It's amusing that no matter where you are in these islands, you are going to be sure to know the country that you are in by looking at the breakfast menu, be it full Irish, full English, full Scotish or Full Welsh. Today at an Irish home in Cardiff, its a Full Irish. It feels a bit illicit - but delicious nontheless. Added to that, Vinny's precious stash of Dunne's white pudding is brought out as a special treat. Vinny is in his final year at Cardiff Uni, studying for a Master's in Chiropractice and gives me a load of useful tips for stretching before and after riding that will ease the agonising leg muscle cramps that have me on my knees for all the wrong reasons in the middle of the night! Thanks Vinny!
The rest day is very welcome and the only official duty is to meet AoS Cruise Chaplain Fr Ray O'Shea and Ship Visitor Joe Callan at Cardiff Cathederal. I donned the lycra and we walk to the Cathederal. Fr O'Shea encourages me to wheel the bike to the front of the church for the photos and I wonder how many times that has happened? A chat with Joe about ship visiting and the on-board conditions he encounters reminds me how thoroughly unpleasant is life today at sea. During my brief career as a ship inspector, I was constantly struck that there seemed to be so little enjoyment in the job. When sitting in Masters' offices I'd frequently think that there would be a ready market among seafarers for the sale of "Reverse Calendars". By this I mean that every passing date was overwritten with a reducing number, counting down the number of days until pay-off. How sad to wish your life away like this.
I always intended that this trip would not be obsessively concerned about diet or absence of alcohol and Vinny's invitation to have a pint or two of Brain's was welcome, as was the pizza that followed! Many thanks Roisin and Vinny for such an enjoyable stay.