For the first time in my life I have been away on holiday for six consecutive weeks.  My wife, always alert to the possibility that things will be nicked, urged me not to announce on the WWW that we were going to be away.  Now we are back, and countless burglars have been thwarted, it’s OK to admit, retrospectively, to our extended absence.

I have just visited my website and been disappointed to see no messages enquiring after my whereabouts and wellbeing.  This, I suppose, is what to expect after I’m dead and my website falls silent forever.  But I’m assuming it will not be possible to be disappointed after death; only now, whilst I’m alive and kicking and can open up my website to find no comments.

I feel sure you must have been wondering where I was and, had my silence continued for much longer, would have made enquiries as to my whereabouts.  It only takes a sentence (the last one) for me to achieve consonance; you

  • had noticed
  • were concerned
  • were on the brink of asking.

Much better.

Surely you want to know where we went that took six long weeks.   The answer is sailing on the Marco Polo all the way to Manaus, 1,000 miles up the Amazon, and back.  The Amazon is vast and the water is caramel coloured.  It’s hot and humid and, being a rainforest, it rains a lot.  Not only is the Amazon river vast, so is the Atlantic Ocean – days and days at a steady 16 knots without sighting land or another ship.  Days spent learning to play Bridge (not yet mastered), reading, playing ping-pong, doing crosswords and Sudoku.

Cruising is an inherently boring activity which is why, presumably, there is so much on-board entertainment; they are trying to distract us!  Our Cruise Director kept insisting that everything was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC and I fell to wondering what this meant.  Presumably, absolutely fantastic is even more fantastic than fantastic?  Unfortunately, I thought most of the entertainment was less than fantastic.  My wife said the entertainment was crap which, I think, comes in somewhere well below less than fantastic.

Ah well, these things always are in the eye of the beholder.

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