Just as you think you’ve got a handle on things life smacks you in the face. Last week I was so proud of myself. I wrote my blog in Word on the Sunday to free up my half day ‘me time’ on the Monday. I found all the pictures and popped them into the media box – so now all I had to do was quickly cut and paste and I’d be writing Amie 3.

Now if you are about to ask why I didn’t do the whole thing and then press publish on Monday, well I’ve yet to work that one out. The last time I tried it, it went live immediately.

So, all completed nice and early, pressed publish and then remembered that I’d not added the categories and tags. No problem I thought, I’ll just pop back and edit it. So I did and then I sent out a blog which was only tags and categories. A kind follower alerted me to this so I had to go back and do the whole thing all over again – sigh.

So, where were we in SE Asia? Oh yes, on the boat on the Halong Bay in Vietnam and believe me it was pretty cold, being January I guess that was to be expected. I had packed some winter clothes, in fact I was wearing all of them – at once, all at the same time.


While DH had a massage down one end of the boat, I tried to relax with a book in our cabin, until I noticed it was getting colder and colder. The damn aircon was on full blast. I fiddled and fiddled with the remote- no luck. I then clambered up and pressed every button in sight, no luck, I tried to unplug it but it refused to cooperate. Finally in desperation, I went for help. The guide failed, the steward failed, the engineer failed and the captain failed.

After a long discussion they decided to give us another cabin – the presidential suite. Well this was the life – except you didn’t want to sit down on these chairs, unless you were very well padded.


And the bathroom – or more correctly posh heads? When did you see a Jacuzzi this size on a boat?


There were, however two small problems. We had been warned that after there was no hot water on board. Time now? 8.30pm. I was already cold enough, and the thought of sitting in freezing cold water with even colder jets spraying over me was not too enticing. Also, there were no instructions and we hadn’t the faintest idea what you twiddled, pushed, pulled or thumped to make it work. We settled for admiring the red-brown coloured enamel work.

Then problem #2 arrived. Somehow, while using the sink, I managed to get the metal flip stopper stuck in place. There was no way to empty the sink. Frankly I just didn’t have the courage to call for help a second time, so for the rest of the time on board, we had to brush our teeth over the loo.

It’s not all fun in these posh places you know.

But all was not lost. We visited this pearl farm floating on the water, where they nurture and grow them in little pens and then kill them and wrench the pearls out of them.




I passed on the cooking class, as by then I was feeling really ill – from frost bite I thought.

But I managed the trip to the fishing village, all on stilts. It was just amazing, set among 2,000 limestone islands but the kayaking, swimming and diving were a little out of the question. If you take a trip there, go in the summer!



We shared a boat with these nice people, and as we all remarked, when they get the pics developed we will all be asking “Who the hell were they?” Little did they know it was me!

Then it was time for bed, so I popped over the side to take a quick pic of the boat with its lights on.



Sadly the little prince died when he was 11 years old, and then his Daddy died, and then Queen Anne herself popped off her mortal coil in – 17 something or other and now parliament was in a fix. No heir? They looked around Europe desperately and began offering current accounts at Barclays, books of green shield stamps, Amex cards and Debenham accounts to anyone who was protestant and would sit on the throne of England. They even threw in a free subscription to Readers Digest.

Eventually they had a taker in George who came from somewhere in Germany, only it wasn’t Germany in those days, just a lot of little states and I won’t bother to mention which one as I would probably spell it all wrong.

Enter George I and we’ll meet him next week.





  1. Love the pics of Halong Bay – and of your posh rooms! I stayed in a bog standard double room with my friend and it was at the beginning of June so a bit warmer than you had. It is a stunning place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it is. I did fib a bit there was one disgustingly healthy family on board and they shot off in a kayak and wanted to do all the horrible healthy things on offer, but after they got out of the very frail looking kayak they did not venture into the water again!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I flatly refused to get into a kayak with my friend though she swore I’d be quite safe. We went on one of the boats like you did – and felt terribly guilty about the poor woman (who looked about 90 and only three feet tall) rowing it. When we came back to the landing place I got out and my friend put a hand put to balance herself as she stood up. Only, what she put her hand on was another boat and the two boats drifted further and further apart. She wouldn’t let go because her handbag would fall in the water. It was like a television cartoon. In the end she was rescued and the contents of her bag only a little bit wet.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Very good Lucinda, you look absolutely miserable in that little boat! Gabi Gabi Plumm and Peter Marsh Documentaries and corporate films

    +61 (0) 404025139

    From: lucinda E Clarke Reply-To: lucinda E Clarke Date: Tuesday, 26 April 2016 12:41 am To: Gabi Plumm Subject: [New post] PROOF I’M AN IDIOT – THE BIG TRIP VII – AND NEXT UP MONARCH Lucinda E Clarke posted: “Just as you think you’ve got a handle on things life smacks you in the face. Last week I was so proud of myself. I wrote my blog in Word on the Sunday to free up my half day ‘me time’ on the Monday. I found all the pictures and popped them into the media “


  3. I am SO pleased to hear that those types of things DON’T only happen to me. I nearly fell off my chair laughing at the thought of Parliament offering prospective Kings incentives of Barclays Accounts, Debenhams Accounts and books of green shield stamps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it is just as well they didn’t offer a Woolworths (UK) card or a BHS card, then they would be in trouble. Do you remember those green shield stamps? You had to collect them for years, decades even for a free toothpick.


  4. And what about the cigarette coupons? I think Embassey started the roll on those, but my parents used to smoke Kensitas which gave ‘d’o’u’b’l’e’ the quantity – 10 points – for every packet of fags. We got dozens of free gifts, not because they were chain-smokers, but because working in a pub they’d put their cigarette in an ashtray while they served a customer then forget where they’d put it and light another. This was, of course, long before the days of health and safety!


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