The Greatest Show in the World

November 7, 2007 -

John Heald

Remember my friend Murphy and his law?…………well he is back again even at 30,000 feet. Here I am sitting on British Airways flight 240 from Miami to London Heathrow and the plane is full of……….FRENCH PEOPLE………hundreds of them including the man next to me…………typical….absolutely typical that something like this would happen.

Once the seat belt sign had been taken off I got this lap dancer computer out and thought I would start writing a blog thingy to you all. We just had a bit of turbulence and as the plane hit a pothole my French friends who seem to be dominating the seats around me let out various expressions of “Ooh La La” and the man next to me evening said something that sounded like “Sacrablur” what ever that means…………anyway Pierre is now doing something on his computer as well…….I hope he cannot read this………let’s make sure……….the man next to me smells of garlic and has a nosed the size of the Eiffel Tower …………….nope………guess he can’t.

The last four days have been a whirlwind of meetings and charging around Miami and last night I got to see ……….well……hang on and I will tell you all about that later. I must admit that I amore tired now than I was on the ship but they have been a productive four days. I had, as I mentioned in the last blog a meeting about Carnival’s future plans plus a meeting about the bloggers cruise ………oh, did you enjoy the video? We will be posting more video clips soon as well. I also got to see all the folks in the entertainment office in Miami and we held a barbecue at Roger Blum’s house which was excellent even though he forced us to eat with plastic knife and forks.

On its way to my house in the UK is a huge box. Within the box are hundreds …….. yep …………hundreds of cards and letters and packages from all of you to Heidi and I and Alan as well. My suitcase was full so I mailed the box home ……..ok…………Chris Prideaux did the mailing. I want to say though how touched I was that you still take the time to write and send gifts…………that is really amazing considering the diluted form the blog has taken the last few days. I am so grateful and so thankful and proud to call all of you dear friends.

I have also been reading all your comments and very soon I will reply to as many as I can if forthcoming blogs…..hang in there.

Talking of friends, I spoke briefly yesterday to Todd on the Carnival Freedom. She is in the middle of her TA now and will arrive home to Miami on the 11th. They have had some rough days weather-wise but I understand from Todd that all are having fun and the cruise is going very well. I still am wracked by moments of guilt that I am not there with them though. On that note I think it’s time to try and get some sleep. First though it’s time to enjoy the wonderful food that awaits me here as we fly the friendly skies. My choices are beef in a red wine sauce, chicken chassaure or something called spinach flakes ……. now……this is British Airways…….the key word being British……..look at this menu…….where the hell is the spotted dick and shepherds pie………….am I am on the wrong plane or is this Air France…………I ordered the beef so time to put the computer away and get some grub down my neck ……take my diabetic pill ……….and get some sleep……..bon nuit (French for good night….I think.)

Hello, it’s 2 pm now and here I am sitting in my office at home feeling shattered. Sleep ignored me on the plane and instead of being able to tour the land of slumber I watched two movies and listened to Pierre snoring away. It wasn’t just snoring but he also periodically made some lip smacking noises as well….he was really getting on Mon nerves.

The movies I watched were also getting on my nerves. The first was Oceans 13 which unless you were a rocket scientist…….and I as you know am not………you had no idea what the hell was going on except there seemed to be a bunch of good looking men posing in a casino. It also contained more terrible attempts at English accents from that actor although the worst ever has to be Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. I think Kevin knew this as well as he gave up half way through the movie. Anyway, after Oceans 13 came Die Hard part 57. The movie was OK and the effects brilliant but it was ruined ………how? …………well even with noise reducing headphones and the fact that Bruce was blowing up the entire world, through the bangs and gunshots the only true noise I could hear was Pierre snoring away probably dreaming of an all you can eat frogs legs and garlic buffet.

OK, off to see Alan so time to save this thingy in drafts and hopefully not delete everything I have written so far…….back soon.

OK, here I am now at my Mum and Dad’s having just returned from seeing Alan. He looks good despite all he has been through and next week I will take him for his Gamma treatment. He has no vocal cords so can hardly speak and he needs to eat a trough of pasta as quick as he can. His positive attitude is extraordinary and he wanted me to once again say a huge thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Alan told me that knowing thousands of people he had never met before really helped him get through the dark times now and any that may be waiting for him in the future.

Tomorrow morning I am going to drive him to our favorite breakfast spot and shove eggs and bacon down his throat if he likes it or not. It is nearly dinnertime. It’s wonderful that I live close to Mum and dad especially with Heidi being away in Holland with her Mum.

Tonight, Mum is cooking one of my favorites……Toad in the Hole and in tribute to Pierre she is using real toad.

Last night………….no………sorry………the night before last I got to do something that I will never forget. I had done this once before but this time the experience was historic. Now, some of you are thinking what is he talking about……….did he have another Turkish Bath, did he meet Catherine Zeta Jones or did he get to pass gas in a plane full of French people?…………..Well one of those is true but I am referring to the fact that I went to my second ever Miami Heat basketball game. I went with a family called Mr and Mrs. Bentley who live in Miami. They knew that I was in town and invited me along. The last time I went was with all the Cruise Directors and we sat on the back row of the nosebleed section and I must admit I was ……….well……….bored. This time however Mr and Mrs. Bentley and their two kids who are both in their early twenties invited me to join them and we had seats so close you feel every emotion the players do…… was unbelievable.

Now the game itself was against the Charlotte Bobtails or something and we lost………yes……….I know………the Heat lost……….it went down to the last minute and we lost as we did against the Pistons which means I lost a bet with a blogger and now have to wear Big Ed’s underwear………as a hat.

However, the fact that we lost did not take away the spectacle that will be one I never forget. I wonder if Mr and Mrs. Bentley know how lucky they are as season ticket holders to see this kind of spectacle whenever they want. The players are sportsmen and entertainers and this combination makes what they do the greatest show I have ever seen and I want to thank my friends for allowing me a chance to experience this performance for myself, it will be a night I will never forget.

On the court was Shaquille O’Neal and other famous players but one man stood out for me …..a young lad called Quinn……….I can’t remember his first name but I do remember Mr. Bentley who seems to know everything about the team telling me that he was caught in a draught and came to Miami or something. Anyway, the reason he stood out was not because my basketball knowledge is such that I can tell you he was a great shooter, passer and dribbler (is that a word?) although he certainly looked like he was a great all round player……….no, the reason he stood out was he was the smallest player on the field and more important than that……………he smiled……he laughed……….he grinned from ear to ear and I got the impression that he realised that he was realizing a boyhood dream and he intended to relish every single minute. Don’t be surprised if you hear more about this kid because if he keeps smiling and having fun then I am sure he will become a star.

It goes to show that what ever you do in life…whatever your career path …..if you have fun and enjoy what you do you can become the best at what you do………..good luck Mr. Quinn and reach for the stars…..well……..the hoop thingy first please.

It is also amazing how sports can change someone as well as in the case of Mr. Bentley. I have known him to always be mild and calm and someone who never displays his emotions in public. However this all changed during the game as he discussed politely with the referees his concerns about their eyesight.  I wish Heidi could have been with me to see this. I missed her during the game especially as sitting in the seats next to Mr. Bentley was a young couple in their early twenties who were so obviously suffering from the early stages of love. In fact, they hardly watched the game and instead spent the entire show looking deeply into each others eyes. She was beautiful by the way and I don’t blame the young man for doing so. It reminded me of Heidi and I when we first met and I made a silent bet with myself that these two would be married very soon……..if I was him I would do it sooner rather that later…….he was no oil painting and as an ugly man myself. As soon as I met Heidi I knew I had to get married quickly….I suggest he does the same. I didn’t see anyone famous at the game except George Hamilton………..he is definitely stalking me.

After the game we went for dinner to a very posh restaurant on South Beach and being an idiot I forgot the name. It was amazing and the food was superb. I was really hungry and wanted to order straight away but we had to wait while the Bentley’s beautiful daughter removed the various communication devices from her purse. Cell phones, raspberrys and a new one called a Scape or scope or who the hell knows but the table looked like Nokia had opened a superstore. I guess being beautiful and blessed with a great sense of humour as she is that she needs thousands of mega bite thingies to stay in touch with all her friends.

I tried to pay for dinner to thank them for the wonderful night but Mrs. Bentley refused and when I tried to argue she threatened to hit me over the head with the remains of Mr. Bentley’s baked potato which was the size of me.

A great game, a great night and a great family to enjoy it with. Basketball players earn a lot of money and some say that sports stars are overpaid but that night for me………they earned every penny.

Here are some photos of two great basketball stars.

two great basketball stars

two great basketball stars

two great basketball stars

OK, time for bed as tiredness is getting the better of me and I know I will get a good night sleep. Not because I am in my own bed but because I won’t have a snoring Frenchman next to me.


Your friends

John and Heidi

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.