Random musings from the front line (well, more like the support trench, or perhaps the castle 10 miles away, supping Chateau Lafite with the General Staff) in the battle for curiosity, inertia, grammar and a Dachshund called Colin.

Monday, November 28, 2005

It's too cold - I'm out of here!

Apparently, shivering is a sign of healthiness. It's a sign of being bloody freezing, more like.... As I sit in my single-glazed, uninsulated, large Victorian house, with the heating on maximum and my clothing now reaching the magic 5 layers figure (and still I'm cold), I'm frustrated but not at all surprised that my breath forms little clouds, just like when I'm outside. It's not as if I'm not trying to get warmer - over the weekend we burnt £20 of logs to little effect - and to address my shocking heat conductivity problem the council are giving me a token sum towards the long overdue insulation of my loft (they'd pay for the lot if I was a jobless layabout). I've also spent a small fortune at DIY stores on StormGuard draught excluders and under-door brushes (including the supposedly rather impressive Film Glaze - a very budget form of double glazing involving cling film and double sided sticky tape) and I've even sealed all the holes in my cracked windows with Fablon. But the house gets colder and colder, and quite frankly, I've had enough. I thus have invoked a little-known process in my terms of employment, which deals with the opportunity to experience life in a different sector of the maritime world - the Cruise Ship.

I'm a snowbird, a wimp, a cutter'n'runner, and I LOVE it....And so, after long and difficult minutes wrestling with my conscience, I applied for (and was immediately appointed in) a 2 and a half week posting on board a particularly prestigious merchant vessel, where I will be working as a combination of evening dinner host for the guests on board, and daytime bus monitor for the excursions ashore. These duties cost the taxpayer absolutely nothing, as costs are borne by the very generous company in question, and as a "sweetener" (as if one was needed), I am able to take a companion of my choice absolutely free. So I am taking a sophisticated and erudite friend of mine, whom I shall call "C", and in return for her 17 day holiday and associated flights, all she has to do is "supervise the ship's library"! Oh, and share a luxurious twin cabin with me for a few nights. Tough break, eh?

We're all going on a (Southern Hemisphere) summer holiday...It's not as cushy as it sounds, actually, as I have to be up by 0630 to meet and greet the guests at breakfast, and I don't get much time to myself in between hosting and escorting duties. But that's not to take away from the fact that it's a marvellous opportunity to do something completely different, in an area of the world that's supposed to be amazing (and where it's summer at the moment). My itinerary means I fly to Buenos Aires tomorrow night (via "Natal", which I was relieved to find out is a Brazilian city, so I'm not taking the world's most indirect route via South Africa) to join the ship, then we sail to Montevideo, before onward journeys to Puerto Madryn (the last true Welsh outpost in Patagonia), the Falkland Islands (I've actually been there before - it's like Wales with penguins), and the area around Tierra del Fuego. I get back to Blighty on 17 December, having been to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, a piece of Britain (!) and Chile, hopefully returning without the skin cancer of which the good citizens of Ushuaia have the dubious distinction of being the most prevalent sufferers (no ozone layer, you see).

So, wish me luck, and if anyone wants a trinket let me know and I'll see what I can do. Hopefully by the time I return, my house will be a lot bloody warmer, and I'll have a suntan for Christmas! Asta manana, or something....

12 Rants & Replies:

Blogger patroclus said...

Merkin, you lucky bastard. I'm almost pathologically jealous. All I've got to look forward to is three days in the Frozen North, followed by five days in the Frozen South.

Oh, and I find that tengo tos always comes in handy. If not, then, puedes besarme pero sin tocar should set the ground rules for C.

7:10 pm, November 28, 2005

Blogger patroclus said...

Oh, and "have fun" is what I think I actually meant to say.

7:11 pm, November 28, 2005

Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said...

Sounds good. Except for the early mornings. Does this mean we shall be without your perusings until you're back in December? How inconvenient! Especially as I've only recently happened upon them.

Thanks for the link. You're my first (that I'm aware of) *squeal of joy* I mean, thanks.

Right. Better get back to the crystal ball (read:cheap paper weight).

Bon voyage!

7:16 pm, November 28, 2005

Blogger Aginoth said...

Have fun Merkin, sounds like a good time will be had. I've spent a few days on board RFA vessels, and the Nosh is top notch.

8:41 pm, November 28, 2005

Blogger Merkin said...

Patroclus - "You can kiss me without touching"!? Now THERE's a handy phrase...

IE - no worries. A friend of Honeytom's is a friend of mine (even if he erroneously thinks I'm stalking him - sigh!).

Aginoth. I've heard that as well, but the food on this particular bona fide 100% civilian cruise line is even better. Yippee!

11:13 pm, November 28, 2005

Blogger Palace Fan thats a NEW Dad said...

Sounds like a tough break !

Have fun.

12:08 am, November 29, 2005

Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said...

I've been a bit slack in the nagging of Honeytom lately - I'll get right back to it. We'll soon have him posting again.

And there's nothing wrong with a bit of judicious stalking. At least the stalkee can feel important - something that Honeytom likes...

8:13 am, November 29, 2005

Blogger surly girl said...

enjoy!! gotta love that cruise ship thing. *coughs* i am scarily interested in cruise ships....

10:11 am, November 29, 2005

Blogger Aginoth said...

Hi Merkin...can I get you to change the link to me in your sidebar/blogroll to http://aginoth.blogspot.com/

I had to delete my other blog (trapped in the body of a civil servant)...long story

8:52 pm, December 02, 2005

Blogger garfer said...

Jammy bastard. Let us know what those Argie steaks taste like.

7:31 pm, December 03, 2005

Blogger WordWhiz said...

Congrats and have fun. I'm envious. It's snowing here today!

Be sure to drop by and say hi when you get back!


7:56 pm, December 04, 2005

Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said...

AHA! (No, not the 80's threesome) I knew my nagging would work. HONEYTOM HAS POSTED! I'm still basking in my own smugness so I may be a tad insufferable for a while. Although, by the time you read this, M, I'll have come down. I hope you had a splendid time?

8:21 pm, December 06, 2005


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