Days 12,13 & 14. St Vincent, Grenada and Home!

At first sight St Vincent looked pretty spectacular. Majestic cliffs soared upwards from an emerald sea and pretty multicoloured rooftops studded the verdant hillsides. The guys hit the shore minus a Bill and Grace who had confined themselves to their cabins following a night watch involving a Gary Barlow tribute act and a barrel load of alcohol. Both of them felt more than a little sea-sick. Take That  and party thought Paul. Always a bad move. But that wisdom came from age. As Paul, Andrew, Tina and their mother made preparations […]

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Day 11. At Sea!

Paul had decided that on the next day at sea aboard the Britannia, instead of knocking back Mai Tais and massacring his epidermis neath nuclear fission, he would instead massacre his opponents in a few of the onboard competitions. He threw the suggestion onto the deck and the rest of the family sort of agreed to the wager. Paul said he would look  through the day’s programme when their ‘Horizon’ was delivered to the cabin and see what activities dawned upon him. Andrew even came up with a name for […]

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Day 9. Bonaire.

The flat little island of Bonaire proved to be a delightful surprise. The touting and conning ubiquitous to most of the ports so far was obviously in evidence. The family was quoted the price of a small car to take a tour of the tiny island and less than politely refused. They were alive to the rip off merchants and tore into them for their unjustified behaviour – Andrew especially. Telling one taxi driver he could buy his car a new engine for the price he’d quoted to take them […]

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Day 7. Barbados & Day 8. At Sea.

Paul woke in his cabin after a hilarious dream in which Gracie had been thrown off the ‘Brittania’ due to her revealing outfits. Hordes of disgruntled pensioners cheered her as she was made to walk the plank in a minuscule yellow bikini. She wasn’t at all bothered. She walked with dignity giving a stylish finger to the jeering crowd. Paul imagined the dream had something to do with the reception he’d received the previous day in Bridgetown. But wasn’t sure – he was no Carl Jung. He made a note […]

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Day 6. Barbados!

Paul’s mother, Linda Thrussell, had been born exactly 70 years ago on the 1st February 1949, in the London borough of East Sheen. She had met Paul and Tina’s father, Raymond, on a caravan park in the exotic Essex resort of Jaywick Sands. From there she set sail on stormy seas on a journey that was to last nearly thirty years. T’was called being married to Ray! Paul and Tina’s father had possessed great charm but had not been the easiest of men. Perhaps being diagnosed as a having bipolar […]

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Day 5. Dominica

As the ship sailed towards the rugged island of Dominica, Paul stood on his balcony keeping watch and marvelled at the ‘King Kong’ landscape which revealed itself as the ship got closer. Apparently, as a way of describing the island’s formidable topography, Christopher Columbus had crumpled a piece of paper in his hands and tossed it onto the King of Spain’s table. As Paul gazed at the spectacular geography before him he wondered if this old anecdote might actually be true. He even imagined a pterodactyl might swoop along the […]

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Day 3. St Maarten. AND Day 4 – At Sea!

Day 3. St Maarten. It was the 29th of January. The day of Paul’s sister Tina’s birth. She was forty-something and the boat docked on the Dutch side of the beautiful island of St. Maarten. The family made their way to ‘The Peninsula’ restaurant in the bowels of the ship for a birthday breakfast. It was no mean feat. The ‘Britannia’ was not easy to navigate. Whoever had designed her had made it quite impossible to go from front to back and side to side in a logical manner – […]

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The Lola Boys Go Cruising!

The Lola Boys set sail on the titanic ‘Britannia’, P & O’s impressive flagship, shortly after arriving back from a marathon trip to the Far East. They had managed five flights in eight days – two of them ‘long maul’! A feat, Paul imagined, which would tax even the toughest of trolley-dollies. And he’d met a few hard ones in his time! Even he and Andrew would normally avoid such a full on itinerary, yet there was a special reason to head to the far west. It was Paul’s mum’s […]

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Drum Roll Please – The Island!

At last Paul and Andrew made it to the beach and the sun had finally made a visit to the milliners.  The island on which they found themselves was as splendidly underdeveloped as Paul’s suntan. He now looked like the proverbial milk bottle – and dairy was quite unfashionable in Thailand.  Not amongst the Thais of course, some of whom painted themselves daily with a strange powder in order to make themselves fairer. Paul desired the opposite effect, but laying beneath the sun was not really his thing. Besides which […]

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Not Leaving Luang Prabang!

Paul was out of cigarette papers and so lazily tore a couple of the dryer pages from ‘The Lonely Planet’ – they weren’t hard to find! He rolled a herbal cigar and lay back in the boys’ shabby bedroom . A wonderfully tawdry chamber. Lime green cornicing skirted  the ceiling and faded lemon plaster soured the walls. A mouldy wash basin and a pea-green en-suite one wished wasn’t there completed the design. T’was full of Indochine class and Laotian filth! He and Andrew loved it. So much so that the UNESCO World Heritage […]

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