So the logistics of this trip are as follows…
1. Friday – Catch plane from Madrid, Spain (home for me) to Liverpool
2. Drive hire car from Liverpool to other side of country – two and a half hours away
3. Sleep at home (as in Mum & Dad home, where I grew up home)
4. Saturday – Drive with parents for six hours (dementia in stereo) to Southampton, (little sis insists that it’s only five and a half cos her in laws just did it in that time, but, like half an hour is going to make a difference to my mental state at the end of it)
5. Dump hire car and sleep at hotel in Southampton making sure Dad doesn’t wander off to the boat show and making sure he remembers he’s there to go on a cruise..
6. Sunday – Board P&O
Alzheimer , sorry P&O Azura, get my ‘all the food you can eat , but the wine is extra, and, by the way, hang your imagination up at the door’ pass
7. Spend three days at sea before docking at first port of call in, ahem… Spain
Well, we dock in Gibraltar, which technically isn’t really Spain, but we won’t get into that debate right now, you get the picture.
Next port of call is Cartagena (so that really is Spain), then we head off for Italy, (Rome and Florence), France (Cannes), before heading for home making the last stop in Barcelona on the way.
All these nice ports of call aside, I’m still getting my head round the three days at sea thing, and I have to do it twice, on the way there and on the way back. Hell, I’ve done 26 hours on an Andesmar bus, rolling through the wilds of Patagonia with only my navel to contemplate, and a cockroach to pull faces at (I thought he was waving at me with his antenna things, I put it down to too much Malbec). I enjoyed every last second of those 26 hours, but this three days at sea thing is filling me with utter horror. I’m exaggerating of course, for dramatic effect. I kinda like my navel sessions, so long as I can look out of a window and have the sensation that physically I’m getting somewhere, difficult on a big ship as nothing really seems to ‘whizz’ by. And on a bus (or plane for that matter, even though that too lacks the ‘whizz by’ factor), there are only two or three people at any given time who have the option to talk to me, if they so choose. The thing is that on a plane or bus it is perfectly acceptable to let your head roll around and dribble a little bit to discourage people from speaking to you, on a boat with 3000 passengers and half as many crew, I’m not too sure I’m going to be able to carry that look off! Well certainly not for more than a couple of hours, when it could perhaps be put down to a little too much wine and overdoing it on the Karaoke.
So my autistic moments may well have to be relegated to my bunker below decks, no windows for poor singletons, (there will be more on that at a later date when I have fully been able to appreciate my fate).
Or of course I could just do what I normally do; find a corner in a bar, put on my best ‘do not disturb’ face (which unnervingly seems to get interpreted more often than not as ‘come here and tell me everything’), and just get on with it!!