Caught the boat at Southampton- do you 'catch' a boat? And yes, I am aware that technically it's a ship, but I'm hoping that someone at P & O reads this and gets as pissed off about that as I'm feeling right now!'
But I digress, it is a very nice boat, can't fault it. The food's good, the crew seem eager to please and I'm sure that the Captain is a pleasant enough chap. All in all a pretty good start. Until...
...So the gang at P & O head office are having a bit of a slow day. You know what it's like, the time is dragging, it's the worst job in the world- selling great times to folks who couldn't give a fig about you working whilst they're off living it up, so you need something to liven up the mood. 'I know,' says some bright spark, 'let's nick an hour off the ship! That's got to sour the trip.'
So what happens? You've just finished off enough food to feed a small African nation for a week. You head back to your room to relax before supper and there on the bed are a couple of chocolates - lovely, ta very much - and a note. "Please be aware that from tomorrow there is a time difference and you are advised to put your timepieces forward by one hour."
Well, they snuck that in didn't they! And notice, they don't even have the balls to tell you to your face, they had to write it down! Do we get it back - yes, next week back at Southampton when the bloody holiday is over.
Now I don't know about you, but if I book a weeks holiday then that's what I expect. Seven glorious, relaxing, stress free days. Six days twenty three hours just doesn't cut it I'm afraid.
How did they do it anyway? Was our hour simply sitting around waiting for his shift to start when the phone rang?
'Is that you,hour?'
'Sure is bro', wassup?'
'Just wondering whether you'd mind a bit of short time, we seem to have a bit of congestion in the schedule and we'd like to free up some space?'
'No problem, man. How much shorter?'
'Oh, about sixty minutes.'
Now an hour ain't really got that much to do has it! Hang about for three thousand six hundred seconds and that's pretty much it. Not exactly onerous, is it? If the poor sod had fallen overboard I dare say that we'd have busted a gut to save it, tossed it a rubber ring, lowered a lifeboat or something. If the unthinkable had happened and the hour had drowned we could have had a very nice service, said a few kind words and tossed some flowers into the wake. But our hour! No thank you very much! The slightest excuse and he's off, never to be seen again thank you very much - 'cos I dare say that the one we get back next week will be a different one entirely!
Anyway, we're off to Norway, to find out what's so crap about it that the Vikings found it necessary to keep invading us. I'll let you know what happens.