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5th August, 2014


Dinner was a relaxed and very pleasant affair up in our East to West restaurant, my special guest coming along with her PA, while I had Len, our Chief Engineer for ‘moral support’. Honor Blackman has lost none of her lovely personality with the coming of the years and we chatted away quite easily, and somewhat closely, as she did quietly say to me before we sat down that she was a ‘bit Mutt 'n' Jeff’, and that did make me smile. Cruise Director Matthew is very much hoping he will be able to have a ‘Q & A’ with her on stage in a few nights time when a ‘James Bond evening’ will be held in the Britannia Lounge, I did ask whether she might be wearing something black, ‘That’s my secret’ came the reply, with a slight smile of course. I think I may becoming infatuated.

We left Stockholm the following evening and headed off down the familiar track to Helsinki, here the local shore excursion agent remarked that, weather wise, they were about to break an all-time record. It was warm, very warm, most unusual and when I mentioned to the pilot on departure that the last time I could remember such prolonged good weather was 2002, he said ‘Yes, and the following winter was one of the worst on record, with the harbour completely frozen over’. Probably a good idea it’s not on our next winter itinerary then.

The call was only for six hours, even so, for much of that time the ship was just about empty of passengers, who all went off touring or onto the shuttle bus into the city. They came back suitably exhausted, hot and ready to be revived. Hard work this cruising.

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