A conversation at Treadwell & Tenny Towers, Sussex, sometime in November 2018
Tenny: Bugger it, Treadwell old girl. Where the hell did you put my glasses this time? I just put them down a moment ago and now they’re gone.
Treadwell: *Long suffering* They’re on your head, darling.
Tenny: What? Where was that, you say?
Treadwell: *Louder* On your HEAD, darling. Where you pushed them.
Tenny: Ah. There they are. On my head. Were there all the time y’know. Why didn’t you say so?
Tenny: Anyway, I have the latest cruise brochures here. Some nice-looking volumes, too. Where d’you fancy going next, old thing?
Treadwell: *Quietly* To the doctor’s to get your hearing checked. *Louder* You know me, darling, anywhere with plenty of sun and a first-class gin and tonic. What appeals to you?
Tenny: Well, we’ve got the latest from Crystal, Azamara and Silversea. Should be something good for a February getaway, doncha think? Here’s a novelty, too, a mermaid disguised as Penelope Cruz. It’s Costa’s latest advertising campaign. Where have we seen her before?
Treadwell: All of her or just those bits, darling?
Tenny: Yes, she does look a bit chilly, doesn’t she? Mind you, it should appeal to all the men thinking of a cruise.
Treadwell: Shame it’s us women who make all the decisions, then. I’m not likely to be swayed by a watery tart in a fish-tail.
Tenny: No, I didn’t think so. Maybe if she was the cabin stewardess, though….
Treadwell: At your age, darling, it wouldn’t matter if she was The Naked Masseuse, you’d have a heart attack just thinking about it. Anyway, weren’t you looking at some brochures?
Tenny: *Distracted* Brochures? Brochures? Ah, yes. The cruise brochures. What do you think about Tahiti?
Treadwell: Isn’t that where that dodgy French painter that you like ran off to and cut his nose off, or some such?
Tenny: You’re thinking of Van Gogh, and it was his left ear, not his nose. Tahiti was Gauguin. Like the cruise line.
Treadwell: Sounds a frightful place. All sorts of nonsense. Ears, noses, who wants that kind of aggravation? Anyway, a 14-hour flight will play merry hell with your lumbago.
Tenny: Yerright, probably not a great idea. Where do you fancy, then? Dubai? Mumbai? Shanghai? How about Singapore? Bangalore? Baltimore?
Treadwell: Are you trying to be funny or have you developed a new speech impediment just to be annoying? You know Dubai is a ghastly place, all flash and no substance. And my stomach won’t stand anything oriental. Go west, old man.
Treadwell: Anywhere in the Caribbean as long as it includes St Maarten. That’s where we can stock up on Bombay Sapphire, if you remember? That duty-free shop just along from the harbour. On Front Street. $13 a litre, as I recall. Cruise bargain of the year.
Tenny: Was that where we saw the guy on the beach with the tentpole in his swimming trunks? Dashed impressive, what!
Treadwell: *Remembering* Oh lord. THAT guy. Yes, he was quite an exhibitionist, wasn’t he? *Distracted* Now I wonder exactly where that was….
Tenny: Get your head back in the game, old girl. We’ve got a lot more brochures to work through here.
Treadwell: Are we ruling out the Caribbean, then? Hard to think we won’t get a good dose of sunshine in February in Barbados or Antigua.
Tenny: Barbados? Antigua? February? Hang on a minute… *Rummages in the magazine rack. Discovers recent edition of Wisden Cricket Monthly*…Aha! I knew it! England are playing the West Indies in three Tests and five one-dayers in Jan and Feb. It’s the PERFECT time to go.
Treadwell: So, South America it is, then…
Tenny: *Crestfallen* No Test matches in Bridgetown or St John’s? What could be better than a full day in Barbados, rum punch and 90 overs of cricket?
Treadwell: A full day in Barbados, rum punch and 0 overs of cricket.
Treadwell: If you think I’m looking through every brochure to find a cruise that just happens to fit your Wisden habit, you can think again, darling. That’s not what I do. But if you want to talk about a nice two-week jaunt to Rio or the Panama Canal, I’m all ears.
Tenny: Rio in February? That could work. Hang on, make it early March and we can take in the Carnival as well. Always wanted to see those Brazilian girls dancing along the street in feathers and not much else. Might even be better than watching England beat the Windies!
Treadwell: Oh dear, are we back to Penelope Cruz again? You do have a one-track mind this evening, darling. Come on, concentrate. A proper cruise, with lots of sunshine and the kind of style we’re usually accustomed to. How about this one…?
Tenny: “Inca Treasures,” “Mayan Temples;” Acapulco, San Juan, Cabo; hot and cold running mojitos. Sounds like our kind of thing, old girl. We haven’t been on the Seven Seas Explorer but we know the Mariner pretty well. Lovely ship, good sailing characteristics, eight bars. Should do nicely, I’d say.
Treadwell: And their bar stewards always mix the perfect G&T. Sounds like A Plan.
Tenny: You’re on. Just hand me the Regent brochure again. Hang on, where have you put my glasses now…?
Where would YOU most like to cruise next February? Give us your idea of an ideal voyage for the typical British mid-winter in the Comments section below.