Posts Tagged ‘His Podgeness’

After leaving Gibraltar, they had the pleasure of a day at sea where they could relax, enjoy the sea air and for Tubbs to enjoy the massage session Podge had booked for in the Spa. Tubbs believed it was because Podge wanted some quiet time but she wasn’t going to argue. Afterwards however, she wished she had argued. Apparently, the girl applying the massage was from a specialist intensive interrogation camp where pain and pressure were applied with equal measures. Tubbs was in great discomfort.

Podge had got it wrong, again.

When Podge gets it wrong, Podge pays, one way or another. Whether somebody has a direct line to a greater power or not shall remain unclear but through the remainder of the day and through the night, Podge’s breathing deteriorated.

The following morning brought Barcelona, a place both Podge and Tubbs have visited before. But today, Podge was weary and wondering how he was going to manage the excursion they had planned but Podge was desperate to do it. But, with a late start and an hour on a bus, Podge knew he would be ok for the 90 minute trip to the Montserrat Monastery which included a trip on a rack train on the way up to said monastery perched on the edge of the ‘serrated mountains’ as the locals like to call them on the basis that they look like rows of teeth.

The train ride itself was a lot more enjoyable than was first feared: Tubbs believed the train to be one of the steep vernacular railways but the rack train was actually quite a gentle and very, very scenic ride to the top of the mountain where the monastery was perched. Once off the train, the guide then route marched the group, with Podge acting as ‘Lantern Rouge’ and Tubbs watching front and back to make sure they didn’t lose touch with everybody else, up the hill to show them where the bus would be when it was time to return to the ship. Having got to the top, the guide then route marched the group all the way back down again to where everybody had got off the train and route marched them all up the other side, passing café’s and shops much to the dismay of Tubbs and, to some extent Podge also, and so the group continued up another hill.

Poor Podge: By now, poor podge was struggling.

Walking was becoming tiresome for Podge, walking uphill took all the breath and energy he had. Podge needed rest. Fortunately, the nest stage was inside the Basilica (Church of Montserrat)  where all were greeted by sights of absolute amazement wth statues and paintings every which way one chose to look. It’s hard to describe how it looks without pictures (these will appear when Podge transcribes all into “Places We Have Visited” or of course one could Google it or look it up in Wikipedia (what would one do without Google or Wikipedia?). Anyway, Podge finally managed to extract himself from the group and take a seat for some quiet time and inner thought. Podge mused, people come here in search of healing so why shouldn’t he but poor Podge didn’t know how to go about it so Podge truly was, today, Podge The Puffer: Poor Podge.

Tubbs was wise. Podge was tired.

Eventually after some rest time, Podge and Tubbs were able to continue to view the inside of this amazing church and then step outside and look out across the mountains and down to the place from whence they came and they then knew just how privileged they were to be where they where. It was truly wondrous. Podge was having another Lourdes / Santiago de Compostela moment. Podge may be becoming a little religious. Soon enough however, Tubbs once again recognised the signs and just knew that what Podge really needed was to go to the souvenir shops, to buy the obligatory fridge magnet, and then off to the coffee shop for a rest and a drink.

All too soon however it was time to take the long walk back up the hill to where the bus would be waiting to take everybody back to the lovely Oceana. It was only a 5% gradient but poor Podge really found it a struggle and was glad to finally climb onto the bus and settle down for an hour and enjoy the scenery during the journey back to Barcelona. At last, the ship came into view and within no time they were back on board and settled onto their balcony. Podge was tired but Podge was happy!

The Lizard returns!

As they sat upon their balcony, the sun came out and shone directly on Tubbs (Podge always knows which chair Tubbs should sit on) and a serene smile spread across her face as she basked in the warm glow of the sun, heating up and storing energy, just like a lizard.

And so the day ended with The Duchess sitting on her balcony smiling contently, gazing down upon the world looking as though all was good. His Podgeness however just sat there trying to breath. Podge had taken The Duchess’s cold as penance for her Massage Session the previous day. Poor Podge.

Click here for the same but with photos

Having enjoyed the little trip down the English Channel and across the Bay of Biscay plus taking a day out in Lisbon, Podge & Tubbs were now looking forward to the start of their Mediterranean part of cruise with the first stop being Gibraltar.

Podge was looking forward to Gibraltar as he knew he would be able to source a lens for his camera at a good price: Podge was not looking forward to Gibraltar is he knew that Tubbs would having similar thoughts about the jewellery shops. Podge really didn’t know how he felt about Gibraltar! Anyway, it was to be a 10-minute walk from the ship to the square so they opted for a shuttle bus which took 5-minutes but less effort :-).

Once there the exploration started – ‘where are the camera shops’ thought Podge – ‘where are the jewellery shops’ thought Tubbs but then, Podge had a far right thought. He seemed to remember somebody telling him it was possible to buy Ventolin inhalers over the counter and so, at the first pharmacy he saw he went in and asked for 2 and got 2 for £5. This excited Podge unnaturally as he clutched his purchases with pride: ‘Who needs doctors?’ thought Podge and on their they way went. Camera shops came, jewellery shops came, camera shops went, jewellery shops went until at last Podge sees a shop he remembered (well, that’s what he told Tubbs anyway) and in he went. “Can I help you sir” asked the shop keeper. “Yes please” said Podge, “I would like a 70 – 200 telephoto for for my canon camera please”. The shop keeper looked at Podge’s camera and said “No you don’t, what you really want is a 100 – 600 telephoto: that will give the full range in one go”. “No I don’t’ said Podge, ‘I want a 70 – 200 lens”. ‘Hmm’, thinks the shopkeeper, ‘I think a 75 – 300 will be better”. ‘Look behind you on the top shelf” said Podge, ‘see that 70 – 200 lens, that’s what I want. The shop keeper gave in and handed over the lens. Now all that was required was for His Podgeness to pay. So it was out with his best credit card imaginable and popped it into the machine, checked his pin and entered it. [PIN INVALID]. He tried again [PIN INVALID]. ‘I know it’s the right pin” said Podge “look here, 7593” he said to Tubbs (it’s not really 7593 but I wonder if anybody reading this recognised their own pin and immediately thought of changing it 🙂 ). The shop keeper politely warned His Podgeness that a third [PIN INVALID] would block his card. Podge was now in a quandary. Fortunately, Tubbs The Duchess recognised the signs and took out her own card and paid for it herself. Podge does so love Tubbs.

Leaving the camera shop, Podge sees another pharmacy and again became unnaturally excited at the prospect of buying Ventolin Inhalers over the counter and so without further ado in he went and bought 2 more but this time they cost him £7. ‘Hmm’ he thinks, ‘that makes them a whole pound dearer than the last shop’ but still, he clutched his purchases and continued his walk along the high street only now, he was looking for bars: Tubbs however still had one eye open for all the jewellery shops. But Tubbs is a gracious / caring woman and saw that Podge was starting to slow and thought that it would be a good idea to stop before Podge starting using up all his new inhalers and without further ado found a suitable bar and found a table. Podge, who had indeed started to tire suddenly realised where he was, perked up and order 1 large beer for himself and one large Pinot for The Duchess.

They sat, they drank, they talked, they drunk some more, they ordered the same again and they sat and they drank and they talked and they drunk some more. Eventually, truth be known, they became drunk.

This probably explains how Podge suddenly admitted to Tubbs that he now remembered his PIN, allegedly he was looking at the wrong card [honestly]. And with that Tubbs marched Podge to M&S, leading him by his cauliflower ear all the way to the new tops section: Tubbs is always at her happiest when purchasing new tops. She then lead him to the dress section: Tubbs is pretty happy when buying new dresses. She then leads Podge to the underwear section: Podge is now getting naturally excited, but wrongly so it turns out.The underwear was for him and he was made to choose which to buy. Tubbs then led Podge to the [PAY HERE] section and instructed him to settle up. Podge did as he was told. Podge always does as he’s told. Podge isn’t stupid.

Now, with Podge clutching his purchases, and Tubbs clutching her purchases they started to make their way back down the high street but Podge had to stop off at the bar again: Apparently, when one gets to a certain age, fluid retention become challenging.

On the way back to meet the shuttle, The Duchess, for this is how she becomes when nearing a jewellery shop, espied a shop which had a certain attraction to her and she just knew that she would do well in this shop. Podge couldn’t fight back, one because of his own ill gotten gains and two because he had no strength to do so. And so with the same inevitability of death and tax they crossed the threshold into said store. Once in there, Podge saw two rather fetching oriental ladies who were also from the Oceana but who also had a certain level of class and wealth. ‘Sugar’ thought Podge, or something like that, this shop aint going to be cheap. Podge had to sit down: it was all he could do as The Duchess, now in her element and she now browsed the whole shop. Podge’s heart raced, not because of the sight of the rather fetching oriental ladies but because of what The Duchess may do next. Eventually he heard her ask “which do you prefer, these or these?” It was at this point he knew he’d lost. Any answer would cost money but which answer would please The Duchess the most and which answer would cost the least. Faced with a similar challenge in the past, Podge did try to play her at her own game by saying I don’t mind, I like them both, so she bought them both. Podge doesn’t do that any more. So Podge was honest and chose the ones he honestly liked the best and with that The Duchess bought them, with her own card. Podge was ecstatic: this has never happened before.

And so now, Both His Podgeness and The Duchess made their way to the Shuttle for the short 10-minute ride back. They were joined by a party of inmates [seemingly] from ‘Waiting For God’ with half not knowing where they were, the other half worrying about where they they’d been and all worrying about where all were going to sit on the eight seater bus and there was only five of them. Eventually they sorted them selves out, everybody was aboard and off they went to rejoin the Ocean.

Another successful trip aboard.

PS – Podge is now living on edge. How did he get away with not paying up in the jewellers. What lies in store for hime ahead. Podge was indeed a worried man.

The underwear by the way, were twice his size.

Check back for further recants of Podge & Tubbs Go Cruising.

I’m mindful that I promised myself that I would post an update at least once a week. Now obviously, when I’m sailing the Seven Seas, on a cruise ship I have much to write about; in fact, I could post almost daily – network connectivity permitting of course.  Anybody who’s read about some of my recent cruising adventures will know that connectivity from the middle of the ocean isn’t that great. In fact for my last cruise, unbeknown to Mrs Me, I spent £300 on WiFi and all I managed to post was six updates after which I gave up. And now, here I am,in the middle of a cruise famine, I find myself struggling to come up with something to write about.

As, I sit on a First Great Western HST taking me from Paddington to home (Hungerford), I’m bashing away at the key pad and seeing all these words come on my screen and still I don’t know what to write about. I suppose I could write about my daily adventures on the rail network trying to get from home to my office by London Bridge. If everything fits together, it can be done one hour and forty minutes. In the real world of course and taking door to door into account, it takes around two hours and thirty minutes and most days, that’s how it goes. On the odd occasion however, i.e., at least once a week, something goes wrong: An underground line is suspended; Person on the line; overrunning rail works; early morning driver fails to turn up; train faults, etc.: The list goes on. The best issue to date however is when the train had to crawl almost at walking pace because the speedo didn’t work and it had to make its way to Reading (from Paddington) where the train could turn back to front so that the back became the front where there was a working speedo and the train could then do what a high speed train is supposed to, whiz along at high speed. There was of course the occasion when a train got stuck because it had run out of ‘air’: Yet all the passengers seemed to be breathing just fine. It turned out that the train need air (compressed) for the brakes. This week however , it was a broken underground train on the Bakerloo Line. This meant me getting a slow overground train – I could explain why, but I won’t – to Reading where I could catch a connecting train to Hungerford, only to see such train pulling away as I dashed towards it. This left me with a 24 minute wait for the next train which actually overtook the train I missed. Ironically, I had to change and catch said missed train for the last two station leg. On that occasion, my journey took just under four hours. But, do I really want to write about my train adventures? Probably not, so I won’t write about them. So what what do I write about?

 The Next Day, and –

I still don’t know what to write about. I did think of writing about somebody who passed me a piece of work a couple of days ago while telling me that it’s quite urgent as a customer is seeking a speedy response. When looking through the ‘piece of work’ I noted that it had been sitting in somebody’s tray since the middle of April. Had the work come to me then, it would by now have been completed, the customer would be happy and there would have been no fretting about it’s now urgent nature. Once again, somebody’s lack of forethought and planning constituted my crisis. But then I thought, no, nobody wants to read about that so I won’t write about it.

So, just what do I write?

Then it struck me: I’m sitting here at the kitchen table, looking out of the window seeing great expanses of blue sky with just a few fluffy clouds and the sun just sitting there like a big yellow duster with just the gentlest of breeze teasing the tree tops and I start planning todays cycle ride. Today, I shall cycle a 30 (ish) mile loop taking me up onto the Chute Downs from where I can gaze down and look at the wonders of nature with the oh so english fields of rape reflecting the suns rays, the sheep and their young, bouncing around and no sight nor sound of a single car. That has to be one of the nicest places to cycle to, cycle along, and reluctantly, cycle from.

From there, it’s a series of climbs and descents, up past the gliding club where once again I shall stop and watch the gliders being coaxed into the air by a winch, or sometimes, a small plane; When at an optimum hight, the glider is released and it soars silently  checking out the clouds, competing for air space with Red Kites and Buzzards before making it’s way slowly and gently back to the ground. Again, notwithstanding the small plane, all is silent and nature is at peace with all. After that, it’s a gentle undulating route back past The Swan Inn – a great place to stop if you’re out cycling / walking (shall I [again] be tempted to sample their wares?) before eventually arriving home feeling refreshed having blown the cobwebs away and taken in all that Mother Nature had to offer. But I can’t write about that. I can’t write about that because it’s blowing a hooley outside with dark angry clouds and rain to match. Also of course, the idea of me getting on my bike just now is still an aspiration rather than reality (COPD has seen to that 😦 ). So, I can’t write about that either.

So, I still don’t know what to write about.

There is of course the fabulous weekend, just past, that I spent with the lovely Mrs Me at the Millstream in Bosham near Chichester. We like to spend as much time as we can in and around Chichester and Bosham. The town, the village and the surrounding countryside is just so beautiful Check out the You Tube video by Patrick Macnee to get a feel for the area. Having had an almost complete makeover inside we felt we should go back to see how it looked. It looked LUVERLY. And with the beautiful weather as our constant companion we sat out in the gardens enjoying a lovely glass of Rioja (Me) and Rosé (Mrs Me) before wondering down to the harbour to see if the Bosham Car Wash was in action Watch the video, it is hilarious). Unfortunately it wasn’t, though this did mean that with the tide out, we could make our way round to the Yacht  Club, sit, and watch the sail boats drifting in and out before wondering back through the village wondering at the Wisteria, which seems to be doing extremely well everywhere this season though I have no idea why.

Now, Mrs Me being Mrs Me: No trip to Chichester is possible with a visit to Russell & Bromley, purveyor of fine shoes and handbags: No trip to Russell and Bromley is possible without a purchase and it was with some rightly placed trepidation that I entered the establishment, dutifully following Mrs Me. We looked at boots; we looked at flat shoes; we looked at wedges; we looked at loafers; we looked at same rather high stiletto feel shoes; we even looked at some kinky boots; we looked at large handbags; we looked at small handbags: Briefly, we looked at mens shoes before returning back to ladies shoes. Eventually with great determination, she found a pair she liked. “I’m sorry Madam” said the shop assistant, “we don’t have these in your size” (oh no I thought, my weekend is going to be awful), “But” he said, “I’m sure they are available in one of the other stores: Let me check”. Yep, they did and even better, they would deliver them to home so it was with great joy that we were able to make a purchase and continue shopping. But, I felt there was still some sadness in Mrs Me. Then the penny dropped, we had come to Chichester, bought a pair of shoes but still she had nothing to show for it. But, his Podgeness is sometimes too clever for his own good. He espied a jewellers that did some rather attractive and reasonably priced bracelets, and having pointed them out to Mrs Me, we went in, tried them on (yes, she needed two), purchased them and Mrs Me was once more a happy bunny and with that, we returned to The Millstream for more much needed wine. But, does anybody want to know about all of this? I doubt it, so I won’t write about it. So:

What can I write about?

I don’t know: I haven’t a clue, so for this week I’m afraid I’m going to have to fail my objective and not write anything. Next week, I will try better. I promise. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll include better pictures. But don’t worry, I won’t be in any of them.

Don’t tell her but today I’ve moved along from my balcony to Mrs Me’s Balcony. She won’t mind though as she’s too busy sleeping off her breakfast. A breakfast which was particularly special as we were privileged enough to sit with a young gentleman who will be 100 years old in two days time, on the 19th November. I thought I was doing well having my 60th in four days time: that’s the 21st for those that can’t do sums :-). An ex tank driver, this young gentleman is still independent, living in his own home and only gave up his [clean] driving licence at 96. He is my new hero.

Anyway, back to me. What have I done in the last 24 hours that’s different to the previous 24 hours. Not a lot actually, and that is good: total R & R. We did our 3.2 laps of the Oceana (that’s three miles we’ve walked so far). We have made some more new friends, eaten more fine food ( you’d expect nothing less on the Oceana) and re-discovered the Champagne Bar. Also, it being the first formal night, we met the Captain (from Italy) at the welcome aboard cocktail party. This pleased Mrs Me, as listening to the voice of an italian just makes her go all dreamy (not sure what she’s dreaming though). But wait, we also found the Gymn. Ok, it was an accident but nevertheless we had a look inside and was actually quite impressed. So impressed in fact that yours truly, His Podgeness, went straight to the onboard shops and bought a t-shirt to wear in the Gymn the following day (today). That’s right, you heard correctly, His Podgeness is going to try out the Gymn!

In the meantime however, I continue to sit on [her] balcony watching the sea drift by. It’s a calmer sea now, still a vast sea, but a calmer sea and the temperature is edging ever closer to 20: lovely! And, looking at the map, we seem to be just West of the mouth of the Meditterranean. So from here on in, it’s going to get even warmer. Perfect birthday weather methinks.

Newsflash – His Podgeness is off to the Gymn

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His Podgeness is back

Time once more to sit on the balcony (my balcony this time) and gaze out to sea, seeing nought but the sea and just listening to the sounds made by the Oceana as she makes her way south to the Canaries and hoping, ever hopeful, to see a whale or two. All I’ve sen so far are gulls, lots of gulls. How far do gulls fly? We must be a hundred miles from land. Not sure if the distance is correct but we certainly can’t see any land. All I can see is sea, lots of sea: a sea without whales :-(.

Tomorrow, we reach Madeira, or to be more precise, the Ilha da Madaira (apparently it means Island of Timber), which by all accounts is twice the size of The Isle of Wight, but a lot hillier and a lot warmer, especially in November, the birth month of His Podgeness. By all accounts Madeira also has a long road tunnel, the longest in Portugal in fact. This also confirms that Madeira is a Portugese Island. Before we get there however, there are three more meals to conquer. So, until we meet again:

Bom dia