Heidi Says Hello

August 13, 2008 -

John Heald

This morning as I wandered with Heidi to host the morning show we passed a herd of deck hands washing and cleaning and polishing the lifeboats. This seemed strange to me……..we hopefully never have to use them and if we do I am sure nobody is going to refuse to get in one if its a bit on the dirty side or has a bit of bird poo on the bow. I said these very words to Heidi and as soon as I did I knew I had immediately relegated myself to the doghouse………because one of Heidi’s favorite things to bollock me about is washing things…..especially our car.

Now, I love cars, I love the feel of the leather steering wheel as I open the window and listen to the orchestral sounds of the engine……….but one thing I don’t care about is if its clean or dirty. In the UK and I am sure around the world part of the Saturday and Sunday ritual is washing the car…………………..What a meaningless way of passing the time. You don’t wash your vacuum cleaner or your television set, you have a machine to wash the dishes and you employ a man to clean your windows. So how much do you have to hate the sight of your wife and children before you think, “I’d rather go outside into the cold and spend a couple of hours polishing my wheel nuts?”

I am aware, of course, that many men do hate the sight of their wife and children. Doctors even have a name for these people: “golfers.” But even the concept of walking around in silly trousers knocking a small ball into a hole and paying a million dollars for the pleasure of doing so is not as daft as washing a car.

First of all, it’s very hard work. Lots of bending over, stretching and rubbing. But at least when they have finished doing this in a gym, they have shiny, toned bodies that make them look like gods. You? You’re just going to put your back out. And the more you clean, the more you’ll notice is dirty. If you’re not careful you’ll end up polishing the inside of the place you put the gas and then not wanting to use your car if it’s raining.

And have you ever actually tried those cleaning products that are available in supermarkets? There are any number of sprays, creams, waxes, shampoos. It’s like being in Johnny Depp’s bathroom cabinet. Except, so far as I can tell, they don’t actually do anything. “Simply spray onto the glass,” it says on the tin, “then, after two minutes, wipe down with a clean cloth.” Rubbish. You can never trust any instruction that begins with the word “simply.”

I’ll give you a little hint here. When your windscreen is completely covered in dead flies, the best way of seeing where you are going is to buy a new car.

Why are you washing the car in the first place? A car will not get smelly armpits or cheesy feet. Bathing it will not increase its life expectancy or decrease the chances of a breakdown. All it does really is demonstrate to others that your wife is the boss………… I want you to think carefully about this. Can you picture in your mind George Hamilton washing a car? Quite.

Mind you, cleaning out the interior is even more silly because I can absolutely guarantee you will remove something that next week you will need.

Everything I have ever bought is in my car. Heidi says it’s a tip and disgusting and refuses to get in there. That’s one advantage. …………Once, I needed a piece of chocolate because my sugar level was low and it was simply a case of rummaging under the seat until I found a bit. Because it’s so full of junk, I always have everything I could conceivably need. A pen, a bottle of water, lots of loose change, all sorts of maps, a coffee mug, a George Foreman Grill and so on.

Finally, we must discuss the leather cloth that you are supposed to use when cleaning your beautiful automobile.

You have to feel very sorry for the goat antelopes whose skin is used to make these things. No really. Had they been native to Africa, they’d have been eaten by a pride of savage lions. Had they been horses or cows, they’d have been turned into burgers by the French. And had they been native to Spain, the locals would have dreamt up some bizarre torture that would have involved them being flung off a tower, by a man in tight spandex trousers.

But no. They had everything going for them. They were cute and tasteless, nobody wanted to eat them and they lived in Alpine meadows with nothing to disturb them except nuns singing about the hills being alive. They even had a kindly Swiss man who came into their field once a day to play with their tits. Life was blissful. And then one day, the world got it into its head that their skin could be used to clean cars. And that was it for the lonely Chamois. Now, the poor buggers are on the endangered list.

So, cleaning the lifeboats like my car seems pretty pointless but I guess if we ever do have to use them we will be proud to be in the cleanest lifeboats at sea.

Well, I guess I should say Good Morning…………..”Good Morning”……………there, that’s better. Sorry about the weird start to today’s blog but hey………you write what you see. It’s a well needed day at sea today and we have the added luxury of turning the clocks one hour back………….henceforth I started my Morning Show at 10 am and will stay off the PA system until mid afternoon where I will let the guests know what’s happening as well as giving a little plug for the Marriage Show.

After the Morning show Heidi and I went to the coffee shop to get some hot water for my morning cup of monkey tea. It was while I was there that a guest came running up and flung her arms around me as though I was a naked George Clooney. She was near hysterics as she said how great it was to see me again and talking about how much fun we had together on the same tour in Venice three years ago. I smiled, hugged her back and said “yes……….it was a fantastic day in Venice.”

This was all frightfully embarrassing because I can’t recall a single thing about her or the car. I remember her in the same way that I remember a single childhood sneeze — i.e., I don’t remember her at all. ………………and that had me feeling guilty………….very guilty. I know I meet lots of people and I am getting old……….but honestly, surely I should remember spending a chunk of time in Venice with this lady whom I have to say was………ummmm………larger than life…………but I don’t…………….anyway, we chatted and I bluffed my way through our memories of the tour we did together right up to the point where I said how great our guide was and that he was one of the best in Venice………….” but it was a lady guide” said the guest…………………..oops…………and bugger.

Well, it’s not often I pat myself on the back. I find it hard taking praise from others without dishing out a huge dollop for yourself……but…..well, I did indeed feel good last night. That’s because the artist formerly known as Mrs. S. Nob said…..are you ready for this……..” thank you”….let me wait while you all recover.

So, I visited the table last night where the artist formerly known as Mrs. S. Nob and her new dinner companions were eating dinner together. When I arrived all seemed to be well……..the artist formerly known as Mrs. S. Nob had bought the table some champagne and there were smiles all around. I stayed and chatted for a while and as I said goodbye all the girls said thanks for stopping by ………. but the only one I really heard was the artist formerly known as Mrs. S. Nob……..she said it……she definitely said thank you…………..I left feeling good and maybe I was right………..maybe loneliness had led to her outrageous demands………all I know is that tonight she looked happy…………..and that to me is all that matters.

However, as always, there is always someone to replace her

From: SPLENDOR PURSERS
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 10:10 PM
To: SPLENDOR CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: SPLENDOR CHIEF PURSER; SPLENDOR PURSERS
Subject: 6274 – WANT CAPTAIN TO CONGRATULATE WITH THE BIRTHDAY

Good evening John,

Please be advised that Ms _________asked me if the Captain could come and wish Happy Birthday to her friend Ms ___________on August 14, during the dinner at 8:30 pm? I told her that the Captain would be probably busy. When I said this she started crying and when I asked her what was wrong she said that she had promised her friend that the captain would do this as he had on another cruise. Guest would not stop crying. I told the guest that I would pass the request to you John. Is there anything we can do?

Regards,
Evgeniya
Purser

Well, here we go again and because Captain Pagano is a true officer and a gentleman He has agreed to call the cabin with me tomorrow and we will wish her a happy birthday and send a signed photo etc. I hope this holds back her tears.

Let’s have a look at some more photos from Helsinki yesterday and the small village of Porvoo where many of our tours go. This village has not changed in many hundreds of years and is full of beauty and charm. One way of getting there is by the steam engine (my dad will love this photo) and really as much as you should see Finland’s capital you should also see the quaint and historic village of Porvoo. Anyway, here are a few of the countryside and the train.

Lets have a look at a few letters for the in their Own Words Section

Now, its time for a video featuring special guest star Ketut.

Ketut is a wonderful young man and I know he will go far. I also know that his Mum has watched that video and I know that his sister is translating this message ……so Mum, you should be very proud of Ketut and we are looking after him.

OK, I just told Heidi to turn that bloody awful music off. She is listening to Justin Timberlake…………the big girl’s blouse.

What happened to rock stars? Robert Plant used to send women wild with that lion’s mane hairdo and half a mile of hosepipe down the front of his trousers. But now everyone in music is a blond haired pretty boy with nothing up his nose except moisturizer. ……..we are so alike Heidi and I yet so not. I shave my face, not my legs. I am not interested in cushions or soft furnishings . . . I think you should only use a telephone if your lost in a jungle, it’s the middle of the night and you are surrounded by lions. The notion that it can be used ‘for a chat’ is as ridiculous as the notion that cuddling is in some way rewarding.

I just read this bit to Heidi who was already chomping at the bit following my bit about how I never clean the car and other areas that assured me of time in the house of dogs………..so, here, she is…………..Heidi.

Bet you the first thing she does is change the font, the size and the position of the office chair.

Hello everyone, its Heidi here. I am sorry that I have not written for so long. This has been a very hard set up and John and I have worked very long hours. Before I write a few words I am going to change the font, the size and the position of the chair, Ha Ha Ha…

We have not had much chance to go ashore. I think John has managed to get off the ship just twice in 36 days. I have really been happy to see my Mum every Amsterdam though and last week I got to go home. This made my Mother very happy as well and I got to have my favorite food. This week I have lots of family coming to visit the ship. This includes my Mum, my aunts and uncles and my niece and nephews. As happy as this makes me I miss my Dad not being here. He would have been so proud to see a Carnival ship in his home town. Although he is not here in person, he goes with me everywhere I go.

I see John has written about my music and other things so I need to tell you something as well. Let me start with the car

When I get into the car with my John I’m assured of a series of things — crap music, the smell of cigars, criticisms of other drivers and endless Diet Coke cans in the place where you put your feet, sorry I don’t know the word in English…

It takes him such a long time to admit he is lost that we could have got there, turned around and have gone home again before he is prepared to ask the way. What is it with men that that are embarrassed to ask for directions???

When I get into the car with John I must also always remember to take my iPod. Otherwise I get to listen to him singing along to his sad Eighties and heavy metal music.

He’s got a problem with everything, whether its road works or the color of somebody else’s Ferrari. However, the thing he has the biggest problem with is buses — they’re too big, too noisy, too smelly and too empty.

It’s also uncomfortable trying to sit in a passenger seat filled with odd shoes and torn pages from maps, while my feet battle for space with the empty Diet Coke cans The one thing I can say about driving with John is that it’s never dull. Oh yes, and he makes me laugh so you can’t be mad. He gets mad though because people are very “green “where we live. This means that when we drive in our Range Rover people look at us as though we are terrible people. One time we were getting into the car in a parking lot outside a supermarket. A man walked past and said that our car was hurting the environment. John said “so is your breath.” He is very naughty when he is off the ship. I think its the months of being as nice as he is and always wanting to help people that when he is on land the devil inside comes out…..oh well.

Bloggers have been asking what will happen for the rest of the year.

The plan is for me to leave the ship a few weeks before the crossing starts to sort some things out at home and then come back just before the crossing to join John again. Apart from me being worried how he will cope without me I have to tell you the truth, I miss shopping in Miami……so I have an excuse to go Christmas shopping before we fly back to the U.K. and hopefully we will be able to watch another Miami Heat game as I enjoyed that immensely.

Someone told me that Boris Becker is a season ticket holder so I will keep looking out for him….. Sorry John. Then it will be late November and as John mentioned before, we are looking to get a puppy before the New Year. Although the Labradoodle is adorable, my choice has been made and it will be a German shepherd. I grew up with this breed of dog and can’t think of anything nicer than to have our own little puppy that will hopefully grow up to be a big strong dog. He or she will have lots of space and a dog leash is something we don’t need where we live, so the dog will have a nice life.

What next year will bring I don’t know but hopefully, we will see a lot of each other. I know John is ready for new adventures, whatever they may be. Of course I will see you on the Bloggers Cruise. Working on the ships has been a wonderful experience for me but after 11 years the time has come to stay on land and be closer to the family.

One thing is for certain, whatever John does, I will support him. He writes the blog each night before he goes to bed and completes it throughout the next day. I know he really enjoys doing this and as long as everyone keeps reading I know he will keep writing to you all.

We are both very much looking forward to the Bloggers Cruise and I know John has some big surprises for you there.

Thank you for all the nice things you say each and every day. I promise to write more soon and I will send you pictures of the puppy and you can guarantee that it will be me cleaning up after it…..

Best Wishes to you all.
Your friends,
Heidi & Him

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.