I'm doomed. Early this morning the ship's tannoy announced "Northern Lights dead ahead" or something similar. I was lying in the arms of a couple of beautiful Nordic mermaids so didn't bother to rouse myself from my sleep. I missed this extravagant astronomical cabaret.

I learnt this from a fellow stowaway over breakfast this morning. She's from Australia and can play the piano like an angel; which means she is much in demand. Last evening was a case in point. As I was sitting contemplating life, my beer and everything she was hammering out classics from the 60's accompanied by a mixed chorus of slightly pissed Belgians. "Sweet Caroline", "Hey Jude" and other memorable numbers hit my eardrums with increasing intensity. Luckily my hearing aid had stopped working/frozen so I didn't suffer the full impact of the musical mash up being performed.

My Australian colleague was still hitting the ivories when the "Ahoy shipmates - Northern Lights sighted" echoed out across the nine decks of MS Trollfjord. She swears she saw them but what with a medley of Beatles "oldies but goodies" echoing in her skull and the alcohol streaming through her veins - who knows what was in the skies last night. Anyway, there's a repeat performance tonight - of the singing/playing not necessarily the Northern Lights.

This morning I was decidedly groggy, with aching limbs and no appetite for breakfast, but like the hero I am I forced some sustaining egg and baked beans down my throat. Had I not I wouldn't have heard of last night's sky show! I then decided that I needed to stretch my legs - for too long I'd been motionless relative to the ship that is. Relative to the Norwegian coast I'd been bowling along at a few good knots. A brisk walk round the deck was required and I set off at speed. We'd been told that 4 circuits of the ship equalled a kilometre. Off I went except after a while I'd forgotten how many circuits I had completed. Luckily Mike and Lesley were on deck and kindly counted my circuits. I think Mike said 42. Either he wasn't telling the truth or I'd circuited at supersonic speed. I found it a great way to meet people time and time and time again. Bit like walking the dog around the park - except this time there's no dog or park but who's counting.

We leave the ship tomorrow afternoon and head home so this may be my last note to you dear reader(s)


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