|View from our cabin, Budapest, October 2012|
I have been away. You would hardly notice nowadays, given how rarely I get round to blogging, but for a week, the entire Lola clan (ten of us altogether) spent quality time together closeted on a boat on the River Danube sailing from Budapest to Linz and back again. We stopped at Esztergom (Hungary), Bratislava (Slovakia), Dürnstein, Melk, and Vienna (all Austria) and from Linz we took a coach trip to Salzburg. It was all organised by Riviera Travel, and I have to say there was little to complain about other than an excess of luxury.
Some of the party (me, Lola II, mum) were trying very hard to maintain our sylph-like figures, and practised some level of self-denial in the food intake department. Others (Mr M, Mr A) seemed to regard the multiple-course gourmet menus as a challenge. Given that scurvy is an ever-present threat when it comes to the male of the Lola species, I thought we were in trouble when Mr M's stance on the 5-a-day matter was backed up by an interesting letter from the ship's captain, placed under the door of our cabin. It reads as follows:
"THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN.
MARMALADE DOES COUNT AS A PORTION OF FRUIT.
PS I DOES NOT NEED TO PROVE I IS YOUR CAPTAIN."Mr A thinks it might be a forgery, but we never did get to the bottom of the matter.
Another highlight was the ship's pianist playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, which we had asked him to do because it's dad's favourite piece of music, but he said he would unfortunately need the music. Unfortunate is right, because, anticipating such an eventuality, we'd brought the music. All I can say is that it was recognisably the right piece, but as Eric Morecambe might say, some of the notes were not necessarily in the right order.
Some of us tried out the open-air jacuzzi on the sun deck. Others had a go in the sauna and steam room. We lounged in the lounge, sunned ourselves on the sun deck, played card games and word games, read books, and variously walked and wheeled ourselves around the various sights of continental Europe that were presented to us. It only rained on the very last day.
There was a mountain of work awaiting me in the hospital on my return, and the interview is tomorrow. What I should be doing at the moment is looking at potential interview questions, devising cunning strategies to present my weaknesses as strengths, and coming up with the perfect answer to the question of why I applied for this job. I will have to remember to take make-up to work with me, and I also have to construct a suitable outfit. This includes working out what combination of outerwear, footwear and hosiery will allow me to a) drive, b) walk and c) appear tall, confident and presentable rather than a just scruffy person wearing clean clothes and Lady Shoes with heels that are a bit too high.