With a surprise day off, our annual pilgrimage to Brussels began without the usual tense minibus dash to Hull, instead we arrived with at least ten minutes to spare and were relaxing in the bar onboard the Pride of York by the time we are usually phoning P and O to hold the doors for us! A couple of cheeky gins to loosen us up and we scattered to get into our evening’s Wild West garb. Out came the squaws and Chiefs complete with wigs and little choppers, feather headdresses and face paint, the sherrifs and cowboys with water pistols (which had excellent range) , cow girls with glitter and bling, and then there was Mark Barlow , with his rhinestone cowboy, skimpy pants and flashing waistcoat. With that and Tim’s bare bum chaps we instantly created a stir on the dance floor! Alun and his trusty steed just about fitted into the dining room where the gluttony commenced. The first of many ‘all you dare eat’ feasts culminated with lots of stomach holding bloaters trying to squeeze down one more pint. With the feasting over we retired to the bar for some inflatable horse racing and a few more tipples to help with digestion. The water pistol gunfight was a little one sided because I was the only one with water pistols, so I had great fun squirting everything that moved, including most of the crew. Paul Martin was particularly surprised at the extent of the flow for such a little pistol 😉
Meanwhile, up on deck some shady looking characters in hoodies tried to storm the bridge. Slightly alarmed to see hooded figures sprinting along the decks being pursued by security I went to investigate, only to be somewhat relieved to find it was only a pissed up Barlow and Mikey and not a terrorist siege!
After a few songs in the piano bar we retired to our cabins to prepare ourselves for Saturday’s shenanigans.
Saturday dawned with sunshine and blue skies and surprisingly few headaches, and following the second of our ‘all you dare eat feasts’ we disembarked, destination Brussels. With sat nav programmed we made great progress and before we knew it we were at Nemo 33. The usual crowds were absent due to the security lock down, so our divers had the place to themselves. Whilst Paul perfected his Spider-Man impersonation and Tim practiced his kit removal, the girls enjoyed a bottle or two of prosecco, or three, or four…
Cue the third ‘all you dare eat feast’ of Thai chicken, duck, and beef followed by chocolate pud and another bottle of prosecco 🙂 then it was back onto the bus, which was now smelling strangely of cat pee, to head back to Zebrugge for a few cherry beers. Emma and Paul investigated the submarine parked outside whilst the rest of us availed ourselves of the bar’s hospitality, a bit more cherry beer and it was time to get the ferry home. Tim drove whilst the rest of the crew had a little recovery snooze in the back.
It was a slightly more subdued crowd at dinner, yes the fourth ‘all you dare eat feast’, and the ship swayed from side to side taking it’s toll on a few of the girls. Feigning sea sickness they retired to their luxury cabins, with TV and bottle of free bubbly ( we didn’t fall for your excuses)!
The rest of us settled in the piano bar, gin flowed freely and Amanda won the ‘drinking Tim under the table’ competition! He finally remembered which cabin was his about 1.30 am and ‘tiptoed’ into the room like a baby elephant.
Only one more all you dare eat meal to endure! Breakfast was grapefruit for me as I was still full from the previous day’s excesses, but Mark enjoyed a bony sausage! (Sandwiches)!
And so it ends. Another fabulous Flemish foray across the sea… I can’t wait for next year 🙂