South of the wall (1)

We normally take a week’s holiday at this time of year. Our Silent Eye’s main event – the April Workshop in Derbyshire – is a result of a year’s intensive preparation by the organisers and some very concentrated participation by all those present. 

This year’s ‘Feathered Seer’ workshop worked very well and Sue and Stuart’s posts cover it in some detail, as per my reblogs, here. 

Bernie and I have never been cruising. It didn’t feel like our thing, and I have this morbid dread of cabin fever based upon overnight ferry trips we have made to get the car to such starting points as Santander in northern Spain. 

But the prospect of a cruise on a very large and well-equipped ship appealed when we saw an advert by Celebrity Cruises for a seven day trip from Southampton to the Fijords of Norway – the ones that the extra-terrestrial Slartibartfast designed in Douglas Adams’ ‘The Hitch-hiker’s guide to the galaxy’. 

So, we booked… and, two weeks before the trip, we were still booking little day trips from the boat, like Kayaking excursions, and Celebrity were still accepting our additional monies. 

When I got back from ‘The Feathered Seer’, Bernie sat me down with a coffee and said she had some bad news… A representative from the company had phoned and explained that our cruise had been cancelled – those exact words. At first, I assumed it meant that the boat had come down with a massive virus, or some huge marine engineering problem, but no… the phrasing was exact, ‘our’ cruise had been cancelled…

To cut a long explanation short, it appears that cruise companies overbook their boats on the basis that some cancellations always occur – but this time clearly not enough. We we bumped and dumped… and read the small print, there’s nothing you can do about it. 

There were apologies and a generous compensation package, including a free cruise some time in the next two years at our leisure. But we weren’t going to Norway. 

With my Slartibartfast hat on I wished I had been home to take the call from Celebrity. I would have asked what was to stop them from cancelling our ‘replacement’ cruise a few days before that one is due? Further incursions into the Douglas Adams world would have led me to ask whether they actually had any boats at all; or were just operating the world’s most slick business plan, based on endless cancellations…

But now I’m getting churlish…

So, we’re not in Norway, we’re sitting in a last-minute booked  resort in Cancun, Mexico. It looks very nice and we’ll get some sun, but probably not too much kayaking. It’s a long way to fly for a week but we’ll make the best of it!

We figured the Mexicans needed a break, too…

I’ll attempt to keep the irony going with a series of ‘Not from Norway’ posts as we dance on our hats… our celebrity hats…

(Posted from my iPhone so forgive the formatting!)

Image: Wikipedia CC by 2.5

Flight of the Seer V…

The Silent Eye


Any creative endeavour involves hazard.

We are fortunate enough to work with an eclectic and talented bunch of souls which inevitably lessens that hazard.

With our previous Workshop, Leaf and Flame, we had made a rod for our own back by extending the compass of R4 out into the night and into the realms of spectacle… and fire… and dance… and legend, courtesy of the street entertainers known as Mister Fox.

So, what this time for our R4 extension?


“It’ll need to be big, brash and in your face to counteract the, ‘Beyond the Veil’ section of R4.”

“We’ll hand it over to Dean and Ali.”

“Our Lore Keepers?”



Dean Powell and Alienora Browning have been April Workshop stalwarts since the Silent Eye’s inception and have on numerous occasions stepped in to cover more than their primary roles when illness or mishap has dictated.



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