Saturday, 4 September 2021

There's something happening here

So, as we move into September, what is there to write about that is beery, and/or travel-related? Well, for a start, there’s some ocean-going travel coming up at the end of the week as, providing neither of us record a positive test for the plague, we’ll be setting sail for a brief, sea voyage to Liverpool and back.

Packing will commence this weekend, and amongst the various items of “smart casual” clothing required (numerous items in Mrs PBT’s case), will be a suitable supply of tinnies – beers such as Pilsner Urquell, Hawkshead Mosaic Pale, plus one or two others that I can stash in our cabin (sorry State Room), and keep cool in the fridge.

This is because whilst food is included on an “eat as much as you want – stuff yourself silly” basis, alcohol is, let’s say, rather on the dear side, and the beer selection is almost certainly limited to big, international brands. Now a word of caution here, neither of us are intent on stuffing ourselves silly and, in the case of the beer, I have no intention of drinking myself into oblivion either. However, enjoying the odd cool beer or two, as we sit out mid-afternoon, or early evening, on our balcony, as our ocean liner glides through the waves, is something I am looking forward to, and the better the beer, the more enjoyable the whole experience.

Before moving on from the cruise, I discovered that, due to Covid restrictions, passengers are only allowed to disembark at Liverpool, if they have a place on one of the pre-booked excursions. Stepping ashore on an independent, DIY sight-seeing basis, is unfortunately not allowed, which is a bit of a bummer, as we are a couple who like to do our own thing.

I’m presuming that the thinking behind this is to keep the ship and its crew Covid-safe, as by restricting excursions to carefully curated excursions, Cunard remain in control of the situation. More so than if they allowed passengers to go off anywhere within the city, but the whole thing could be a cynical ploy to coerce people into booking one of the official excursions, and thereby making more money.

This minor gripe aside, we should now be ready, having printed off vaccination certificates, uploaded photos, and passport details, and all this for a cruise that doesn’t leave UK territorial waters.

The two other main items of news are that after a slight delay with the hand-over, on Monday, I will be starting in my new role as company Safety Advisor. In order to prepare, I’ve booked myself on a three-day introductory course in Safety Management, which is a real, physical one, rather than a virtual, online affair. It’s being held at a London hotel and takes place during the last week in September. This means I will remain on full time until the start of October, and then I will be working a three-day week – yippee!

The other, even more exciting news item is, that after seven months of dealing with funeral directors, banks, government departments and solicitors, the estate of my late father has finally been settled. Probate has been granted, the Inland Revenue have been dealt with, and the residual of my parents’ estate distributed amongst myself and my two sisters.  It's not sufficient to fund my retirement, but it’s a nice little sum all the same. The main thing though is the family can put all this behind us.

We can now concentrate on remembering the good times we enjoyed with our parents and be grateful for the loving and caring environment they provided for us, and for the virtues of truth, honesty, and diligence they instilled in us, along with the work ethic.  That they were both able to achieve financial security and independence, after coming from relatively humble backgrounds, is testament to what I have just been saying.

So that’s about it for the time being. I’ve got a few mundane tasks to complete, before we go away, including replacing the roofing felt on the summerhouse. Boring, but it’s long overdue, as is doing the same thing with the shed. That can wait a while longer because, at the moment I’m going to crack open a bottle and pour myself a cold one!


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