With customary (alleged) technophobe ineptitude I managed to cock-up the pix last time round. Most of them didn’t show and all the captions ended up with the last one. It only took me an hour of painfully repetitive clicking back and forward, but I’ll try again. Grrrr! There might be an easier way – and one less prone to cock-ups.
The final instalment on the Great World Cup Expedition is largely pictorial, but there’s one more story that’s worth telling – particularly as it maintains the theme of travel-planning ineptitude that kicked off this series.
Linscott was due to fly out this morning, so last night was declared early-to-bed and leave Low Fliers roosting.
He was all packed and ready so I offered to do online check-in for him – save an hour of airport waiting time – but was puzzled to get a message ‘Online check-in available only 24 hours before flight’.
Uh? He’s leaving in less than 12 hours. What’s going on?
No option but to contact the Emirates call centre. The ever-friendly phone answerer confirmed that the website was correct and he could not check in online. Why?
“Mr Linscott is only flying on November 3!”
He was only two days out. If I hadn’t brought up online check-in, he’d have been out of here at 6:00 am, humping his suitcase all the way to the airport – and back.
The unexpected benefit was Continue reading
The best-laid plans of Mac and Lin gang aft to sea… Sorry, Rabbie, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity for more excruciating word play.
HRH will also be demanding an apology as she takes severe exception to using her name in abbreviated form. In this instance, I claim poetic licence. Rhyme and scansion take precedence over sensitivities about personal taxonomy.
More important are the plans, and their agley-ness. As might have been predicted, based on experience so far, delays have arisen in Malta. As a result, we’ve slowed down to about 20 knots and will only make landfall later this afternoon.
The pilot is due on board about 4:30 pm and we should be berthed, moored, and cleared for shore leave by 7:00. The delay means that the scheduled midnight sailing won’t happen so we have another night on board.
No complaints about that. Any hotel that’s walking distance from the docks is unlikely to be a rival to Continue reading
Re-reading yesterday’s piece I see a few errors crept in. First, the day and the date. It was Wednesday, October 26 of course. I neglected to change in cutting and pasting from the previous day.
Next, the decades. I couldn’t believe I’d lived in nine decades and recalculated. Managed that without even having to take my socks off, far less my trousers (and no, I haven’t got Ann Boleyn syndrome). From the ‘40s to the ‘10s is only eight decades and I immediately felt 10 years younger after realising that.
Finally, speed and distance. If we were travelling at 10 knots and 1.6 miles astern of the Italian, it would take about 9.5 minutes before giving him a shot up the rudder post, not 1.6 minutes.
I’m sure the more observant among you will already have picked up these uncharacteristic lapses. Put it down to the stress of the Suez passage and a 16-hour watch that began about 3:30 am. Another hour getting reacquainted with the Continue reading
World-weariness is an awful curse. You get hard-bitten and cynical, no longer delighting in simple pleasures like the night stars – and a stiff dram to aid the astronomy studies.
Sometimes I worry that I’ve missed out on the jaded rations, fearing that I’m too innocent for my own good, too naïve and susceptible to novelty, the curious, and the distracting.
Maybe it’s a hangover from my Presbyterian upbringing that adult heathenhood has yet to flush away: trust only in the Lord, and pass the ammunition. Hard work is the only path to salvation and dreaming over atlases and Masefield’s dirty little steam boat poetry leads only in the opposite direction.
Guffaws of horse-laughter can no doubt now be heard in taprooms from Dubai to Durban, Oban to Oman, and all points in between in response to such an unlikely and unfeasible admission. Were I there, I’d probably be joining in with enthusiasm.
Instead, I’m about two hours away from the Mediterranean Sea, having spent an unforgettable day entering and transiting the Suez Canal. It’s a relief to know that the Continue reading