Throwing In the Towel

No I’m not doing one of my periodic “I’m tired of/bored of/run out of idea for blogging snits. One of the features of being in a spa deck room is that as well as a yoga mat (????), ipad charger (never did find that), and rain forest shower head we got big fluffy towels in our bathroom. And almost every evening fresh towels would be arranged on our bed in testament to the towel folding skills of our very fine cabin stewards.

This one had to be my favourite – and not just because I missed the Hounds from Hell.

Other evenings we were greeted by an rather endearing elephant, a wistful stingray and what I believe is a turkey. Hopefully the later was not their observation on us as guests?

This one was on the bed the first night and I’m still not sure what it was meant to be. Any guesses?

The last evening we came back to the room to discover an attempt at a “Little Dutch Girl’s Hat”which unfortunately fell apart when perched on Larry Brinker’s curly lock!

On our last day at sea there was a “towel folding” class which I decided to give a pass. Guests at the Beaulieu-Hobbs residence get their towels neatly folded and that can be challenge enough.

October 3rd is National Boy Friend Day – a day on which to have one? find one? dump one? Not sure how that’s commemorated. Unless they mean the musical The Boy Friend? If so let’s all Charleston!

O Reason Not the Need!

We returned to Canada today (September 18th) and are currently waiting at Trudeau Airport in Montreal for our connection home.

The eye-role the immigration officier gave when I said the only things I had bought were two Christmas ornaments (yes Cathy you were right) and a finger puppet was priceless.

No I don’t know what I will do with a finger puppet of Giuseppe Verdi – which can also double as a fridge magnet. But when I saw it at the gift shop at the Dutch National Opera I just had to have it.

Hopefully I get around to writing a bit about the opera or rather operas. It was the poplar combination of Il Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusicana in a new production by Canadian director Robert Carsen with a bit of a powerhouse cast. It was to be conducted by Sir Mark Elder but he had to bow out for health reasons. Contrary to normal practice Pag was done first without an intermission followed by Cav. The Pag was vocally and theatrically stunning – both Laurent and I were near tears at the end. The Cav was a confusing modern conception sung with old fashioned brio and steamy passion. All and all pretty exciting – and I got a finger puppet of Verdi!

September 18 is also Cheeseburger Day and perhaps it’s a good time to ask why these days burgers are now so loaded down with “stuff” that you can’t get your mouth around them?

Now These Are Christmas Ornaments……

Just for Cathy

That you will never see on our Christmas tree!!!!

All available in the gift shop at Kensington Palace to celebrate the 200th birthday of Vicki and the newly arrived Archie. Vicki and Archie – need I say more.

September 17 is International Country Music Day so let’s twang that guitar, sob that story and carol our heartbreak from the back of our truck!

This, That and the Other Thing

A visit to a souvenir shop in the town of Geiranger revealed one thing that delighted me and another that rather bothered me.

Yeah I’m really scared – whatcha gonna do if I cross the bridge?

Judging from the displays of fridge magnets, dolls, computer pads, calendars, and butane lighters Trolls* have become sweet, loveable, endearing wee folk. They aren’t as cuddly as Smurfs but are less likely to leave blue smudges on your clean white shirt if they hug you. And hug you they will, not eat you or demand your first born as payment for some impossible favour granted. They are not the type of troll that the three billy goats defeated to become national heroes. These are Hollywood and Saturday morning cartoon trolls save for the tender sensibilities of little Liam and Emma! No say I! Give us back our ugly, nasty, bone-gnawing, child-kidnapping, malicious creatures whose only purpose is to make mankind – particular miscellaneous royalty, miserable. Those are the trolls we love!

But on to the delightful and a souvenir that I was sore tempted to buy (though where it would end up Odin only knows)! I saw these two and immediately thought of Lauritz Melchior and Helen Traubel in photos of the old Met’s production of Das Ring! At the risk of offending friends who are Wagnerites these two look a heck of a lot more fun than most Brunhildes and Siegfrieds I’ve seen.

And then there were two souvenirs that did find their way into bubble-wrapped safety in our luggage. Any guesses as to what they area – yes I know a teapot and a star but beyond that I mean?

*Please understand I am talking about the real thing of Norse origins here not the fabricated creatures that inhabit the internet. Their origins are from the dark cesspools of diseased minds not the wild and untamed beauty of the fjords.

September 12th is Chocolate Milk Shake Day – so shake it up babies!

This and That

Unfortunately I’ll be offline for the next day or so. A bit of tummy trouble has me confined to quarters for the next 24 hours. It means I’ll miss the town of Eidfjord but fortunately from our stateroom window on the forward Panorama Deck the wonders of Hardangerfjord will still be visible.

In the meantime since September 10th is the day to celebrate Sewing Machines – even the one that kept us awake a week ago – here’s a fun piece of art that graces one of the elevator lobbies here on the Neuwe Statendam.