Well, I’m back. And thank you very much, I had a very nice trip around the Azores.
And, of course, the problem with trips like this is that there is so much material and just so little time…
“Isn’t this boat just absolutely sooopah?” comes the lilting tones of the Plum Sucker aross the bar as you sit there minding your own business and quietly sipping an ice cold beer.
“Oh, bugger!” I think to myself. “Perhaps if I admire my shoes he’ll take the hint and go away. Maybe he’ll sit somewhere else and inflict himself on a different victim?”
But no. His ancient, ponderous bulk oozes into the chair next to you as he slaps his G&T; down onto the table. Mrs D looks across at me with a forlorn look in her eyes which says “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.”
The Plum has landed. You already know the next question. “Have you been on this boat before?” But there is no pause for you to answer. “This is our sixth trip, you know.” Well, actually I didn’t know and could care even less!
“We live in Surrey, you know?”
“Really”, I reply. “Whereabouts?” He informs me has has a house near Gatwick – which the last time I looked was in Sussex, but never mind.
After what seems an eternity of meaningless trivia and one sided banter, I get to the point where I can take no more. I contemplate giving him a 20p coin so he can ring someone who gives a toss, but restrain myself as I remember we are abroad and on a ship ( not a boat, a ship FFS!).
“I seem to be having a problem with your accent”, I interject. “Perhaps it would help if you swallowed that plum?”
“Well, really!”, he snorts. “The sort of people they let on these boats these days!” and buggers off to annoy someone else.
(PS : I did notice that he wasn’t present when I dined at the Captain’s table at the end of the trip, not did I come across him in Club Class on the flight home)