Recently I watched a program on the world’s biggest cruise ship – Oasis of the Seas. This cruise ship is the biggest in the world and is kind of like a telly tubby version of a gated suburb.
With 5,000 passengers and thousands of crew, the documentary focussed on all the things that passengers might need for 7 days afloat. So I’m talking 26 restaurants, beer and 10,000 rolls of toilet paper.
There’s something bizarre about this ship – and I use that word loosely. It’s more like a drifting condominium having an Amway convention.
In a way it’s nice that human beings have put their considerable brainpower into recreating Central Park on board a ship. In another way, we could be exploring outer space now with that amount of money instead of cruising back and forth from Fort Lauderdale.
The documentary showed all the things we needed to know about life on the world’s biggest cruise liner. So we saw the Captain’s tattoo (a blue butterfly), a man who said he was head chef running fast down corridors, lots of fat people, staff with concerned looks when passengers didn’t return from their shore excursion (leave ’em there I say – which is why I probably don’t have a future in hospitality), someone with lots of hair called Julie (not me) and more fat people.
The doco was kind of like a reverse Survivor – I badly wanted to change channel but I just couldn’t take my eyes off it. Maybe it’s not the best use of moolah the world has ever seen, but what the hell, it sure beats going to war or building more gated suburbs.
Summer holidays in Australia come at the wrong time of year. Summertime in most countries is a benign, warm, pleasant time of year – perfect for getting outdoors, hiking, soaking up the rays, but here in Australia, it’s beginning to mean bushfires, shark attacks, dangerous rips and temperatures out of Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen.
There is nothing relaxing about bolting all the doors and anxiously listening to bushfire reports. Or even if there are no bushfires, there’s nothing outdoorsy about four consecutive 44 degree days and there’s nothing good about consuming your body weight in ice cream because it’s so damn hot and well, there’s nothing else to do, apart from wander around a Westfield near you.
In this weather people should be in the office where it’s nice and airconditioned and our big six week holiday should be moved to a more conducive time of year – say Easter. March has the warmest sea temperature, making it ideal for swimming, it also has sunny days and cooler nights (but not to cool) and if you want to go outside and walk or picnic – it’s around 25 degrees in most parts of Australia which is the UN sanctioned perfect picnic temperature.
And there’s no holiday stress build up like there is with Christmas – Easter is easy. Just pop a few chocolates and then drive off in the car – a perfect start to the holiday.
So, forget about the republic, the flag, the national anthem – let’s concentrate on the big issues – our holiday enjoyment is at stake here.
Yesterday my husband took to the great open road on his mid life crisis motorbike. (Men have much more expensive mid life crisis toys than women, but that’s a blog for another time.)
What I wanted to say was that he bought his bike so that he could feel the wind in his hair, the breeze on his face, the feeling of freedom. Sounds good – but wind in his hair – these old fogey bike riders don’t have any hair! As for breeze on their face, they are comprehensively encased in a wraparound helmet, worn out knees are padded up – and in short, they look like an alien version of The Stig.
If they really want the breeze on their face, a brisk walk should do it. What about racking up some carbon neutral points on a windsurfer for instance? Or just looking around the house, I reckon standing on a ladder cleaning out the guttering is a fabulous way to feel the wind on your head.
New Year’s Eve – it’s a funny night of sitting around with your ration of beers, and if you’re over 40 wishing you were tucked up in bed, or get home in time to watch The Bill. As for fireworks – forget it. Seen one, seen them all (along with caves, Easter Show and bonnet dramas).
But last night went to a party where played a reslution game, kind of like a New Year’s Secret Santa. Here goes: everyone writes 5 resolutions down in private and puts them into a bowl. Now here’s the interesting part – they can be serious, esoteric, mundane or downright silly. Then … you pick 5 out and read them to the group. If you pick some of your own by chance, well, you know what Buddha says – there is no chance. And at this point you can tell the group if they get a resolution you so kindly wrote for them.
So here’s mine:
Build a bridge and get over it
Be more impulsive
Keep the weight off I’d lost
Do charity work
Learn 3 new dishes to cook
Happy New Year!