16 August 2016
Canberra Jazz was off to the waves for a cruise so incommunicado for a while. My apologies. I'm back now so some updates. We were on the Dawn Princess on a two week cruise out of Perth to various Indonesian islands. A cruise is a bourgeois thing being essentially a floating resort. Yes, it's indulgent, a place where we drink and eat too much and share our sicknesses. Gastro and flu runs around the shipping industry and they work hard to protect from it, but there's always something. You spend the first days drinking and eating too much and the rest of the trip recovering and you can arrive home exhausted from the experience. But the entertainment can be good quality and it's an opportunity to meet new people, often and interestingly from outside your common circles, and this is good. We talked US politics with a Maryland gay couple heavily involved in Democrat politics; we came to common agreement with Queensland National Party voters; we genially argued climate change and considered the idea of Guaranteed basic income with a pair entering their nineties; we discussed the pleasures of Canberra with a couple now retired via Tassie to Cairns and early Canberra with a staffer from Menzies' office and must have met half the population of Mandurah. I chatted music with a middle-aged female drummer who plays an electric kit in a rock band; we flitted through ballroom dancing and disco-themed exercise routines (much appreciated given all the food and drink) and quick-visited Kuta and braved Komodo dragons (little bravery required!) and consistently came in near but never top in the trivia comps. Cruise life is like that. I tasted new cocktails (only on hols) and settled on Amaretto and Talisker as regular indulgences. None of this is new, of course: it's what everyone does. I did get in one performance in the Pop choir (unison unless you can find your own harmony) under ever-grinning Canadian leader, Victoria. And regretted, after attending that very ordinary talent quest, that we hadn't managed to form the passengers' band we talked of (we did have sufficient members to do it). But my excuse for no CJ posts for the last 2 weeks is limited Internet access (and some degree of laziness). Cheers to many: Gene, Leonardo, Plexie, Martin, Bruce, Sandra, John, Chris, Norman, Pam, Spook, Pat, Kim, Barrie, Kelly, Leanne, Randy, Romeo, amongst others. More on shipboard music and entertainment to come.