Last-Minute Preparations

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I’ve never been very good at 11th-hour stuff, priding myself on being prepared well in advance of any engagement or event, and generally being aware of as many possible pitfalls as possible. This week has been a little bit nail-biting, with a few minor, but important, pieces of the cruise-workshop puzzle coming late to the table, to such an extent that I was starting to wonder if we were going to be joining the Saga ship, Spirit of Adventure at all.

In the end, it all came together, with the necessary paperwork making a welcome appearance, and a relief that the final stages of packing could be completed with renewed gusto.

It’s been a while since I wore a dinner jacket, and the one that I had in my wardrobe was not only showing signs of wear, but also seemed to have shrunk somewhat (funny that). One of the traditional cornerstones of any cruise has always been the formal night, although there have been many occasions in the past when we’ve managed to avoid them to some degree. Formal nights require formal attire, and with less than a week to go before embarkation, it was looking like I might have to go out and spend a large amount of money on a new suit.

Resourceful as ever, however, Tracey found a replacement jacket online for a very fair price (the trousers were fine, by the way), and ordered it on the understanding that it would be posted first class on Monday morning, to arrive, possibly, by Tuesday. Alas, by today, with a long drive down to Southampton ahead of us tomorrow, the parcel had still not arrived, and we were starting to worry that it wouldn’t show up at all. Curious as to its whereabouts, Tracey clicked on the ‘Track Your Order’ link in her acknowledgement email, only to discover that the parcel had apparently been delivered. How so?… We’d been in all week, not going out at all as a sort of isolating measure, so that we don”t go and ruin everything by going and catching Covid before the weekend.

The tracking information revealed the parcel had indeed been delivered – to Number 20. We live at Number 27, and hadn’t received any card through the door telling us that the postman was sorry he’d missed us. So, I went knocking on the door of Number 20, and asked if they had a parcel for us. No they hadn’t, they said – but they did have a parcel for number 24, which had left with them on Tuesday. Needless to say, the parcel had been incorrectly addressed, by hand; the lady at 20 said they were holding on to it until the people at 24 showed up. The name was spelt incorrectly too, but that’s a common occurrence… it’s just a jolly good job Tracey checked up the tracking information or we might never have seen it at all.

There have been other minor last-minute issues, including a port parking permit with the incorrect registration number printed on it. A corrected replacement arrived promptly this morning however (which is just as well, because I’m almost certain that port parking will involve some sort of automated registration recognition technology, that could have scuppered us on our arrival). As far as I know, everything is now in order and we’re all good to go.

It’s been a while, and I’m looking forward to it…. bring it on!

Peter Woolley

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