Thursday, June 26, 2008

Alive and kicking

Yep we’re still here. I’m afraid there hasn’t been any thing to report in the BOGOF household, hence the lack of blogs.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

They're back

Yes, Mr and Mrs Seagull have decide to once again build a nest on the same chimney pot as last year.

Again like last year there’s three chicks. However they are a little camera shy at the moment so we haven’t been able to get a photograph of them. Once they have overcome their shyness we’ll put a picture on the blog of the new arrivals.

In other news, it’s only 10 weeks till we start ripping out the old kitchen and fitting the new one, 11 weeks should see the dishwasher installed (I can’t tell you how excited I am at that – yes I know I’m sad ! ! !), 12 weeks and two days till I hit the big 40 and 12 weeks and six days till the party.

Then once that’s out of the way there will only be 14 weeks and five days till Christmas…


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Back To Normal

Yes folks, we’re back. There’s been a bit of a break in blogging for a couple of reasons. First, we bought a block of time on the ship and needed to keep some of it back so we could check in our return flights on-line and second, we both came down with attacks of coughing and suchlike after some sudden hot and cold weather changes on the last day and we’re just about back to normal now.

Anyway, back to the plot.

Sorrento was our last port of call. We anchored in the bay of Naples and here is the final Veranda View of the holiday (I don’t count the last one as we were in some industrial docks).

We took the tender ashore and this was the general view. The minibus ride up to town was a bit hair raising in the narrow streets.

Back down at the port waiting for the tender we found this little fellow and some of his friends.

Speaking of tenders, this is one in Sorrento, and here is the other one on the way back to the ship. It was nice and calm during the morning but by afternoon it got quite rough, with 30 mph winds.

At one point they had to turn the ship to give the tender some shelter as it came alongside. This is the small hole in the ship’s side you have to aim at.

So there we are. We left the ship at 9:30 and were home twelve hours later, despite BA’s best efforts to delay us in Rome. And our luggage made it home too. Amazing.

We’ll get a full picture gallery up when we’ve had a chance to sort them out.

Marie and John

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


So where are we today –oh yes, Palermo. Today’s veranda view isn’t great but you can’t have a wonderful view every day.

On the other side of the ship is a huge cruise liner. Ours has a max capacity of 383. We think this one has a capacity of about 2000. It towers over us. And on the other side of that ship is an even bigger one.

Now with three cruise ships arriving at the same time, you can imagine what the local traders thought. To go ashore you had to run the gauntlet of taxi drivers, horse drawn cab drivers and people selling just about every kind of tourist tat you can imagine.

Then we tried to make our way into town. If you thought northern Italy (Milan, Florence and Rome) were busy, that’s nothing compared to Palermo. Manic is the work most people are using to describe the traffic, the crowds and the heat. We made it into town, then came right back and sat by the pool to recover. Thought you might like a look round the pool deck. These pictures were taken early yesterday morning when it was quiet.

Last night we passesd through the straits of Messina, between Sicily and the Italian mainland. At their narrowest the channel is about two miles wide and you have to take a pilot on board. It was 8 pm and the sun was setting, so sorry about the quality of the pictures.

And finally, for those who like such things, here’s a picture looking down on the bridge wing from above. The man is letting rip with the ships horn (which is VERY LOUD).

Sorrento tomorrow

Marie and John

Monday, June 02, 2008

Half Term Report

Well, here we are, half way through the cruise so what can we say.

Before we go into detail, we’re anchored in Naxos Bay, just a few miles from Taormina in Sicily. Here’s today’s veranda view, with Mt Etna in the background. Yes – it really is smoking.

The average age is lower this time, in fact it seems to be getting lower all the time. Also, there are more “normal” people. There are still the super-rich, but not so many as there used to be. As a result, people are less likely to be snobbish and more likely to speak.

Possibly as a result of this the staff are even more friendly than before (if this is possible).

The mix of nationalities is also more pronounced, with people from India, Argentina, Germany and Belgium as well as the British, Americans and Australians.

The weather hasn’t been too hot, though it did reach 80 for a time in Malta yesterday. Today it was 72 F at 8 am but hasn’t changed much since then. Fine by us but no doubt some will complain.

As we said yesterday we were about to leave the Grand Harbour in Malta, and here are some of the pictures.

Here is the pilot wishing us bon voyage.

And finally, here’s our mystery man. We’re all trying to figure out if it really is Jeremy Clarkson. He looks a bit older, but then he’s not in his TV makeup, and he has all the mannerisms. He’s not listed in the guest list, but you can ask to be excluded.

We’ll keep you posted.

Marie and John

Sunday, June 01, 2008


A late blog today because we’ve been busy exploring Malta.

More of that in a moment, but first, yesterday we did something neither of us has ever done before. We saw Africa. OK, it was only the coast of Tunisia on the horizon, but Africa is Africa.
Today we docked in the Grand Harbour in Valetta. This is another place where the town is at the top of a hill. Here is the view from our veranda this morning

And this is our next door neighbour, from the Portuguese navy.

We walked up to the top of the town and took this picture of the ship on the way down …

… plus some of the harbour …

… together with one of the locals.

And finally, here’s Marie enjoying the view of Valetta from the Veranda.

Must dash as we’re about to leave port and we want to watch.

Marie and John