Jon Sopel, Senior BBC Foreign Correspondent, was Jo Haley’s guest on her morning show. He discussed his lecture from the previous day and gave a preview of today’s lecture titled “Yes, Mr President” which recounted his interview with President Obama.
Oh by the way, I have further looked into the Kings Court for breakfast and learned that they have 2 cooks, at least, that will cook eggs to order. There isn’t a sign that says this is an option, but once you look for it, you will spot the cooks standing near their fry pans either working on a custom order or preparing items to be placed on the serving line.
We arrived for Jon Sopel’s lecture a few minutes before it started and the place was packed! Not quite standing room only, but pretty close. We managed to find a couple of seats way off to one side.
Jon spent the first ½ hour recalling how his persistent paid off and he was granted his request for an interview. Much of his talk discussed his preparation and the mechanics of conducting an interview with the President of the United States. Even though he was an experienced correspondent he was still quite nervous while preparing for the interview and said that President Obama was very gracious and made him feel at ease right away.
He had promised earlier to give his perspective on the upcoming USA presidential election and he did not disappoint. He refused to offer his personal opinion on the race, but he did give some interesting insight and discussed how the UK Brexit vote may indicate the mood of the electorate across the globe. Much to my surprise he asked a supporter of each candidate to expand on their reasoning for their support. I was surprised that he would go down this path of engaging the audience on such a hot topic, but he handled it very well and the participants and audience were all quite respectful and led to an interesting exchange of opinions. These lectures are normally planned for 45 minutes, but this one lasted for 1hr and 15 minutes and the room stayed full.
We enjoy fish and chips and were looking forward to giving the Golden Lion Pub Fish and Chips a shot. The menu doesn’t list them as “Fish and Chips” but calls them “Beer Battered Atlantic Cod” or something like that. However when I asked for “Beer Battered Atlantic Cod” repeating exactly what was listed on the menu, the server look puzzled and asked – “Do you mean Fish and Chips?” About 15 minutes later we were enjoying some wonderful Fish and Chips. The pub was crowded but we were able to find seats at the bar. They serve lunch from noon until 2:30 and when they say 2:30 they mean 2:30. I had stopped by earlier at 2:31 and they were definitely no longer serving lunch. I would suggest getting there before noon in order to get a table and order drinks. They will take your food order at noon. This venue is quite popular and tends to fill up quickly.
Judy hadn’t been to the bridge viewing area so we visited after our Fish and Chips. The place was busier than the first time I visited but was still not crowded and there wasn’t any wait to get inside. They have photographs of the various bridge instruments along with a brief description which is helpful to identify everything you will see.
The lectures are replayed on the TV in the staterooms on a loop on channel 44. I spent some time in the afternoon watching some of the earlier lectures and discovered that they were all very interesting. Quality lectures appears to be a standard feature on “crossings” and maybe this is the case on Cunard all the time. I watched the lectures by Dr Dan Wilkins, who spoke on science and outer space and then Dr Dan Hamilton, MD, who was a Medical Consultant for various USA TV Shows.
Judy stopped by the Grand Lobby on Deck 3 at 4pm to pick up a copy of Fern Mallis’s book “Fashion Icons” and had her copied autographed. Zandra Rhodes was there as well, and Judy had a chance to speak with her, learning that she spent about half the year in Solana Beach, near where we live in San Diego.
Due to high demand, Colin McDowell offered a second illustration workshop and would eventually offer a third workshop. As previously discussed, we attended his first workshop. It always pays to carefully read the Daily Programme carefully each evening as often times these events will be listed only once as a very small item and can be easily overlooked. In many cases advance registration is required and if you sign up the evening before you will be less likely to miss out on a popular event.
My quest to visit the Boardwalk Café remains unfulfilled as the cold temperatures and high winds have made the outside decks rather unpleasant locations to spend much time. Someone commented on my early post that this café is more suited for warm weather cruises and is rarely opened during crossings.
As part of Fashion Week on the QM2, Colin McDowell and Gail Sackloff worked with the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London to invite 5 students to present some of their designs during the crossing. The RCA is a prestigious graduate school offering Masters degrees (2 year program) in various aspects of fashion and design. Every day from 7:30 to 8:30 pm the students would appear in the Champagne Bar and were available for informal discussions. We stopped by this evening and had a wonderful discussion with 2 of the students and learned more about this interesting school and their future plans.
Dinner is a joy as always. Judy and I both had the Sea Bass, which is the second time this has appeared on the menu. The QM2 seems to repeat menu items more frequently than on other lines. Nevertheless, it was quite good and we enjoyed another evening of lively conversation with our tablemates.
Steve Bruner from San Francisco was on the main stage this evening. He bills himself as offering clean, observational humor. He put on a good show, but seemed fascinated with pointing out and commenting on every late arrival. I find this distracting and breaks up the flow of their performance and am puzzled why some comedians seem to enjoy doing this.
Tonight was Big Band Night in the Queens Room. Since they didn’t need an orchestra for the comedian, the Royal Court Theatre Orchestra move to the Queens Room to join forces with that band to create a “Big Band Sound.” They were very good and the dance floor was getting a good workout as many couples were having a wonderful time. I spotted at least 4 male dance hosts and I heard there may even be a female dance host, but I never spotted her, if one was actually present.
If you enjoy ballroom dancing, then Cunard and QM2 are for you as I can’t think of another line that caters as much to ballroom dancing. The amount of live music on this ship is pretty amazing.
Before settling in for the evening I stopped by the Casino to play some Blackjack. There are two blackjack tables but only one was in service and no one playing at the time. For the first 10 minutes I was the only player, but then was joined by a few other people who were in a good mood. My luck can best be summed up by the following hand. I was dealt a 9 and a 2 with the dealer showing a 5. I doubled down and drew a 10 and was feeling pretty good about having 21 against the dealer’s 5. Flipping over her down card, the dealer showed a 10 and now had a 15 – my excitement was short lived as she drew a 6 giving her a 21 as well for a ‘push’. My luck didn’t change and I called in a night after one shoe.
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