Jasmine’s blog: One Menopausal Loose Woman: One woman show by Suki Meadows

I went to see this show because my Dad dated Suki Meadows years before I was born. I have never met her. My Dad laments that he used to have her number but he erased it from her phone and now she is as famous as ever appearing on Loose Women.

Suki unsurprisingly did not recognise me as it was dark and I do not particularly look like my Dad.

She has same high pitched voice in real life as on the tv. Sorry Suki, it was funny but 45minutes of listening to your voice was enough.

6 on Sunday perfect pool (or beach) reads

This was a question posed by http://alittlebutalot.com/2019/08/11/s4s-perfect-fictional-holiday-destinations/

1.

Loved reading this book in recent cruise. Read some by pool on deck, whilst moored in Dublin 🇮🇪 which is main setting for book so very apt. Think could be enjoyed by other pools.

2. A Lianne Moiriraty book. I read Big Little Lies in Morocco 🇲🇦 , but I actually prefer, her book Three Wishes.

3. Plain TruthBy Jodi Piccoult which I read on a beach in Corfu 🏝 . Also read other Piccoult in other locations but this is one most relate to holiday location read it in. It has nothing to do with Greece; it is set in Amish community in Pennsylvania and really gripped me.

4. One day by David Nicholas. Think as has a section per year good book to pick up in between swims and ice cream 🍦 Also just generally I love this book. When rereading it last year in Edinburgh I read song on Portabella beach 🏖 . Currently I’m listening to audio book and dipping into book in order to write blog posts by Dexter’s daughter Jasmine from the book.

5. Handle with care by Jodi Piccoult which I read by a pool in Salau Spain 🇪🇸. It is about a girl who constantly fractures bones as she has fragile bones 🦴 and the affect of this on her family. Love layered Jodi a Piccoult on holiday.

6. Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain. Similar writing style to Jodi Piccoult, so think would be good for holiday reading. I read this one at home in one sitting.

Hump Day Careers: Working on a Cruise Ship

Saw this article about cruising for free! But the technique is to work on them. Not sure whether that would be as fun as my recent British Isle cruise.

https://holidayroyalway.com/the-most-exciting-way-to-spend-the-summer/

I think, it the staff on cruise ships probably work very hard with only a day or two off a week. Also I presumed they do not get to use ships dinning rooms and if they did it would feel pretty strange getting served by colleagues. Don’t know whether they get to use ships facilities like gyms, spa and pool. When I was on cruise a staff member was having a couple of treatments for free albeit with people wandering in as he was having then so impinging on effect.

What do you think 💭 Would working on a cruise ship be fun?

British Isle Cruise Summary

I enjoyed the cruise and pleased to have circumnavigated British isles. It was great visiting so many different places without the travel in between. A reoccurring theme was Titanic and I have enjoyed learning more about that.

The ship felt luxurious with lovely cabin, chocolates on pillows each night, fabulous free food and great service from all staff. I do not think it is too expensive a holiday apart from drinks on board. I would maybe try snuggling drinks on board in future to drink in room or maybe a bottle of gin or other spirit which could put in glass and carry into bars as could wander round ship with drinks or food in hands.

Our cruise was the first Princess Cruise to use medallions for cashless payments. The medallion is a circular disc with digital information on it. You are given them when you check in at the terminal. This was only time passport was checked, after that getting on and off boat just medallion was scanned and when it was scanned a photo they took at beginning of holiday popped up for them to check; therefore more current accurate photo than in passport. The medallion is used when paying for items. Originally given medallion on lanyard; I did not like that, it felt like being at work and swimming I worried about strangling self with it and drowning. I realised you could buy alternative accessories for the medallion. I bought a pink sports band for 12 dollars and I’m wearing it today as it matches with my outfit and it is lovely momento as it has my name on and start date of the cruise (see instragram Wonderwall360 for photo).

I have published posts about the ship itself to try and answer common questions about cruises; if you have other questions, let me know and I will answer as best that I can.

Cruise Cabin

Cruise Questions

Cost of cruising

The cruise started and ended in Southampton. We had a day in each of the following places and two sea days.

 

Geurnsey

First visit to Ireland – landed in Cobh

Dublin

Belfast

Greenock nearest port to Glasgow

SEA

Orkney

Invergorden port for Inverness

Edinburgh

SEA

Le Harve

Le Harve

Last port before arriving back in Southampton was Le Harve in France. On cruise itinerary it bills this as day for Paris. However Paris is actually a 3hour bus journey away. You really would have to pay for the excursion as trying to do it self is too risky if late back as would miss ship but cruise will wait for their excursion. The excursion was $299 dollars. Think as only there for day would only get few hours in Paris, with eurotunnel could for same price get to Paris and stay in hotel. Therefore, we just stayed in Le Harve. It was possible to do 10minute walk through port and be in the town.

We did a lot of walking on the day. The town was flattened by a bomb in 1944 therefore much of it was rebuilt after that. Carefully designed by an architect rather than rushed pre fabs which was a quick post war solution in some places. We saw the one remaining old building which was the cathedral Notre Dame. Which was damaged in bombing but eventually restored. In one nave all the wall collapsed but the crucifix survived. It is poignant that the hole left in Jesus’s side was not repaired. In contrast we also saw a modern church with people dashed walls. We also had an art gallery visit and outside there was a sculpture made up of brightly painted containers.

Cruise Cabin

We travelled with Princess Cruises.

The cabin had two single beds pushed together to form a giant super king size. When it was made up each night, as main focus point of room it made it look luxurious. Cabin had lots of mirrors to give impression of space. To side of door behind walk with dressing table they was in front of the bed there was ante room area with hanging rails and small wardrobe with shelves so this felt like a combination of having extra room at least to dress in and a walk in wardrobe. The bathroom door was also in this area. See instragram Wonderwall360 for pictures of cabin.

We had a cabin without window as balconies were extra. This meant cabin pitch black so good, if like complete darkness to sleep. Not so good if woke up first as too dark to read. On a future cruise, I would consider paying extra for a balcony maybe Uk to £200 extra. If had balcony could have room service breakfast for free on balcony or ordered other room service including dinner for a cost. Or brought food back from buffet, pizza bar or international cafe to eat on balcony. Perhapas could even smuggle drinks on board to drink on balcony.

There was a tv and hairdryer in cabin. All the sockets and affixed hair dryer and phone was in one small area so they was bit annoying as charger wires, hairdryer and phone wires kept getting tangled together. As using hairdryer or electronic devices it was possible to knock hairdryer or phone off it’s hook. On the same panel as sockets squeezed close there was light switch for lights over mirror so when trying to charge it was possible to accidentally switch light on or off. Therefore risk of leaving light on when leaving and one morning trying to plug charger in, accidentally turned light on.

The actual bathroom, was small and felt very low budget and plasticky particularly with shower curtain, which as they do, stuck to you. The bathroom could certainly be made more luxurious.

Edinburgh

Index

What wanted to do

What I did

Would I return?

What wanted to do

We continued searching for Willie sculptures like we did the previous day in Inverness. It was vastly different day weather wise to the previous day; very wet! As I was in Edinburgh all of last August (See posts from last year) I felt I had done main museums and without the purpose of looking for sculptures it would not have been much fun, wandering in the rain. We saw 36 of 60 big sculptures in Edinburgh and 27 of the 86 wee (little) sculptures in Edinburgh. For lunch, we sheltered in Tates restaurant for haggis, tates and neeps tower with randomly rocket on the side (See Wonderwall360 instragram for picture). I liked the texture more than when I tried haggis as part of a breakfast last year in Edinburgh.

What I did

The ship anchored off shore of South Quernsferry which is where Forth bridge is.and then we were shuttled ashore by smaller boats including the ships lifeboats.

It was good to see the Forth bridge up close and the other two bridges close to it as not been that close before.

It was a very wet day and without the sculpture trial, would not have walked around as much as did. As it was I was very determined! We only stopped for lunch on Royal mike where had Haggis with neeps and tatties and a creamy whisky 🥃 sauce.

Would I return

Definitely the August festivals, still have their appeal, I would like to see more fringe shows and possibly book festival events. Maybe one day I will go round the whisky 🥃 experience. If I went this August, I could bag more sculptures!

Orkney

Index

What wanted to do

What we did

What wanted to do

I particularly chose a version of the cruise that included Orkney, as I thought it would be fun to see an island beyond north of Scotland. Pre cruise, I did not have plans of what I wanted to do. The day before, reading the blurb on the ship I was interested in the stone circle and remains of Neolithic village.

There was a free shuttle provided by Orkney island rather than cruise ship that took between where shipped docked and small town of Kirkwall.

What we did

It is a little restrictive, going on a Sunday due to bus services and for example, the museum is closed. We did get bus to stone circle but, did not stay long or go to Neolithic village as due to bus timetables only had twenty minutes to get bus back or we had to spend 2 hours there; where circle was, was open to the sea and it was quite windy and cold. I’m pleased to have seen circle. Missed village however, from pictures did not look like much there therefore; don’t think missed much. The return bus journey was £5.25 therefore a lot better value than excursions offered by cruise.

The landscape of Orkney was scenic. Therefore it was a pleasant place to wander. Also got to try some of the cuisine; Orkney patties at La Orla which were minced meat in deep fried batter, Orkney fudge, tablet and best of all toffee swirl ice cream which was delicious and creamy (See instragram for pictures).

Would I go back?

As we went back to ship few hours before needed to then feel like pretty much done Kirkwall; and it is a long way to go. Although I’m interested in going to Shetland’s which have realised are even more North than Orkneys. Plus Orkney’s do consist of more than 70 islands albeit most unhabitated and as they appear to be scenic; if I was in that part of world, would not rule out going back.

Cruise Questions

Here are some questions you may have about cruises and answers based on my one cruise with Princess Cruises around the British isles. Let me know if you have any other questions and I will answer with what I know.

1. Is it expensive?

In short not necessarily. For more detail see

https://wonderwall360blog.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/cost-of-cruising/

2. Is it just for old people?

Apparently cruising catching on with millennials. I class self as millennial and there were other millennial couples and also families with young and teenage children. But yes most were more 50 plus, therefore nightlife fairly tame but on different cruises this might be different.

3. Do you have to dress every night for dinner?

No. Most nights advice, is to dress as if going to restaurants at night. There were two formal nights where women had to at least wear cocktail dress or smarter to dine in dinning room and men had to wear jacket but did not need tie. My boyfriend did not want to do formal night so on those nights want to buffet instead where could wear anything. Also on deck was a bar serving pizza.

4. What is currency on board?

For us was dollars.

5. Do you pay for drinks cash or at end of cruise?

At end of cruise. In our case had meddalib which touched on lad when paying. They swiped card at beginning then sent invoice at the end and then took money although I have not seen credit card bill yet.

6. Can you drink water on board from taps?

Yes

7. What are the plugs 🔌 like on board?

On Princess cruise plug was American style. So if have none American appliances need to bring adapter. Fortunately our room host lent us one he happened to have as we had not known to bring 🔌 one.

8. Do you have to share tables at meals.

Definitely not if go to buffet. If go to dinning rooms only limited tables for two they encourage you to share. However can always ask not to. Sometimes get table for two straight away sometimes sent away with a pager 📟 sometimes only took minutes before pager alerted us table ready must was about 15minutes once. We shared first night but, as with racist couple that put us off and did not share after that.

Greenock nearest port to Glasgow

Index

Glasgow plan

What did in Greenock

Regrets missed day in Glasgow?

Glasgow plan

The cruise itinerary listed Glasgow from Greenock port . Therefore I had envisioned going to Glasgow. However upon, discovering during cruise to get to Glasgow it was 45minutes on bus from port or 10minute walk to train station then about 45minutes on the train we decided to stay in Greenock. Plus I had only been in Glasgow for a day last year and did not have anywhere in particular wanted to revisit.

What did in Greenock

Opting out of Glasgow

As we have both been to Glasgow, it is about 45minutes from the port and we had to back on ship by 5.30pm, we decided to stay in Greenock. We thought if had to get taxi to Glasgow, but actually could get buses from port for less £20 return or train station 10minutes walk, then 30minute journey to Glasgow.

Greenock

The port is right in centre of Greenock. We had relaxed, day; a little wandering, dipping into shops and hot chocolate. We thought about visiting the McCleen Museum but it was closed whilst exhibitions were cleaned.

We picked up lists for a church trail and sculpture trail. We did not follow the church trail but on our travels did see several architecturally aesthetically pleasing churches. The sculpture leaflet also inspired trip into underpass to see tiles with Greenock streets on and lights behind meshwork of metal leaves (See instragram Wonderwall360 for pictures). We also saw Greenock sign and sculpture in front of that. We may have wander at least to see sculpture of Ginger the horse but, it was drizzly.

Regrets missed day in Glasgow?

I don’t really regret not going to Glasgow. Although if I had known about Willie sculpture trial (see forthcoming posts for Inverness and Edinburgh) for more details of the Willie sculptures).

Greenock was tame but after busy days in Guernsey and Ireland (x3), it was pleasant to have calmer day; mooch in Greenock in morning and relaxing afternoon on ship. Plus we saved money by eating lunch on board which was free in our package rather than on shore which would have paid for.