River Wissey Lovell Fuller

What Doews the Doctor think this month? February

January 2014

Head Office and I had quite an eventful time over the Christmas period. At the beginning of December, we had Angus, Lizzie and their  three boys to stay for a few days. One of the twins took to pushing a toy from Estonia about. It is a bird on wheels and the wings flap as it moves. He was going “Woof woof” and calling it a doggie. I challenged him and he told me that he knew it was a bird but he wanted to call it a dog. Deannie said she had thought it was a butterfly and I had no idea what it was. We practiced in the dining room with a remote control helicopter in preparation for the boys' Christmas presents and managed to take out a chandelier and raise a prize cyclamen to the ground. (Don't tell Management as she has not yet noticed!)

Then, on December 10th, we set sail for Africa with me doing one of my ship's doctor trips. We left Southampton OK but, as we were abreast of the Channel Islands, we ran into mountainous seas and a force 10 gale. We battered against these all the way down to Lisbon and then we crashed on to Gibraltar. We then nipped over to Tangier, the port in northern Morocco, and spent half a day before leaving in the afternoon, As we left, the captain announced that there were three storm centres coming across from Newfoundland and that we would have to make a dash for the English Channel. Many slab-sided, flat-bottomed cruise ships had headed for safety but ours is a stout ship, an excellent sea ship, and we would set to sea undaunted by the conditions. We could not stop in La Coruna as planned because, if we did go into that port, “we would be delayed, not for hours, but for days”. Many of the passengers thought that would be a great idea but Management and I were worried about the 30 odd family who would be visiting over Christmas (That's just over 30 in number, not 30 odd people – well, perhaps I am not so sure) and we were delighted when he made a run for it. Actually, it was quite comfortable as we were travelling with the wind and the waves. Looking over the stern of the ship revealed what was chasing us. There were 40ft waves with a gale whipping the wave tops into a spray. Eventually, four days later, we made the English Channel, the storm centre, which had chased us all the way,  caught us and we were nearly laid over by the wind.

Often in adversity, there is humour. On one of the less rough days, an intrepid passenger on an electric buggy had ventured out on deck and had parked near one of the swimming pools which still contained a little water. The water was slooshing about violently with the motion of the ship; it flew up and drenched the passenger and his buggy, killing the battery. A couple of crew members went to his aid and, while helping the man to reposition his dead buggy, one of the crew pulled on the man's leg (don't ask!). It turned out to be a false, push-on leg which flew off  the man's stump. The crew member, caught off-guard, fell backwards into the pool, holding the artificial leg, and chaos ensued. Fortunately, the passenger saw the funny side of events, admitted he had been daft to venture out and the buggy battery dried out OK.

The worst part of the rough weather for me was controlling my desk chair in the hospital. It has 5 wheels and was trying to go forward, backward, to the left and to the right all at the same time. I was hanging on to the desk with one hand and using the computer keyboard with the other.

We arrived home safely and spent the next two weeks looking after visiting family members. We all had a great time and, as I write this two weeks later, we have nearly finished the washing!

HUMOUR: I love the old Norfolk jokes. I remember including the one about the two old dears in Norwich market who each bought one of those new-fangled toilet brushes. Next week, Flo asked Lil how she had got on with hers - “Oh fine, but my husband has gone back to using toilet paper”.

I saw another one a couple of days ago: We got wun a 'em noo insoide toilets. Yew hev? Yew sit onnut, dew th' bizn'ss, pull th' chayne and flush ut away. Good-a-hell! Guess wot 'at dew next? Wot dew that do next? Puts jest anuff warter back in t' wash yer hands. 'At's suffen good.

Townie “What's the quickest way to Watton?”  Local “By foot or by car?” “_Oh, by car” “_Well, 'at be the quickest then”.

T_ownie sipping a cocktail in the pub “You know, I think that looks like rain”_

Local “Bet ut oont tayste much better, noither”

Best wishes to you all     Ian Nisbet

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