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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The Rain Reigneth!

After a stormy start to their travels, Paul and Andrew had now made their way down the eastern coast of Thailand for a ray of sunshine or two. They had arrived at the small seaside town of Prachuap Khiri Khan, just a few miles from the Burmese border, sun cream in hand and sandals on foot. Unfortunately the famous south-west monsoon had other ideas. Unlike Paul, her climactic tears were not yet over and she sobbed incessantly. The sun had got it’s mac on and it wasn’t out to play. […]

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The Lonesome Lola Boy!

  One of Paul’s favourite films had always been ‘Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf’, starring the inimitable Elizabeth Taylor and her then husband Richard Burton. Paul had no idea that years after seeing that masterpiece he and his husband would be giving a frighteningly similar ‘tour de force’ on a shabby Bangkok rooftop at midnight. Unfortunately there were no ‘Oscars’ awarded for this performance. Which was probably quite a good thing, as Paul had held one once, and knew the things to be rather heavy. It could easily have been […]

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