Martine's Blogs (21)
I’m not one for days on the beach. I don’t believe in roasting myself in the sun for hours on end (part of the reason I look much younger than my age). So why do I choose a cruise to the Caribbean? What else do you go to the Caribbean for?
This was the second of two back-to-back (B2B) cruises that I had booked some 15 months earlier as an add-on to the Mediterranean cruise described in Part 1. It seemed like a good idea at the time to use up some extra Future Cruise Credit (FCC) that I had got when the original Mediterranean cruise I had booked was cancelled.
Cruising again after a nearly two year break due to the covid situation, I did two back to back cruises in late 2021, the first being a two week cruise to the Mediterranean. The second of the two cruises to North Europe is in the part two blog to follow.
This was such a wonderful weekend of dressing up and making lots of new friends. On Friday evening, there was a fashion show with entertainments and an auction of some very special items. A ‘Meet the Frockers’ breakfast on Saturday morning, a procession in the afternoon and an FUF Ball in the evening. Finally, there was Sunday cocktails and relaxation on the beach but unfortunately, I missed out on the Sunday fun.
Another Steampunk event! This was the third one I attended in two months. There was Kelham Hall in May, Papplewick Pumping Station only two weeks previously (see photos on here), but I could have been to several other events too. Just about every weekend recently, there has been a steampunk event not too far away from me. And there are several more to come in the next few months!
For the last several years, the largest Steampunk Festival in the World has taken place in Lincoln over the August Bank Holiday weekend but this year it has had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. However instead, the Ministry of Steampunk (the organisers) arranged a socially-distanced steampunk gathering at Kelham Hall, near Newark, Nottinghamshire.
Only 5 weeks after my first ‘taster’ cruise on the Queen Victoria (see separate blog) I embarked on a one week round trip cruise from Singapore up the west coast of Malaysia to Phuket in Thailand, preceded by a 3 night stay in Singapore.
I took my first ever cruise aboard the Queen Victoria in early January; just a short 2-nighter from Southampton to Hamburg. The Queen Victoria is reckoned to be a good choice for a first-timer and I thought this cruise would be a good taster to see how I would take to cruising life. Well I loved it and I think I have become hooked!
I thought our first Dumbleton Days event at the Dumbleton Hall Hotel last year was very good but I feel our second one in November 2019 was even better. Everyone I spoke to said how much they enjoyed it; and that included the staff at the hotel who told me how much they are looking forward to us returning next year.
Most people are amazed when I tell them my age but I really was 80 this June and to celebrate I held a garden party on Saturday 22nd June (my birthday was actually the next day). But besides my age, I wanted to celebrate the completion of much of the work on the renovation of my home and a significant part of my garden. I also wished to show off the mural I had completed on my garage wall. All off which I’m pleased to say was well received.
Since giving up Repartee, I have had more time to go to events other than my own and one I had long fancied going to was the TransLiving Weekend at Eastbourne. It was quite a distance for me, a four and half hour drive, but I was very glad I made the effort as I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.
I think I can claim that our first Dumbleton Days event at the Dumbleton Hall Hotel in the Cotswolds was a huge success. Everyone was saying, as they bade farewell, how much they enjoyed it and how much they were looking forward to coming again next year.
The Asylum Steampunk Festival in Lincoln has become the largest Steampunk event in the world. It was started 10 years ago by my friends Major Tinker and Lady Elsie (along with others) at an impressive building now called ‘The Lawns’, which was formerly the Lincoln Lunatic Asylum, hence the name of the event. If you have to ask; “What is Steampunk”, it is hard to describe but just have a look at the photos to get a good idea!
At the end of June, the banner here appeared on the Whitby Goth Weekends Facebook page and website. It is most unusual for TopMum (the WGW organisers) to announce dates so far in advance and the April 2019 dates (which are the ones we are most interested in) are two weeks earlier than those that most people had expected.
On the face of it, no problem, we change our dates, but delving deeper it seems there has been quite a murky story behind all of this...
The Sparkle event in Manchester’s ‘village’ is claimed to be the world’s largest celebration of gender identity. It was the 14th annual Sparkle event and I’ve been to every one. This year I went with my friends, Maxine and Rachel: for Maxine it was her first time and for Rachel it was her third year.
On Sunday 24th June Maxine and I visited Dumbleton Hall Hotel to sort out some details for our first Dumbleton Days event in October. Actually we were just glad to have any excuse to have another stay at this marvellous venue (it was the day after my birthday), and we arranged to meet up with Yasmine and Karen who were also keen to see the new venue for our annual ‘Harmony’ event. It turned out to be the most perfect visit, the weather could not have been better, and we all had the most wonderful time at Dumbleton Hall.