John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Sunday 25 August 2013

[Saturday 24 August 2013]

At sea

Day 237 Sunday 25 August Lamentations 1:1-3:36

This was the Cruise News, delivered under the door late the previous night, for today:

Most days, I feel queasy on getting up, but the feeling quickly passes off. Today, though, it persisted, and got worse. I didn’t think it was due, or wholly due, to the pitching and rolling of the ship — quite moderate given the pronounced, foam-topped swell of the sea, and what the captain later reported as force 8 or 9 winds. Janet’s plan, on this her chosen “pig-out day” (usually a Saturday) was to go for breakfast at 6.30am in the Sirens restaurant on Deck 11, and for me to join her later when I chose to get up. But my right hand was so swollen and painful overnight that I thought I’d need her help to get ready, so I put clothes on and went with her. I had orange juice, coffee, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, and bacon, sausage and beans. That was before I realised that the queasiness was not going to pass off. I made it back to the cabin and lay down on the bed. Janet remained and came back when she’d finished. Later, I felt I’d recovered enough to attend the “Port Showcase”, audio-visual presentations about our ports of call and excursions available, in the Broadway Show Lounge on Deck 8 at 10.00am; so I showered, shaved, etc., and we made our way there.

Afterwards, back in the cabin, I lay down again, and we decided by looking through “Your shore excursion guide” which excursions to choose. Tomorrow’s had to be booked by 1am today, but in fact we decided about each day’s. Janet went up to where the “Destination Services” people had their desk, to make the bookings, and came back with tickets. A bit after 1pm she went off again for lunch. I’d felt unable to sit at the desk where the “little feller” was plugged into the only socket, and lay on the bed with it on my lap using battery power. Did diary update, then Day 221’s Bible reading (to 13:55). After Janet returned, I fell asleep for a few hours. Janet possibly dozed off too. After I woke, Janet made us a cup of Nescafé from the in-room facilities. Connected the “little feller” back to the electrical socket, and did Day 222’s reading (to 18:03), using headphones — delayed when Word crashed part-way through. I was following the text in “Jeremiah.doc” when that happened; I’d just restored a letter to the text, presumably accidentally deleted when I was formatting the document into poetry-lines and stanzas. When I tried to reopen “Jeremiah.doc”, Word said it was being edited by “John E. Cooper” and offered to open it “read-only”. So to fix the problem I restarted the computer. There was a letter from “Emma and Ped, Destination Services Team, Thomson Dream” (the pair who had addressed us in the “Port Showcase” earlier), pushed under the door, 6.15pm, telling us that the “Sights and Heights of Rapallo” excursion tomorrow had been cancelled because the cable car, forming a big part of the tour, had been closed due to the strong winds experienced today and forecast tomorrow.

Janet suggested she go to see them to arrange an alternative, but I felt able to go too, so that’s what we did. Both were behind a counter, and we saw “Ped”, a Serbian, when he became free. The excursions to “San Salvator and Stunning Sestri” and “Scenic Genoa” also weren’t running — in their case, for lack of numbers — and Janet didn’t fancy “Portofino and Santa Margherita by Boat” because strong winds promised rough seas; so Ped suggested going ashore by tender and making our own way around Rapallo. I was feeling not too ill to go to the Lido restaurant; I had crackers, two kinds of cold meat and cheese. I saw a “Wi-Fi” sign, so went back to get the “little feller”; but when I got to the logon stage and found they wanted £4 for a ¼-hour, I proceeded no further! I had some beef consommé and a cob of dark brown bread, and afterwards some more crackers — Ryvita-type rye crispbread — with cheese. We returned via the library where I figured the Wi-Fi might be free, but it was still £4 minimum. Back in the cabin, I re-read the information-sheet: “We have internet facilities onboard Thomson Dream which you will find on deck 8 next to the library. A chargeable Wi-Fi facility is also available” in specified locations. So the “internet facilities” — whether free, or not, was not specified — were the computers I saw when we were in the library. We went back to the cabin: Janet showered, then made notes and plans (“sorting out my bits”, I think is what she writes in her journal, or something similar); I updated this. Did Day 223’s Bible reading (to 21:54). afterwards. We both went to bed shortly after this.

[Monday 26 August 2013]

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