Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Inverness - how strange is that !?

All aboard the Ruby Princess or we will left behind ! The amusing thing is that if they left us behind at this port I could jump on the train, or use my Scot Bus Pass to get home and be in my own bed in a couple of hours !

It is my daughter's birthday today, so a few weeks ago I arranged with the Chattington's to pick us up from the dock and we would all go to Jimmy Chungs for a Chinese Buffet lunch ! It was very kind of Catherine to collect, eat and re deposit us back at the docks, interspersed with a little shopping and a cool drink stop at the inevitable Eastgate Centre in Inverness.

We did not, as you can imagine, do ANY sightseeing ! The children and Sara have visited Inverness many times, indeed Cecilia flew in to the airport there when she was only 15 days old, as a huge surprise for my parents both of whom were around 83 or 84 by then.

We had a super day, and hopefully Sara had an enjoyable birthday.

The oddness of being so near home and yet on a vast and gracious cruise ship has given me a strange feeling. I am usually getting on and off the ship in a remote or slightly exotic place when I am ship bound, and yet I watched many many other passengers beside themselves with excitement at their forthcoming coach excursion to Loch Ness or Cawdor Castle - to them, a most exotic place full of history, colour and romance.

We forget the joys of the place where we live ! Shame on us !


Friends onshore !

Today with the Chattingtons

Yesterday with Lorayne


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Great Days and back home ( well nearly!)

We have had two superb days, one in Belfast where we visited the magnificent Titanic Experience ! Many thanks to Pam for suggesting it ! It was a clever and exciting museum, modern and interesting for Sara and I and the children - amazingly they were keen and interested for the whole time ! In my experience the two words 'museum' and 'child' do not always mix well, but this combination really hit the spot. They loved all the interactive stuff and they were genuinely interested in the story. C sort of knew about the Titanic story, mostly from Hollywood I imagine, and W knew nothing when we arrived, but by the time he left he could tell you how long the ship was and the colour of the the Captain's socks ! It was a real adventure even given that it was the only day so far when the rain was torrential.

We moved through the night on to Greenock, for Glasgow yesterday and once again the weather was like the amazon jungle on a hot day. No way was offered by the ship to be transported into the city, so I rang Lorayne to see if she knew a way - as a true Glaswegian I felt she would have the knowledge - well by happy chance she was in Glasgow when I rang, and she cheerfully volunteered herself as chauffeur, and within an hour we were zooming our way to the Glasgow Park where all the Commonwealth Games party activities were taking place! Quite apart from the children being thrilled to meet once again with the girl they still see as Jill Skinflint from Jack and the Beanstalk, it was super to have a trip with a local ! Many thanks Lorayne !

Now, as I write we are sailing past the North West corner of Skye, and I can practically see cars on the road - how weird is that ? On a cruise ship bigger than Bournemouth, yet looking out at home.

It is the first sea day today, so plenty of time for doing nothing, and nursing my sun burnt and heat prickled arms ! It is indoors in the air conditioning for me, though I imagine it will be a swimming fest for the rest of my family.

I want to tell everyone I meet.......see that wonderful view out there, that's where I live !!

Over the Sea to Skye - the long way round !

As I write - nearly as glitzy as the Hotel Titipu foyer !


Saturday, 26 July 2014


Myself and the aspiring Mark Spitz ( for those who remember, see pic !) opted to stay onboard whilst the girls left the ship to 'go shop' in Liverpool ! The last time I was in this city was during a Glyndebourne tour sometime in the late Middle Ages, and my memory is being very embarrassed by the male singers who insisted upon singing very loudly on the Mersey Ferry, much to the chagrin of the other passengers ! It was not one of my finest musical escapades !

Back to 2014, and W and I played his newest game, Pengeloo or something like that, in the empty and blessedly air conditioned Piazza, followed by a Seanmhair set of challenges which involve much moving, thinking and asking members of the crew answers to questions, all with the lure of golden pound coins for correct answers. W will be a millionaire by the time he is 30.

We are now enjoying a peaceful swimming session in a largely empty pool........still meltingly hot, so even a small 7 year old boy is moving in child slo mo !

Easy ozy does it.


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Lost post !

Sorry I seem to have lost a post somewhere but instead here is a show photo !


Love it !