Still afloat

I'm pleased to say that I'm still afloat, both literally and metaphorically. 

Lecture Two went jolly well, so much so in fact that I was delighted to receive a wonderful and original piece of feedback. 

A lady said to me - "I've seen alternative comedy.  But you do alternative lecturing."

And this I'm very contented with indeed.  I may even adopt it as a motto!

I've done my best to make the talks entertaining and a little different.  There are six in all, and as they're on the theme of Crime and Punishment, I've given the series the acronym MURDER.  How cheery...

But, it seems to be working.  Talk one was "Meeting", as we were all getting to know each other and I was talking about the basics of the writing art.  Yesterday's was "Unexpected", as I was focusing on some of the cunning ways that crime writers put twists into their work.

I popped in a little game, which both entertained and infuritated the poor audience (as was the intention), and an interactive exercise too, along with the usual strange Hall anecdotes and some ramblings.

Next it's R, which is on Monday (no, I'm not telling you what it stands for yet) - a report on the session to follow.

Aside from lecturing, the important business of having time to relax is going well.  Madeira was stunning.  As promised, I was introduced to some local ales - wheat beers - which were delicious. 

A group of we cruise "entertainers" (I'm never quite sure if that word applies to me) sat on the promenade, drinking and chatting, and someone raised the subject of bad weather back in the UK?

Maybe I'd better not go into that, as we continue to head for the equator, amidst blue skies and sunshine...

Next port of call is the Cape Verde islands, tomorrow morning. 

There's so much food that I've set myself the challenge of going to the gym every day, simply because I need to.  It's an extraordinary place, in that it's forard on the ship (the pointy bit at the front, for those of you who don't speak maritime), so you exercise whilst staring at the vast panorama of the seascape.  It almost makes the exertions easier.

It was, however, a little disconcerting yesterday to be working out next to the captain and his second in command.  (Err, excuse me asking, but who's steering the ship?)

Last night was an Elvis cabaret.  You'll be relieved to know my fellow entertainers stopped me from joining in - and just in time, as I was readying my best rendition of In The Ghetto.

I've found a lovely bar at the very top of the ship where you can watch the sunset and stars, which is great for inspiration if you're doing a bit of writing work. (And they serve real ale, which is a big win-win, in my view.)

The edits on the new book are coming along nicely.  More of that when I get home.

Finally, to give you an insight into the levels of excitement we sometimes reach here on ship, the programme of entertainments to come includes a class in...

... wait for it ...

... napkin folding.

On the subject of which, please excuse me.  I must be off to beat the rush and book my place.