsy which displayed itself suddenly and frequently. This was initially alarming. ''Don’t worry about Hank. He’s got some shrapnel in his head. He doesn’t know he’s doing it '' said his niece. The source of the shrapnel remained a subject that 'The Font' deemed best not to inquire into. In Hanks lucid moments Angus learnt some of the more arcane and possibly not quite legal details of running a profitable inner city night club.
The wives/nieces spent much of their day jewellery shopping. Purchases would be shown off over soup with the beguiling and innocent mantra '' I know it was expensive but it’s all tax deductible ''. Our co-diners also had a penchant for choosing exotic deserts with names like Hawaiian Kahlua Bombe Surprise. Invariably these would come adorned with sparklers and be carried across the restaurant by a trail of waiters holding the spitting and smoking concoctions on platters high above their heads . Other tables would stop and look at us as if to say '' Boy ! That's a fun group ". Or possibly, like Angus, they were thinking something else.
We have not been on a cruise since although 'The Font' has recently raised the topic of crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary. This suggestion has been met by Angus with a noncommittal silence.
This article from Popular Mechanics ( of all places ) is what jogged my memory about ocean voyaging :