To paraphrase Brian Hanrahan, I'm not allowed to tell you how many TOGS went ashore to visit the monastery at Volos, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back again. My last-minute decision to wimp out of the trip, on the grounds of inclement weather and inadequate personal cladding, was thoroughly vindicated. The TOGS returned chilled and windswept. A good time was had by all though. The ancient monastery comes highly recommended by today's visitors, though their initial excitement at discovering a 16,000 litre barrel of wine up at the mountain top turned to despair when they realised that it had been drained before their arrival. Coincidence....?
Dickie bows and posh frocks were required for this evening's Black & White Ball. A bit of a shock for me, as this was a late change to the schedule and I hadn't packed for a Formal Night. As luck would have it, Alan Dedicoat had left his DJ hanging in my wardrobe for safe keeping, ready for his return to the ship next week. Only one problem: he and I are about a foot different in height. Nothing the on-board tailor can't sort though. Which is good news for me but may be tricky for Deadly in a few days' time. Mind you, the extra braid round the cuffs may suit him. Don't tell him, will you? By the time he rumbles it I'll be safely back in Blighty.
We're sailing through the night as I write this missive. I was sitting in the comfortably appointed Commodore Club, listening to an entertainer who sounds uncannily like the late Hubert Gregg singing George Formby songs, while I made a thorough assessment of the accommodation for next week's live radio broadcasts, but then I heard the mournful sound of a foghorn off the starboard bow, which appeared to be gradually getting closer. Natural caution made me abandon my position near the front on the foggy side and take refuge with two TOGS from Holmfirth in the ship's Casino. I can't hear the foghorn anymore, which probably means the danger has passed. Or could it mean that those manning the foghorn have simply nodded off? Time will tell. Whatever, I have confidence in the crew of this mighty ship. I'm sure they have someone up at the bow with a decent torch.
Here's a pic of me in action at last night's TOGS' Champagne Reception, with Pudsey keeping a weather eye on proceedings.
Back to the Ranch
1 week ago