Saturday, 17 May 2008

Tor Anglia-Valsen

The ferry companies have hit choppy waters in recent years, what with the abolition of duty free, cutting the numbers of British boozers braving the channel in search of cheap Stella, along with the interminable rise of the low cost airline. What goes around comes around though, so today the resurgence in popularity of taking to the seas, as opposed to battling through Hellthrow to be herded onto a climate busting tin tube, means that ferry companies are back on a crest of a wave. However, if they really want to press gang more punters onboard, I suggest that they release a fine piece of promotional vinyl just like Torline did, presumably for their route to England circa 1960/70's?. What could possibly get you more in the mood for a continental holiday than receiving a 45 with a picture of a lovely young maiden holding a model of the ship you're just about to board. Dinky toys are lined up to represent that frustrating wait as you watch all he other lines of vehicles get waved through first. You are left fuming in the knowledge that all the window seats in the ship's bar will be bagged by the time you embark.

Yes but what about the songs? I hear you cry: well there's a jaunty accordion led waltz written by a Henry Fox that sounds like it's escaped from a Bavarian drinking hall and on the flip side a jazzy piano ditty that breaks into a roll'n'roll boogie with perfunctory English lyrics as thus 'Shake it to your left, jump it to the right, round and round we go, then jump with all your might, Shake it now, everybody's jumping because the band's swinging tonight' perhaps these are alluding to the vomit inducing Force 8 gale you're likely to hit in the middle of the North Sea on Torline.

Speaking of hurling, that reminds me of the last time I stepped onto a ferry in Roscoff with the mother of all hangovers as a memento of my visit to France. The overwhelming stench of petrol fumes tipped me over the edge and I proceeded to heave all over the car deck to the lack of amusement of one of the French crew members who wasn't displaying much 'Entente Cordial' at that moment. The rest of the trip was spent lying forlorn, in a stifling hot cabin with the company of my friend's tired and hungry kids to make sure I couldn't sleep it off. However, if I had been given a souvenir record for my troubles it would've all been worth it it! take note Brittany Ferries, "Valkommen Ombord" indeed...

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