If you aren’t interested in boats – don’t go to THE BOAT SHOW.
If you are interested in people watching – go anywhere, even THE BOAT SHOW. You will not be disappointed.
My relationship with water is not as amicable as that I have with human beings. I trust humans. Water? Nah. It’s too deep, dark, full of fish, mysterious. On top of which you may drown. Though of all methods other than keeling over by natural causes I’d prefer to drown rather than, say, burn. From all I gather, drowning is serene, peaceful. BURNING? Why do you suppose hell is fire not water? Bet you never thought of that one.
Yes, so some people (particularly of a particular age and demographic) go on a cruise. Leaving aside the horror of being cooped up on what is essentially a hotel on unstable grounds how do these people sleep? Remember, noise is magnified in the depth and silence of the night. All that water lapping round the keel. Lovely. Who needs nightmares when you can just buy yourself a cruise?
I am convinced that people who go on cruises have a need to lull themselves in the sense of security money gives. Let those on the run drown somewhere off some god forsaken coast. What do they expect without a staff ratio of three to one per passenger? For heaven’s sake, keep perspective.
Fire and water, the other elements are earth and air. On the spur of the moment I’d say the last two are benign. Though, obviously, you wouldn’t say that if you sat on Mount Vesuvius when it has one of its turns, or being suffocated by a pillow, strangled or whatever – take your pick.
I knew this before embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, namely motherhood: You will worry, your hair will stand on end most unbecomingly so, and generally be a mess. Not, of course, that one can let on about it. Most certainly not to the apple of your eye.
Today and tomorrow the Angel is in France. Which is not as frightening as it sounds. Yesterday we revived his dormant French which gave both of us moments of hilarity (for different reasons). I promised him that if he comes back having gone to a Pizzeria (in Cherbourg) I shall disown him. Explained the difference between ‘de jour’ and ‘a la carte’, fish and chicken, viande, Madame et Monsieur. He laughed at me. “How will I ever survive without you, Mama?” He said. I don’t know. I don’t want to know. I won’t know – that’s the best bit.
Yeah, well, he is a fine one to laugh. Can’t remember now, must have been about two summers ago, when I got a call in the middle of the night. Dear dog in heaven. He was stranded in the middle of nowhere (in France) along some god forsaken motorway- seriously pissed off with life and in need of directions. His mobile’s battery nearly dead. Those are the moments when you know that giving birth was nothing. Told him to put the phone down. Got map out. Phoned him back. Briefly. Take exit … Good night. Wiped my brow. Unbeknown to him. You must never ever worry your kid with your worry. It’s a no no. Die a thousand deaths if you must but don’t let on. As my mother says: “Little children little worries, grown up children big worries.” I’d package it slightly differently, but do know what she means. Which reminds me: How does one sleep at night if you have more than your one and only?
Full of remorse as to my poor parents,
I am fond of Gerard Depardieu (the actor) though, romantically speaking, he is not my type. Neither does it matter.
I am disappointed with him: If, as a grown man, you really ARE banned from going to the toilet – your bladder at bursting point – just as the plane turns a corner you do NOT relieve yourself – in full view of others – in the middle of the corridor. You go to the galley and draw the curtain. You know, that shows a little bit of initiative. Alternatively: Sit quietly – in your seat – use your jacket – even if a fully blown version of an Armany suit – and do your business in there. Surreptitiously as it were. Yes, your jacket will be drenched, yes, you will sit on a wet seat for the duration of the flight but at least you won’t have made a complete ass of yourself. You can always tip the stewardess and the cleaning stuff for their inconvenience later.
Reminds me of many years ago when Apple of my Eye and I had boarded plane only to be kept waiting on tarmac for take off for ages and ages and ages. Turned into a mild, nothing out of the ordinary, nightmare. Naturally, enter a young boy’s (say three or four year old) bladder. He had to go. That was all there was to it. Something had to give. And it wasn’t me. I rarely display, in public, utter disdain for arbitrary rules and regulations. But when I do – it sure works, most the time. We were not yet on a full roll on the run way when the stewardess blocked our way to the toilet with the immortal words: ” We CANNOT take the responsibility.” “No”, I said, “YOU can’t but I can. I am his mother”. She stepped aside. Oh, YES!
And since we are down piss and travel, and it is a deadly combo: Once the Angel and I heading down from England, caught in some traffic jam on a motorway in Belgium or Germany, with not one chance in hell for me to pull over, I handed him an empty (small) waterbottle: “Just do it.” He wasn’t convinced. I presented him with a choice and asked him to employ reason: Wet trousers or a full Evian recepticle? He trusted his mother and enjoyed a dry journey for the rest of it. By the way: Driving on high speed motorways for hours on end and bladders (including your own) are only for those with nerves of steel.
Good old memory lane,