Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and Kings (or fame)


We talked about the wine yesterday, but something happened at the tasting that I want to talk about today. We sat with two other couples who happened to be from Vancouver. One couple was older than the other – closer to our age (I’d guess – upper 40s, lower 50s) The other couple were mid 30s or younger.

They seemed to be either very sporty or wanted to appear that way, although the older man was heavy and the younger one was heading that way. I’m gonna guess that the men were big into sports in high school and university, and probably the younger woman was too, but the demands of a career and a life were taking their toll on the physique of the men. I didn’t get much of an impression of the older woman – I don’t think she said more than two words for the entire tasting, and the others pretty much ignored her unless they wanted confirmation on something they’d said. They knew each other, and the older couple were either paying for the younger couple’s presence at the wine tasting, or were hosting them on the entire cruise – the older guy referred to “my guests” before the younger couple arrived, but didn’t specify. The two men could have been father and son, from their looks and clothing choices – I don’t think they were, but I got the definite impression of the younger guy really looking up to and admiring the older, and wanting to emulate him. (Hey, this is why I’m a writer – I see people and make up stories about them.)

None of them struck me as readers or interested in books and we didn’t get into religion, so I have no idea if they have any faith (this is relevant. Just hang on). Their conversation with each other (they pretty much ignored us until after the tasting) was all about internet access on board the ship, and where the best reception was (the Crow’s Nest and Explorations Café at the top of the ship apparently) and some new physical fitness monitoring app the older man had talked the younger woman into uploading onto her phone, and how much better the younger woman was at basketball after the last wine tasting and how much higher her heart rate had been when she played then, compared to another, more sober time they’d played. We didn’t really talk with them until after the tasting, and I got several odd glances when they saw I was taking notes on the wines and what Cecilia, the Cellar Master, had to say about them.

But it was after the tasting I got the real thrill of the trip. (I know, we’re only eight or nine days into it, but this was MAJOR for me!) Turns out, they’re all from Vancouver. We shared the usual information – where are you from, what do you do – and I got stuck with the older man asking me what I did – and they were terrifically impressed when I said I wrote. They asked what did I write, and Al jumped in (thank you, dear) to encourage me to do some self-promotion, which I find amazingly difficult. But I managed to say I wrote for teens, and told them I’d written Feral.

feral-cover(Hey, I can do some self-promotion, I just find it hard!)

Right then, the cruise was made for me. “About a cat, right? And a kid?” asked the younger guy. He’d heard of it! He knew the book title! I was so amazed, I just about reached over and hugged him.

Whoot, or what? What are the chances? Does this mean I’m really truly famous? (Probably not, but it still made my entire day!)

The humidity is worse today than it was yesterday, and it suddenly struck me (I know, I know, I’m slow sometimes). We’re going into the tropics. Heat and humidity. I don’t really enjoy humid weather. No, that’s not true. I hate humid weather, and Al isn’t really comfortable with it, either. Heat isn’t quite so bad, but I’m not as comfortable with it as I was a couple of years ago, for some reason.

It also belatedly dawned on me that we’re sailing into the tropics in October. Hurricane season is July to November. Hurricanes happen at sea. We’re at sea. What are the chances? Actually, a lot worse than you might think. Apparantly the Pacific has not been so peaceful this season. Oh good. Okay, so tell me again why we went on a 20 day cruise through hot, humid tropical areas in hurricane season? How do we manage to do this to ourselves?

There’s another at sea day tomorrow, so we’ll go on a kind of ship’s tour – give you some idea of what people can do on the ship at sea (you’d be amazed at how busy you can keep if you want to, and what different varieties of things there are to do on a longer cruise), and try to give you an impression of what the ship looks like.

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