Thursday 5 January 2023


Here's a New Year gift for you, if you're already beginning to feel that all those wishes you gave and received, about 2023 finally being a better year, were somewhat fatuous. For a soothing, beautifully-filmed, amusing and reassuring escape, go and watch the BBC's 'Gone Fishing' with Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse on YouTube. It's only partly about fishing (and the fish are normally released again straight away) and much more about enjoying nature and friendship and sharing the experience of getting older. It's usually filmed around the UK but the Christmas special I watched last night was located in Norway, specifically the Lofoten Islands.

Now, regular 😊 readers will recall that I have been to the Lofoten Islands, in 2018, on a 14-day Silversea cruise from Copenhagen. We moored off Svolvær and hired a car with an Aussie couple which I (!) drove around for the day, over soaring modern bridges, past racks of drying fish, through colourful little fishing villages, and under towering rocky peaks. It was just gorgeous, and I was delighted to see it all again in the programme, looking even more beautiful than on the low-cloud day when I was there.

That whole cruise was somewhat muted by bad weather, which meant that we had to spend extra time sheltering from a storm in Tromsø and had to miss out on three ports of call, Ȃlesund, Olden and Hammerfest, which was really disappointing. But that's cruising for you - always at the mercy of the weather and the sea conditions. As, for today's connection, the Silversea passengers guests currently stranded in Auckland on board Silver Muse have learned, if they didn't know already. Quite honestly though, on such an unseasonably grey, wet and windy day, I would rather be stuck in Tromsø than in Auckland, which (understandably) has much less to offer indoors-wise. Although, in my opinion, our museum is heaps better than Tromsø's main one. Go to their Arctic Museum instead.

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