Monday, 30 August 2010

It is rarely that I post a blog late at night and then first thing in the morning, but with our docking delayed we are sitting outside the Port of Amsterdam with little to do. Because we are a large ship and it is very windy, we need tugs to escort us into the port. Because we need tugs we need a pilot, but because all pilots come from one private company in Rotterdam, we have to wait for one being flown in by helicopter. But because there is only one helicopter; well you see the problem? So we are on a priority list but not very high up it I think, and the pilot may have to swim to the ship!

Well last night, I did some 'firsts' in a ship's cabin and one was trying to sleep! You know when you stop to talk to someone in the street, and then one of those huge continental trucks pulls up with the engine right beside you, drowning out your words? Then 30 seconds later it pulls away and you are almost screaming at the person beside you as the engine noise fades into the distance. Well imagine that noise in your bedroom all night! If you ever go on a cruise, always check out where your cabin is in relation to the ships engines, because they are massive, and they were under our cabin.

I don't know about you but when I dream, if there are any sounds going on, I tend to sub-conciously pull them into my dreams. So if I hear drunken people walking past the house at night, I might start to dream I am on a night out in town. Well last night I drifted between being trapped inside a washing machine to sleeping on the external fuel tank of a lorry as I was being smuggled into a foreign country.

Beverley has now read up so much on Amsterdam that she will be able to direct the locals when we get there. She reads, absorbs and seems to never forget; unlike myself, who reads then falls asleep. Her memory is frightening and she has the ability to store things, almost like in a machine gun belt, for future use. So I might do something thinking, well she hasn't mentioned it so she probably didn't notice, but how wrong would I be. 'Click', another one has been loaded into the belt, to fire along with the rest of the burst at an appropriate time in the future, when she decides to let me have it all at once.

Just passing a vast wind farm off the Dutch coast, I think they are beautiful. I can never understand the objection to them, can you? I went up close to one in the USA a few years back and stood right underneath the giant propellors as they whistled around in the wind. They made a humming noise that you could hear from a distance, and I guess if one of those blades came off it would more than trim your hedge. I understand that we would need about 10 million of them to replace a nuclear power station, but I still go for the wind power every time.

I tried to buy a packet of Ibuprophen in Penrith last week, but I wanted the 400mg size. The counter assistant explained that I could only have the 200mg size because there was no pharmacist on duty. We are the country of crazy rules and I experience them every day. I could, without any supervision, buy a dozen crates of whisky, enough rat poison to kill the town and a chainsaw to reek havoc in the local supermarket. But no, not under any circumstances, purchase 400mg Ibuprophen tablets without the Pharmacist being present.

Those of you who have followed the blog for a while might remember that I had a strange rash appear in my groin area on both sides, shortly after the biopsy. At first I thought it just had to be related in some way to diagnosis and I was fairly scared of it. Well now I know it to be a fungal infection known as 'Jock Itch'! I kid you not, just Google it! It has a raised red outer edge where it is advancing and a darker area at the centre where the infection has run it's course. It thrives in warm moist conditions but does not attack the scrotum. I am intrigued as to why it is called 'Jock Itch', I would have thought that wearing a kilt would have kept that area well ventilated.


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