- Leaving England and KnitNation because you have a passage to New York on a Cunard liner takes some of the sting out of leaving England and KnitNation. But not all of it.
- Ill-mannered children with overly-indulgent parents are an international phenomenon. The self-centered little darling kicking your shins on the gangway, yelling in the restaurant or spilling expensive drinks in the ship's bar s/he really should not be visiting in the first place is as likely to have come from England, France, Spain, Japan or Germany as from America. This is simultaneously comforting, alarming and depressing.
- European families seem to like to go to the spa together. On the one hand, I think that's rather sweet. On the other hand, though I love my mother, I do not wish to sit in a Turkish bath with her.
- Speaking of the spa, had my first view in years of bare breasts when I walked into the aromatherapy sauna and surprised a French lady who had forgot to put on her maillot. She hitched up her towel and cheerfully wished me bonjour, but not before I'd taken in the panoramic view of her aureolas and instantly found myself thinking, Yup–still gay.
- The sound of the Queen Mary 2's horns as the ship leaves Southampton is one of the strongest aphrodisiacs I know.
- You cannot have too much chocolate lava cake at one sitting. You can try, and suspect that you are coming close; but then the waiter will explain that it's time to set up the dining room for the next day's breakfast and graciously shoo you back to your cabin. Happily, you will then find that room service is only too delighted to send up a frozen chocolate bombe as a pre-bedtime digestif. They will even send two, so you can save one for morning.
- Regarding point 6, it's a good thing the ship has a gym and that I remembered my running shoes.
- If you go to Needlework Circle (every afternoon at 2 pm in the Champagne Bar), you will meet knitters, crocheters, embroiderers and quilters from eleven states and six countries. One of the knitters will turn out to be a colleague of your sister's, from the same tiny school district in rural Maine, and exclaim that "You're the uncle who made the christening shawl!"
- I could be a self-made multi-billionaire who only condescended to travel this week with Cunard because my own, larger bespoke liner is still being assembled in France. I could, in addition, be an internationally famous cover model with my own clothing and home accessories lines, a budding film career and a reputation as a humanitarian and philanthropist. I could, in addition, be in possession of so many advanced degrees that Oxford, Harvard and the Sorbonne were trying to come up with new fields of learning just to keep me occupied. And there would still be a couple of bitchy New York queens on the ship who would cut me dead because I live in Chicago instead of Manhattan.
- Watching a full-length Royal Opera House production of Carmen in high-definition 3D while you float across the ocean is cool, even if the soprano who sang Micaela was about as convincing as a 17-year-old blonde Navarraise virgin as I would be.
- Do not excitedly run to your balcony to photograph the whales without stopping to put on some clothes first, especially when your balcony is directly above the very crowded promenade deck.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The Advantages of Knitting in the Middle of the Sea
...and other, random notes from aboard the Queen Mary 2, transcribed at LaGuardia Airport in New York while I wait for my flight to Sock Summit.