I’m sat on the balcony of my cruise ship cabin, 14 decks up and overlooking the city of Lisbon, Portugal’s capital.
The temperature is 29C and as I type the kettle is boiling ready for a nice cup of coffee.
I know what you’re thinking – lucky so-and-so. But it’s certainly not been plain sailing for me.
You see, this holiday has come with a bucketload of anxiety!
For some reason I have yet to find the answer to, I’m a nervous traveller on ships and aeroplanes.
I haven’t flown since 2006 and anyone who has had the misfortune to travel with me will know what a pain in the posterior my anxiety is.
How would you feel if you were on a plane set for Orlando for a dream two-week holiday only to have to get off the plane as your other half has a severe panic attack?
Or what about driving to Spain, but then having to cancel the ferry crossing at the last minute due to a gale warning and extending the trip by 200 miles to catch the Channel Tunnel instead?
Yes, I’m okay inside that!
But I won’t be beaten and this is why I still go on cruise ships.
Crossing the infamous Bay of Biscay and its long Atlantic swells in gale force conditions, out came the seasickness tablets and the valium to help control my nerves.
Although seeing the forecast of a weather front hitting the south coast on Sunday sent my nerves into meltdown.
I didn’t sleep or eat. But on a positive note, I’d lost weight before boarding the P&O ship Britannia in Southampton on Saturday.
Sunday was a day I was dreading. Crossing the infamous Bay of Biscay and its long Atlantic swells in gale force conditions, out came the seasickness tablets and the valium to help control my nerves.
Sunday was indeed an unpleasant day. Rain, poor visibility and the captain’s midday address told of 40 knot winds and some outside decks closed.
The ship herself didn’t budge an inch. There really was no real sensation of being at sea, apart from the odd nudge as she ploughed through the waves. I felt like an idiot...again.
I’m sure it wasn’t as rough as I’ve experienced before, but she handled it so well.
I relaxed, had a glass of wine, a full meal and now my holiday had begun.