Today was our last day at sea. To mark the occasion, Rudolph Nureyev (a statue of the iconic dancer is situated on the Pool Deck, aft) was sporting a flowery red and white bikini and knickers, holding a plastic CMV carrier bag, and wearing a stripey bathing cap. It’s not the first time someone has adorned him in such a fashion on this trip; earlier on in the cruise, he was given some pink rubber gloves and a sunhat, and had a blue ball of wool strung between his hands; culprit or culprits unknown. Most people seem to find it funny (I think it’s hilarious), but the odd one or two passengers seemed mortally offended by such an outrage. All I could think of was; how did they get the knickers on him?
I spent the morning producing some last minute paintings from the trip and after a leisurely lunch, it was time to set the exhibition up.
Fortunately, I had lots of helpers. Many eager passengers from the classes turned up to muck in; I had three people applying blu-tack or masking tape to the backs of paintings while about half a dozen others took on the task of sticking them up on the walls of the corridor outside the Craft Room. It left me with not a lot to do except orchestrate the positioning of the paintings, and make sure that they were ‘hung’ as randomly as possible, avoiding being in subject order or artist order.
The 150 or so paintings were up in no time at all (about thirty minutes), and ready for the official start time of 2pm. Peter (the wood) Counsell had a table set up for his wooden items in the adjacent Columbus Lounge, and Barbara and Kathy set their stuff up inside the Craft Room. For a couple of hours, it was busy, with fellow passengers marveling at the sheer volume of talent on show.
It all looked fantastic, of course. Despite a few reservations, and a reluctance on the part of a few participants to provide paintings for the show, even those who were worried about whether or not their work would be good enough, all agreed that when they’re hung together in this way, they look good (they never believe me… but they do… they always do…). Like a mother hen, I felt proud of my group, and enjoyed the fact that they, too, seemed to feel proud of their own individual achievements. All the paintings seemed to shine.
In the immortal words of Mary Poppins and Bart Simpson… My work is done here.
Tomorrow morning we will be arriving back at the Port of Tilbury, where the trip began five weeks ago, and I’ll be travelling home to North Yorkshire.
It’s been an interesting cruise, with some notable highlights. Speaking for myself; the icebergs in Greenland reign supreme (the mosquitos were memorable too, but for the wrong reasons), and it was nice to see Iceland in a more positive light. For me, also; visiting Canada was an entirely new experience, of which Quebec City stands out in my memory as a particular highlight.
I hope that everyone reading this has enjoyed sharing the voyage with me (I know there are a fair number of you because I can see the statistics). My next cruise assignment is in October, when I’ll be returning to the Mediterranean on Swan Hellenic’s Minerva.
In the meantime, it only remains for me to say once more…
Happy 50th Birthday Marco Polo!