Young­sters rock­ing the boat on cruise ships

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

NOT all progress is good.

Ap­par­ently 20-some­things are el­bow­ing oldies out of the way to take to cruise ships as an al­ter­na­tive to in­ter­net cou­pling.

I had no­ticed that for sin­gle men and women of a cer­tain age there are am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties on cruises for eye­ing up the tal­ent (can you call over-50s ‘tal­ent’?).

Ac­tiv­i­ties from bridge to singing pro­vide the ma­ture sin­gles – of­ten di­vorced or wid­owed – to take a safe peek at the pos­si­bil­i­ties on board. Could this now be re­placed by younger li­aisons, more likely in the bars, pools and fit­ness ar­eas?

Once on a cruise I made the mis­take of stum­bling on a strictly sin­gles gath­er­ing in the cor­ner of a bar, where they had joined a ship’s of­fi­cer for an early evening drink.

Mr F had gone to a quiz while I was get­ting ready and we had ar­ranged to meet there be­fore din­ner. I re­alised too late that I was sit­ting in a space re­served strictly for sin­gles, who that night were al­most ex­clu­sively fe­male.

A mono­syl­labic man was re­sist­ing at­tempts by a jolly woman to en­gage him in con­ver­sa­tion so she turned to me and we chuntered away. That was un­til I re­alised that over my shoul­der she had spot­ted a new ar­rival who was some­one she clearly thought might float her boat.

You’ve guessed it: Mr F, pleased at hav­ing won his quiz, fra­grant and smart in his white tuxedo (he does scrub up well – even our reg­u­lar waiter called him Mr Bond), was head­ing in our di­rec­tion.

When he reads this col­umn he’ll re­alise why on that par­tic­u­lar cruise, on that par­tic­u­lar night, I fin­ished off my gin and tonic in record time and we got to the res­tau­rant with­out his feet touch­ing the ground.

I can’t say I’m ter­ri­bly im­pressed with another item I read in the name of progress; that in fu­ture we will be able to smell and taste movies.

Aca­demics at Ox­ford Univer­sity have al­ready tested a sen­sory cin­ema in Lon­don. Watch­ing Grav­ity (a space drama), the au­di­ence was blasted with men­thol to trick their bod­ies into feel­ing cold.

That’s OK while hu­mans are in charge but if ap­pro­pri­ate aro­mas for films are sorted by com­put­ers in fu­ture, I’m just a bit wor­ried about films like Grease or Gone with the Wind.

Email me! bmail­bar­bara@gmail.com

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