Podge & Tubbs Go Ashore; Podge & Tubbs Come Back

Posted: April 9, 2016 in Another Cruise, COPD - Codgers Old Puffing Disease, Cruising, Health, P&O, Uncategorized
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The next day Podge was so very, very poorly. His breathing was really, really difficult: Podge’s cold had been upgraded to man flu and this combined with COPD (upgraded from Asthma) did not make for a good mix: No part of Podge’s body had any energy, his lungs even less.

Podge felt sorry for himself.

At around 06:00 Podge dragged himself from his bed desperate not to disturb The Duchess from her slumber (disturbing her slumber was a bad thing) and made himself a coffee and went out onto the balcony to watch the ship arrive into Marseilles. Podge sat for an hour watching the world go by, watched the ship park, watched the men tie up the strings and set the gangplank, or should that be gangway, to allow the eager passengers to escape ashore or join their excursions.

Podge and Tubbs had no plans for the day.

As there was nothing planned, it was ‘planned’ they they would have a late breakfast / brunch then maybe they’ll take the shuttle bus into the town of Marseilles, it was after all a place they hadn’t yet visited. They had plenty of time as the boat wasn’t leaving until late anyway as it was to be just a short overnight hop to the next port of call, Cannes. This now leisurely morning ,including an extended ‘rest’ before breakfast pleased Podge greatly but even so, Podge never neglected his duties and so, at the allotted time of 09:00, he presented Tubbs with her Earl Grey Tea, awakening her slowly so as not to start her into one of her ‘moods’ – the sort of irrational, comes out of nowhere for no reason type mood that only women can have :-). Luckily as she slowly awakened, a pleasing smile grew from her sleepy face and Podge knew that he had one a good job and succeeded, and so this day would be a good day. With that, Podge returned to the Balcony to enjoy his peace and solitude.

Eventually, The Duchess arose from her [beauty] sleep and joined His Podgeness on the Balcony (it does sound grand doesn’t it). It was all Podge could do to look up and say good morning such was his physical struggle this day. She gazed upon him and inwardly doubted that she was going to see Marseilles today; there was no way Podge could make the journey. For Podge’s part however, he knew that his Tubbs really wanted to go ashore, if only to get the obligatory fridge magnet and of course, Podge wanted to see if he could buy some more inhalers. And so, although the body was weak, the spirit was strong and he declared ‘ok, let have some breakfast, then make our way, slowly into town’. This pleased Tubbs for not only was she going into town after all, but she was absolutely starving and breakfast, by now it was actually an 11:00 brunch, was just what she needed.

The shuttle bus into town took 30 minutes as the bus took its eager passengers into the centre of town, everybody just looked out through the glass like goldfish in a bowl wondering, wondering when the town would be become a nice town for so far, a nice town it really didn’t look. It’s very difficult to work out how to describe Marseilles, no doubt on sunnier days it may look a lot different, and it being a Sunday may not have helped but the town came across as unkempt, rubbish was everywhere, maybe even unloved but that’s only the perception of an outsider, but the one thing that was for sure, Podge & Tubbs did not want to spend any longer in town than they could help. On arriving and disembarking the bus, they looked around, almost in trepidation. Everything seemed so dishevelled, walking had to be with care for fear of stepping on the wrong stuff, most places were shut and everybody seemed to be just standing around bemused. Is this really the drop off point? everybody wondered. Apparently, it was. Looking around once more Podge & Tubbs espied a department store which was very nice, just as many department stores are in the UK are but once outside again it was back in a cityscape of seemingly neglect and lacking in care. They did wonder down to the Old Port but nothing endeared them there, so they found a pharmacy, bought two more inhalers, €10 this time which is probably £4 each so they seemed to be getting dearer and then they went in search of fridge magnets.

Podge was struggling.

Although all they’d done was sit on a bus for half an hour and wondered around for another half an hour, it was enough to tire poor Podge. Poor Podge was struggling by now. He just wanted to get back on the bus and go back to the ship. But he knew this wouldn’t be possible, nor advisable until the fridge magnet had been sourced. As luck would have it however, the journey back the bus involved travelling through a small market (why do markets alway chirp up women, especially Tubbs?) selling exactly the same sort of stuff that every other market sells although obviously, some of the images differ, such as those on fridge magnets.

Before long both Podge and Tubbs were back on board the bus, Podge clutching his two more inhalers but struggling to draw breath, Tubbs clutching her new fridge magnet and both Podge & Tubbs eager to get out of town and back onto the ship.

Back on board

Once back to the safety and comfort of the Oceana, Podge & Tubbs dropped off their vast array of purchases, Podge took some [legal] drugs, for his breathing, then went along to Magnums for what is now known as fivesies or 5 o’clock drinks. The bar steward greeted them with his normal cheery self and announced that he had heard from a previous bar steward who they had met on their last cruise that Mr Podge liked Laphroaig Whiskey and so they had got some in especially for him. This cheered Podge greatly, he even started to feel a little better but nevertheless, with his body still weak and even though his spirit was now stronger, he still couldn’t run a marathon nor half a marathon, he couldn’t run for a bus, in fact he couldn’t run but at all, he was definitely better than the morning – must be the news about the Laphroaig.

At the end of the day, Podge mused and thought to himself, ‘what a weird day, thank god she didn’t wakeup in one of her moods’.

Poor Podge.

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