Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

The Dietary Habits of a Cruise Ship Passengers

I wrote this while on a long-ago cruise: Ahhh, happy days.

So, when at home my daily dietary habits include:

  • Breakfast
    • Porridge or cereal
  • Lunch
    • Sandwich, maybe an omelet
  • Dinner
    • In the hands of Mrs. Me there I’m afraid.

Obviously along the way there may be a few drinks involved, a couple of glasses of wine, a couple of glasses of whiskey and of course coffee / tea and yes, even water. And this, along with occasional biscuit, cake, crisps etc. does me quite adequately for any day of the week. So why is it that as soon as I and, I suspect many other people, throw caution to the wind; discard common sense ignore what one’s body is saying and devour anything on offer.

When on a cruise ship however my dietary habits change and might typically include:

  • Breakfast
    • Porridge (maybe), fried eggs, bacon, sausage(s), beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread, and [sometimes] black pudding, followed by toast and jam and a plate of fruit.
  • Lunch
    • Fish & chips, or curry and chips, or pie and chips plus a chocolate desert and maybe some fruit and a pint of lager
  • Tea
    • Sandwiches (small and various) plus a small cake and a glass of Rosé
  • Fivesie’s
    • Large gin & tonic plus a bowl of nibbles and maybe another gin & tonic
  • Dinner
    • Starter) Prawn Cocktail, Foie Gras or melon:
    • Main Course) Chicken or salmon or steak, with chips, maybe some peas;
    • Desert) whatever is on offer but normally includes cream / custard or, if I’m feeling a little too plump by this time of day, a sorbet.
    • All accompanied by wine and whiskey.
  • After Dinner
    • Retire to see a show or listen to a band to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine / champagne / prosecco / or whiskey.

Obviously along the way there may be a few drinks involved, a couple of glasses of wine, a couple of glasses of whiskey and of course coffee / tea and yes, even water, but, no occasional biscuit, cake, crisps etc. I’m not a pig you know.

I like Whiskey; I like Wine; I just can’t make up my mind which to have; So, I have them both 🙂

Now, taking all this into account, is it really the case that salt water (in abundance on a sea cruise) truly shrinks out clothes or can the be another explanation. Also, in my case at least, adding insult to injury, even my feet need bigger shoes when I go cruising: How on earth does that happen? Does the salt water affect shoes as well?

I leave these thought for pondering.

Navigare Necesse Est

On the 18th May, Podge reported that he’d lost 4 packs of lard: Yay, go Podge Go. On the 25th May, Podge reported that he’d put back on 4 packs of lard: Poor Podge had to go and sit on the Naughty Step 😢. Podge went into meltdown and took drastic measures including the Toal ban on Jammy Dodgers: The ban did also include Anti-Viral Medications (AVMs) but that ban was quickly rescinded. This week, Podge is happy to say that in the past week, he has lost two packs of lard (that’s a loss of 50% in 1-week, of that lost in the first 4-weeks). I therefore conclude from this that Jammy Dodgers clearly encourage Lard and AVMs make little or no difference, 😂🤪 and Podge is sticking by that.

In edition to losing the lard, my BMI has dropped to 30.3 and Body Fat has also dropped to 44.6 while Body Water has gone up to 39.7. The changes are small but, they are all in the right direction: Despite all being, currently, the wrong side of the trend line, all is good in Podge’s world.

Anyway, back to the job in hand. Over the past week, Podge has cycled a total of 74.45 miles and walked a total of 9.4 miles (not bad for COPD St3).

This means that some serious progress has been made on the challenges currently underway (Lands End to John O’Groats [LeJog] and 2020 in respect of cycling and Hadrian’s Wall and the Inca Trail in respect of walking).

I’ve added the Inca Trail purely to encourage Mrs Me to join me on my walks but I don’t report on it. The progress report on Rome-2-Home has been dropped as it is running alongside LeJog and I don’t actually like the route; cycling along major highways just isn’t realistic. For 2021 however I will remap Rome-to-Home to follow the route I would have done if I’d done it for real; as originally planned for at the beginning of the millennium. That route will be sooooo much longer, but prettier.

All rides on Bkool and reported through Strava. All walks measured using my Apple device.

All virtual challenges are tracked through  ‘My Virtual Mission‘ and challenges entered through The ‘Conqueror Virtual Challenge‘ site.

All rides are done in my garage (walks done elsewhere 😋) as my GP has banged me up for a minimum of 12 weeks (reset to start from the 11th May ) due to having Codgers Old Puffing Disease (COPD Stage 3). 😭

Wish me luck – I surely need it.
Go Podge, Go. 

Podge must stop eating

Nooooooo. Podge has caught more podge. Podge is sooooo sad: Podge is miffed: Podge must try harder: A lot harder. Podge is a Very, Very Bad Lad. Why? Because Podge is back where Podge started: Fat.

Having analysed the past week, I suspect that having a BBQ (with appropriate social distancing) with ones ‘children’ (they’re adults really) may not have been such a good idea. Munching through burgers, sausages, hotdogs (all with requisite bread-rolls) all washed down with large Cobra Beer and Sauvignon Blanc seemed such a good idea at the time. Post BBQ I rewarded myself with a Jammy Dodger and a Choco Leibniz biscuits; individually, they seemed quite small but I suspect many will think that four of each may have been a little excessive as was the clotted cream ice cream. But hey, it’s been a tough couple of months for us all 🙂

I suspect you know where this is leading. Yes, Podge is back to ‘Podge As Was’. Podge has effectively lost diddly squat.

Last week has seen my weight return to 93.4kg so that’s a whole kg of lard back on. My BMI has gone up 0.3% overall, my body-fat has gone up 0.6% and my water content has dropped by 0.3% (apparently, my bones still weight the same though🤨). Naughty Podge. Having said all that, I haven’t had my hair cut since March: How heavy is hair? 😂

On the plus side (Podge always looks for silver linings), I did manage to cycle just over 74 miles (my weekly goal is 70) all against the lovely scenic backdrop of my garage.

I also walked a total of 5.5 illicit miles (don’t tell my doctor, she’ll tell me off for breaking lockdown) all in the fields: So I met nobody.

All of this means that I’m making great progress on my Rome to Home (27%) cycling challenge and my Hadrian’s Wall (10%) walking challenge: I’m just back to being fat 😦 :

All rides on Bkool and reported through Strava.

All virtual challenges are tracked through  ‘My Virtual Mission‘ and challenges entered through The ‘Conqueror Virtual Challenge‘ site.

All rides are done in my garage (walks done elsewhere 😋) as my GP has banged me up for a minimum of 12 weeks (reset to start from the 11th May ) due to having Codgers Old Puffing Disease (COPD Stage 3). 😭

Wish me luck – I think I need it.
Go Podge, Go. 

Podge must stop drinking and eating

#38 Part 1

Picture this if you will. Having arisen early (06:30), His Podgeness and The Duchess check in at the airport by 08:30, for our 10:55 flight, and were in the airport lounge enjoying breakfast relaxed in the knowledge that we easily had 2 hours to relax. His Podgeness, out of idle curiosity checked the boarding cards, at 09:05 to see if there was any gate details. It was then that he noticed that the gates open at 09:10 and close at 09:35 before takeoff at 09:55, NOT 10:55. 🥴

So, so glad I checked the card otherwise we’d have still been in the lounge as our plane was taking off (thus missing a trip 18 months in the planning) and His Podgeness would have got a good kicking from The Duchess. 🥵

And here starts yet another adventure of Podge (His Podgeness) & Tubbs (The Duchess).

Well, they visit Dubrovnik…

One of the many benefits of cruising is that one gets the chance to see so many friends, as yet unmet: One also get the chance to see friends have already met, such as one the bartenders from a previous cruise who had already advised the staff minding the Champagne Bar that Podge & Tubbs had claimed as their haunt for this cruise, that Podge had a penchant for Laphroaig while Tubbs liked Bombay Sapphire. But that’s a by the by.

It is always fascinating to meet new friends, and so it was for Podge & Tubbs, especially on this cruise as approximately 50% of the passengers were virgins and Podge & Tubbs are always willing to shine a guiding light for virgins and advise on what’s best, what’s good, what’s not so good: Obviously such views were subjective, which they were always keen to point out. The virgins are of course first time cruisers.

On the eve of the cruise, their table companions for the evening were virgins and they were keen to hear about Dubrovnik as Podge & Tubbs had already been there before. The companions were particularly keen to know if there was far to walk to get to the town. Oh don’t worry about said Podge. The boat parks just outside of the harbour and it’s just a short tender ride direct into town.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These pictures were taken in 2005 with a very tired camera showing the boats ‘parked’ just outside the port and a shot of the port itself from where the gate to the town is passed through.

Given the obvious frailty of a couple of the virgins, Podge & Tubbs felt good being able to tell them that all they would have to do was get onto the tender from the ship and straight across into the two harbour and town gates. If there was a better way of arriving in Dubrovnik, nobody knew.

At the end of what had been a fine evening both Podge & Tubbs retired to their quarters, Tubbs went to bed, Podge went to the balcony for one more nightcap before retiring himself.

The Boat’s Going The Wrong Way

Come early Morning, Podge, feeling groggy from his breathing but with significant improvement, got yup and made himself his early morning coffee and went out to the balcony to watch as they sailed into the port / harbour of Dubrovnik. But wait, thinks Podge, “where are we going” as he watched the Oceana sail past the old harbour and continued onwards until eventually turning to starboard, again and again and entering into what transpired to be a Cruise Terminal. Podge checked his location on Google Maps (below) and found they were parking some distance away. The information they had given to the virgins had been incorrect. The trip into town would have to be by bus. “Bugger” thought Podge. “Think I’ll lie low for a while” he mused.

Dubrovnik

The Cruise Terminal did not in any way reflect the old town that Podge & Tubbs remembered.

The Duchess was double unhappy!

Their extensive investigations and research indicated that the trip into town via the shuttle bus was around 20 minutes so they had no need to rush. And rush they didn’t. They did in fact just about make breakfast before it was shut and reopened for Brunch. Now as it happens, Brunch is almost exactly the same as Breakfast from Podge’s perspective, so he wasn’t worried anyway.

Eventually, with hunger sated, they gathered the necessary paraphernalia for a shore trip: Inhaler(s), drugs (all legal), camera, Kangaroo Poo Baseball cap for Podge, pink handbag for The Duchess and of course wallet / purse. All loaded up they joined the next available shuttle bus and set off for the town of Dubrovnik.

As soon as the arrived, their first port of call was to be ATM: Podge always likes to extract money from an ATM at every port. Nobody knows why, not even Podge: He doesn’t even keep the receipts as mementos. One can only assume that the oxygen starvation from Codgers Old Puffing Disease )Poor Podge) causes him to do irrational things. Who knows, but that’s what he does and that’s what he did this time. Unfortunately, The Duchess saw how much he had withdrawn and made a mental note for calculations during their time in town.

Money sourced, camera at the ready, cap on, wallet secured, on the opposite side to The Duchess, Podge led the way down into the town.

Might get some sweets

Coming into the Old Town from the other end was alien to Podge & Tubbs and it took them a while to get their bearings but heading down what Podge termed as the main drag, they soon enough came to the gateway to the harbour. At leat, they knew where they were. But, the walk had taken its toll on Poor Podge. Podge was struggling. Podge needed to rest but he also wanted to see around the harbour. They slowed down, stopping every few steps to admire the view as they slowly worked their way round the harbour past the Aquarium and out to the lighthouse. Here were some convenient seats to rest and allow Podge the get his breath back before they headed back to the the town centre to find a nice bar for a nice glass of local beer, just don’t ask Podge what the beer was. He can’t remember. He just knew that as he sat there enjoying his beer, that the Duchess, while enjoying her G&T , was calculating. Calculating how much had been drawn out against how much the drinks were (no food was to be allowed) so that the scale of future purchases could be calculated. Quietly, The Duchess worked out the exchange rate and was dismayed when she realised the 500 Croatian things was not much more than £50 . Bah, thinks Tubbs (the Duchess has regressed), might get some sweets but that’s about it.

Maybe not that many sweets

“Do you fancy another?” asks Podge. Humph thinks Tubbs, then thought ‘why not’. ‘OK” she says, “Just one more” she said emphatically. Podge made a mental note of the emphasis on ‘Just one more’. ‘Uh oh’ he thinks. ‘maybe should have drawn out more money. ‘Old Scrooge’ thinks Tubbs. ‘Well there maybe not that many sweets to be sourced but what will be, will be my choice’ mused Tubbs.

Eventually, their thirst was sated, Podge realising he wasn’t going to get away with a third one so up they got and away they went. Slowly, and slowly was the operative word here, Tubbs, trailed by Podge, made their way back towards the pick up zone all the time looking out for what could be purchase with what meagre funds remained. Eventually, Tubbs espied what she had been looking for and in they went.They both gazed around in wonder at the array of sweets and biskwits, sorry, biscuits. They so wanted to spend their money, what money was left that is, but they were stuck behind a bunch of, as Podge put it, ‘Squeaky Squealing Schoolgirl Grockles”who giggled and squeaked every-time they picked up an item looked at it and then put it back. After what seemed an interminably long time, they finally settled for a single small chocolate bar that smaller than a small bar that serves no purpose at all. Well, that’s what Podge reckoned anyway.

Eventually, it was their turn and they chose this and they chose that and they put back this and selected those, and put back those and select them and repeated. Eventually with some glee and air of arrogance, Podge announced that he did have some secret money so they could if Tubbs so desired, have this, that, those and them and they could event have a new fridge magnet. Tubbs was happy: Tubbs loved Podge and so Podge was happy and let’s face it, we all know that Podge loves Tubbs. Happy Podge. But, his breathing was still bad, if not a little worserer (Podge speak) and was by now struggling so the next port of call (get the nautical term?) was to be the coach pick up point and the trip back to where the boat was parked (another nautical term) and Podge just collapsed into his seat on the bus. Poor Podge.

Back on the boat at last, Tubbs knew that Podge just needed to rest so she made him sit down on the balcony where he could relax, enjoy the fresh air and have ‘small’ G&T or a chilled Chablis or maybe a beer (it was too early for Whiskey / Whisky). Naturally, he wasn’t going to be alone and soon enough Tubbs was with him with a nice G&T, Podge had opted for the same, and together they sat and relaxed.

And so, as the afternoon meandered slowly towards evening, His Podgeness and The Duchess sat and relaxed and watched as the boat untied all its strings and gently pushed away from its parking spot and head course back to the Adriatic Sea and turning right to head for Venice.

And, as the Oceana meandered her way Venice’wards (Podge speak), Podge checked out his photos. Today he had elected to take just Canon 5D with 40mm Pancake (making his digital SLR a point a shoot camera) so was interested to see how the pictures turned out. Podge was reasonably happy with the results.