Monday, 5 April 2010

So, Where’d you Go?

You may (or indeed, may not) have noticed that I didn’t blog at all last week. I mentioned in yesterday’s Six Sentence Sunday post that I had my reasons and I did. One reason. Quite a personal one. I’m not going to elaborate because, quite frankly, it’s nobody’s business but mine and my family’s, but suffice to say it was a very, very good reason which kept me out of the country and away from my laptop.

But I’m back home now and ready for more.

I did manage to write another couple chapters of my WIP – both while I was on the ferry across the channel. That was a weird experience, writing and looking up every so often to see if anyone could tell I’m writing dirty stories. I don’t think anyone did, but I couldn’t really tell.

Coming back on Saturday was particularly awkward. Normally when I cross the channel I use SeaFrance. I like the boats, they are comfortable and atmospheric. There’s a very continental ambiance about them. There’s also tons and tons of space. Not just in the lounges and bars but there are seats in little hideaway places all over the boat. Crossing to France I was able to find a seat – with a table – looking out of the nearby window at the sea whenever I needed to collect my thoughts before continuing to type.

On the return the SeaFrance workers were on strike and so I was bumped onto a P&O boat. It was horrible. Mass Market, down market, I felt like I was part of a herd of cattle rounded up on this vessel – as many of us crammed into the space as they could get. No ambiance, the atmosphere was… not pleasant. Rather than a seat in a hideaway with a table and looking out at sea, the only place I could find to sit was in the ‘lounge’ – rows and rows of seats next to each other.

I imagine the difference is a bit like flying on Ryanair as opposed to First Class with BA. I don’t think that’s all that far off given that P&O actually have a first class lounge (which you naturally have to pay extra for and because I’d been transferred from the rival company, they wouldn’t let me) whereas SeaFrance don’t and the P&O first class lounge looked a lot like the ‘normal’ lounge on the SeaFrance boats.

To be honest, I felt a little bit dirty after getting off the P&O boat. I know that makes me sound a bit snobbish, but I don’t care. If wanting to travel on a nice boat with a nice atmosphere makes me snobbish, then I’m snobbish.

The weird thing is that I’ve always found SeaFrace to be as cheap, and sometimes cheaper, than P&O. Given that, why would anyone choose to travel on P&O? Perhaps it can be summed up by someone I overheard as they were queuing to get in the cafeteria. “Oh, thank God, they’ve got English food!”

I despair. I really do.

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