大阪市 = Osaka, Lunch at last

 

DSC01118rThis type of street is in my memory of Osaka of the early 60’s – just across the bay from Osaka is Kobe, and both towns had many similar style of streets.
The razzmatazz and noise of the shopping area leaves me cold, but small streets like the one above encourages one to explore the unknown.

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Toichi (our guide) came up trumps with his choice of restaurant. It had small individual rooms off the main area of the restaurant, which itself was not all that large.
The above shows the main area as we entered the restaurant.

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I took the above from our small room and aimed the camera back to the main area.

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Our room had just been vacated and the previous dinners had only just left, so the staff had not had time to remove their dirty dishes. The room was just big enough for two tables, the one that can be seen, and ours, which was like a mirror image, but without any dirty dishes.

The menu was, of course, all in Japanese, but accompanied by pictures, which helped, but as we were with Toichi the lack of English script didn’t bother us.

Maureen of course had to be careful due to being a coeliac, so she played safe and picked sushi –

DSC01125rToichi and I decided on the same dish – pork in egg (similar to a large omelette)

DSC01126rThe main dish with the red ribbon is the egg / pork, which was still cooking over flames – the red ‘ribbon’ is so that you can removed the lid without burning your fingers. The heptagon on the left contained rice, the yellow food is a type of pickle, the black pot contained soup and the white food is tofu. As you see Toichi had the same.

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The grand opening of the hot pot dish.
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It was all very tasty and hot, and one had to be careful – the flame under the pot kept it ‘cooking’. Of course we had to use chopsticks, which wasn’t a problem, because Maureen and I often use them with Asian dishes at home.  I used the large spoon to cut the omelette in the pan, before using the chopstick. I haven’t yet worked it out how to ‘cut’ using chop sticks. The food was not all that spicy, but the overall taste was very pleasant, and the pork meat was well cooked.

Including two beers and a soft drink for Maureen, the whole meal for the three of us came to about AUD $50.00, a great experience at an inexpensive price.

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Once outside we were still in the time warp of my 60’s memory – I was nineteen again.

DSC01131rOne of the smallest, if not the smallest, temple in Osaka – unfortunately I can’t remember what Toichi said about it.
DSC01133rSpace being at a premium inside, the staircase is on the outside of this house.

DSC01134rA small Shinto shrine – drop a coin in to the box and take a roll of paper (they look like cigarettes). open the roll and read your fortune. If you don’t like your what it says, tie the paper to the red/black fence on the right, and walk away leaving your bad fortune behind you.

 

 

 

An offence too far!

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There comes a time when all this gender neutral rubbish has to be laughed out of sight.

We now have ‘neutral’ Mother’s Day cards, so that a very small minority are not ‘offended’. How about the rest of who might be offended?

Neutral

What happened to the child celebrating their own mother’s special day? In the UK when I was a child it was called Mothering Sunday, which like many other traditional days, has been ‘changed’ thanks to our trans-Atlantic advertisers.

Halloween used to be Duck Apple night, and we didn’t go from house to house in costumes. Come to think of it, asking for sweets would have been a waste of time because they were still rationed in the late 40’s early 50’s in the UK.

Apparently there is a move to change the name of Mothering Sunday to Guardian’s Day or some other such daft name.

Guardian’s Day sounds like a new Brian Rix, Whitehall farce, no one would believe that the proponent was serious.

Mothering Sunday was good for two bob or even half a crown from Dad so that I could visit the local allotments near our local park, and buy some fresh flowers for Mum. The card was hand made, and the thought of using ‘You’ instead of ‘Mum’ makes me shudder.

Of course there are quite a few other things that will have to change if the offended ones have their own way –

To what do we change man-slaughter?

Or should you move because you are offending someone by living in or near Man-chester.

You will have to make sure you don’t man-oeuvre in to an awkward position, and if you are a politician what are you going to do about you man-ifesto?

But on to a more serious area, I want to know what the Germans are going to do about their national anthem.

They mention women and they sing of the German Fatherland – tut tut!

They even mention German women and wine in the same paragraph, that must give someone offence somewhere.

German National anthem

Of course, not to be outdone, we have the Russians, who also sing of the Fatherland, and they glorify God – how very un PC can a communist country get? On the other hand what would you expect of the Russians?

Russian anthem

The Dutch get worse – they sing of Princes, God, Kings and wait for it, Fatherland!
and even ‘honour’ – all this un-neutrality gender, is double Dutch to me.

Dutch National anthem

The Belgium people sing of their fathers – they are very confused because they don’t mention their mothers in some versions, and do so in others . . . I suppose being the HQ of the EEC makes them very confused.

Belgium National anthem

Poland – the latest version speaks of fathers in tears and boys, no mention of the other gender(s). The original version written in 1797 spoke of fathers, fatherland, boys, & would you believe GOD! No wonder they changed things . . .

Polish National anthem

The Americans sing of their land and the people and of course GOD. They did slip up once when they mentioned freemen . . .

American National anthem

The French sing of their sons and the fatherland . . .

French national anthem

Now the British have managed to get it half right – they sing of a queen, which should please many of the those who are alphabetically challenged , but then they sing of GOD . . .
The British National anthem

The Australians have managed a national anthem that doesn’t mention, male, female, fatherland, motherland or God.

We don’t mention God in Australia, because He is no longer welcome. He offends so many that He is no longer allowed in to our schools, parliaments (we have quite a few, hence the ‘s’), acknowledging God has become the 21st century’s Love that dares to speak his name  (a corruption of James Kirkup poem). Try 1 Corinthians, 16: 13. 

Australian National anthem

Finally, considering our species, how will the gender neutralisers fix the word hu-MAN.

This is what I think we should do to all those who wish to be neutralisers

 

 

Wineglass Bay – Tasmania

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I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

John Masefield – second verse of Sea Fever.

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Approaching Wineglass Bay, Tasmania.

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.

The Secret of the Sea – verse one – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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Entering the Bay

“Wouldst thou,”–so the helmsman answered,
“Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!”
The Secret of the Sea – verse eight – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

DSC09755rClose enough for me . . .

DSC09757rPeaceful and calm as we enter the Bay.

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Clean, clear water – ‘civilisation’ has yet to arrive.

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Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,
With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;–
The Secret of the Sea – verse four – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

DSC09760rThe entrance through which we passed to enter Wineglass Bay.

DSC09761rBlue on Blue with our wake drifting astern.

DSC09762rAt peace with the world – our ship is hardly moving.

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We curved through Wineglass Bay, followed by Oyster Bay, and exited via another gap in the coastline.

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 White caps can be seen as we leave the shelter of the Bay and head out to sea.

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Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

The Secret of the Sea – verse ten – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 – 1882

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

The final verse of Sea Fever – John Masefield, 1878 – 1967

‘the long trick’s over’ – at sea your watch (time on duty), was sometimes referred to as a ‘trick’. I liked the ‘graveyard’ watch, which was Midnight to 4.00 am and noon to 4.00 pm.

Nice and quiet at night in the middle of an ocean, when you touch the stars, because they were so clear, and so close.

Think before voting

This blog is aimed mainly at Australian readers, so I apologise to my other readers.

I am tired of the multi-coloured banner across the top of my blog, even though I’ve tried to have it removed, and investigated how to remove it myself, but I don’t have the computer knowledge.

It is obviously a banner in support of same sex couples marrying, but as they have had the same legal status since 2008 as de facto heterosexual couples I fail to see the attraction of the word ‘marriage’. But that as may be. Forcing my bog to carry their banner is not going to endear them to me.

According to the last census in Australia 3.6% of the population claim to be homosexual, which as I’ve said before, doesn’t bother me in the least. I do not condemn them, because I am not sinless.

My concern is that 96% of the population will be affected by the proposed changes to the current definition of marriage.

Via a postal vote we will be asked to tick for or against the change to the marriage act, which states that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The question is simple, but the consequences of the changes that could take place will affect all of us for generations to come.

The law was changed to allow homosexuals to marry in the UK, and we in Australia have a tendency to follow certain changes in the UK, NZ & the USA. According to a British report (Feb 2017) 2.5 % of the British population are homosexual, which means 97.5% have had their lives altered because the government have added additional laws to change society over and above the basic law to allow homosexuals to marry.

My concern is that the change in the UK has not just been to allow homosexuals to marry, but also to change the direction of the society as a whole.

Just a few examples of the UK changes that might ‘emigrate’ to Australia.

The UK Government has a new Parliamentary Minister – for Proposals to streamline and de-medicalise the process for changing gender will be part of a broad consultation of the legal system that underpins gender transition, the Gender Recognition Act.
Gender recognition?

To announce this new ministry we had the corruption of the badge of State that dates back to 1603.

LionDieu et mon droit = God and my right, which is the oath of the monarch.

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Not particularly respectful for the Queen. Her Government issued a news item.

To jump to another change, yet linked to the one above –

London Underground workers have been told to stop greeting people by saying ‘ladies and gentlemen’.
Instead, Transport for London (TfL) workers will use phrases such as ‘good afternoon everyone’ as the city takes steps to become more gender-neutral.

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I find this a little odd considering The Gender Recognition Act was announced by the Minister for Women and Equalities, how very un-pc, surely it should be handled by the Minister for Persons and Equalities.

If you attend Hull University as a student, and you do not use ‘gender neutral pronouns’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ then you will lose marks during your examinations. It is a good job that the Minister for Women and Equalities doesn’t attend Hull University as a mature student.

Don’t think that you can move to another university because Sussex University staff have been advised to use gender neutral pronouns . . . several other universities have issued guidelines to their staff – are we looking forward to such advice from our Australian ‘seats of learning?’

If you have a bank account with HSBC you have to make a decision as to how the bank should address you – MX, Ind, Misc, Mre, or Myr – I think I’d pick MYR, because that being the international code for the currency of Malaysia, and perhaps HSBC might make a mistake and send me a few ringgits instead of sending them to Malaysia.
So don’t expect to receive a letter addressed to you if you are a Mr, Mrs, or Miss. I can still remember my first Christmas envelope addressed to Master . . . .  .
Misc doesn’t have the same ring. . . .

There is an organisation in the UK called Stonewall, which is a homosexual organisation to promote radicalism in society, and it seem to be working in many areas – the slogan of this organisation is Acceptance without Exception’, which creates in my mind a strange feeling of deja vu, which is not a pleasant feeling. George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm springs to mind.

To calm people before the vote to legalise homosexual marriage in the UK that nothing will change, the UK Parliament promised to protect the freedom of religion. This was supposed to ensure that people could remain true to their convictions.
Within a very short time the political ‘protectors’ started to devalue ‘their heartfelt promises’. The Minister in charge of Education stated that the Church of England should reflect modern attitudes.

From 2013 homosexuals in the UK have been able to have a civil wedding, but the law will not allow them to be married in an Anglican church.
The Education Secretary suggested it was now time that the Church of England allowed its vicars to bless homosexual unions.

The Education Minister said, ‘I wouldn’t prescribe to them how they should deal with that, but I do think we are living in a country where people broadly recognises that attitudes are in a different place now to where were many , many years ago. We have allowed same sex marriage, that is a massive step forward for the better, and for me, I think people do want to see our major faiths keep with modern attitudes in our country.’

The Speaker in the House of Parliament must be politically impartial. Therefore, on election the new Speaker must resign from their political party and remain separate from political issues, even in retirement.

The Speaker of any House of Parliament, but particularly the British House of Parliament, which dates back to 1258, must remain neutral. He / she isn’t allowed to have a political opinion, not even after he / she retires. Unfortunately the current Speaker of the House, has an opinion on homosexuals marrying – he calls for churches to embrace homosexual marriages, and said not so long ago –
I still feel we’ll only have proper equal marriage when you can bloody well get married in a church if you want to do so, without having to fight the church for the equality that should be your right.” another member of the Government who hasn’t read the Bible.

Would anybody be interested in what this person had to say if he wasn’t the Speaker of the House who should be neutral – or is he neutral when he said – “I’ve always thought proper credit should be given to the Blair government, which was a hugely reforming government, and Tony Blair personally, who was a terrific force for good on these issues. Credit where it is due, the Cameron government did something very remarkable on equal marriage. I’ve always thought same-sex marriage legislation was David Cameron’s greatest achievement in Parliament.”
Not bad for a man who is ‘neutral’.

Moving on as to how the 2.5% have changed British society – the UK High Court has suggested that traditional Christian beliefs on sexuality are not conducive to Christians being appointed to foster children. A couple’s Christian views according to a judge ‘”there may well be a conflict with the local authority’s duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of looked-after children.” . . . I’ll leave you to read it again. Dr Barnardo’s childrens charity – the oldest and I think the largest in the UK was started by a Christian, with Christian beliefs and is still in business.

I’d like to know how the British Government is going to work out how to make the Church of England vicars officiate at homosexual marriage in a C of E church. The Government will then have to follow up by making the Catholic church comply (does Roman know?) and then the Muslims, the Jews, Hindus, Buddhists etc.

The other small detail is that Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and all Acts of Parliament to change or compel the C of E will be  enacted in the Queen’s name. Parliament will be asking her to break her coronation oath!

British society is changing beyond recognition, and I fear that Australian society will follow.

Is your job secure ? A housing manager in Manchester UK, Adrian Smith commented, in his own time on his own Facebook page, that allowing homosexuals to marry in church was ‘equality gone too far’ – he was disciplined at work and reduced in position from a £35,000 job to a £21,000 job. He’d worked for the council for eighteen years.
Acceptance without Exception comes to mind. Adrian Smith the manager in question, took his employer to court and won, but he shouldn’t have had to go to court.

How about a magistrate being dismissed, by the Lord Chief Justice, from his position because he opposed an application by a same sex couple to adopt a child. As a magistrate he said that he thought the child should be raised by a mother and father. The court clerk and two other magistrates in the court complained. The Lord Chief Justice said that he was influenced by his Christian beliefs against the same sex couple, rather than the evidence.
The magistrate was also Finance Director of the NHS Trust Development Authority (National Health Service), and after after being interviewed on TV about his dismissal,  and because his views were out of step with the Trust, he was removed from his Directorship.

The real ENEMIES OF THE STATE had to be put away safely; the asocial and the professional criminals who could not be locked up under the prevailing laws had to lose their freedom in order to protect the people from their destructive behaviour.
A quote from the autobiography of Rudolf Hoss – look him up.

How about the National Trust with 4.2 million members, of which 62,000 were volunteers to help run the various sites. An instruction went out that all volunteers would wear a same-sex rainbow badge while on duty, and those who refused had to be ‘moved out of sight’ until they were ready to prove their inclusive tolerance.

Once again George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ comes to mind – some volunteers are more equal than others.

This link makes interesting reading about the National Trust and how they handled a couple who didn’t wish to wear the rainbow badge and lanyard.

Forty years a member and Max Hasting resigns from the National Trust – read that Dame Helen Ghosh, who was the head of the Trust, changed the name of the Easter Egg Hunt to Cadbury Egg Hunt across all Trust properties. She wanted to appease those who didn’t like Easter because it was a Christian festival, which might upset other religions. It obviously didn’t click with her that Easter is a Christian festival and that it is part of the British culture.

As for child education we already have gender fluidity in Australia.

Vishnitz Jewish Girls School, which is a London based private school, has been praised for achieving high marks from school inspectors for the standards reached by the pupils and the way the staff teach.
Four years later, although the school still ranked highly in the ‘pure’ educational departments, it failed the educators test because it didn’t teach the girls about homosexuality and sexual orientation.
According to the inspector this failure ‘restricted the pupils spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of ways of differing lifestyles.’ It appears that the inspector couldn’t fault the girls academic ability, which I am sure pleased the girl’s parents.

Read the news item linked to the girls school name, and you will see that Stonewall have links to the Educational Minister. Read about seven year olds being encouraged not to use the words ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ because this might offend transgender children.
I can remember when I was seven, and I knew the difference between a boy & girl, because boys wore shorts and girls wore dresses – it was quite simple really, but that was when we went to scholl to learn to reed, rite & do sums. Sex in any form never entered our heads.

Consider what happend in the UK before the vote to allow homosexuals to marry each other – protection for all, unless you wish to use gender defined pronouns, or wish ladies and gentleman a safe train ride, or allow seven year olds to use boy & girl when describing the sex of someone.

All effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”

Consider the above quote in the context of what we are hearing in Australia before we vote. Ask a Pom if the same thing happened in the UK before their vote went through the Parliament.

We all want equality, whether it is equal pay for woman doing the same job as a man, night clubs not refusing entry due to skin colour, homosexuals having the same legal rights as de facto couples, but some changes can change society so much that it will cause us all huge problems that could take generations to fix – are we leaving a can of worms for our grandchildren and great grandchildren?

 

BTW the above quote in red is from Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’, chapter six, makes you think doesn’t it?

 

 

 

Cruising unties the knots

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We sail from Sydney at 4.00 pm on Sunday (5th Feb) for a thirteen night cruise to New Zealand – land of the long white cloud.

We will visit,

Bay of Islands
Auckland
Tauranga
Napier
Wellington
Akaroa
Dunedin
We will then sail around the southern tip of New Zealand to cruise the Fiordland National Park on the south west coastal area, after which we sail back to Sydney.

Tonnage 77,441
Passengers – 1998
Crew – 924

 

The last time I sailed around the New Zealand coast was as 3rd Mate in the Bankura about 1966. We were on the Calcutta, Australian eastern ports, NZ coast run. Each voyage Calcutta to Calcutta would take around three months.

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Tonnage – 6,793 gt
Passengers – zero
Crew – perhaps sixty, if that  . . . . .I can’t remember.

The cruise in the Dawn Princess will add three new ports for me – Bay of Islands, Tauranga and Akaroa.
Bankura used to call at Lyttelton, which would allow us time to visit Christchurch, but since the earthquakes cruise ships no longer call at Lyttelton, but Akaroa, which is further away from Christchurch, but even so, we’ll visit Christchurch by road.
The only port that I will not see again is Timaru, which is between Akaroa and Dunedin.

These three new ports will take my city count to 486, fourteen short of my target.

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Do pictures lie?

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Shakespeare in Paris – I loved browsing in this shop, they have a large selection of books in English.
My wife and I and another couple decided to do a self-catering holiday in Europe staying in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid & Lisbon. We wanted to travel between each place by train, but between Madrid and Lisbon we had to fly – we didn’t want the night train and flying was more economical.
In Paris I was looking for a two-bedroom mid-priced apartment, not too far from a metro station, and within walking distance of some of the main attractions.
I found what looked like the right place, and after we’ve all seen the web site photographs and read the accompanying blurb I booked this apartment for four nights.

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The above photographs are from the web site of the agency renting this property.

The above two pictures are of the living / dining room. The problem was that on the left-hand side of the mirrored cupboard was a very large damp patch that we could smell before seeing the area. Below the damp area was an electrical plug, which was lose. I found this out when trying to plug in a recharger for my camera. The plug came out of the wall and was damp. Fortunately I did not receive an electric shock.

entryway-1500The hallway was close to the actual hallway. Again taken from the web site.

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This was our bedroom with the en-suite to the left of the wardrobe. The wardrobe door was a struggle to open, and I was always concerned that if I pulled too hard the whole thing would fall on me.
The toilet in the en-suite was an ‘electric’ toilet, which I’d never heard of, and my wife & I were always concerned that it wouldn’t flush properly after making some very strange noises as it built up power so as to actually flush.

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 The next bedroom was used by our friends.

When researching for the right accommodation I wanted to make sure that we had access to a washing machine, but the web site never mentioned that the washing machine was in the cupboard of our friend’s bedroom. It can just be seen in what I thought was their wardrobe.

All the remaining photographs are mine.

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 This one is of the entrance to the apartment, through the green doors.

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We could have done with a miner’s helmet each, as we fumbled our way through the alleyway, after entering through the green door.

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Climbing the stairs to the apartment’s front door was OK, to a point, but try carrying heavy suitcases up the narrow stair way.
Let’s just say our Paris accommodation was a great disappointment.

I did like the dinky toy parked outside of our entrance.

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And it seems that you can park dinky toys where every you like in Paris . .

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Regardless of our accommodation we did enjoy our time in Paris and shopping for our own food.

 

A look around Pacific Jewel for peace & quiet . . .

The Atrium, shown below, which was located at the centre of the ship over three decks.

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dsc07336rWe often sat on the top floor of the atrium, because it had a small bar called Mixes, and we were as far as possible away from any loud music.
Around 5.00 pm on the bottom deck of the atrium a piano player and a young lady playing the flute could be heard as the music gently floated upwards – all very civilized. The background music would allow us to chat with our neighbours, without shouting.

There were several other bars, but for one main reason we would always return to The Mixes Bar, the reason being the lack of noise, not just the wine.

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The atrium was popular for afternoon trivia, which was often quite funny.

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We did try The Orient Bar, shown above, but this bar had loud music that killed even the thought of conversation, which managed to drive us away – we never returned, which was a shame, because they had Fat Yak beer on tap, but I valued my ears more than a pint.

Next door was the Connexions Bar, and I did enjoy their music, and the musicians were entertaining, but once again after a short time the loudness drove us away.

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On one of the higher decks we visited The Dome. dome_aria

I don’t think the Dome was a popular place – the above picture of the Dome is from P & O web site.
After visiting it for the first time I overheard someone refer to it as the ‘geriatric ward’ of the ship, because it was miserable.
Later in the cruise Maureen and I returned to the Dome to watch our granddaughters dance on the small dance floor. The members of the children’s club had been taught a routine by the club guides.
While I waited for them to start I picked up the wine menu and asked for a pino gris – We’ve run out Sir, – so I chose another wine, which was sauvignon blanc –
Sorry we don’t have that either – I then picked a chardonnay, –
Sorry we don’t have that one . .
What do you have? I asked, feeling exasperated.
We have this one, which was a chardonnay, and my least favourite out of a full page of white wines. . . . . now I knew why the place was miserable.

All the children were very good and they were a credit to the staff who ran the children’s club.  We didn’t return to this bar after the dances had finished.

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This place was called ‘The Café’, and it was on the pool deck, just inside the air-conditioned accommodation. It was quiet, and gave good service. The Cafe concentrated on chocolate and coffee drinks, with cakes etc, but they also had a range of wines & bottled beers. It was a very good place to sit while the grandchildren, supervised by their parents, wore themselves out in the pool. The Café had very faint background music, which could be heard in the bar area. The music was just loud enough to be recognizable, yet did not intrude on ones conversation. Very convenient for the pool and a pleasant place to sit and read.

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Pool bar outside was always popular from 10.00 am onwards.

From the pool bar or the surrounding area, you could watch a film with the soundtrack booming out over the screams of the children in the pool. I wasn’t interested in watching the films. I knew that the ship was 25 years old, but I was surprised to see that one of the films was older than the ship – and me!

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Most daylight films were animated children’s films, except for the one above, which I can not remember the name.

If I hadn’t already cruised with Princess Line and Azamara Line I think this recent cruise with P & O Australia would have put me off cruising in the future.