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Today, I held a very democratic referendum in class. Yesterday afternoon, when we set up the room for this morning’s session, we counted up how many sheets of watercolour paper we have remaining, and compared that number to how many sessions I still have to run before we arrive in Sydney at the end of February. We have a shortfall of approximately 150 sheets – or roughly three classes-worth. With this in mind, I gave the class the opportunity to vote between two choices; either to bring along paintings that they have already done, and paint on the reverse side, or for us to cut the paper in two and have them work on half-sized sheets, for the next three sessions.

The result was conclusive. Thirty or more hands went up in favour of using the reverse side of previous paintings, as opposed to barely a dozen hands in favour of cutting fresh sheets in half.

An announcement by the Captain at lunchtime informed us that the public laundrette would be closed until further notice, and that the buffet will be closed for dinner in the evening. This means that we will have to eat in the restaurant at second sitting, 8:15pm. This is disappointing, since we prefer to eat all our meals in the bistro. I suspect that the extra staffing required to serve passengers their food in the bistro is taking its toll, although we did overhear someone suggesting that the bistro is going to undertake a deep clean. If this is true, then it might be that the closure of the bistro is only a very short-lived thing (I hope so… I HATE eating in the restaurant…).

Needless to say, the internet is still off. I think that this is the longest ever time I’ve gone without any form of internet connection whatsoever… and I really don’t like it. It’s making me very edgy about what I might be missing in terms of work, and what the possible fallout might be.

This evening, due to the closure of the Bistro, we ate in the restaurant. We were placed on a table with a very nice elderly lady, whom I’m sure would have been far happier eating alone, as she does most nights. One of the odd things about eating in the restaurant on the very odd occasions that we have to is that we see people who we never seem to see anywhere else around the ship (where do they come from?). The restaurant was quite noisy, and I had trouble focusing in on the converstation that was mostly conducted between Tracey and our table companion. I swear the table next to us was occupied by The Addamms Family…

Peter Woolley

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