Sunday, 31 July 2016

Note from 46–50 Cours du Chapeau Rouge in Bordeaux

11.3 - (ship) No more 

Sitno >>4<<

After the initial feeling of having the rug pulled out from underneath me, slowly the realization crept up on me:
I WILL NEVER HEAR THE WORDS: Ewh, no, you don't want to take my picture, I'll crack yer camera!.... (Fuck ME)
I AM GOING TO USE MY OWN INTERNET, and a fast one it is


Because money is going to become a problem again real fast, I can no longer spend it on anything cute and need to figure out how to pay my ship tab, but those old problems aside, the first thing I did and that will not change again in a hurry, is put the 50mm back on Mark and started photographing my crewmates...

Sitno >>3<<

Negotiations for my return continue. So far they have offered me either some travel money to make my own arrangements or to pay for my return flight home on the eve of the ship docking on Saturday morning. The bus to get there, which would supposedly also be covered, is not that costly and would take me to the airport around noon. Faster if they didn't direct me to the wrong airport. Since a shippie shoppie offered to keep a box(s) of all my non-essentials until they come to Koper, I have no luggage problems and since there is shit happening all over Europe (someone killed a bunch of peeps and a priest in Rouen - where we are en-route to right NOW), trains feel no less appealing. Then again, the very same say I would fly home, Putin is also visiting our only airport. That should be fun, safety wise... I hate flying as it is, only things I hate more is the luggage checks and body scans, but the thought of being at home in three days freaks me out - in the best possible sense. The adrenaline, all too familiar to all my crewmates, is beginning to kick in. Hermes hasn't failed me yet, I don't think he is going to abandon me now, are you, little brother?

Last formal tonight... No more wearing cocktail dresses after this one, thank the fucking Gods. I am putting both of them into the 'to be picked up at a later time' box(s). 
You can tell the M2.0 is a Romani: we used all of the most hysterical backgrounds and photo templates in gold :D

Sitno >>2<<

Last gangway. Last gangway EVER.
You know, it occurs to me I NEVER once photographed the captain's cocktail party? I always wanted to try it how it was done on the burnt-down sister ship, but we never had enough working lights to set up a proper studio.

It was a nice gangway - I only took about a dozen or two photos. Of people whom I knew will come to get them. The weather was nice, dramatic, too. I started to laugh at some point, at myself, because I was imagining what it will be like when I sit in our car in two days' time, and tell the General to pull over the first chance he gets, so I can climb into his lap and kiss him a thousand times. I will whisper something sexy to him, but because in my little brain a 100 days is one month, it will be something like: I haven't kissed anyone like this in a month!...
Ye, that will probably be the last of me. He's already told me to go pick an urn I like on the INSIDE as it is. That thought made me LOL. The gangway guard looked at me. I told him this story. He said: You should be careful what you say after you go home form ship. Also, my room number is 1339. Knock three times, the door will open automatically...

Ah, the Filipino men. 

Mental note to get all my paperwork in order. Just in case I ever try any of this shit again. Maybe not on a cruiser and may be not as a phottie. But maybe some time again. Although I have a deep urge to get a T-shirt for the General, saying: Next time fucking stop me, asshole.

Sitno >>1<<

29.7.2016, morning, Paper is en route across rainy Normandy to see Monet's Gardens in Giberny. Tomorrow, with a little luck, Paper will be en route across England to see Slovenija in the eve. The skies are clearing up, though, even against my rule that the last port-of-call should always be melancholy. It is not. It's excellent. Not at all a bad second choice for a last free excursion. (Right after Omaha beach, which was canceled due to nobody else being interested in 80 km in rainy coastline of past strategies.)

Gods I have an urge to hitchhike. But not with a bag full of camera gear. If I only had my hat to piss in, though... And the world was not this crazy.. I love the fact I need no symbols, no effigies, no special prayers or lucky charms to pray to Hermes/St.Nicholas/Mercury. He knows my name. All I gotsta do is zip up my bag and start moving my feet one in front of the other.

Sitno >>0<<

Other than forgetting all my Britvic cans, I packed half the ship. But someone forgot an intact bottle of water on my table at the airport cafe, so I'll take my chances:) Couldn't possibly be worse than the Jamie Oliver walnut-coffee cake (definitely not how my gran used to make...), or his ham&cheese breakfast croissant or his raspberry cheesecake or Jamie Oliver's Italian coffee... Good grief what nasty food. Ye, airport, but still nasty. 
Course now we are back to my main transit issue: I really have to pee. And really having to pee with seventy kilos of luggage which you can't leave anywhere for not even a minute, is interesting. 
No way of getting the gratis airport wi-fi, but am reading Ava Gardnes biography, so that's cool, too.

Tried to stretch and yawn after coffee and half the airport’s security jumped on me, thinking I am praying, about to detonate... 0.o

DOo asked me to make him an extra mail account while he's away, so am amusing myself by thinking up his handles... SailingPilot? ShipInTheNight? SkySeaAndSaku?... 

Let's see.
Getting the last pay check, complications 1-7? 0.5
Taxi to train station, complications 1-7? O
Train to airport, including airport shuttle train, complications 1-7? O
Airport, complications 1-7? 1
Flight, complications 1-7? 0, until we landed. Fuck Putin.
Ride home, complications 1-7? Naa, it was cool.

At least if anything blows up, you guys will never know :p
Otherwise, Sitno 0.
Prognosis for midnight: touchdown. Crowd goes wild. 

Monday, 25 July 2016

Well, that was interesting...

... Well, remember that assumption a few days ago, about solving my resignation and the report of abuse that goes with it by firing me instead?...

*insert devastatingly shocked face here*

Geez, I didn't see THAT one coming!...

Can't link it here, and my fingers are slippery from sunblock and a mosquito is perforating my legs, but to to YOUTUBE, type in ME AND YOU, WATSON by Alec Ounsworth and it will be the perfect soundtrack for this moment...... Watson in this case being Mark, my faithful camera ;)

11.2: Spanish and French cruising, take two, part two... Long cruise, though. Supposedly on long cruises only the laundry service makes target...

Sitno >>67<<

The General was not happy I missed our Skype date, and even less happy I lied to him and then even less happy to find out I passed out, but then he found a postcard with a lipstick kiss print in the mailbox and he was okay again :D
I stayed on the ship yesterday, doing not much of anything. Just a little now everybody shuns me, because of some odd CodeAlpha stigma, like, how dare I show the same weaknesses as the pax. It's not that I'm complaining. Now that Dread has taken off, I revel in all the peace I can get. And ice-cream I am supplied.
I spoke to one of the pretty Thai girls (actual girls), slender and tall enough to be a model, but here a housekeeper, and a new one at that. There is so much for her to do, she needs to pay 50 pounds (I imagine that is an eight of her salary, if they DO get paid in pounds, because the deck hands get paid in US Dollars) to her coleagues to help her finish. We took a short walk up and down the quay, as much as I managed, to do some selfies in front of the pink-lit Ferris wheel. I dreamt about her, but in comic book form. Really. She wasn't moving at all, she was just in frames and I had to flip the pages. So cute.

Bought some nice chocolate and packed the jelly ice blocks and towels from yesterday and took it to the medical center, also to pick up some sea sickness pills. Read the side-effects... Maybe I should get sea sick once in a while, rather than take that stuff... Just saying.
Went to check the gangway photos... Crikey. I can't even remember the last few I took... But I had the sense not to say anything to anyone, because people were happy to buy them and we actually made very happy sales. I think. Perhaps because it is so hot, shopping outdoors doesn't seem so fun anymore. Inside it's nice and easy.
Many people asked about my wellbeing, someone even wrote me a note, wishing me well. A lady said it was very cute, how many people came out running when the Code Alpha was announced for the photographer on the gangway... :D Such a pity I remember absolutely none of it. O.o

Sitno >> 66<<

Had a sinfull supper last night, off Tapas buffet: four samples of Spanish dessert: half a pear with cream, dipped in something purple, sweet and suspiciously alcoholic; only a bite of a fried pretzel, because that was just grease and sugar; a small thin pancake with almonds and a cinnamon paste inside; and a tiny block of some dense lemon vanilla yoghurt/pudding deal, fried on the outside and with strawberries. All of it was ridiculously delicious and if it was Wednesday, I would have three of each :p

SLSB is supposedly leaving today. With a little luck I won't see him this morning and the never, ever EVER fucking again. It will still be too soon. 

Have plans to go out for an excursion.. They would like me to film some of it and I'll take some pickies and see if this time around they will be noticed. The other plan was to find a cool cafe and Skype, but looks like my beautiful lover will have to do with just another phone call again. I do kinda wanna send some postcards, but can do that in France, nay? Or Aviles, once we get to it. 

Sitno >>65<<

Ten weeks sounds a lot, but two months sounds okay, even if it is still an eon. I amuse myself by updating the long list of complaints that 2C4S utters with her rare showcases of articulation attempts:
”I hate formals."
"We always did restaurants on formals."
"We had two sailors saluting on their way out of British night."
"Making these postcards is such a waste of time."
"Erase those photos.." (When we measure the studio lights. Yes. We were not going to print them, sweetey, they are light tests..)
She couldn't take a friendly advice with a hammer. She is so above all, she takes it all as criticism and gets awfully defensive about it. I wonder if that was me, thirty years ago. 

The cake of idiotic complaints today goes to the latest Hotz, though, who came by the gallery to tell us not to photograph people in the restaurant while they are eating...
Well, they, um ...
I argued it is already difficult to shoot them as it is, because we are in...
Find another way.
I would understand it if he said while they are driving or watching the movie, but ...
2C4S reminded me he is a Hotz and can have me fired like THAT.
Right, because I haven't been threatened to be fired almost every day until now. It seems to be the natural reaction from a superior if you dissagree with them: to threaten you with termination. And that's even without mentioning that I've already RESIGNED.
But she's right. It's not my problem. We'll just wait until they are sleeping and photograph them in the restaurant then. 

As vengeance, we made him stand and pose next to old ladies for half an hour before he got to his food.
It was cool, though. This is a fun group. Perish the though I mention to anyone who I think things may be done better, so I just do my own thing and somehow it works, because the new manager appretiates my effort. We also made some cool pics, OUTSIDE restaurants. So we'll see what the end report says. Our target is 9000. We're 3000 in. Ah, well.. 

Sitno >>64<<

Fuck me, what a fun, busy day. :D
Okay. Morning, I see the new manager put up none of the last night's pics, which feels very wrong, the spirit of SLSB pulling out his hair from behind me, standing on Bognor, so I take the formal portraits and put them up myself. SLSB would kill me if I ever did that before, but M2.0 is thankfull I share the load, which feels nice. (Though havng a decent boss suddenly makes everyone else seem slightly more crappy and I am gettng more and more fed up with some folk on the fast lane.) Then I shoot gangway and run to my room to get changed, because for some reason this time we are only staying in Aviles for, like, a minute. By the time I make it to the gangway, a drill anouncement sounds and I find myself in the gallery, locked in between two fire screen doors. What is worse is that I am wearing flipflops. FLIPFLOPS. In A HOTEL. If you need explanation, know that wearing flipflops is reason enough to be publicly beheaded on deck five ona Sunday. Of 1450 people on the ship, who will be the only humam to walk pass? The latest Hotz. I hide in an office and survive by stealing chocolates. Then another crew tells me I can open the fire screen doors any time I want and, feeling stupid, I run down to my cabin, change my footwear, get the life jacket and run back up to my usual muster station...
...only to find myself in a loby full of smoke and kneeling firemen in full gear, with an inspector filming their response protocol... Asking me politely if I can fuck out of their simulation. I have no idea how to get to my mustering now. More luck than anything else, I find the man calling for missing crewmen the SECOND he is about to announce me missing from drill on the other side of the ship, and also find my LifeBoat leader to direct me... Then I stand, with everyone else, for an hour, while the rest of inspectors watch the show of a simulated fire.
Yes. We get it. Our sister ship burnt down. We get it we now drill practically every other day. Yes.

Finally, FINALLY released from drill, I run down, exchange the life jacket for my baggie and run across Aviles, completely closed down on a sunday (though supposedly they did have a Spanish-type festivity from the Church of sailors and seamen down the streets, but I missed that...) Only thing on my mind is finding the cafe with coffee and skype we were in once before.
... Now comes the scene of me, trying to order an ice coffee in Latin.
I ask for ice-coffee, but the lady happily brings me an espresso. I make a nice, actually pretty accurate 3D sketch of an ice coffee, which she has never heard of before... Okay. My Latin clearly isn't translating to Spanish, and she speaks not a word of English, French or international sign language for impatient tourists, so I run down to the bar (she didn't know their password for wi-fi either, thought luckily I remembered it. She didn't know what wi-fi is, even though there's a hige sign saying FreeWifi right on the wall...) and begin to point. Milk first. Cold. Leche. Caldo. Fredo. Yes, from the fridge. Now my little espresso (only thing they charged me.). Now ater. Aqua. Freda. Frigida. Calda, for christ'ssakes, which part of cold don,t you understand? I embrace myself and shiwer.. Okay, and now, just a little pantomime of canned whipped cream. Pshuuuuuusssh.. And voila!

That show left me with 45 minutes of skyping my beloved, who informed me Tinka brought me some granola happily; the dog is now house-trained (only took us seven years); he bought black satin sheets (okkkaaayy. I know we are poor, but is it realy time to start doing home porn already?..); and his face is much better.
Five minutes of answering letters with pre-written replies, posting a little bit of Instagram and back again we are, running to the ship.

I ate two salads and a fruit salad between noon and midnight, and drank plenty coffee. (My body still hasn't forgiven me for the dehydration episode and I still pee very very rarely... Drink A LOT, though. Drain a Britvic every eve before sleep, suggar free...) Napped a bit, because I promised M2.0 that I will help him put up the pickies at four, as we open at five and 2C4S has, you know, never been forced to do any such thing on any of her excellent other ships before, so that much about that. If she was asked to lift a finger, she would offer a full range of a resentful eleven-year-old's attitude, so I don't give a fuck about her anymore). The moment I put up the first pics at 15:41, people start swarming and they don't stop way after we are already closed at ten. We made a grand today, a very nice day. M2.0 did not have the heart to turn me down for a second (wild, I know! Two in a fortnight, it's practically voluptious!) excursion, so I might be seeing Monet's almost gardens after all... I pray they don't ask me to film. That moron 2C4S has no idea what to do with the material I brought her and doesn't even chip off the first second of the video, where the camera jerks from pressing the rec button... Dumb as a fucking brick, that one. She will say the stupidest things with such confidence - and to equally idiotic people - that she is never short of an audience.)

At ten M2.0 didn't show up for the final report, so I took it to the accountant and closed up and in the lab saw he's printed the latest gangway. I wasn't quite tired enough, but too tired for gym, so I put number stickers on most of the hundreds of new photos, then up on the display as well. Did that, having actually a really nice time, until nigh midnight. Could pretend it's just me, that it's only mine little shop. M2.0 thanked me, exhausted, and wished me goodnight. Drank my Britvic tonic water. Wrote back to My Maja, and this blog, and read The Rum Diaries some more. 

Like I said. A greatling of a day. Bognor was nowhere to be seen. Size of a flea. 

Sitno >>63<<

Nine weeks to go. Still sounds like a million, but time is going fast. I didn't mention my resignation to any of the higher ups again, because DOo writes he might be back after all and I want him to be the one to fire me. 

I was alone in the gallery this morning again, and again I prefered it. But I forgot to check/ask if we are working today again, and so now I have no idea when we are working again... And may be missing my workday entirely. I have, after nine days, finally found a place to skype G and am not leaving.
It actually isn't as easy as it sounds, finding wi-fi in Bordeaux. Sure, the one on the window sill of the Apple, but the other cafes simply don't have it. Finally walked into an Irish pub where an actual Irishman with ginger hair and beard and celtic tattoos, and a waitress with old French hot air baloons tattoed on her forearms helped me log in and allowed me to stay for hours. Granted, I did leave most my fortune hee, eating an expensive cheesecake and drinking one ice-coffee, then eating a chocolate cake with ice-cream and having another ice-coffee... There were mosquitos and moths in the air, and green dense pressure, because it constantly looked like it was going to end in a thunderstorm. Alas, the awfully pressing-down weather continued, not a fresh breeze in sight.
I Skyped until we had nothing left to say or any more buttons of my blouse to undo without provoking morality police, then another hour or two, and I posted Instagram, blogs, letters and backup copies... Forgot the cable for the camera, otherwise I would post even more pickies.... 

If I assumed correctly and I don't have to work today anymore, this should be a nice day. If I misunderstood and I've just incidentally failed to show up at my job... That will shorten my detonator fuse by another half. Dunno. It doesn't matter whether I try or not to do everything right, I always fuck up anyway. So am starting to get back to my optimistically fatalistic self again. Fuck you, Bognor, you cheerful little depression demon. Have a bath in my irish-virgin ice-coffee...

11.1: Spain and France, take two, part one

Sitno >>?<<

Maybe 71.

Shitty poem #108

A man tried to be clever
He said: words were invented for lies
A woman with nothing to prove said:
Words were invented by men to keep up
I will lie to you with a smile
I will lie to you with a look
Heck, I will lie to you by my very presence.
A man will build a whole epic poem
To try to prove his love and devotion
True or pretend as it may be
A woman will listen to it
And by the quality of her lie
In her kiss, smile or silence,
You will know how much she gives a damn.

Turnaround in Southampton.
G's face is getting a bit better, or at least that's how he sounds. The antibiotics seem to have taken effect. If it got just a little worse, they would have to cut his face open and he'd end up with another sexy scar right down the jawline. It's very bright and warm. I am waiting for the day to begin. Some are having breakfast, though most people are disembarking. I'm waiting for three people to come anew: the new videographer, the new manager and the Land Manager, who never responded to my resignation. Am I going home today? Am I staying on till late September? Am I ever working on another ship again? 

Doctor's line of the week (at eight in the morning)
Me: "How are you, doc?"
He: "If I start talking about it, I'll be late for diner."

Still here... I got the English variety of 'fuck you' from LandManager: 'I have to say I am very disappointed. Would you like to leave sooner?'... It is marginally better than being left behind on a dock, sitting on my suitcase in the rain, but we agreed we'll give it the next cruise to make up my mind, see what the new people are like. 
I wish I could say that not knowing each and every cruise whether I'll be fired in the end is unnerving, but... How is that different from what I've been feeling since I arrived?

Of the new people, only the female got on so far. She might have been tired or upset, but she didn't smile much when I waved at her. SLSB is livid, because his replacement hasn't arrived. He didn't even help me with the settings after he told me to shoot the embarcration (haven't ever really done it before, least of all with Mark), he just said: "You know your camera," and walked away. I had to shoot the whole embarcation completely alone. I was scared shitles. Because we hadn't used Canon before, and because my lens is, ironically, a lot better than what we used hitherto, quite a bit of too much of reality may show up on the photos. We sold photos softly focused and light and flattering. Maybe if I shoot them in a much higher iso, I will diminish some of the clarity? Hmm..  I shot them slightly brighter and slightly darker in pairs, hoping to let the new manager decide which he thinks are more usable... Alas. No new manager. 
So, I don't fucking know what to feel or think. 
I know I am nervous. Am gonna go eat something.

Reasons for staying:
Travelling (we'll be going to Hundested again)
The ship is fun
The food is good
I make some money
I get to buy comics
And postcards
May see people like DOo someday again
I get to photograph some amazing stuff
I'm losing weight
Kitchen is not ready yet

Reasons for going home:

Sitno >>70<<

We may be crossing the Bay of Biscay.. The weather seems brilliant and yet we're jumping up and down. No matter. I'm on the pill :p
We are four strangers now: they young and pissed off party girl videographer, the not that bad looking but very quiet and unhappy to be here manager-in-training, the very pleased with himself, bordering on happy camper SLSB and me. I feel older and less intelligent by the minute. Like I've detached from the ship and am having a sleep over in some odd country club, where everyone is either English and rich or Filipino and servant. I should be the CBA party drunk, but there is too much of my father in me. I give a shit. The cutest scene today belonged to a completely new Filipino waitress, whom I said Hello to in the gallery and: Are you very new?... She showed me a pack of seasickness pills in her hands and smiled apologetically: VERY new. 
My Maja finally checked in, though she's pissing me off. She writes she didn't want to send the emails she wrote, because she hates self pity. Well, I fucking hate it when people think all they ever need to write is happy happy stuff. 
Look at me, for fuck'ssakes. I write five-page long blog entries whining about myself EVERY DAY. How is that not pro level self-pity??

Shitty poem #109
Tug apart
The lifestrings of my heart
Will make world easier to weave
Look away 
any other day
As I return myself to me
Who am I to me?..

Self-serving philosophy just before formal:
So who am I today, sitting on this chair of introspection, one floor above the impro studio, five minutes late and two seasickness pills closer to homesickness? World is totally blue. Incredibly rich blue sea, slowly swelling and being pretty with itself, curlying only just a little with the wind. Very few ships or oil rigs interrupt the horizon. The sky is the palest torquise at the horizon, sunburnt in the midriff and viole(n)t cobolt at the top. The curtains are still blue, the seats and the tinted windows. I am dressed in black and my iPad cover is green. We are the pretenders. 

... I should think, though, that the thing that bothers me the most is that a little while ago I ate a gluten-free sandwich with very thin slices of beef which was deliberately very underdone. Though delicious in itself, the thought of me eating raw meet disturbs me. It feels savage and wrong. I just can't stop thinking about it. Rich people problems, I know. Looks like the day's been good. 

Sitno >>69<<

Second of the three sea days. Not sure, maybe because SLSB and FPP set up such high standards, the new teammates seem kind of ... Lame, almost. The video girl, whom we shall call, let's see... 2C4S, is beyond bothering with anything. She is too young, too cute, too rich and too posh to be anything but bored, (if you ask her), lying on the counter, staying out very late, sleeping in very late, hating having to be here, too bored to talk to anyone, too CBA even to do what she's here to do, which is video... In three days she managed a really crappy five minute preview. The shoppies and I stood and watched it and thought... Yikes. That is REALLY bad. But I know. I was her three months ago. She's new to the ship. Her photos are awful, pretty much same as mine were when I arrived, except that she has a university degree in photography and has three years ship experience... If I try to say 'this is how we did it...' in best case I get a snarl: Don't talk to me like that in front of customers. Of course SLSB said the same to her as he did to me: 'Nobody will judge you the first day... ' Meant it, too. 
It took me T H I S much willpower not to say: Except that part when you write to LandManager to have her replaced...
In the room, the extend of our conversations go like this:
She complains: "The food on this ship is crap."
... "This room stinks."
... "Whose suitcase is that?"
... "Oh, I've never really had to sleep on the top bunk before.”
And I mostly just go "Er..."

But poor SLSB is trying hard to turn the keys to the kingdom over to the new manager, he even went to the hairdresser and tried to get himself a much cooler new haircut. (Tried his best.) Walks around without his jacket on, his tiny chicken chest thrust out. Problem is, the new manager is also from the same country and also of small stature, but handsome, easy going and kind of cool. I haven't seen him perform yet, or lose temper, but so far he is shy, polite, friendly and easy to talk to. I have no doubt we will clash at some point, or he will fail to make some kind of goal. So far, he is okay. So SLSB is trying desperately to be okay to the new girl, too. To me, he is milking the last days we have together for all they are worth. A serpent biting you over and over again would be more tender. And the cutest part, I really find myself on full-blown Stockholm syndrome about him. When the new girl chuckled: 'THIS is the packages you have? How do ever make any money?'
My first thought was: How DARE you question the all-knowing-ness of my SLSB??

Course 2C4S's former manager, who is probably why she was banished here, hit her a little. Or it was because she is really crappy. Dunno yet. Depends whom you ask. Literally backslapped her biceps during an argument, in public, she says. So my decision to leave the agency was not a bad one. There are some frightful managers here. Anyhoo. I won't make this blog about them, picking at whatever negative features they may posess. Ships in the night, the lot of them. I have loveletters, postcards and slopchest lists to write (Britvic tonic will serve me well here, when it'll be so hot, and hopefully this roomate won't drink all of it..) and gangways to figure out. I don't know if I should try to do things the way SLSB did them. Maybe they sold more than mine or maybe they didn't. But I don't think it was the density of the pics, I think it might have been the framing... Mind, he did all his framing in post-production and I am not allowed to do that, so... Fuck it. 68 days to go. Five more cruises. I can do this. I am good at this shit. 

Ate a really nice fruit salad for diner today. Wore a size 14 blouse, too, which still looks like it may explode on me. I HAVE been blessed with amazing breasts - the thinner I get, the more huge they seem. I appear bizzarely disproportionate. I have gone from the obese numbers and am now simply fat: big tummy and fat arms, the rest kind of normal. Fleshy. My hips are unusually small for a chubby girl, and so is my head, but the boobs and tummy are huge. Now imagine all that in a tight synthetic uniform :D It frightens small children around the ship. :p

Sitno >>68<<

Watched a lady knit while looking at the ocean all morning. Most tranquil thing I have ever seen, involving humans, oceans and knitting.
Involving the rest of creation, am just reading about Seven Sisters by way of Bryson... And I have to stop reading about land travel and trekking and hiking, I am not a fucking Hobbit these days, I am a pirate wanna-be. Of all the books in all my drawers and wardrobes and shelves, I have none that wouldn't involve things I cannot have at the moment? Come on! 
... Am tempted to start writing Dread, now that my mind is oddly calm, and idle. The part that's taking place on a ship. Reasons against: may be rude to start a new book before the old one is printed... And I never know when my mind may go to use the bathroom again... And I don't trust machinery enough to write ten pages of a novel and have no way of securing it... 

Other than that... Bognor is the size of a wallnut today. Holding desperately onto my sock as I stride around. He dares not sleep, knowing I can switch to desperate depression at a whim, but his size, that is out of his command and today, for all his livelyness, he is tiny. 
Now let me read something else. Anything else. 

Haha, Larry the Mess Keeper told us (and acted) such a cute Drill story today :D They staged a fire simulation in his cabin without warning, so there he is, just getting ready for work, getting out of a shower, when the Fire Team breaks in and yells him out, emergency-like. He is wearing but a small towel. What is he suppose to do? Where is he suppose to go? ... So that's how we had naked Larry (and he is not at all bad-looking, one of those single young men who think every available free hour spent in the gym will bring him closer to a woman's embrace) hiding on Deck 4 corridor for about half an hour :D

Sitno >>68<<

I walked onto the topmost deck today at seven (the first thing to do was get my white blouse dirty, as the ship is covered in some yellow dust deal, mixed with rain), into a world of total Amazon. Greenish brown soup of a river, the air so dense it was only a matter of hours before someone announced CodeAlpha, storm clouds only marginally more dark gray than the thick haze parked across the plain, the rain random and very hot, flies, dragonflies and mosquitos everywhere, the smells pugnant and abundant and very, very warm.
I love it.

We've passed the lock, which 2C4S didn't bother to get up to film, and are now sliding down the channel into the city. There was that pretty three-wing bridge opening and half the ship out on the deck looking at it. Neup, didn't bother to film that either. Arrival to the city. Neup. SLSB came to me to say how pissed the Captain is because she was not on the bridge for the Sail-in and after I woke her up, she said: fuck him, nobody told me and when I shoot the Sail-in it will be on a nice day. 

The new manager scheduled me for the gangway for three hours; we'll see how that works out. I don't care anymore, really. We talked about the black-and-white photography session that's been promised to us and never happened, and what sort of people would be cool for Seascape, if we dared ask... When we talked about traveling and I mentioned I hitchhiked pennyless across a desert once, 2C4S happily cried: Oh, were you homeless?!
No, I did it because I liked it.
The ship doctor reacted similarly when I told him I've resigned.
"Excuse me? You resigned? What will you do now?"
"I'll do the same thing, just on land."
"Is your husband employed?"
"Sure, he is a controller of the city post-office. He's a logistics's engineer and is studying to become a security engineer, a detective."
"Then why the hell are you here?"
Well... Because... i LIKE it? 
Why is that so hard for people to comprehend? That someone does something because it's fun? 

Doctor is a cool guy, though. He acts, oftentimes, like he is really fed up with everybody seeking medical attention, and if you're in need of it he will tell you to quit fucking around - but he will never let you sink into harm in a million years and will double-check everything that's possibly wrong with you.
I know, because after the three hours of gangway in 40'C today, sizzling Seville, I don't remember much of what happened next. I know I came to in the medical center while he was snarling at the world in general, saying, in juicy Croatin: ”I can't fucking sleep because of you, I will fucking kill you and your whole fucking photo department. All you cause me is problems."
How the heck they carried me into the ship or who has my camera, I have no idea. Supposedly it's okay. SLSB seemed worried - the first thing he said was: But you had break at eleven, no, we check security. You had break. You told doctor you had break at eleven, no? 
I vaguely remember him saying, over a crowd of ten or so people who grouped around me when I was on the ground: But the groups stopped at eleven thirty, why are you still here? She is confused. The groups stopped at eleven thirty. I don't know why she still here.
... Because the schedule on the wall says from 10:30 - 13:30 and the last time I walked in in the middle of my gangway to get some warm coffee, because I was freezing, you nearly murdered me for missing ten people? 
The scary nurse made me eat jelly and ice-cream and gave me electrolites to drink. I didn't have a stroke, my body temperature and pressure returned to perfectly normal after half an hour of hydration and hugging a wet towel full of ice. I remember those ice blocks. My roomie left them in the shower once. So she suffered a near-heat-stroke as well, not too long? Is that what the doctor meant? 
I know what you're thinking. I'm a desert person. I should know how to take care of myself. Like, here is a list of things you don't do in 40'C at NOON:
Wear uncomfortable (and plenty) of synthetic clothing (check)
Stand, (yet alone dance around customers), in the sun for three hours (check)
Fail to eat, drink or get enough shaddow (check)
Breathe air that is more water than oxygen in abnormall low air pressure... (Check)

What you SHOULD do is sit down in shade and cold until you feel the sickness passing (neup. I thought it would pass. Looks like I did sooner.) The doctor said: Look at me. You are not hot any longer. This room is nicely cool. Breathe normally. Drink slowly. What is your real name, by the way? I'm sorry, I know I keep calling you Mojca.

(Mojca is a pretty little girl from a fantasy black-and-white movie famous in my country back in the day.)

I'll sleep until five, then will drink and eat something again. I have to send a text to G so he won't be worried, but will try to skip the near-heat stroke bit and say I just got a little warm. 
Here's a fitting poem: 

Today I will shower
For five, six, eight fucking hours.


Friday, 15 July 2016

10.2 - Shetland and Ireland and the rest of 'where the fuck am I?'.. Part two.

Sitno possibly >>73<< but we'll see how the tides turn...

Been awfully quiet since I submitted my resignation forms to Hotz. I'm placing bets with everybody, will they try to ignore me surrender or will they throw me off the ship come Southampton. Should be interestng either way, as I have no money at all. LandManager didn't reply my email. Nobody said anything. Haven't had the resignation interview yet. SLSB is acting like my bestest friend ever, and not just mine. He is cheerfully chatting with the customers, he is cheerfully chatting with the other shoppies... He came by the bazaar yesterday and asked: "You had breakfast? Also coffee? You need fifteen minutes?..." 

... O.o ...

I really wonder if he knew all this time how foul he was towards me. Or did he think that's how normal people interact? No, I'm being ironic. Of course he knew. When I said 'man, you tried to get me fired the second day I was here, when you should have been mentoring and protecting me...' he said: 'That? But that was ages ago!'...

The Shetland Isles were wonderful. As cold, bleak and barren as my soul. Bognor jumped around as happy as a pegasus. We drove to an archaeological site called... Jarlshof or something, which was exactly like Skara Brae, only it wasn't abandoned and conserved, it was recycled over and over again and half of it was eaten away by the sea. If there were no people, I would have started screaming, because I couldn't find any other way to express myself. Poetry wouldn't be sufficient. But there were many people and also ponies and those wouldn't understand a woman shouting at a sea in the fog. They would think there's something wrong.

We had a sea day in between the ports. Didn't eat, but forgot to drink as well, and took a pill for what I thought were period cramps. Mental note, when you forget to drink and take a painkiller, don't be surprised when the pill wanes and your head nearly falls off. I sucked a water bottle dry.

Went to a cheap shop to buy some clothes, but ended up only buying undies and socks. Dublin is the same as I remember it and I remember it really well. What's it been, twelve years? Even found the bookstore and the museums I hid in, after Afrika. Managed to hop onto a tour that took me to Trinity College to see Book of Kells or faksimile thereof, as I always doubt originals are actually displayed, that would be crazy. No matter. Mesmerizing stuff either way. Their library is what Dream God's Heaven looks like - I know, I visit it often, to talk to the tomes and frottage their spines. Took a pic of a poem by a monk who wrote about his cat companion, chasing the mice around at night, while he chases the darkness away by making illuminated initials... 

Found a neat cafe to Skype G, but as most of everything around here, it closed in half an hour, at five. Sought several other possibilities, until I walked into a REAALLLY posh hotel, concierge dressed like Neo in the Matrix, shaved head, hitman features, skylight, tea at five euro starting price...  - with perfect wifi and very nice eastern European waitresses and Filipino toilet cleaner. Damn. Deja vu! Stayed here for hours. The General still has toothache, but he is already making plans on how to get me home as soon as possible, and how to never let me work on any ship ever again. He said he's only just gotten used to not having me next to him; he is not interested in repeating that process again in a hurry...

Off to seek a comic book store if there are any opened, to see if I can spend my last few bucks on another horror neo noir american gothic comic novel...
Wau, that was a mouthful...

Sitno >>72?<<

Liverpool. Sunny! And freaking freezing! Shot gangway, best I could in sunny-cloudy intervals, then put on leggings and wooly cap and marched off into the wild wild world to find a comicbook store a shippie fellow recommended.. Found a quirky shop that sells old suitcases, though luckily didn't have enough money :D Bough: the new Sandman, Wytches, The Beauty and Twice Told, volume two.. Then checked out the shell of St.Luke's church, tried on some black bob wigs and found an Italian cafe that makes me feel like I'm still in Ireland. Skyped my beloved toothached darling until he passed out. He is starving. How fucking hard is it to make a smoothie, people? Just stuff all the bananas, honey, granola and chocolate ice-cream into a blender, and it should be liquid Flapjack in no time... 
I still have a few pounds in my pocket... Lemme see how much that old suitcase actually was...

Sitno >>71?<

I think sometimes Bognor gets so large he fills up the entire shell of the ship and begins to resemble the shape of the Gem itself.. That is what I thought I saw today, when I was coming back to the quay.

Because Crazy Russian Safety Officer Guy likes his drills long and smack in the middle of free time, there wasn't much of actual free time left to explore Rosslare. I had my eye on an old Irish open air museum, alas. As soon as I got off, dressed for winter (gangway was so cold I needed parka and was still frozen stiff, and wind so horizontal and en-face, tears were streaking down my face.), the welcoming comitee gave me free postcards, strawberries, a pen and promised they will post what I write free of charge... i wrote down the entire list of my people, sending out some fifteen or twenty cards. Sent four or five to poor G, who required dental surgery and had to have three of his teeth removed and was so out of it, he barely sounded coherent when I phoned to see if he's okay. Since he ismine, that man is an extremist. He doesn't just have a toothache, he has a dental landslide.

Found a forlorn beach, laid down in the sand and listened to the sea foam bubbles hiss as they seeped into the sand, kids play in the distance, a tiny dog coming to sniff me happily and then running off again, and ravens pick the seaweed, which looked so big and fleshy I am now sure those can't be animals, but they are not exactly plants either... We brought some Scottish weather with us, though it cleared anough to let some sun through on me. I thought of nothing, I was almost nothing, just a speck of dirt on flawlessly systemic creation, just a purple parka in the middle of primary colors elements, mighty for being aware of it and tiny for being there for only an hour, leaving nothing behind, not even my story. While the Reality was horrid because people did terrible things to other people, I cloaked myself in one of those: "... See the world in a grain of sand, and eternity in an hour...."

It would have been so easy to let go. If only the Gem was not what stands between my love and me... I was our penultimate port of call, maiden as it was, and the welcome comitte was just preparing to send us off with an Irish band music. I could hear them tuning in the wind. We have formal tonight, and need to set up sooner, because Captain is bringing his family to be photographed... I hid behind SLSB to play the photographer in this case. I can't make such photos of the people I know. I can't do them they way I think people deserve, so I won't be the one making them. I am peefectly happy taking pics of giant gellyfish corpses and my own feet, bare in the sand.

I wrote down the conversation Kay has with Goose as he is dying, about how easily art can be saved. How it has actually saved itself already, and the artists with it. Look. Can you see it? It's as plain as day. I know it feels like we are all temple-keepers of St.Luke's in Liverpool, but look. It was right THERE all along, the good answer.

I ate more strawberries, wholewheat bread with dry goat cheese and chutney, and home made apple juice, offered by the locals. Thank you, ship, for bringing me to these places. I forgive you for putting me through hell in your entrails. But thank you for middays like today. Mum asked me how this cruise was. It was perfect. 

I can tell you about the future, too. My future is like a bit of breat being torn off for a bite. Let's see. Tonight the band will say goodbye by playing me 20 minutes slow jam called Nina's Blues and tomorrow, in the tiny town of Falmouth I will find another waterfront cafe with the menus written in chalk, owned by a beautiful woman, who will serve me coffee in a bucket, play for me some easy corner radio music that can't be identified, or Shazzamed, and I will go out to find handmade postcards. I'll buy butter shortbread and hide in a seaman's mission until it stops raining. I'll check the bus timetables to Paris and tell the General to go fuck himself for not telling me how much pain he's in. At some point I will stop in my tracks, between what's coming and what's been, between a bookstore and a castle, between a train station and a ship, my pockets full of town maps and sea shells, and I will feel everything at once all over again. 

Do you have any idea
How hard it is
To re-assemble my corporeal being
From grains of glassy sand
And tiny shards of crushed seashells
The carnivore seaweed
And pizza plate sized jellyfish corpses
The comuli clouds on my sky
The grass that would cut through my jeggings
The tiny dog in a bowtie hairclip
that came to sniff me
The laughter of kids in swimtrunks in the distance
The ravens picking on crab pincers
A random condom tangled in driftwood
The sound of none of my thoughts
The smell of the world in the wind
The nobody that I find myself almostbbeing
Consciousness that I needn't harness
A heart designed to beat a hundred
The brain eighty
And the teeth to grind for fifty years
To unstuck myself from the planet
Get up, get the windbreaker on
Beat the sand off the camera bag
Put on the cap, shake the shoes
Walk back to the quay
To the coffin of salty iron
That is my ship?
Every cell in my body is glued to a silt grain.
Do you have any idea how much
Of willpower it takes to become me again?

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

10.1 Shetland and Ireland and other cool British stuff...

Sitno >>155<<

Southampton, turnaround, breakfast. Off day, so had four croissonts, apple juice and Nutella (since I didn't really have any lunch or any dinner yesterday, just a fruit salad for supper and some chocolate and tonic when I was too hungry to fall asleep :p) Reading a little bit of Wild, because miss hiking. Keep thinking which avenue of approach to take to convince the General to do the Appalachian or PCT or Santiago de Compostella walkabouts with me... I don't really care which one, as long as I can spend a few months walking and staring at green.. Though I would maybe kind of prefer for it to be warm... And without grizzlies. 
Compostella it is, then. :D
I just realised that Larry the Officer Mess Keeper calls SLSB 'sir'.
'How are you this mornig, sir?'
On a much happier subject, I also realised that the reason why the General isn't too keen on bringing my family to the port in autumn, to see my ship and me, has nothing to do with logistics or weather. 
He simply does not want to share me..
This just made me learn there is another level of which one can be in love with their husband. I stared at myself in the bathroom mirror, looking much smaller now, I mean a lot thinner, thinking what could I possibly do for our date to make me the utmost attractive... Dye my hair golden blonde? Wear a playfull, long summer dress? Heels? A beautiful hat? He probably won't recognize me, or even like me in the long run, since it is the gritty bubbly trooper he married, but for that one date? I desperately want to seduce him, want him to gawk when heb meets this extraordinary woman he's only been corresponding and Skyping with for so long. You know? You don't often get a second chance at a first impression. 

That said, there are a lot of peroxyde blondes on this ship - and only one flaming redhead.
..Off to photograph the shopwindow display of the Ikea kitchen he's been renovating for me.. 

Got it, got the kitchen. Will sketch and measure and count everything, including the Pantone code for the color.. Am leaning towards Pine Green or Artichoke.. Called mum and dad, who miss me too much and really need to learn about Skype, otherwise we'll leave most of my salary to the phone company. Dad always gets tearful when I am describing the magnificent cities I travel to and he is proud of my viewpoints and a sense of taking it all in, my inherited veganon's soul... Mum's just proud she can use ShipLocator and GoogleMaps and Instagram.

Embarcation went through. Odd crowd, though. In retrospect I shouldn't have said that to the visiting Land Manager, when he asked how is the embarcation going. I said: "Pathetic. Miserable, cheap, rude people. The usual, then." I should have remembered he doesn't care about honesty. Only people that matter are the likes of SLSB, who regardless of how hard the job is, how many people are nasty or all-inclusive, know how to get money out of them. And that's not me.

One of the female pax tried to hit a small room stewardess, thinking it was me. (I invite the lot to pose for SLSB taking the shots and when my roomie was doing the video footage and the stewardess was inviting the people inside, the woman swung at her.) 

Am looking forward to this cruise, especially the north. With a little luck it will be bleak and drizzly, same as it was in the time of Vikings :D

Sitno >>154<<

Ate too much last night, spent a lot of time in the bathroom as consequence. Cleared a whole new level of Vegetables Vs. zombies, as the English call my favorite toilet-time game. It's a sea day today, so am not gonna eat anything and drink only a little. Learnt that is the surest way not to get queasy at the of worst times: first formal tonight. Should be interesting. But there are going to be a lot of ports this cruise. I have to ask how SLSB wants me to take the pics, as we continue to get complaints of my pushyness... I already cannot think of a way to be less intrusive. So what do I do? Diminish the rollcount and just take couples? People still come to see them the next day and say 'oh, that's not half bad that is. I'll have it...' Hm. 
Well, he's the boss, let him make that call. 


Poor burnt down sister ship, it just isn't its season. They have less than a week to fix their wiring if they are to embark on their Arctic, most profitable of cruises, with three millions worth of pre-sold seats. And it doesn't look good. They were planning on dry-docking it for a month to elevate its rating to five stars in November, which considering the clientelle seems highly unlikely. Our LandManager, having failed to persuade anyone else to come to this ship, is lending us their photo manager and their videographer come next turnaround, or so I'm told. That'll be, what, the third or fourth option by now? He is sending a newbie there instead, an unusual executive decision. And remember the jeweler from a couple of months ago, who was all wise and telling us how to make money? I overheard the shop department talking how they are getting the jeweler who hasn't made any decent money in eons (if you ask her it was everybody else's fault) and we ourselves haven't made target in a while. That is also everybody else's fault. There are indeed funny pax this cruise, and I don't mean in a giggly way. A man attempted to provoke first, then humiliate me in front of his parents, which were too old to truly understand what was happening. They were embarassed later and bought the ohotos. I apologized for the inconvenience of having tried to photograph them, thanked them and moved on. He was the kind of person who would abuse a woman in front of his family and then say something like: 'I can get you fired if I want.' Yes, sir, I know. You and everyone else. 

While I stood outside the restaurant, waiting for the second sitting to end, the old doctor came out, swearing like only a Croatian man can swear and which cannot even be translated into English with enough juice to it. Something like: Fuck these cunts, eh, my gold? (My gold is a way of calling someone my darling in Croatian, but simultaneously calling them your child.) We looked at one another and couldn't decide if this is a crying or laughing matter. I cannot tell if the world has always been like this or is it getting worse. I think it has always been like this, I was just a little small at first, and only noticed things close to the floor..
Over a meal, the doctor and another excursions woman from Croacia were discussing the shithole that Sri Lanka is. Not compared to India, compared to India it's paradise, The Beach and all that, but the doctor said that when he was there, they tried to sell him a three year old girl for 5000 dollars. Not in the adoptive sense. They scouted for excursion locations and came upon a small camp where people came at them with machettes. They said that if people come on ships to this shores by day, it may be okay. But there were people who came after sundown. Three people. They are still here, in those little piles behind the sheds in the ground. Problem being that people come to these villages to snatch people for organ harvesting. So, no to Sri Lanka for a decade or so. The doctor said how the scouting party he was a part of explained how they have to go make pancakes on the ship and will be right back.. You can imagine the speed of which they raised the anchor...

The captain is making his utmost effort to be talked about across the ship. On turnaround day he pushed a pram all around the ship, from the mess to the gangway decks so that everyone could see his baby and all the women were going 'ooh, what an adorable baby booooyy!..' He took photos with the dancers and today, while I was portraying a woman in her formal gown, he jumped in on the shoot, grabbed her and demanded I take them together. Now I have a bunch of photos of a very large man smelling of cigarettes embracing a very uncomfortable looking (good looking) woman in her fifties, who did her best to smile and generally failed. Old ladies, who tend to swoon over tall men in fancy uniforms, asked me if I would like to be on a photo embraced by the captain as well. 
I conjure the same expression I make an efford to put on when someone mentiones royalty. Did you know prince that and that was there and there that day?.. 
No, I did not know that. Do you know that when I first arrived for a couple of days I had nothing but lettuce for lunch?

I couldn't sleep tonight, even if I wanted to, as there is a party going on in the Crew Dayroom. There is pretty much a party going on in Crew Dayroom every night. It is no wonder why people on ships like these drink every night. I tried going to the gym until 1am in hopes they'll grow tired until, but they're still blasting. I bumped into the current Chief on my way down the steps to deck 1, who laughed it's too crowded for him. He was optimistically in his formal uniform. He clearly hasn't gone to many crew parties before. But at least they're playing 80's disco and rock, which isn't so bad. I grew up on that music. I'll just shower and grab a book and read until either them or I pass out. 

Sitno >>153<< hmmmm....

Been an unusually good morning... I mean it's nine, the day hasn't really had time to find anyone to fuck me over yet, but that considering, it's been a really nice day so far. It's even clearing up, stopped drizzling and big white puffy clouds are letting through some azure sky and sunshine. Seaguls and ravens are circling a cool looking Scottish town. Dundee. While shooting gangway, one of the deck cadets explained that we have an osmosis machine on board - a machine that is turning sea water into fresh water as we move! .. I did not know that! That shit is awesome! Supposedly subs use it as well, so there goes my favorite irony: to die of thirst on a submarine... 

I ate two breakfasts, my usual oatmeal and apple at seven and at half past nine my first French toast (puffy and with cinnamon, my goodness...) and a tiny sandwich with a lot of wallnuts and pineapple on the side .. Also drank like a camel, as I hardly drank anything yesterday and spent an hour sweating in the gym. Was too tired in the gym, though, my heart wasn't in it. I just moved from one bizarre aparatus to the next, hoping to get my body somewhat less petrified and my joints any-what lubricated. Which I did, I feel better now.
SLSB is on to me. He noticed that when I photograph people with one light turned off, I do that purposefully... I did so to Rog last night, a guy who works here and is kind of nice to everyone... Rog is okay. Was hoping to get a good photo of him. Normally we are never to format the card before the next day, but, you guessed it, when I picked up the card, it was completely wiped out. That's tricky, considering he may still need the photos of the first formal should the computer fail again. But I am sure he would find a way to blame me.. SLSB cannot abide the concept of anyone taking portraits without the intention of charging for them. It upsets him like the idea of peaceful existance upset Achilles. Minus the stuff of legend stuff. SLSB is as nameless and smallminded as can be. I've spent every day with that man for three months and I still cannot for the life of me remember his last name. In three months he has only spoken to me once. 
Out of curiosity, passed the gallery this morning and all of my yesterday's photos were... Freaking perfect. Every single one. Perfectly framed. Perfectly lit. Perfectly toned. Skin tones: flawless. Accidental tilts: gone. Composition: ideal. Backgrounds... picturesque.
I stood in the hallway blinking at them dumbfounded. The Crazy Russian Safety Officer Guy came by and looked at what I am looking at. I said: "They are excellent, every single one. He has never developed them well before, he always makes sure they are awful. I used the exact same settings as every time. Can you see? They're GOOD. It's scary."
"Ah, I see. Yoo have some tenshion in yoor deepartment."
"Every department has stuff going on."
"Yis. I also had some things go on this morning."
"Happens, unavoidably. Wanna go to the gym and have a fist fight?"
"That akchually sounds like good idea."

We had a cool Chemicals Safety Ed yesterday. He talks fast and in a heavy accent, but as a fellow Slav I can understand him perfectly and he's funny.
"What happenz if yoo mix acids and alcalis, eh? How yoo go home? Hm? How? Best case scenareeo is fire. Worst case, how yoo go home? In a box. What happenz if you drop *something something in a pool of something? Usee common senz. How yoo go home?"
Everybody: In a box.
"What happenz if you (mix something something with something) .. How yoo go home?"
Everybody: In a box.
"What happens if you smoke in the room where we have grease cutters? How yoo go home?"
"In a box."
"No. In ashtray."

Decided to use my free, limbo time (had to shoot at eight and will have to shoot again at twelve.. You know, so there is no virtual chance of me going to town to Skype..) to try my luck with the tailor. I walked down with my size 20 skirt which I never wore, to beg for a size 14, or 16 or 12. He was actually in a good mood. He looked at me and said 'U size 12, no?' And tossed me a 14 and a 12, which I managed to get in quite easily, though it is rather tight if I sit down and drink half a gallon of my watered down coffee. No worries. Give me another week. Now all I have to figure out is how to get my size 14 shirt around my size 14 torso and size 24 breasts.  
On minus side, one of my ears feels slightly heavy, hurting if I put in the iPod earphone, and my port side (left) thumb hurts. Standing in freezing and windy cold for a few hours will do that to you. I always worry something will get inflamed, some tendon or some small bone. The ears I don't worry about, I can work with oily ears. But an inflamation of a metacarpal from having spent two hours photographing and eight hours selling the pics, that would be a bitch.

Okay. Had my fourth coffee. I am prepared for the day to get worse at any moment. Ready and armed. The idea pf osmosis machine just made my morning, so let's see what direction the blow will come.

Ha! Ha ha. Yes. A blow came indeed. Of course it did. 
For a moment there, the world got even better. My shoppie bossom buddie and I offed to explore, it was sunny and warm and beautiful. We loved the town. Everyone spoke in the most sexy Scottish accent and the street bums played the pipes while begging for coins. I got THIS close to buying a two foot BB-8 toy for 40 pounds. But I know myself, so I only had ten in my wallet. But next we went into a comic book store and after I made all kinds of crazy noises at the new titles (”I've been completely out of Reality for three months! Look at all this stuff! I don't even know if Gaiman finished his fucking latest Sandman or not, and look at all the new Saga! Nailbiter! Wytches! Still at the volume 1! And what is this?! Beauty? Holy fuck, this shit looks amazing!..." I also started breathing heavily over anime posters, mainly pretty much everything to do with Attack on Titan. (Why hello there, Levi, it's nice to see you again.. Haven't had sexy thoughts about you for a long while..)
The delightful young thing behind the counter, who turned out to be the owner of the store, came to life listening to me and totally explained all the good stuff of the Horror genre. We established I have just enough money for a single volume and she decided that should be Revival, since I have not read that before. Seriously, though, if I brought my whole salary along, this is where I would leave it. We exchanged our contacts and Podcast recommendations and I left high as a kite on soumateship.

Then it came, the blow. I found wifi and opened my email and in it a letter from the LandManager. Here, I'll copy-paste it:
I feel compelled to say how disappointed I was with your comments when I introduced you to our new Video Operator for Black Watch on Wednesday.
I have always offered you support, listened to your concerns and given you regular opportunities to talk to me.
Your comments and use of expletives are both unwelcome and unnecessary in that situation.
If you wish to vent your frustrations to me in future, please do so in private.

That felt like being punched in the gut, even though I pretty much knew why he was lashing out: I think I may have spooked the newbie he was training. He couldn't afford to lose anyone anymore and he was going to throw another one to the wolves and I might have gotten in the way of that a little bit. I wrote back I should have mayhap kept my grace and not tried to help, coming off as robust and too direct for an English taste, even if I only wanted her to understand the first month is the worst and if she feels like there is something wrong with her for feeling awful, it isn't and it passes. 

It still felt like having the rug pulled out from under me, now finally abandoned also by the LandManager, whom I felt gratitude towards until now, and compassion for he has a lot on his plate. That's over. But I called the General and suddenly the acidic tears that kept boiling from my tired eyes hit all the right chain links and the chains on me began giving. The General said: just come home. I said I want to make another grand to pay for his Detective's exam. He said: ye, okay, if you want, but as soon as you do that, just come home.

Bognor was the size of a pug when I marched cheerfully, begining to feel finally liberated, back to the ship. 
The countdown to the end of my sentence is now going to alter a little bit. I'll count it somewhat differently for a little while. 

Sitno >>152<< or >>75<< or <>1000-140<>

I took half of an anti-depression pill (I ownly have the one, so didn't want to waste all of it) today, because I couldn't stop crying during gangway and didn't want to do anything rash or stupid if I reached the end of my fuse. It was painfully cold, windy and cloudy, and the people continued to treat me horribly. It really hurts to try and do your job while an endless procession of rich old strangers spits insults at you:
"Sir, may I take your photo?"
"No, get lost."
"Hello, madam, would you like me to take your photo?"
"Oh, you're not getting my money."
"Good morning sir, madam, will you stand together for a nice photo?"
"Not you again. Can't you find a proper job?"...

After a hundred people say such things to you on such a day, you can't really stopy crying anymore. The Crazy Russian Safety Officer came by and he has this way of standing with his face really close to yours, with large dangerous green eyes and those Arnold Vosloo features. He kept wiping the tears off my cheeks, but like they were something bothering him, not like he actually wanted to be gentle. I mean he was, he was making an effort to save me from caving in, he just did it in a way a cookie thumper would. I said to him: "This job is SOULCRUSHING. I stand for hours in the wind, in the rain, treated like bird shit, and then I stand for six hours more in the gallery"... , trying to sell them to people who call them 'disgusting' 'terrible' 'awful' and 'we're not impresed. I wouldn't pay you sixty pence for these, yet alone six pounds.'... And I make 800 pounds a month. For what? 

Like the Seascape guy a few months, he told me that I signed a contract and now I need to arrange myself to commit to it, to live up to it and not think like a quitter. Because yes, I was frightfully close - one more argument close, in fact - to quitting today. I just want to go home. 
But I promised myself not to make any giving-in decisions on rainy days, before I had coffee and before the new manager arrives. 
Oh, don't know if I mentioned: that third option, from the burnt down sister ship, who was supposed to replace the guy who was replacing the guy who was replacing SLSB, he denied, too. We are now getting possibily no.4. 

I turned around to look at the Ingvergordon dock, full of spare parts for the oil rigs, and there was Bognor, the size of a mountain. But sleeping. Hermes did his best to help by stopping the winds and we have a whole new shipment of chocolates at the bar, so a whole new array of gastric gems I haven't sampled before... 

You wouldn't believe me if I told you I am posting this from a Seaman's mission which is INSIDE a church WHILE someone is playing the organ. Unreal. 

The church folk also gave me a hand knitted wooly cap. They were handing them out to the lot. But it came very useful, because this place is FREEZING. I took a Bryson from their free-to-take shelves, went to the first art market, bought a beautiful photo of the green lights which can at times be visible around here, went to the second art market and bought a sterling silver pendant of a tree, then went to their tiny museum of local naval and medical history, where they gave me a list of rules for schoolteachers, such as having to wear AT LEAST two pettycoats and never loiter in places such as ice-cream parlors, yet alone never ever dying their hair... 
Guess the rules haven't changed all that much since. We have a rule list similar. Our underwear has to be appropriate so as not to deviate from the uniform (solved that problem nicely, unless I have to climb into another life boat), our hair must be a natural color, we have to be groomed (i.e. shaved to the gills), we cannot walk around with a drink in our hands, we cannot sit down to watch a show or at the Observatory deck... 
I went to the afternoon tea serving at the buffet and started reading The Revival, which is as spooky and gruesome as I need it to be... That feeling, when I look up from the pages, my bone marrow creeped out of it's frame, and realize I am actually having coffee and cake in a room full of people I don't care very much about ... Those are the good literary stuff moments. 
Course it's not true, either. I do care for these people. I cry over these people. Every cruise I choose a favorite and this cruise it's an old lady with a mind of a child that I cry at the very thought of. She would spend ten minutes showing me the photo of her with the captain, so proud. So proud. Because I took the time to admire it, she would come back for another fifteen minutes of showing me a photo she took of the sunset. She is so cheerfull, so happy, her wit is so pure and simple, I am humbled to my knees with shame of dreading them. I want to know more people like that. I want to BE more people like that. 
I have to be better than that. I need more strenght. The pill I took, that makes me feel like I have a soft warm baloon tied to the back of chest and it's lifting me out of the gutter, but it is not saving me from the rest of my spirit seeping through my fingers like wet sand. 
I need to be stronger.
I need to stop sinking.
The cavern of my chest cannot be filled with empty villages in the rain and bitter strangers whose stories I am deaf to purposefully, awere all they do is lash out... 
Wake up, heart, come on. You'll be seeing me again very soon, so cheer up. Come on. Cheer up. Go out into the rain and take a photo of a behemoth oil rig. It took them ages to build it this close to your ship, just for you. 

Sitno >>?<<

No, fuck it. SLSB repremanded me for coming in a minute too late. He saw me taking photos of the pipers band as the ship was leaving the quey. How dare I. .. Not two, not three. A minute. He said: from now on you come to work fifteen minutes before the hour.

Fuck this shit. I can't breathe like this. And the best part, when I said I am resigning, he said: "But why? I am leaving. You will not have problems after anymore..." 
Yes, thank you for admiting, but my soul is caving in. 

He refused to let me use the net to contact the LandManager, so I sought out the Hotel Manager and I asked him to print me out a resignation papers. Two pens failed me while I was filling out the form. Sorry, Triton, I know you will miss me. But this job was soulcrushing. 

I will be back. Unless they strand me out of spite, I still have two months to work anyway. But I will be back. Possibly as a librarian.