Sailing to Madeira and Back

with Bennett, Bryant, Morton, Harman, Bogost, et al. Oh yes,…and Gaugin

‘Surreal’ a word to grapple with when the most shocking events synchronise with the most relieving … and, I am still trying to work out which was which concerning the fact that Hubby lost his job just before Christmas and then we went on a luxury cruise at the start of the New Year. Job loss – a shocker in one regard but a relief to know Hubby was set free from the awful stress and nonsense he had been suffering at work. Cruising – an opportunity that had loomed rather worryingly on our horizon that suddenly became a strange escape from the impending financial worries with which to begin the year. Actually, being cruise virgins in these circumstances? – ‘surreal’ doesn’t even get close!

I remember the mixed emotion of receiving the cruise brochure in the post from my mother, along with a letter describing a budget within which we ‘MUST’ choose a holiday ‘NO ARGUMENTS,’ that she would then book for us – ‘the pair of you need a treat’. It was months ago and right in the middle of Hubby’s yo-yo-ing in and out of hospital with sigmoid volvulus problems… there were a hundred other ‘treats’ I could imagine better than leaving our dogs behind and going on a cruise – but there’s ‘no arguing’ with my mother!

Thus, surreal it was, that we went away on a big ship at the beginning of January and sailed to Madeira and back. I was stowed away with a suitcase full of scholarly texts and while aboard, I had to write my M.A. literature review and work out how to proceed following interim appraisal of my first semester’s work.

Paul Rene Gaugin -woodcut collage.
Paul Rene Gaugin 1911-1976 Adorning a stairwell on Black Watch.