Going bananas: slow holiday style

You may not have noticed my absence, but I thought I’d share a glimpse of what I’ve been up to for the past week or so. It’s been very relaxing here. Just the occasional interruption of the blue horizon by a passing yacht… although when I spotted a banana boat, I was moved to reach for my camera – hence the curious angle of this shot, which, of course, has nothing to do with a preprandial tipple.

Thankfully, the boat righted itself, and I followed its path, through oil-smeared sunglasses, as it pootled along – eventually disappearing behind a large rock.

Inspired by a documentary on BBC somethingorother, I’ve been thinking that, when I reach a ripe old age, it might be rather nice to take a trip on a banana boat. Any record of that programme seems to have disappeared without trace, but from what I recall, the small group of paying guests had a whale of a time (excuse the holiday spirit talking). There were old fashioned games, such as curling, on deck; there was even a swimming pool – and, presumably, one could always laze about under the shade of a derrick. Best of all, there were extremely boozy, nightly dinners at the Captain’s table.

I suppose the only drawback is the time it would take to cross whole oceans at what looks to be a snail’s pace. And I guess you’d have to get along pretty well with the other passengers from the outset. Unfortunately, I also discovered another major obstacle, when my search on the internet drew a blank: I’m not sure it’s actually possible to travel by banana boat any more.

However, I did manage to find a couple of shipping lines that offer cruises on other types of container ship. It appears you can now voyage around the world in 84 days on ugly French lumps of iron with exotic sounding names like Matisse, Manet, Wagner and Bellini.

Which brings me nicely back to my empty glass… I’d better be off to lunch now. Tomorrow I’ll be back at my computer – the mere thought of which is enough to make me go bananas.

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About Author Profile: Susan Muncey

Trend consultant Susan Muncey, is Editor of Visuology Magazine. In 2008, she founded online curiosity shop, ShopCurious.com. She writes on style and trends for several blogs, including Visuology.com, ShopCuriousMag.com and The Dabbler. She previously owned cult West London boutique, Fashion Gallery, one of the first concept stores in the world. Susan graduated in geography from Cambridge University and is also an Associate Member of the CFA Institute. She lives in London with her husband.

10 thoughts on “Going bananas: slow holiday style

  1. johngjobling@googlemail.com'
    April 16, 2011 at 09:59

    My, Clactons changed a bit Susan rubbing it in you are, those lazy hazy days of summer, not a jellied eel in site, enjoy, wish we were there.

  2. jameshamilton1968@gmail.com'
    April 16, 2011 at 10:40

    Suitably envious, Susan!

    That’s an excellent Public Service announcement there, too, that it’s still possible to travel that way.. a real sea voyage is something that you feel ought to be in every proper British life, and I don’t mean some cruise around the islands being lectured to by Dr. Young Historian Phd. I envied Jonathan Raban’s late 80s Atlantic crossing in a British container ship: perhaps it can still be done.

  3. info@shopcurious.com'
    April 16, 2011 at 13:29

    Actually, it hasn’t all been lazy, Malty – there’s been a bit of deep sea fishing and some sailing alongside J-Class yachts… Now there’s a truly stylish way to travel – I wouldn’t mind a grand voyage on Shamrock or Endeavour, James.

  4. russellworks@gmail.com'
    ian russell
    April 16, 2011 at 13:58

    I went on a cruise once. I remember everyone was throwing up, and those who’d finished throwing up were beating six bells out of the bloke who kept suggesting a game of I-spy. If we’d have been meant to float on the sea, god would have fashioned Adam from wood instead of clay.

    • mikewzim@gmail.com'
      April 16, 2011 at 15:57

      In the future, I’m not going on the cruise, if I see vomit stains on the hull.

  5. andrewnixon@blueyonder.co.uk'
    April 16, 2011 at 21:08

    All right for some, innit.

    I’ve just spent a few moments calculating the velocity of that banana boat by bisecting the angle between the sun and your big toe, and assuming all is to scale and the wind is nor’nor’easterly, I make it that it’s travelling at 4,000 mph (or ‘knots’ as the sailors have it).

    • johngjobling@googlemail.com'
      April 18, 2011 at 10:17

      Your upbringing within the sound of spume and spray is at last paying dividends Brit, the measured mile, now that we’ve built the boat let’s see how fast it goes. Oh look, there’s a pair of well scrubbed up big toes, are they a mile apart? no matter, get the stop watch out bosun.
      One of the finest stretches of English coastline, first discovered if you remember by the long haired porridge scoffer and the bloke with the umbrella, lies twixt Lindisfarne and Alnmouth and boasts an odd pair of obelisks, exactly one mile apart, used by the makers of ships to prove the speed of their wares.
      Boats carrying guns n’ sharp swords = 35 knots
      Boats, banana = 2 knots

      Your tootsies have now gone down in maritime folklore Susan.

  6. alasguinns@me.com'
    Hey Skipper
    April 17, 2011 at 09:16

    Nice toes.

    • info@shopcurious.com'
      April 17, 2011 at 15:56

      Just as well I’ve got good sea legs too…

      Norovirus is also known as Cruise Ship Sickness (a good reason to give holiday cruise liners a wide berth in favour of the commercial option, where I guess you’re less likely to encounter a dodgy seafood buffet).

  7. Worm
    April 18, 2011 at 09:50

    glad you’re having a relaxing time Susan! I once posted some incoherent ramblings about banana boats on my blog too

    Wasn’t that documentary part of one of Michael Palin’s series? I seem to remember seeing something similar

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