Today was quite special in more ways than one. It was the anniversary of both our father’s births, although they were long gone to heaven. It was quite a thought to realise that the nearest ‘land’ was four kilometres beneath us, and that we were 1,600 kilometres from Africa, and 2,250 from South America.
The ship’s newspaper slid beneath the door. In the alternate world the British were planning Maggie Thatcher’s funeral – although this seemed microscopically unimportant when viewed from such a distance. An insert tempted us with highlights of Madeira that lay beyond Las Palmas on our journey. How would their wines compare with our favourite South African ones, we wondered. We had heard they were sweeter.
We wandered along the immaculate corridor in search of breakfast, leaving our attentive steward to gild the lily in our cabin. I had smoked kippers on fresh toast with lashings of butter. Partner settled for a bowl of fresh fruit and yogurt in case you wondered why I am the better upholstered of the twain.
Following that we popped by the launderette to catch up on a spot of washing. After all, we did have to look our best at the crossing-the-line ceremony tomorrow at noon – although yours truly had no intention of getting wet. We spent the mid-morning enjoying a lecture about Cunard’s magnificent ocean queens Mary and Elizabeth. Then it was time for pizzas at an Italian bistro we had discovered.
After lunch, we explored the inner topmost deck, where we found a golf driving range and – wait for it – a kennels for cats and dogs and parrots that are rumoured to have food tastings to see what they want to eat on the day. Then back to the cabin where we caught up on the BBC news channel until our dinner bells rang, and it was time for supper – another tough call.
Queen Many cruising is doing absolutely nothing while being transported across the ocean in the ultimate of style. She is such a gracious ship. Everything is perfectly maintained and the staff are unobtrusively attentive. We were free to idle along the decks doing anything we wanted. This surely is the epitome of an ocean holiday.