The night the floating Palace hit the rocks the world stood still
A leviathan beached, gashed, wallowing
Lights blazing, its life force leaking.

At number 38, Coronation Road,
Ladies of a certain age watched on Betty’s TV…

 “I can’t believe they’re still alive,” said Olive Smith from number 5
“Lucky they were close to shore,” observed old Viv from 44

 “It weren’t her fault, that lovely ship, I blame that bloody careless skip.
They say he left them all to drown after he’d ran the boat aground”

A pause as Betty served the tea.

“So, we’ll not be doing that no more,” said Grumpy Gert from 24.
“I’ll miss my cruise – I don’t agree,” said Bashful Dot from 33

“What’s up instead” said Amy Dunn, “there’s nothing else that’s half the fun?”
“This year would be our thirteenth cruise,” said gloomy Gert, who loves bad news

“Sugar?” Betty passed the bowl.

“I think that we should try and stick to a British ship,” said Sarah Dick
“My Norman always used to say he’d go with Cunard any day!”

“No ships are British anymore,” said Sally Young from 34.
“all of them are owned abroad, ‘tho some have British crews onboard”

That cheered them up.

 “Then let’s go back to P&O they always did us proud, you know,”
or Silverseas,” said Laura Mudgett, “or would that be beyond our budget?”

But Betty had the answer.

“Fares will tumble, you just see.  And with that spare capacity
we’ll pick up one for next to nowt – there’s ten of us, we’ve got some clout!”

“I’m terrified we’ll all go down”, said No 20’s Edna Brown
“Oh, shut yer mouth”, said Vera Gatt, “I mean, really, what’s the chance of that?”

And so it was that ten old gels ended up in the Seychelles
Bearing out that age-old jargon that a woman would risk her life…

 …rather than miss a bargain!


January 2012