After finally packing our cases with some of the clothes we could find we set off on a strange route to the motorway.
Leaving home at 8.45 we marvelled that we passed Exeter services in under 15 minutes and , barring accidents and lost keys, it would be less than 2 hours to Bournemouth; very handy for our trips to see Lynne & Barry.
Talking of accidents and lost keys - we had a minor panic on route – Mike forgot to leave Emma a garage key; well, he says he did not forget he was pretty sure that there was one on my key ring which I left with her. Despite me saying – “ I’m sure there was only one key on that ring with the alarm button “ it took a phone call to prove me right. “ we will have to post it on route” I said and drove off the main road to go into Dorchester. Did you know Dorchester appears to have a new town on the western outskirts completely separated from the old town? Well, it does and there was no way through. Back to the main road and a search on Tom Tom advised us that there was a Post office 1.8 miles away in Bere Regis. We found it, bought some pens, a jiffy envelope and put in the key to Emma.
“ i would like this sent express delivery please “ I said. “No problem, that will be £15. 35 to arrive by 9 a.m. Monday” the postmaster said. “ I’m sorry,” I said. I only want one little garage key sent less than a hundred miles not the whole garage!”
“ That is the charge I’m afraid but it would only be £5.60 to arrive by 1 p.m. Will that be OK?”
“O, that is so much better I said but I though highway robbery died along witDick Turpin”. He smiled, knowingly and stuck the very expensive label on to my teeny weeny envelope. It was almost too big.
Outside I said – “Mission accomplished Mike but don’t make the same mistake again”……….. When I told him the price he went very, very pale.
Back in the car I tried to reprogram Tom Tom but all I got was “ no route available” . Time after time it did that and we could not find the A35. Then the light came on – I was putting in the post code and hitting ‘ 0 ‘ instead of ‘O’. Easy mistake although stupid Jean! Once sorted, Tom Tom took us on a circuitous route back to the main road and we made our way to the car park on the outskirts of Southampton.
We were then dropped off by the ship, our luggage put on the carts and we entered the terminal……………… along with at least 3000 other people. It was heaving. We snaked our way around the hall having a laugh and a joke with a couple every time we passed one another. Mike took charge of the paperwork so I had my hand bag around my neck; my laptop on my shoulder and I wheeled the overnight case behind me.My impression of a donkey! I actually left the case behind at one stage and a kind lady retrieved it for me. Then we progressed (slowly) to the X-ray and finally on to the booking hall. At last we were climbing the ramp on to the ship and headed straight for the Windjammer for a late lunch.I was starving & had pork & mushroom casserole with mash followed by …………………. chicken & chips. Only a couple of chips. Resolution straight down the drain.
We found our room, cases arrived and I unpacked and then it was time for dinner. I requested a table for two but got a table for 6. Never mind – it was quite entertaining as we had three octogenarians ladies from Cardiff who were fantastic. One had just returned from Australia.
We also had a scholastic looking old guy who got very hot under the collar as the service was a bit slow and made a big fuss to the head waiter. We didn’t mind at all, first night of a new cruise there are bound to be hiccups. Then it was off to the Theatre where we struggled to keep our eyes open and we were both in bed asleep before 10. The gentle rocking helped.
Here endeth the first day. Night night.