Thursday May 24, 2018

YES, I KNOW. THIS IS THE MOST OVERDUE BLOG I’VE EVER POSTED. And I’m sorry, I truly am. We left home just over a week ago, and you poor anxious fretting friends back home have heard not a squeak from us since. For all I know you’ve sent out a search-party. And I don’t blame you. But it’s honestly not my fault.

You see, the WIFI on this near-new, oh-so-luverly, state-of-the-art cruise ship has been all-but non-existent. Some complicated fault that’s had technicians running around like blue-arsed flies, and many people like me getting increasingly grumpy. And for all I know it’s still not fixed. If you’re actually reading this it means I’ve managed to steal some WIFI from a café ashore and post these words and pix at last.

Am I forgiven? I hope so. Anyway, time to catch up …

DUBAI: We left Godzone a week ago … flew forever across Australia’s vast Red Centre … and landed 17 years later (okay, 17 hours, but it felt like years) on the other side of the world, in the United Arab Emirates.

The first thing we noticed about Dubai is the temperature: this place is stinking-hot! And the second thing we noticed is that it lays claim to lots of biggests, longests, fastests, tallests-in-the-world. Like the Burj Khalifa, for example, the world’s tallest tower. The concrete alone in this architectural wonder weighs more than 100,000 elephants – although we failed to see any elephants as we zoomed up-up-up to the observation deck (124th floor) for some super-lofty views.

Back at ground-level, we then toured the city, ogling a forest of modern skyscrapers plus Arab forts, mosques, palaces and wind-cooled houses. We rounded-off the day with dinner in the humungous Dubai Mall, home of the world’s biggest indoor aquarium, before watching a fabulous water-and-light show. Impressive? I think so – but by now we were ready to kill for a bed!

LONDON: Next morning (Friday) we flew a further seven hours to oh-so-familiar wouldn’t-it-be-luverly London – where the entire population (including a squillion visitors) was getting hysterically happy over the Royal Wedding, timed to take place next morning when we Mad Midlifers were in town!

Despite looking like sleep-deprived zombies, we enjoyed a luxury Bateaux Dinner Cruise on the beautifully lit-up River Thames, then hit the pillows (zzzzz). Come Saturday, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we ventured out to in search of this city’s iconic landmarks: West EndRegent Street Piccadilly CircusTrafalgar Square Whitehall Downing Street Houses of Parliament Big Ben Fleet StreetBuckingham Palace Westminster Abbey St Paul’s Cathedral … and the Tower of London.

‘Twas a glorious sunshiny day in London, made all the more glorious by the snippets we heard (over the radio on our coach) and saw (on one of the huge screens erected all over the city) of Harry & Meghan reciting their vows.

‘Twas beautiful, simply beautiful. (Eat your heart out, royal-watchers!)

COMING UP: We’re airborne again (briefly), flying to Amsterdam (in der Nederlands) … transferring to the cruise-terminal … then boarding our floating hotel (for the next 21 days): Holland America Line’s elegant Koningsdam. Stay tuned, coz the fun’s about to get funner!

PEOPLE-NEWS: Our internationally-renowned Quacky Yellow Ducks have been replaced for now by Oinky Pink Pigs – and two have already found new pens (homes) …

  • TIM effortlessly won our ‘Cosmetics Award’ – for thinking, mistakenly, that our Bateaux Dinner Cruise was a Botox Dinner Cruise (and lining his wife up for treatment).
  • KAYE worked a little harder to earn our ‘Sherlock Holmes Award’ – by witnessing a likely drugs-drop in Heathrow Airport, thereafter keeping a watchful eye on pretty-much everybody, thereby contributing to global security and the safety of our group.

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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