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Today has been all about the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. While thousands flocked to the Mall in London back home, the deck of the Spirit of Adventure was bedecked with buntings and photos of Her Ma’am, to mark our own celebrations.

My own modest contribution was to move the simple figures lesson from a later slot to today, and give it a bit of a Jubilee twist. Once the basic principles of painting convincing figures had been covered, the session essentially meant painting a bunch of random characters, and concluding the scene by adding some sort of appropriate background to give it context or narrative. Needless to say, our crowd of figures today might have been hustling and bustling their way down the Mall, waving union jacks and wearing a great deal of red, white and blue.

Despite lower numbers in the class than usual, due to all the other events taking place on the ship (and, in particular a special afternoon tea and cakes during my second class… I mean… I ask you… how can I possibly compete with that?) those folks who did attend the class rose to the occasion, with The Queen herself actually making an appearance in a couple of efforts… Double Brownie Points all round for that …

Another event guaranteed to clash with my art session took place at noon (so, I had to wrap things up about ten minutes to, so that foks could get outside to witness it), was the sounding the ships whistles and horn, along with every other vessel in the collective UK maritime fleet, across the world. We had to stay in the craft room to clean things up and sort out the stragglers, so we didn’t get to hear it, surprisingly, although we did hear the guest tenor singing the National Athem, which was piped through the PA system.

Tonight was another formal night, so we dressed appropriately and went to watch a production in the Playhouse by the showteam, called ‘London Calling’, featuring music and dance that were all things british (my favourite was the ‘Madness’ section… very enjoyable too!

Peter Woolley

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