Saturday 14 May 2011

God bless this ship

Smash! Rigged up from a long boat-hook, the champagne bottle broke over Panorama's bow as it should when Lisa Wilkinson (Australian TV person. Apparently) sent it flying with the usual platitudes and a typically Aussie promise to scull the spare bottle afterwards. Then we all scuttled inside out of the cold spitty weather (it's been lovely all the rest of the time) for some worthy if dull speeches, and substantial canapés to stave off starvation before our 8-course dinner.

We got under way while the speeches were on, so when we sat down to dinner there was a movie going on outside the windows - like the virtual fireplace in the Royal Suite on board, but real - so whenever the conversation lulled a little, there was the scenery to comment on: hills, vineyards, traditional houses, trees, fishermen, swans, onion-domed churches... Just lovely. It's going to be very dull going home to a dining room window with a static display.

Lisa was called the Godmother of the Ship and presented with a bracelet that was apparently traditionally made from the anchor chain, which kind of conjured up images of her sleeping with the fishes like the other sort of godmother - but hers was a dainty silver version, a fine reward for some very undemanding work. Her partner is a Peter FitzSimons, a Wallaby has-been who constantly wears a daft red bandana that's beginning to irritate our group, and some of us hatched a plan to turn up to dinner tomorrow all wearing bandanas of our own. We were experimenting with the serviettes - possibly the champagne played a part in all this - when one of us, who has had contact with Feetzie, suggested that mocking a humourless rugby player who's bigger than several of us put together was not a clever move. Tch, spoilsport.

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