Porridge and Red Wine

November 8, 2007 -

John Heald

Good Morning everyone from a very chilly Southend On Sea Essex, UK. It’s strange waking up on my own and the house seems very quiet this morning. My sleep pattern is still a little messed up. Last night I was in bed and asleep by 9:30 pm and now find myself awake and sitting here blogging at 7:30 am……….fully clothed though you will all be glad to hear.

Heidi is having fun with Mum in Holland and will be home on the 19th. Until then I shall visit with Alan and my other friends and, of course, enjoy the daily delights that my Mum will conjure up in the kitchen. I will make my own breakfast this morning which will be  a big bowl of something called Ready Brek. This is basically oat porridge and with some Splenda sugar free …ummmm….sugar ontop it really warms and fills you up.  Last night my raspberry machine was bleeping non-stop and I also had a conference call with the office about the forthcoming Carnival Freedom 4-day cruise. After that and the emails had been sent I drove to my Mum and Dad’s and had dinner. Now, it feels like I am  talking about food a lot today but as many of you expressed an interest in my daily grazing activities

Will continue to let you know what edible treats I have enjoyed. Last night I had chicken curry…..Mum’s recipe and this morning I am enjoying the repercussions of eating this particular dish……if Heidi was here I would be you know where.

OK, I am going to answer a few comments this morning as time allows. I am not sure how often I will be able to do this but as I have a bit of time let me answer a few starting with last night’s blog called the Greatest Show in the World and then go on from there. If you have posted any questions and I haven’t answered them please re slap them on to this blog and I will do my best to answer them ASAP.

Here we go. To skip Q&A, click here.

SHERYL PELTON – Glad you enjoyed a near normal blog Sheryl and sorry it has been so long since I was …well….normal. I will try and post as often as I can. Heidi will be home soon and I miss her very much. My best wishes to you and your family and I will slap on another recipe from Mum’s cookbook soon.
PEANUTS – Yes, I lost the bet but the Heat will bounce back I promise even though the Spurs beat us again last night. It was an amazing experience though and one maybe I can enjoy again later but if not…well I will always remember that night. I did not get a package from you yet but Chris Prideaux has sent many more to me so I am sure it will be with me soon. I want to thank you in advance and as I am a man of my word I will wear Big Ed’s thong as a hat as the Heat lost…………………help.
BIG ED – Talking of which……hello mate how are you? Alan is home now and I am enjoying being there for him. Thanks for the tips on eating barbecue, I guess being British the eating with your hands thing has always seemed a little….well……..caveman like but how about on the Bloggers Cruise we go up to Lido Deck, order some ribs and you can show me how it is done. Best to Mrs. Ed and thanks for everything.
LINDA HERNACKI – Hello Linda, how are you and Mike? I saw your package Linda and the book has been delivered to Alan and was received by him last night, he was very thankful and I am very grateful for all you do. I am glad you liked the video and I will do more I promise. It will not be long before you are both eating turkey on the Carnival Freedom so let me wish you both a Happy Thanksgiving and wish I could be there with you both.
MYRA BUSHNELL – Hello Myra and let me start by answering your  question ……….NO, I did not get an Aston Martin. The car on my driveway is similar though ….a Honda Accord. Oh well, maybe next year. I call Heidi three times a day or more and now thanks to my raspberry she can e-mail whenever she wants as well.
You asked also about Sir Paul McCartney and his current battle with Heather Mills. I really have not been paying attention to what has been going on but I do know that the wonderful tabloid press here is milking it all they can. Thank you for all your kind wishes and I hope you and your family are well and as always thank you for reading the blog thingy.
MIKE L – Hello Big Mike. I actually got to shake Shaq’s hand and yes he is a big fellow but also very personable and very polite……..I was really impressed. I should have asked for a photo but I know he and other celebrities are asked this so often that I did not want to add to that long list……..it was wonderful meeting him though. Thanks for taking the time to write Big Mike and Heidi and I send our best to you and the family.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Thanks for the kind words for Alan and thanks also for sending me a care package, you are too kind. Ahhhhh yes, Easy Cruise. We often saw the Orange Ship in Cannes with us last season…….I will say no more in case the owner is reading this and decides to unleash his Greek fury upon me and me painted orange as well. Heidi will be home soon and until then it’s just me and my jellybeans. As always it’s great to hear from you and I will try and write again soon. All the best Carol and also to your family as well.
CATMAMA044 – Thanks for the welcome home comments and also your wishes for Alan, Heidi and my family. I am starting to relax a little bit now and that will increase as the days go on. I am glad you liked the video and I will try and post more very soon. Thanks for taking the time to write and our kind regards to you and the family.
DC IN SD – Thanks DC for those inspirational words and I will pass them along. I will be having my Ready Brek porridge (you can Google that) in a minute and will think of you as I do. Cheers mate.
NANETTE – Hello Nani. How are you and how is the family coping after your terrible loss? I am so sorry that I have not written but I promise you have been in my thoughts. Please let me know how you are and mucho hugos to you and a big OLA to the kids. Write soon.
CAROL SCHOENBERGER – Hello again. Christmas and Hanukkah on a ship is very special and both traditions are celebrated on all Carnival ships. The atriums and lounges are decorated by professionals, a Menorah candle stands proudly in the lobby and the candle ceremony is held. We have a very special Christmas show that features both carols and the draddle song (did I spell that correctly?) We also have carol singing by the staff and other special events as well that will make this time even more special for the guests and also the crew as well. Please remind me Carol and I will write more about the holiday season onboard at a later date. Cheers.
TERESA AND PAUL B – It seems like the video feature was very popular and I promise to post some more very soon………Roberto will have to help me as I have no idea how I would get the footage to him though. I also hope we do get to sail with each other and until then I will try and write as many blog thingies as I can to keep you going. My best to you both and see you soon.
TON AND ANGELIQUE – Good Morning my Dutch friends and of course I remember you. That is a great idea, put the ships on Google Earth……Roberto, can this be done? How are things in Holland? Have you seen Heidi? I mean, it’s a small country and thought you might have seen her in the Albert Hein (supermarket) or something. I hope you had a great cruise back in June and I hope that we can get your idea going…..I will let you know ASAP.
RICHARD GREEN – One day I will succeed in getting Spotted Dick served on every Carnival ship…..maybe it should replace the Chocolate Warming Cake ….what do you think? I wish you a wonderful cruise and I am so sorry that I will not be there to have fun with you but I know you will have a brilliant time. Hopefully next time we will be together. Bon Voyage mate.
KEVIN AND ROBIN – Hello mate and thanks again for helping compile jokes about my brother in law Danny….that was a lot of fun. I see you are having problems finding your wallet but once you do and the moths have flown away that you call us and get yourself booked on the Carnival Splendor. I will also be posting information on the 2009 bloggers cruise which looks like it maybe onboard the Carnival Inspiration. Say hello to Robin and please keep reading the blog thingy for more information….first, though, go and find your wallet.
SUSAN B – I am going to find a recipe for grits and ask my Mum to make them for me. Thanks for writing and most importantly thank you for all your kind words. Our best to you and the family……….by the way, the Notting Hill comment has been noted and will be ready for the Bloggers cruise.
DWA 76 – Hello mate and it feels good to type in your name again after such a long time. I did enjoy the game so very much and hopefully one day Shaq will be holding the trophy again……..Dirk who? Cheers mate and it’s great to hear from you.
CLARINETCRUISER – I have to start off with the question….do you play the clarinet? I am glad you had such a great time on the Carnival Freedom and thanks for taking the time to read the blog so often since your return home. It does I agree look strange slapping on blogs without the photos of the ports of call but before you know it those will return. Thanks for the best wishes which I return to you and your family.
KATHIE – I missed you all to Kathie. There will be much to write about in the coming weeks so as and when I can I will make sure you all know what is happening. George Hamilton is everywhere, I see him in my dreams! Have a great day and please keep reading the blog thingy.
KIRSTEN L – What wonderful comments you have shared with us all and thank you so much for saying how much the blog keeps you smiling. How right you are about air travel, they could learn so much from what we do here on our ships. Have fun in Dallas and enjoy all the meetings and activities and if the keynote speaker is boring, close your eyes and let your mind drift to a cruise. Picture yourself on the Carnival Freedom, we are sailing into Venice, you have a glass of chardonnay in your hand and George Clooney is holding your other hand while he tells you of the night he has planned ahead……….or if the key not speaker is really boring close your eyes and think of a Carnival cruise, we are sailing into Venice, you have a glass of Diet Coke in one hand and I am holding your other hand. I am wearing Speedos and whispering to you that tonight………..we are going to McDonald’s………….cheers.
GREG BALDASARRI – Hello mate and how splendid to hear from you. Now, regarding the 2009 bloggers cruise it does seem that the Carnival Inspiration may be favorite to host this event and a final choice will be made soon……….what do you think, would you sail? The meetings I attended in Miami will really shape the future of what we do here and as soon as things are finalized I will let you all know. One thing is for certain is that Gerry Cahill, our president and CEO, is committed to making sure that we improve and provide even better vacation experiences for our guests. Flying with all my French friends was an experience and I did laugh to myself when I heard them all talking……why do French people insist on talking to their friends and family as though they are 600 yards away? Hope all is well mate and its great to hear from you.
LANCE AND ILDA – Thank you so much for the super words. This blog thingy has indeed allowed me to “speak my mind,” so much so that as you can see there is a disclaimer that has been posted on the blog that basically translates to “we have nothing to do with this idiot.” Seeing my name and that of the master John Cleese in the same sentence is very humbling and I thank you for making my day. Wishing you and your family all the best and please write soon.  OK, that’s enough because it is time for some Ready Brek Porridge for breakfast. Today’s plan is to visit Alan this morning, buy some new underwear and socks and then watch some television that Mum recorded for me while I was away. This includes Top Gear, a motoring show and some episodes of The Sopranos that I missed ……..the final season.

Just before I go can I say a huge thank you to JTodinmann who sent baseball bats to Roberto, PA 007 and Roger and Chris…………I have no words except to say thank you so very much and I will be in touch soon.

Hello also to all the folks crossing the pond on the Carnival Freedom. Wish I was there with you all.  Last night as I sat all alone at home I realised that this was the first time I had been alone in nine months. Not just because Heidi was not there but the first time I had been a building that was not a ship and a hotel that was full of people……..it was just me, in my house, on my own………..it felt strange and I must say I will be glad when Heidi comes home.

The house is a mess though and the quiet stillness of our home will be interrupted immediately she does return and discovers that last night I accidentally dropped a bottle of red wine on the floor some of which splashed all over our leather couch which now looks like it hosted a horror movie involving a chain saw and some woman from Texas……….that’s me in the doghouse then.

Have a great day

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.