Contractions…..My Arse

May 6, 2009 -

John Heald

What a load of old baggage. I say this because yesterday someone sent me a link thingy which has some comments on it from the cruise boards about baggage. This “thread” had started because a guest who recently sailed on the Carnival Destiny had stated that Carnival had ruined her suitcase. It was she said perfect and without a scratch when she handed it in at embarkation and when she received it the bag had a huge rip down the side and had a curious yellow stain on it……you are expecting me to do a joke about one of the Customs and Border patrol dogs pissing on it aren’t you………..well, I won’t.


This is a concern I know because when I am onboard I hear it quite often and unfortunately, the blame is not necessarily with Carnival. You see, all the cruise lines use the port stevedores who are employed not by the cruise line but by the port authority. And while most are caring and cuddly ……some are not and do not always handle the suitcases with the care and attention that we would like. The same of course can be said at the airports.

Many of us…….myself included of course……..hate to fly. They don’t like the idea that a metal pipe with wings that have been glued to it by a madman is somehow supposed to get them from A to B (often via C for refuelling).

They don’t like the recycled air or the cramped seats or the food or the fake grin of the air crew as they demonstrate, as one, how to self-inflate the whistle on a puny yellow vest. (“There is also a light, for attracting sharks” and “before using the escape chute, don’t forget to remove high-heeled shoes, belts and other sharp objects, like red hot pieces of engine casing, that have attached themselves to you.”)

As you know I hate flying. What I’m also scared of is the baggage reclaim hall. This isn’t because I don’t like crowds or trolleys or people who arrive back in Britain in flip-flops and shorts — although I don’t. You’re not on vacation any more, you colossal arse, and it’s raining — put some shoes on.

No, I’m scared my bag won’t turn up.

Okay, so in fear terms it’s hardly up there with being trapped in a room with some RCI executives who have been reading my blog these past two years and now want to insert a $14.95 steak in my bottom.

I don’t like it because I don’t understand how it works. Think about how you see your suitcase bump past a check-in person and then don’t see it again until it is belched out of a conveyor monster at the other end.

Where does it go in between? The system of belts, drives and moving parts backstage at an airport must be more complicated than a sushi restaurant mated with a ski lift. Your bag somehow (usually) gets to the right place despite being dumped where there are a million near-identical other bags being kicked and thrown onto a million near-identical planes. I often put my keys down and can’t find them so thank God I’m not in charge. Really, it’s a wonder that more suitcases don’t go missing and that every time you’re at Heathrow you don’t pass Madonna screaming at some poor bloke because her Louis Vuitton bags and one of her adopted kids haven’t turned up.

Because I can’t fathom the system .I get that the logistics involved must be complex so why is the thing at the end of the whole baggage process just a start-stop, clogged-up, articulated rubber belt that someone has chosen to call a carousel? It’s not a carousel, is it? The word carousel suggests something with up-and-down horses and music, with perhaps Mary Poppins hovering above with her umbrella. The thing at the airport is like the tongue of some great ugly creature that lives below the hall randomly flicking luggage out.

There has to be a better method of collecting luggage. Too many cases and the thing locks up and has to be restarted by a sweaty man. Too few and there is a sea of faces staring forlornly at the pair of escaped underpants going round and round that nobody will ever pick up.

I don’t know about you but every time this hellish machine grinds to a halt I want to vault onto the thing, climb down the hole and see what is going on. I don’t dare, though, for two reasons: a) I’d be taken to airport prison and shot; and b) because I’m scared of what I might find.

I imagine I would find the baggage handlers opening random Samsonites and dressing up in bras or opening my suitcase, finding my underpants and calling in the Hazmat team.

Anyway, if your luggage is damaged and you think it was done from the time you gave it to the local stevedores to the time one of our crew delivers it to your stateroom please remember that although we are not responsible we can and will do our best to repair it onboard. Just let the guest services desk know and they will have one of the upholsterers or joiners onboard see what repairs can be made for you.

I do see that the world of travel is being made easier these days though with some new inventions that are now available. These include:

Sound Asleep Pillow – Pillow with inbuilt speaker and output for Eye Pod, MP3 and CDs

Live Luggage Power-assisted suitcases, with a motor in the wheels

iEar Wrap Sunglass video eyewear – user has sensation of watching virtual 60 inch screen as if viewed from 9 feet

Oh, and men………..this one is just for you.

Apple has just come out with the iBreast. It works like an iPod and is implanted in the breast. This is because women always say we are always looking at their breasts and not listening to them.

OK, lets crack on with today’s questions…………..here we go

mickeyspal Asked:

John, Please Reply:

Just wondering whether Frank and Bridie should remove the “pits” from the peaches before placing the peaches in the blender? I fear the machine would suffer grievously if not. And there would probably be splinters in their soup!

Also, from a website called Ochef.com:

Q. What is castor sugar and when would one use it?

A. Castor or caster sugar is the name of a very fine sugar in Britain, so named because the grains are small enough to fit though a sugar “caster” or sprinkler. It is sold as “superfine” sugar in the United States. Because of its fineness, it dissolves more quickly than regular white sugar, and so is especially useful in meringues and cold liquids. It is not as fine as confectioner’s sugar, which has been crushed mechanically (and generally mixed with a little starch to keep it from clumping). If you don’t have any castor sugar on hand, you can make your own by grinding granulated sugar for a couple of minutes in a food processor (this also produces sugar dust, so let it settle for a few moments before opening the food processor). You can also purchase castor sugar online.

Wow, Brad did a great job quelling the that rebellion. Did you train him or did he learn his skills elsewhere? Your job (CD), like President or Prime Minister, is one I can’t imagine anyone being paid enough to suffer through. You must have infinite patience to put up with all the “stuff” people dump on you. This should bode well for your abilities to groom young Thingy or Thingyette to become an upstanding citizen.

Give Heidi a hug for me, and cheers to the three of you.

Your pal, Myra

John Says:

Hello Myra

You must be a master chef. I am sorry to say that I am very unfamiliar with anything usually found in the kitchen so I am sure those who were trying to make the peach soup thingy for themselves will be very grateful for you in depth knowledge of all things castor sugar.

Thanks for mentioning Brad and yes, the job of a cruise director does involve being an ambassador when you need to calmly resolve an incident. when there are problems or concerns that effect the entire vessel a CD must be visible and he or she must be the one who provide the information both live and in person and over the PA system. It is not an easy part of the job especially if the guest or guests are upset. I have faced these situations many times and as long as you remember that its never personal it usually ends up OK.

Thanks for taking the time to write and for the very kind words

Cheers

John

Bill Russell Asked:

John, Please Reply

In these times of tight money everywhere we were wondering why cruise ships didn’t stay in ports more then 8 hours or so. Some ports we would really like to stay two days. It would save money on fuel and give cruisers a chance to see more than a fleeting glance at some of the beautiful countries you take us to.

Bill & Joan Russell

John Says:

Hello Bill and Joan

That’s a great question. Certainly in the Caribbean many of the islands we visit that have wonderful beaches and offer exciting day time excursions and shopping during the day…………at night……….well the shops close and apart from restaurants and the odd bar or two there is very little to offer our guests at night. The only ports where really any cruise line will stay later (up to midnight) are San Juan and Cozumel. We also overnight in Nassau on some cruises. These ports do keep the shops open later and have some kind of nightlife. However, it is interesting that during the last few hours in port……say from 8 pm onwards the vast majority are already back onboard…….or back home you might say. There is also a financial benefit for the cruise line to bring guests back on board, obviously, and it would be silly of me not to mention that.

Now, regarding your question as to why don’t we stay in port for two days. Well, obviously we have to offer a diverse itinerary as that is one of the aspects that sell the cruise. Plus with so many ships in the Caribbean wanting to go to the same places, space at the piers are always in demand so two days may not always be possible.

Again, there are exceptions to this. For example. Once the press have found something other than swine flu to talk about and the various government agencies say it’s OK to return to Mexico, the Carnival Elation will in fact offer two days in Cabo San Lucas. This will involve tendering the guests into port on day 1……..getting everyone back onboard …….. offering a fun night at sea and then returning to Cabo the following morning. Now, if this is as popular as we think it will be, maybe this will herald the start of us where possible offering similar stays in other ports of call.

Obviously in Europe where you are visiting countries and not island overnight stays are more common as we experienced in Venice and St.Petersburg.

So, there you have my thoughts and if you have a follow up question please let me know

Best wishes

John

Michele Maragni Asked:

Hi John, Please Reply, I also want to thank you for keeping us updated on the Dream, and the great pictures, to my Mom and I, it will also be a Dream for us! We are very excited to be cruising with you on your Dec, 3rd, Bloggers cruise, I can imagine the fun!! John I was wondering if it was true, that a camera crew and News media will also be at the port, I have a beauty Salon 15 minutes from the port, and quite a few of my customers will be cruising with us, this is the word going around, I’ve been hearing so many stories that several famous stars will be attending beside your self, of course! LOL! Michele

John Says:

Hello Michele

Thanks for writing Michele. Do you cut hair? I need a new barber as I refuse to pay $50 as I wrote yesterday in the blog. I will be visiting the Carnival Dream very soon and will take lots of photos for you, Mum and many others to drool over. Then, we will see you in December and I am sure there will be lots of press interest over this spectacular vessel. As for stars………well……………..we shall see and when I know…you will know.

Best wishes to you and the family

John

Agent Dotski Asked:

John please reply:

Very impressive job Brad!! We are actually setting sail with Brad next week on the 10th and our ports have been changed to Victoria and Vancouver. We are a group of Canadian travel agents who will be having our annual conference onboard. While we won’t be leaving the new ports with tans, we all understand that tough decisions have to be made and Carnival is doing what they can to make the best of a “sucky” situation. There is not a doubt in my mind that we will all have the wonderful time that Carnival is famous for!! And with a fellow Canadian leading the way…well let’s just say I am pretty darned excited! Just had a quick question – is Ken still the Maitre D? I escorted a group on the Freedom last march and had the pleasure of sailing with both you and Ken…I think my group of clients have been spoiled for all others! Would love to sail with Ken again and will pass on the great news to the other agents if that is the case on this trip!

Thanks John!

John Says:

Hello Agent Dotski

Great to hear from you. How wonderful that you and your friends will be sailing on the splendid Carnival Splendor on Sunday. I wanted to thank you for your positive attitude toward the changes we have been forced to make. It wasn’t easy and therefore to hear that people in the travel business like yourself understand the challenges we faced is so special. Yes, Ken is indeed the maitre d on board, along with the magnificent Miguel. I will alert him to you and your group being onboard and hopefully you will be eating in his dining room. I hope you have many wonderful memories of your time with Ken and I on the Carnival Freedom and I thank you and your travel agent colleagues for all the continuing support you give us here at Carnival.

Have a brilliant cruise

Cheers

John

Bruce and Debbie Asked:

Please respond if you want:

John,

I would love to provide a copy of our Cruise Critic review but I must wonder if it will ever get published? I say this as I have taken a lot of time to try and get some posts on to your blog but have never seen them published! It seems there is a “Censor Fairy” out there that sprinkles no dust on them!

I do have copies saved in Microsoft Word though. I guess this is not a completely open forum as I tried to address the smoking, Cuba and itinerary questions you asked us about.

I also prepared a long list of possible activities to do in the Tampa Port areas as you had requested along with all link thingies but that too never got published.

Hope you can understand my frustration with the open exchange of info and my reluctance to provide you with initial CC reviews.

Thanks and continued good luck with everything and the upcoming blessed event!

Bruce and Debbie

John Says:

Hello Bruce and Debbie

I promise you that there is no Censor Fairy. Stephanie who manages the blog and I will only not post a comment if it is a personal attack on the opinion of another blogger or something that contains material not suitable for a public blog like this.

I have not seen any of your reviews or comments and wonder if maybe they have been lost somewhere in cyberspace. I would truly appreciate you trying to send them again as you did this comment. I will read them and if you need me to comment on them please mark them for my reply. If you have some areas in your review that you feel we can improve on I will send those suggestions to those at the top and if you write words of praise I will also send those to the crew who made your voyage that more special.

I hope to read more from you soon

Best wishes

John

Justin Flood Asked:

Hello John! (Please Reply)

I just wanted to say thanks so much for offering to do a little something special for my parents on their 30th anniversary cruise. Its little touches like this and the willingness to go above and beyond that make Carnival the great place that it is.

As you requested, I’m writing you 2 weeks out from our sailing (May 17th, 2009 out of Baltimore on the Pride) to remind you, and give you my parent’s info.

Their names are Joseph and Onnalee Flood and they will be in Cabin # on the May 17th 2009 Sailing of the Pride out of Baltimore. If you need anything else feel free to e-mail me.

Thanks again John, you’re the best. Best of luck to you and Heidi and the thingy! Looking forward to sailing with you again in the future!

John Says:

Hello Justin

Thanks for the reminder. I hope they have a wonderful time and please write when they get home and tell us all about it

Best wishes

John

Kenny Randolph Asked:

John please reply,

I am cruising with Carnival again on June 29. This will be my 7th cruise and 3rd on Carnival. Since I booked this cruise I have found your blog site and am following it religiously.

This cruise is special to me because it will only be me and my son going. We have celebrated all of our children’s graduations with cruises and now it is his turn. Since it is just he and I going I have been trying to plan things that he will find interesting. One thing that we have always said we would like to do is have a “behind the scenes” tour of the ship. We would like to see the Bridge, the engine room, the fancy electronics, backstage at the shows, that kind of stuff.

If this is not possible I certainly understand. To be honest with you I am amazed at how you promise so much to others who write you. But anyway keep up the good work, thanks for all of your efforts, and of course good luck with the “Thingy”.

John Says:

Hello Kenny

I wanted to start by saying how happy I am that you have found the blog thingy. I truly hope you find it informative and fun. It sounds like you have some wonderful father and son time planned in June. We are actually working on something along the lines you mentioned and I hope to be able to tell you all about it very soon. For now, though, the bridge and engine room tours are not possible due to security issues. However, if you remind me a week before you sail I will certainly arrange a backstage tour as well as seeing what else I can do for your son. Please write a week before you cruise and remember to include your last name, the ship you are cruising on and if possible your cabin number.

Until then I send best wishes to you and the family

John

Rose Asked:

Hi John Please Respond:

So I’ve been reading your responses to several of the bloggers regarding the cruise director schedule. And am I understanding correctly that Carnival only has one person who can make a schedule? Oh my goodness what if something really serious happens to that person? I don’t know any business that only has one person to do a job? Not that that person isn’t capable; it’s just — well — business. (And I wish Chris the very best) I only ask because those of us who need to make our cruise arrangements and are not made of money and need to capitalize on the specials and who are loyal to our particular cruise director, would like to book sooner than later. Unless we can book and then change once the schedule becomes available?? Which if I understand correctly, the early saver is non -refundable.

John Says:

Hello Rose

I can totally understand your frustration, however, let me explain a little further. The schedule is completed by Chris Prideaux and despite him being very ill recently it is pretty much finished. However, there have been recently some unexpected changes that need to be made. This was caused by Mark Price’s resignation, Malcolm Burn being taken off the vessel for urgent medical treatment which he is still recovering from and to date we do not know when he will return. We also have some acting cruise directors who we must look at carefully to see if they deserve a full-time position or do we instead give others a try. So, while the schedule is 90% complete it is prudent to wait until all the pieces are in place before I publish it. I certainly appreciate that you have the “who is the cruise director?” as one of your priorities for booking the cruise and that in itself is a huge testament to how a great CD can make such a difference to the cruise.

You say you are loyal to one CD. So, please tell me when and with whom you would like to sail with or what ship and when and I will do my best to let you know so you can indeed take advantage of the Early Saver rates as you are correct, they are brilliant and you should certainly take advantage of them.

I will await your advice and follow up.

Best wishes

John

Bobby Asked:

Hi John please reply, I am going on the Valor on May 31st. and I wanted to know if Cozumel would be cancelled?? Has carnival thought about switching from western Caribbean to eastern Caribbean for that particular cruise? I mean it’s a good suggestion. Dont get me wrong I like going to Key West if they go there instead.

Best wishes to you and Heidi

Bobby

John Says:

Hello Bobby

Well, even though swine flu seems to be calming down a bit and Mexican officials have suggested that in the coming days they will start to re-open public service sectors, the travel advisory is still in effect so yes indeed we have cancelled Mexican port calls until mid June. I am sure Terry Thornton and his department gave a lot of thought to changing to an Eastern cruise but of course we have to consider that people also wanted to still call at Belize, Cayman and Roatan which is what they had booked. I am so sorry that we had to make these changes and I know for sure that you will have a fantastic time. If you have any questions about this or the ports of call etc I will remain here at your service

Best wishes for a great cruise vacation

John

Mark Asked:

John,

Thank you for answering my question about Butch on the Liberty May 23, and arranging for info to get to me about my son proposing to his girlfriend on this cruise.

As you requested, my room number is 8450. My name is Mark Hoffer. My son’s name is Erik. It would be great if someone contacts me through my room number and not his. You are right that she may get the phone call by accident if it went to the other two rooms. In case Butch or someone else would like to get a hold of me sooner than the cruise, my cell phone ——

Thank you again John for all you do, and please don’t hesitate to let me know if you need any other info.

My wife and I are sailing the Liberty for the 3rd time and 8th Carnival cruise overall on this cruise. We have many fond memories of our first time on the Liberty. It was in April of 2006 and you were the CD. It is STILL to this day, the funniest, most memorable, and favorite of all our cruises.

Thanks and good luck with the delivery day!

Mark

John Says:

Hello Mark

Thanks for the kind words and I will now pass this information onto Butch who will contact you so as not to spoil the surprise should your daughter in law to be answer the phone. Please write to us here on the blog and let us know how it went.

Have a fantastic time and thanks for the kind words mate

Cheers

John

Jennifer and Danny Asked:

I am glad to see we are not the only ones not receiving the Currents. We are platinum and still don’t get it. I enjoy reading it. How do you go about getting it?

Time is getting closer for the little one.

Jennifer

John Says:

Hello Jennifer and Danny

Please can you send Stephanie your contact details in a posting and we will make sure you start to get Carnival Currents. I am so sorry that as a valued Platinum guest you have not so far but we will rectify that immediately

Best wishes

John

Ralf Asked:

Hi John,

Waiting for another European season. As carnival cancelled Liberty’s TA and European season I had to cancel TA and a Baltic cruise on her, switched from Liberty to Freedom because doing the same EC cruise on Freedom in April 2008. 25 April 09 Freedom going to Antigua and Tortola never been there before. Sailing with Todd and Captain DÀita again. Returning my rental car 10:30 am at Ft Lauderdale Airport on embarkation day the shuttle bus did not want to take us to the port until 11:00 am telling carnival not wanting any passengers before 11:00. Leaving at 10:45 arriving at 11:00 I saw hundreds of people inside waiting for boarding. I never got my luggage earlier than on this cruise. There were many boxes out of the check in area and the luggage workers sorted out before loading it on board. As usual me going to the cabin at 01:30 my luggage was at my cabin door!!!

We did have a great cruise. Going to San Juan we had some bad weathers, getting guests a little sick. Never seen so few attending the Captains reception.

I do not like the new design of the sail and sign Cards at all. Better just to change the colour of the funnel on the old cards. Hoping Carnival runs out of the thermos bottles soon. Got another one. Please do a change.

Hoping Heidi and thingy are doing well

less than a week you are dad of a nice little baby girl

Ralf

John Says:

Hello Ralf

Thanks for the posting and even though you did not mark your comments “John, please reply,” I thought I would respond anyway.

I wanted to start with an apology for you having yet another Thermos as your Platinum reward. I wanted you to know that we are all very aware that we need to look at changing this gift as soon as possible. I also wanted to tell you that Jim Berra, our chief marketing officer, and his team are as I write working on making Carnival’s reward program the most ……well…..rewarding in the industry. Please allow Jim and his team some time and I assure you the wait will be very worthwhile.

I too miss Europe and I still live in the hope that the people at the top of the Carnival tree change their minds and return the Carnival smokestack to Europe……….where in my humble opinion…….it most definitely belongs. Now, I have no reason to say that and I certainly have had no new information that this may happen but……..hope springs eternal. It has proven to be the right choice not to be there in 2009 but 2010 ……….. well ……….. selfishly I hope we will be back in Venice and Naples and beyond.

It does seem that the new Sail & Sign cards are not that popular with our Platinum and Milestone guests. I saw lots of comments about this here on the blog and Carnival listened to those comments and as I wrote a few weeks ago once the current stock has been finished we will change the design of our Gold, Platinum and Milestone cards. I will advise as and when that will be.

I truly hope you had a wonderful cruise and I hope to hear from you soon

Best wishes

John

Dee & Richard Asked:

I’m sending notes to you all over the place, so forgive me if you get more than one. BUT. You were the CD on the Glory a few years ago and we still laugh about you and your antics. We’ve been on many cruises since and though there is many good CD’s….there are none like you. We are going on a polka cruise on the Dream on January 30, 2010. Please, please tell us that you are the CD. I can’t wish for anything more than to be polka–ing through the Caribbean and laughing our asses off.

With you. Dee & Richard

John Says:

Hello Dee and Richard

What a wonderful way to end today’s questions. I have many happy memories of my time on the Carnival Glory and I know you and your fellow polka dancers will have such a fantastic time on the Carnival Dream. I have not yet discussed my 2010 schedule but there is a chance that when Todd leaves on vacation that I will cover the ship for him and you can teach me to polka dance.

Thanks again for the kind words and I hope we do get to sail together very soon

Best wishes

John

That’s all for today. Please remember to mark your comments for a reply so I know who needs my assistance. Thanks as always to those who took the time to post a comment.

Well, as mentioned by Linda, Mum of DJ, the good news is that cruise director Malcolm Burn is out of hospital. He now has some weeks of recuperation and then we all hope he will be back home very soon.

Let’s see the latest billboard photo sent in by Lydia Sherman of a board in Dallas.

dscn0910

I hope more of you will send in your billboard photos to Stephanie so I can post them here for all to enjoy.

Now for those of you who have been asking for information on the Carnival Conquest post April 2010 I have some news. I spoke yesterday to the Senior Vice President of Marketing Planning Terry Thornton who is the brains behind our brilliant itineraries. Terry told me that he needs another couple of weeks until we can open the bookings for the Carnival Conquest beyond April 2010. They have been working through some port scheduling issues but should have these sorted out soon. I appreciate him taking the time to keep us all in the loop and as soon as he lets me know I will of course let you know here on the blog thingy.

Heidi is four days away from her due date. She’s now 90% insane. She spent the morning weeping, ordering furniture and throwing out my toiletries.

Tomorrow we will journey to the hospital for a last scan and growth check.

I hate the waiting……….and I hate the ridiculous advice the midwives and health care professionals give you. Our midwife is called Nadia

“When birthing,” says Nadia, “the most important thing is to breathe.” This is timely advice. I had worried that, throughout labor, Heidi might have tried holding her breath.

Last night Heidi says: “Can’t you just have rumpy pumpy with me? It will stimulate labor.” I’ve heard better chat-up lines and told her to bugger off.

I suggest Heidi sleeps. She says: “If I go to sleep, the baby might just pop out, and you’ll have to deal with it.”

Today. Still no contractions. We’re eating curry. For the 10th time this week as again someone told her that spicy food will push the Thingy out quickly in search of a Zantac. Lat night though I thought it had started. Heidi groaned. “Either that was a contraction,” she says, “or my womb’s got a cramp.” “But your waters haven’t flooded out yet,” I declared. Heidi then tells me that it’s different for everyone and sometimes people’s floors don’t get covered in water.

Different for everyone?………that was news to me but I didn’t have time to think.

Fearful of being labelled one of those people who call the emergency services because they have broken a nail, I didn’t call for an ambulance and so last night at 9:40 pm I drove her to the hospital and 20 minutes later we came skidding to halt outside our local hospital.

Leaving Heidi in the car outside the entrance I stormed into the ER.

A receptionist is there but she looks like she is 15 years old. I see a nurse but she ignores me so I chase her around the ER like a demented Benny Hill

“My wife is having contractions, can we get her a wheelchair, and she’s in the car” I say breathlessly. …..“Either that or her womb’s got cramp thingies.”

“Is she dilating?”

“What? How soon from contractions to dilating?”

“Everyone is different,” she says.

And I want to shout: “Can someone find me a man who can give me a straight answer? If I ask a plumber to price the job, he gives an estimate. It may be a lie, but it’s something. Everyone is not different. You’re all saying the same stupid thing, and I want to take that thermometer in your top pocket and use it as a vet would on you”

But I’ve read that, around women, you must never show your feelings.

Women can’t cope with men’s feelings. They’ve got far too many of their own. I read this in one of Heidi’s magazines where it said that 76 percent of men said what they look for most in a woman is a sense of humor and a good personality… the magazine is called “What a Load of Bollocks Weekly”…………or something like that

Anyway…………I go out to the Range Rover and ask Heidi if she is dilating.

She tells me no…….. and that while I have been inside the cramps/contractions have gone.

I wanted to say “What?…………..Why?………When?…………..How?” and then I was just about to tell her that the journey here and back in our range Rover had probably melted an iceberg and forced a polar bear to move to move to Canada and that I missed the last 20 minutes of “The Wire”………..but I didn’t………..Instead……..I put my arm round my wife’s waist. I say: “Darling, you’ll be fine.”

We went home. We wait. We breathe

Goodnight

Your friends

John, Heidi and the Thingy

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.

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