Oh yes, St Maarten having brilliant time.
Once the boat trip was over we took the water taxi, (so many boats, it’s no wonder I keep finding myself rocking from side to side) over to the town to meet up with Machinegun, C, Baby bunting and the other clingon on the beach.
Incidentally, C has discovered a taste for false eyelashes, she’s swanning about like Amy Winehouse but without the bottle of booze and the bird’s nest hair. From now on, since we have been lacking a decent monicker for her, she shall be referred to as Lashes. That should get the attention of any late comers to the blog who don’t realise we’re actually taking about eye lashes. No chance of that being misconstrued. Hahaa.
As we arrived in the town, a huge black cloud appeared and poured many gallons of water onto everyone, I decided that the best course of action in this situation was to get in the sea and go for a swim. Batty loved the idea of swimming in the sea in the rain. Of course all our clothes were wet through from the downpour so getting dressed agin after was a it icky but it didn’t take long for us to dry off. It’s a bit disconcerting though when you are walking along the street to suddenly realise that you are actually steaming!
Boofuls was a very happy boy that day as he found a shop that was almost paying people to take the cigarettes from them. He almost skipped back to the boat with his haul – at the same time as cussing the British Government for the tax he has to pay on cigs at home (double it, I say! Dirty, nasty cancer sticks)
We saw another Caribbean version of the Hard Rock cafe, as Boofuls and number one clingon dashed up to it muttering, ‘burger and fries yum, yum’ under their breath, we realised that the ‘Rock’ in ‘Hard Rock’ referred to well, rocks. One very disappointed clingon and Boofuls later demanded that I photograph it for posterity, so here it is:
That evening, Boofuls and me were sat on our balcony relaxing and watching the world go by, getting all excited about our renewal of vows ceremony the following day.
After 18 months of planning, about a million emails, shedloads of money and a trip to St Lucia to see the wedding planner, we could hardly believe that it was almost here. We just kept looking at each other and giggling like kids. I think the bottle of champagne that we drank while we were there might have had something to do with that.
That evening we were booked in at the spa for the pre celebration treatments that were included in the package the kids had bought for us. Still giggling like loonies we went for our treatments and were thrilled when the receptionist came through with a glass of champagne each for us before taking us off to our separate rooms. I could really get used to this!
Boofuls and me were enjoying our respective massage and facial, courtesy of the kids, we could feel that the ship had set sail again. ‘Only a few more hours and I’ll be on a beautiful tropical beach, retaking my wedding vows with my soul mate’ I thought.
About a minute after I had that thought an announcement came over the ships PA system:
“Due to hurricane Tomas we will not be landing at St Lucia as planned tomorrow. Instead we will be diverting to Dominica.”
At this point I’m struggling to find words to suitably describe my feelings.
I’m not even sure I had any.
‘Numb’ seems as good a word as any to describe what I felt.
The room was silent for what felt like an age then I was aware that the therapist whispered, “Oh shit.” under her breath. It was hearing that, and the realisation that I hadn’t actually misunderstood what I’d heard that caused the tears to start flowing.
I’m not going to dwell on the next little while as it’s far too distressing to think about, even now.
The kids had obviously heard the announcement as well and within a few minutes, just long enough for the immediate shock to wear off, our mobile phones were lighting up like Christmas trees as they constantly tried to get hold of us.
Eventually Boofuls and me composed ourselves a bit (well, Boofuls did, I was a wreck) and we met up with everyone else who were all gathered together and waiting for us. They all leapt to their feet and ran over to give us huge bear hugs as we arrived. Other passengers must have wondered what the hell was going on.
We’ve always known that our kids and their partners were brilliant but that evening they went waaaaay above and beyond brilliant. Determined that all wouldn’t be lost, they set about making contingency plans for Dominica, Son P had even contacted the ship’s wedding co-ordinator to see if Captain could do the ceremony on the ship if that’s what we chose. There was even a suggestion at one point that he get himself ordained as minister via the internet so he could legally marry us. Ok, I know we are already legally married but the thought was lovely.
Eventually we decided that we didn’t want the ship involved in any of it and if anyone was to do the ceremony we would prefer it to be son P, who from now on shall be know as The Rev – even though he didn’t buy a $30 ordainment (ordainment? Is that a word?) because he thought the website looked dodgy and in any case there was no need.
A location was picked on the island of Dominica, a cake was organised, (that’s worth a whole blog entry on it’s own) Lashes beg, stole or borrowed a battery operated ipod dock, batteries, flower garlands and anything else she could think of that we might need.
As awful as it had all was, Boofuls and me couldn’t help but be delighted at how our family had all pulled together in a crisis to make things happen for us.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about what happened on the day