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.
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The sound of the Queen Mary 2's horns as the ship leaves Southampton is one of the strongest aphrodisiacs I know.

  6. 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.

  7. Regarding point 6, it's a good thing the ship has a gym and that I remembered my running shoes.

  8. 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!"

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.
Harry is editing his KnitNation videos, and Dolores has asked for space to exhibit her photos from the Victoria and Albert Museum, so mine won't be the last word on the trip. This is just a quick hello. I've missed you all–it's nice to be back in touch.


Eileen said...

It's very nice to have you back! Looking forward to the rest of your news, Harry's, and...even Dolores's, though I suspect I'd better get a drink before checking out her photos.

Seanna Lea said...

I love your reaction to the bare breasts. I know we are all supposed to love our bodies, but my first reaction when I see any body (male or female) is wow, we are built funny.

HL said...

Hooray you're back! Sounds like it was a fantastic trip, can't wait to see pictures and hear more details

Also--when are you coming over for tea?

Jenny said...

I'm glad that your trip was a success (spoilt brats notwithstanding).

Thanks for coming all the way to England to teach us :) I had a fantastic time in your class, and will be adding lace edgings to everything now..

Roggey said...

"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."

This? Made me choke on my tea with laughter. Damn, I missed you!

Vermont Designs said...

Number 7 made me cackle too.

Anonymous said...

Every time you talk about sailing across the Atlantic, I get so jealous. If you need a Harry babysitter next time, let me know. I don't think I'm able to chaperone Delores, though!!!

Anonymous said...

Another of my favorite bloggers, David Lebovitz, must have been on the same crossing I will amuse myself with imagining charming conversations between you. If you don't know each other, you should. At least in the blogosphere.

kmkat said...

"Yup. Still gay" Priceless!

YogaNan knits, too... said...

We've missed you, too. Have a fab time at Sock Summit! I vow to be there next time.

Tini said...

Envy (at least about the trip to Knit Nation and then on the Queen Mary 2 and then to Sock summit...). Yup, it is pretty normal to go to the spa together or at least to the sauna. (at it is common to do sauna naked here, so you would have seen tons of naked women. And none would have been offended ;) )

I heard you met Hoxton handmade :) Did you talk about sheep???

Linda said...

I really must watch what blogs I read at work - in addition to not drinking any liquids at the same time.
Can't wait to hear more about your past trip and your current one.

Joy said...

Welcome home. Since you're coming to my current home next (Portland) this is doubly apt.

I know what you experienced in the sauna with the Frenchwoman. It only takes a quick glance at some guy's dangling er... participles... or hairy back for me to go, "yup, still a dyke!"

A toast to Mother Nature!

Emm said...

You are soooo delightful.

Elizabeth D said...

Sorry, Franklin, "participles" made me laugh even harder than you did. . .

Danielle said...

Needlework circle in the champagne bar! How glamorous!

p.s. I feel compelled to tell you the captcha for this post is "peeman."

CityMinx said...

do you know if you happened to be on the same crossing as David Lebovitz? two of my favorite bloggers about my two favorite pastimes on my favorite (almost) type of travel. damn, wish i could've been there

Epenthetical said...

Is the title of the post meant to be a reference to Pacific Overtures?

Yarn Dependent Me said...

Sounds relaxing and lovely (if you don't think about the whole Delores being around thing). Hope you bought yourself some yummy yarns!

Nadya said...

We've missed you too! Loved the needlework circle story - so funny. I'm looking forward to your class at Sock Summit!

Mary said...

Oh Franklin, you always deliver. Thank you.

CeltChick said...

Oh how I've missed you! Points 2, 4 & 9 are just killer. I hope Delores didn't get keel-hauled.

Anonymous said...

I've missed you! Such a great post. Have fun at sock summit. Hopefully someday I'll be able to go and take one of your classes!

Laurel said...

When you mention "Dolores" and "Victoria and Albert" in the same sentence, my mind goes immediately to "Prince Albert", and then it's just all downhill from there.

Despite that, Franklin, I wanted to tell you that I so love your posts. You manage to be comforting (yes, comforting, even given Dolores; and the sheer envy you inspire regarding your ocean liner trip) and hilarious at the same time. Thank you for that. And welcome back!

Peppermint Mocha Mama said...

Yay, you're home! Welcome back and I can't wait for the 'kids' to tell all about it.

anne marie in philly said...

too funny, honey! glad to hear you still like boys. and it's a small world after all, isn't it?

welcome back to the states; can't wait to read the posts from the rest of your party.

Janice said...

Trip sounds lovely, save for the brats and bitchy queens. Rudeness does seem to be universal -- I'll be in Chicago next week and will surely be cut dead by some when I'm outed as a . . . Californian. Happens everywhere I go, but I'll meet some charming people, see some rapture-inducing art, and have a cold one (or three) at Wrigley, so bitches be damned! (Speaking of Wrigley, could you maybe do something about the forecast thunderstorms . . . thanks!)

Have a wonderful time at the Summit!

Kristen said...

having grown up in small-town Maine, I can say that those chance meetings really do happen all over the world. I think this whole state is a giant 4 degrees of separation game. It sounds like a lovely trip!

Shelley said...

You always make me laugh! Welcome home!

kathy b said...

Oh good! you are well and didnt get GI upset on the cruise....Im always worried about Cruise sepsis...The nurse in me I guess.

Missed your posts, but no pressure.

Still working hard on my photography..if my subjects would quit meowing and crawling all over me at great speed, I would succeed more often....
must remember: yarn doesn't move

lincannon said...

What a wonderful way to travel, and unwind. Really. It is so neat that you did this. The closest I ever got to a real cruise ship is from Alaska to Seattle, and I remember it stil, one of the best times of our lives.

Lynn in Tucson said...

I LOVE Chicago; I don't care what they say. And...were you and David Lebovitz on the same ship???

Sue J said...

You were MISSED!!!

SusieQ100 said...

I've been checking every day since you were at the airport to see if there was any news. Glad you're back! And with another brilliant post!

Linda said...

Regarding Manhattanites - my college roommate moved from her small Illinois hometown to NY after graduating. We were travelling in Rome a few years later and ran into one of her NY acquaintances. He asked us if we were from New York. We said no, from Chicago. He stuck his nose a mile up in the air and said, "Oh yes. The Midwest." We were SO impressed that he had heard of it.

Gwenynen said...

Oh, Gods, Pacific Overture quote!! I think I may die of squee. I <3 you!!

necia said...

We're glad you're back, too. I second the rest of the comments-- except it was morning coffee, rather than tea, that I 'nosed'.

One day I will go on a cruise....just thinking about the Atlantic is cooling when it's been 100+ for days.

AnneMarie said...

I am most jealous of your ocean crossing!

Sally M said...

Glad you are back, have fun at SS, and do *not* pay any attention to those has-been bitchy NY queens!!

trek said...

#8 was particularly cool.

Evelyn said...

I want to be you when I grow up.

peneloped said...

Sounds absolutely fabulous. It's nice to have you back, though.

ga said...

Regarding number 8, that is too cool.

Regarding number 9, Manhattan-ites know less about the rest of the world than most people in isolated areas but still have that bitchy, better-than-you attitude. The ones I met didn't even live there any more. We can't help them, let them go. (If there are any who don't have this attitude, then I apologize for my generalization.)

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Germany!
SoHo and the Purl Bee was great, thanks! Too much fabrics and patterns...

It was so nice to meet you :) I'll tell all my friends about our Champagne Bar meetings!

Viele liebe Grüße

Quasipsyco said...

After an absolutely wretched day, your post made me smile and laugh.
Thank you.

sue said...


1. It's really nice to have you back!

2. It is SUCH a small world (see #8).

Laura said...

If I were on a cruise and went to Needle Circle and you sat down to knit next to me, I would fall over, fall over I tell you.

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