What follows is a mashup of the BMSUs (Boring Maritime Status Updates) I posted on FB during my cruise in 2012. I travelled alone. Oh yes I did. I’m quite the intrepid traveller you know. These posts seemed funny at the time but on re-reading I think they’re actually a bit shit. Oh yes these posts proved popular at the time but these were happy times; the heady pre-recession days. The days before I spent long sleepless nights worrying about quantitive easing and suchlike. We were all high on life.
You’ll note that there’s a reference to a Sam in the BMSUs. There was more to this story that I didn’t report at the time. It turned out to be a damp squib but it fairly got my juices flowing at the time as I recall. Ha! I harboured notions of being banged roughly up against the mirrored wardrobes of my cabin but looking back now I suspect the sight of his double denim would’ve given me the droop. Anyway, here we go! Enjoy!
16th April 2012
Am off on ma holidays tomorrow! Missing you already! Things I’m worried about:
1) Falling asleep on the plane and snoring, open-mouthed.
1a) That I need the toilet on the plane and it’s not just a weewee
2) That I haven’t packed enough pharmaceuticals to cover all my imaginary ailments
3) That I don’t have enough cardigans
4)That I get drunk on the boat and do YMCA in front of total strangers
5) That I get sucked overboard when I open my balcony doors for a bit of fresh air in the middle of the night
6) That there’s no decent coffee on the boat
7) That there’s no WIFI
8) That I get stuck with Mr and Mrs Boring from Borington for the duration of the trip.
I’m tempted to just not go.
19th April 2012
New York! Went for wee walk about 11 last night when I arrived. Left hotel. Turned right. Broadway! Was so overwhelmed I just bought a bottle of water and scurried back to the hotel in case somebody spoke to me in American.
22nd April 2012
Boring Maritime Status Update: Left New York, Left Martha’s Vineyard, which was a bit chocolate boxy and overrated, IMHO. Current status – cruising gently across Atlantic. No longer stopping at Newfoundland due to shallow water. Did they not see that coming like? Loving the balcony cabin. Weather sunny. Maintaining aloofness. It’s the Captain’s dinner tonight but stupidly sent posh frocks for ironing and they won’t be back til tomorrow hahahaha! Laughed so much at dinner table the first night I needed to go back to my cabin for inhaler. Nice people at my table. I have a cabin girl called Tata. She turns down my bed at night and cleans my cabin twice a day. She has her work cut out. She also brought be breakfast in my cabin this morning, which was nice. Ordered fruit with breakfast but obviously this was just a front – didn’t eat the fruit. Had Buck’s Fizz at 10 so feeling a bit squiffy. Just going for lunch. It’s a hard life. Haven’t ranted yet, so that’s good. Today’s onboard activities include bridge class and learning the tango. Trust all is well in Blighty. Wish you were here. Twats to nice people ratio percentage wise = 60/40.
23rd April 2012
Boring maritime status update: Day 2 on the good ship Balmoral. “Learned” to tango yesterday. Missed the bridge class due to Buck’s Fizz early doors. Washed ma pants which was fun in itself because the laundry is down on deck 3 where the steerage passengers lurk. They smell of beer and fried food. Then sat in library staring out to sea trying not to fall asleep. Can’t keep ma bloody eyes open! Captain’s dinner last night. Drank too much wine. Tried to slither in to restaurant to enjoy a late solitary breakfast, but Tom nice but dim was lying in wait. I don’t understand a word he says because he’s so posh. All I hear is FWAHFWAHFWAHFWAHFWAH. Poked down some breakfast – a fried egg, bacon, mushrooms, beans and toast, followed by a jammy doughnut (because am on my holidays) and legged it. Off to a chef demonstration this morning. Apparently they do wonderful things with carrots.
Dance class later to learn the ‘slow rhythm’ which sounds like contraception, but we’ll see. Trust all is well in Blighty. Give my love to mother.
25th April 2012
BMSU: Day 4 on the good ship Balmoral. Posh Peter is the talk of the card room as he sashays around the ship in a sarong, socks, flipflops and dinner jacket. This sight prompts Cockney Neil to proclaim ” ‘ave you seen posh Peetah? ‘e’s only wearin a bladdy skirt. E’s gone nancy on us!”. This makes me laugh so much I choke on my fifth dougnut of the day. Last night’s sleep was fitful – slept so much during the day due to hangover straight from the bowels of Hell that I was still wide awake at 2am staring out into the inky blackness. Fell into deep sleep then suddenly blasted awake by the (locked) balcony doors bursting open for no good reason. Get up. Close them. They burst open again. Decide “oh fuck it, they can stay open”, then can’t sleep for worrying about Somali pirates coming to get me or a scary sea monster from the deep slithering up the side of the ship to explore my orifices with its fishy tentacles. I find myself morbidly fascinated with the notion of jumping off the back of the ship. It’s the same morbid fascination i had at the top of the Rockefeller building when I suddenly got shitawful vertigo at the thought I might climb over the glass wall and hurl myself off the side. Today’s breakfast: Rice Krispies, a chocolate doughnut, a fried egg, mushrooms, bacon, toast, pancakes, syrup. What? Shut up. Yesterday’s dance class = the cha cha. I was goodish at that. Today’s dance class = the Harlem Blues. God knows what that is. Fell asleep during a talk on Windows 7 yesterday. Snorked myself awake.
26th April 2012
BMSU: Brief update today on this day 5 on the good ship Balmoral. Cockney Neil has taken up residence in the ship pub and lays in wait for any bit of totty that passes his way. He’s permanently drunk on Newcastle Brown. I’ve taken a different route to the restaurant to avoid his lairy outbursts like “PHWOAR LESLEY WHAT A PAIR A BANGERS YEWV GOT THERE GEL” I just sigh. I’ve given up reminding him that my name’s Lindsey, because clearly he’s more interested in my bangers than he is in learning my name. Still managing to resist the urge to hurl myself off the back of the ship to a certain death. Slightly disappointed if I’m honest. Dance class today = Rock and Roll. As usual, I kept trying to lead, especially when my partner starts freestyling. Today’s lunch was chicken soup which of course I managed to slitter right down the front of my “I HEART NYC” hoodie, followed by beef stroganoff and berry sundae. Maltese Maurice, the ship harbinger of doom, joined us for lunch, and put me on a terrible downer by talking about diets and his dead wife and how the windows on the ship can break very easily. Last night’s chocolate on pillow was, bizzarely, coconut, which threw me a bit. Medical status: caught a cold. Hair status: big. Weather status: rough seas, force 8 winds. Today’s activities included the usual dance class and a magician. Tea dance at 4 which I’m bodyswerving.
27th April 2012 BMSU: Day 6(?) on the good ship Balmoral. Cockney Neil is conspicuous by his absence. I ran the gauntlet of the ship pub to snap a little pic of him for y’all but he’s possibly succumbed to the lure of the cold Atlantic and hurled himself off the back of the ship. I’m a tiny bit jealous if he has. Is that wrong? My objective is to teach him the Eels song from the Mighty Boosh and video it for the weans. Posh Peter donned another crazy outfit last night. Not sure what it was – African Prince? I bumped into him on the way to my pant washing activities this morning and he practically pinned me against the lift doors, rambling in his posh incoherent manner. I wriggled away from him with a cheery “See you later Peter!” and he said “Afuffafeffafoffy?” I giggled nervously “haha yes!” having no idea what he’d just said or what I’d agreed to. I’m double locking the cabin door tonight.There are single women of a certain age roaming the ship in gangs. A cloud of HRT and the smell of years of unspent oestrogen pervades the ship. Their intentions are clear. STOP PRESS: Cockney Neil enters the ship pub. Before he can make any bangers comments I greet him with “Well Neil what’s the script for today?” He replies “Sit here. Get pissed. Thassit” Hahahahaha! He’s a geezer innit! STOP STOP PRESS: It just dawned on me that posh Peter’s “Afuffafeffafoffy?” was possibly “Is that a threat or a promise?” He’s got more patter than a centipede with flip flops.
Today’s activities include a Can’t Cook Won’t Cook show in the Neptune Lounge and today’s dance class is the Mayfair Quickstep. (Just did it. I was great.) Medical status: still got cold. Hacking cough. Hair status: Made an effort. Bit of an up-do. Kirbies ahoy. Also: rough seas continue. Sick bags everywhere. I’m strangely unaffected.
28th April 2012 Ranty Maritime Status Update: Day 7 (?) on the fuckface ship Balmoral.
SICK OF THE SIGHT OF THIS BASTARDING COCKARSE SHIP. We won’t make Southampton tomorrow til late afternoon due to weather or some shit, which means I’ll miss my flight. I WANT MY NESPRESSO MACHINE NOW. Stayed in my cabin all day emerging only to rant about my internet ticket running out prematurely. I’m sure they heard me thundering downsaven’t left tairs to rant at reception, because it was like the Marie Celeste when I got there. Saw crisps for the first time since I left New York – ordered room service today instead of facing the three witches from Macbeth in the restaurant. Yesterday I could hear them clucking and hissing about other passengers and as I passed their table they fell silent. Bitches. So I bellowed “Well ladies who’s doing what to whom today? You seem to know all the ship goss” and smiled knowingly, as if I’d been up to something juicy. Jersey “I’m considerably richer than you” Linda flapped her mouth about a bit then shut it again. Yeah, eat your soup, bitch. Big Pam who runs a fruit and veg market stall in Yorkshire is my best pal, and I ranted to her about stuff today until she went “Oh Linz darlin’, yull ‘ave to slow down love, yuv gone all Scottish on meh”. Not much news on Cockney Neil or Posh Peter today. Bit of a fracas at dinner last night which will be reported tomorrow. Medical status: have residual cough from that cold which goes HACKHACKHACKHACKHACK. Hair update: Bedhair. Stayed in bed all day except for attack on reception. Claimed I was writing my memoirs to all telephone callers to cabin 8048 who tried to lure me to the bingo/quiz/piano recital. Today’s activities: couldn’t give a shit. Too crabbit to even go to waltz class, much to Sam’s disappointment. There’s a story I’ve yet to relate re Sam.
.29th April 2012 JESUS H CHRIST ALLEGED IMMACULATELY CONCEIVED SON OF THE VIRGIN MARY SOMEBODY PLEASE COME AND HELICOPTER ME OFF THIS TWATTING SHIP. We’re currently experiencing Force 11 winds (which is a violent storm according to the Beaufort Scale) and the ship’s just being tossed around. We’re all used to it now but now and again we get a particularly nasty bump as we crash back down on the sea. It’s like when you were wee and your dad used to drive the car drunk on the way to Ayr races and he’d go over bumps in the road really quick to make you laugh because you’d egged him on. No? Oh. We won’t get to Southampton til after 6! I was meant to be off now! Will miss flight, and will have to stay Southampton tonight and get flight tomorrow. Nightmare. The really good ship gossip is that we’re actually limping home on one engine because the other one took a hit from a massive bump we all felt the other night. Of course I immediately thought ICEBERG and jumped in to my trainers even though I was stark naked because the cabin is so bloody hot all the time. And this ship isn’t built for crossing the Atlantic apparently. One of the dance hosts (he’s very ‘showbiz’) took great pleasure in telling me this. It’s meant for the Caribbean and has a flat bottom rather than a proper hull. None of this makes any sense to me but I’ll be googling the arse right out of it when I get home. Breakfast status: Had toast. Then went back for fried egg, bacon, mushrooms. No hash browns today which made me ranty. Chocolate doughnut. Blueberry muffin.
29th April 2012 Final BMSU:
Location – a massive bed in Premier Inn Southampton. Unplanned overnight in Southampton due to late docking of ship. Missed flight to Glasgow. Rang Flybe to ask if I could change flight to tomorrow. Apparently not possible. Largely because I’d accidentally booked my flight for Saturday 28th instead of Sunday 29th! Holy shit! I’d missed it anyway! Haha!V sad at leaving Pam. And Sam. Sam was my dance partner and complained about the heat coming up off my boobs during the tango. We hung around together, prompting lots of clucking and sidelong glances from the three witches from Macbeth. I did nothing to discourage this of course. Jersey “I’m considerably richer than you” Linda got drunk and lairy and tried to coax Sam away from me to accompany her to the ship disco. I hissed “don’t you dare” at him. He didn’t go, obviously. Rides a Harley and is 63. Wears double denim though. And as it turns out, preferred doing jigsaws to getting a different kind of jiggy with yours truly despite my cleavage flashing and flirty hair twirling. Cockney Neil update: Me:”Hi Neil do you know the Eel song from the Mighty Boosh?” CN: “What you talkin’ abaht?” Me: “Eels up inside yaa, findin’ an entrance where they can”. CN: “You’re mental. Gerr aht of it”. Cockney Neil hated Posh Peter. I suggested that PP probably stays in a castle somewhere with manservants. CN scoffs at this, adding “Shaaaht ahp. E’s probably inna one bed flat in Shit Taaahn”.Posh Peter (wearing some weird Burmese national costume) caused a fracas at dinner the other night by having one too many Dubonnets at the Captain’s Cocktail party and accusing the waiter of not taking his order. Cockney Neil had a shitfit and called him a twat. This from the man who told a particularly bawdy joke at the dinner table, invoking a tumbleweed moment and leaving big Pam open-mouthed in horror. Anyway, that’s my adventure over. Highlights include Death of A Salesman on Broadway, seeing the Manhattan skyline from a ship and having a lovely cabin with a balcony I could sit on in just my pants. And having a gin party in my cabin. Oh and being slathered in mud, wrapped in tinfoil and massaged. Lowlights include ship entertainment, crazyarse weather crossing the Atlantic and lack of crisps.