PEAR TREE LOG

pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.



Saturday, 28 January 2012

My Humiliation on P&O Cruise Ship Oriana, April 1964


Our sadness at leaving Hong Kong was lessened, a little, by our excitement at the prospect of a three week cruise home to England!  
Steve and Ian
He was very cute!
We three children had enormous fun, visited many countries on the way and 'enjoyed' much entertainment - something was organised for almost every minute of the day, if you had the stamina or the inclination.  
There was a fancy dress competition for the children - Ian was dressed in red crepe paper; Steve made him a very impressive trident to carry and a large note was hung around his neck which declared: "I'm a Little Devil - Just Ask My Mum!".  He was very cute and he won first prize!

My outfit was black leotard, leggings, and a long black cat tail (made by Steve)  sheets of paper were attached around and about me - bearing the legend  "COPY", I wore a cat mask and had whiskers - I was a copy cat!  I got third prize.  I think I won a wooden jigsaw puzzle which showed Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Somewhere, there are photographic images of these - no doubt Owl will have his revenge with them one day.
Wednesday 22nd April...
It was great fun, we were having a wonderful time.  
Then Wednesday 22nd April, 1964 dawned.  
It was  Children's Sports Day.   

I had been entered for the egg and spoon race - I didn't get placed, but I didn't disgrace myself either.
Next came the Obstacle Race.  The first obstacle was easy - throw a bean bag into the bucket - even I could manage that one.
The second obstacle was where I came unstuck.  I couldn't get beyond it!  Three hours later, when everyone was tired from laughing so much, I was allowed to stop trying and move on.  
What was the cause of this utter humiliation?  
A bread bun.  
A bread bun attached by string to a rope, dangling there.  
The idea being that we had to take a bite out of it - no hands allowed.  

The irony of it is that I enjoy my food, I have always enjoyed my food - and here I was, defeated by a bread bun,  in front of all those people.

Ian fared rather better in the under 5's running race - my mother had a box of mini chocolate bars which she waved at him from the far end of the track - he won by miles!  


I wonder whether I would have done any better if she'd done the same for me!




24 comments:

  1. Great story. We can assume you're a very neat eater. At a company picnic once there was a competition for babies to crawl to their mothers from one end of a sheet to the other. The race went nowhere until one father stepped in front of his wife, pulled out the car keys, hunkered down and rattled them. His progeny made a straight line rush to dad.

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    1. Joanne, I would blame it on the ocean breeze, but the other kids didn't have a problem!

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  2. You have the most wonderful childhood stories. The trick might be, to post the photo of youself as "copy cat" before Owl does!

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    1. I love your stories... you can almost see you smiling as you write them.. they are so filled with affection

      thank you

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    2. Meggie, Ian is the guardian of the family photos - I have copies of most of them but not the fancy dress ones. Oh well! I'm glad you enjoyed the voyage.


      John, I'm so pleased that you enjoyed it. It is difficult not to love little brothers. In many ways we shared a strange childhood, yet in other ways it was pretty marvellous too.

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  3. Yes, but people forget that they made bread buns to last in those days...

    My favourite part of the voyage was where you dropped me into the Indian Ocean just to see if I could swim fast enough to keep up with the ship.

    (p.s. I DO have the aforementioned photos!)

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    1. Dear Owl, Rather like my last bread-making session then.

      That was Steve's idea.x

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  4. Love the 1960's menu....I don't think British menus changed that much until the 'discovery' of posh foreign food in the late 1970's. I remember my first avacado (1982!).
    Jane x

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    1. I'm so glad you spotted that Jane. When I came across it I had a chuckle, it was so typical of those days - and so dull.

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  5. What wonderful childhood memories you have! And you have the pictures to go along with them.

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    1. Ms Sparrow, If only I could remember useful things. I have a head stuffed with poetry, languages, facts - all of these were planted by teachers almost half a century ago. The shame of it is that it has taken me so long to remember them. They would have been so much more useful when I was taking the appropriate exams.

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  6. Wonderful story, such a delight to read.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm really enjoying reading about Sir.

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  7. I'm sure the bread bun obstacle got you simply because you have such fine table manners. I LOVE the pictures and the story. Heartwarming. Steve was very clever. And Ian isn't the only cute one in the picture!

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  8. Hi Mitch, Blogger is playing up again - my original response got lost in the ether! Steve was, and is, extremely creative - which balances the more mathematical and scientific side of his mind. As a boy he made model boats and as an adult he built a very beautiful, high-tech boat.

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  9. Isn't it funny the things we remember from childhood? Your humiliation with the bread bun still fresh in your mind. Apart from that it sounds like the trip was a resounding success , and you were the perfect age to fully appreciate it. I really enjoy your stories - hope there are more to come.

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    1. Hi Jenny, I am so pleased that you are enjoying them! It was a wonderful trip with some very exciting stop-offs along the way. I find it remarkable that it only takes one tiny little trigger and then whoosh, a whole lot of very detailed memories come flooding back.

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  10. Great memories and lovely photos too.

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  11. I stumbled across your blog while looking up references to "Oriana". I am reading Michael Ondaatje's "The Cat's Table". The main character is an eleven year old boy heading to England from Sri Lanka aboard the "Oronsay". In 1964 my parents took the four of us children on a world cruise. The first half was on the "Oronsay" and the second half was on the "Oriana". I don't have a copy of the itinerary any more and was "Googling" to see if I might find one online. Finding your blog and photos was great fun. I was only six, but I have many memories and your photos brought back more. Many thanks
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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  12. Hello RailView, I am delighted it brought back some memories for you. Our cruise was from Hong Kong to Southampton, it took about three weeks and was April 1964. I do have a collection of odds and ends, the passenger list, some of the on-board newspapers, menus, etc. Do let me know if you would like me to try scanning some of them for you.

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  13. Thanks for the post. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the webp&0 cruising

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  14. This has brought back some great memories. I was on the same voyage - aged 8. We had spent 2 idyllic years in HK before returning home so I could be sent to boarding school!! Would be very interested to see any other bits that you have. My parents kept loads of souvenirs from other voyages but not this one for some reason, as it was without doubt the greatest adventure. BTW, lad 4th from left in Obstacle Race looks remarkably like me...

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    1. Hello baronrob, I'm delighted that you enjoyed reading it - and how funny it would be if that is you in the photograph! I imagine you didn't struggle with the bread roll. I do have lots of other memorabilia from the cruise - it is our busy growing season at the moment, but later in the year I will try to do a post incorporating some of it.

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    2. Look forward to it. Best wishes. Rob

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