Tuesday, September 10, 2002
return to Gloucester, packed and prepared for Judith's move.
last couple of rooms, the cellar and Judith's bed are emptied.
Packing is completed by midday.
last items to be packed are the houseplants.
The Pickford's van leaves
the cathedral close for the ferry port at Swansea.
The Journey Begins
The cats are dosed with
Valium, prescribed by the vet. They seem quite lively on it. Judith is also
using 'Happy Spray' - a cat pheromone aerosol which has a calming effect,
The cats have brand new and very large carriers. Maud is driven with Judith, Sebastian with Nick.
We leave in good time to get the overnight ferry
from Swansea to Cork. This alternative is shorter by road, and we feel is kinder for
the cats. The boat departs from Swansea at 21.00 and arrives in Ringaskiddy, Cork
tomorrow morning at 07.00.
We enjoy sunshine - a lot better than yesterday's rain. We drive through the
Forest of Dean and on to Wales via the M4.
Sebastian's meowing doesn't annoy me - I
can't hear him over the "music" some rancid teenager left in my CD player. The
meowing cats have a stop at the first motorway services we come to.
Swansea docks by 15:30, good and early. A "revitalised" area of urban
We watch the dock ramp being set to match tide as the ferry docks. "It's like a
millpond." comments the ramp operative.
The Superferry, registered in Kingston, Jamaica, is operated by Greeks. This must
be miserable for them, plying between Wales and Ireland. The Mediterranean is so
years ago our friends Nick (BS) and Emma had an unpleasant time on this boat. The
food was not good.
They recommended: "Bring your own! - It's not like those nice Norwegian
I would concur.
Cheap and adequate food is offered on the help yourself middle deck restaurant.
We couldn't face the pretentious Acropolis bar. It's less of a disappointment
when you can see the food your obliged to eat before you've paid for it.
We order peas, fish and chips; sit down, and consume our reheated frozen food. The boat silently moves out, ten minutes early
Paddy's bar on the boat is a comfortable place for a pint. The barman has an irritating habit of
arbitrarily ringing a large brass bell.
Our cabin, number 309, has 2 bunk beds but no water for washing.
I whinge to a member of staff hiding in a kiosk full of keys.
"You must be from 309. Hasn't the
plumber fixed it yet?" the key master asked me.
"Apparently not." I reply.
We are allocated the neighbouring cabin 311. This is bigger, four berth room, with fully
working disabled access toilet. The steward helps
us move our bags. He stops. He's seen my Global Positioning
"Would that work in Poland?"
"Yes. The G in GPS really does mean global."
I give him a demonstration - well it passes the time. 10 minutes later he is relieved to be
allowed to go.
That'll learn him.