21 August 2020
I have been asked “Why is this web page so named?” You may have seen in the Introduction at the very bottom of this page I explain the origins of the name ‘Diary of an Inmate’. But the web page name? That’s different. It goes back to 1979, when a singer called Judi Tzuke released a song called ‘Welcome To The Cruise’. I liked the song.
Much later, in 2010, I had a heart attack. I had to have regular check-ups, but I was doing well so when I reached sixty years of age in 2013, I treated myself to a proper holiday, something I’d not had for quite a while. Now, when I say a ‘proper’ holiday, it was the like of which I’d never had before! I’d managed two weeks in Portugal a couple of times, I’d also been to the USA twice, but for no more than two weeks maximum.
So when I phoned my dear Mum to tell her I was going to be on holiday for a while, it came as something of a surprise to her when I said I’d be away for three months, because I was going on a round the world cruise! I agreed to send her details of the 99-day journey and I thought I could also write a daily diary. I’m sure you can guess what title I decided to give that!
As it turned out, I did send over the details of each days journey to Mum and these details were well received, as she shared them with the other inmates of the Care Home she was in at the time. I learned a while later that they used to talk about all the places I visited, it gave the folks there something very different to chat about. I’d never considered that. But I didn’t do a full diary each day, as many of them were spent simply travelling at sea and there was little to report on. I also enjoyed having a proper break, doing as much or as little as I wanted to do each day. It was a real holiday. But I kept the web page and decided to use it for this, my journey as I cruise through my life as it is now!
Interestingly the journeys are surprisingly similar as I am having excellent meals, I’m being well looked after, meeting all sorts of different people, the temperatures vary, there’s rain and sun and I get to have a walk round as much or as little as I can or wish to do. The view from my window doesn’t change, there’s green grass rather than blue sea outside and the building doesn’t move like a ship does – that took a bit of getting used to when I was back on dry land again, as after 99 days at sea I was very used to the ship moving around!
As a result, when I came up with the idea of writing this blog, I thought here we go then – ‘Welcome to the Cruise!’.
I cannot leave this weeks writing without sharing the tale of what happened to me one evening this week. My supper arrived as usual, it consisted of a mug of tea along with a plate of bread & jam, also a packet of crisps. The usual night-time snack. But the packet of crisps had been placed on top of the bread & jam, so one side of the packet now had jam all over it! My weak right hand made it difficult for me to hold the packet and clean it with a paper towel, so I pointed the problem out to one of the carers, who kindly cleaned the packet for me. I thanked them, but to me it was the best way I knew to resolve the problem in a kindly way and at the same time highlight just how unthinking someone had been! Ah well, these things happen don’t they! The folks here have a great deal to do and it isn’t easy for them.