I couldn't decide whether to let on to my cabin attendant that I wasn't fooled.But letting on that you are not taken in by the whole "luxury" cruise liner experience can be dangerous, as Michelle and Barry Seaborn found to their cost last week. A porthole had, however, been tastefully painted on the wall in pastel colours. Each evening I would return from dinner to find my bed turned down and a curtain drawn over the mural. It had also caused the leatherette ice-bucket on my chest of drawers to spill its contents on the floor. So I was lying not in a rapidly flooding cabin, but on melting ice cubes.Since there was no porthole to look out, I couldn't check out the storm Only a favoured few get a view I was "internal", the steward told me. I was on the QE2 in mid-Atlantic, but in that second I thought I was reliving The Poseidon Adventure.
Any moment Shelley Winters would come swimming into my cabin, gulp for air and then expire flamboyantly.
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08/12 - 09/12 Shop for World Football Challenge Tickets staging in The House Of Bricks, The Howlin Wolf. World Football Challenge is staging in Des Moines, New orleans and Littleton. world football challenge tickets 2012
04/13 - 11/12 Bag Les Miserables Tickets staging in Cadillac Palace, Chrysler Hall. Les Miserables is staging in Chicago, Norfolk and oklahoma City. les miserablesEventually I came round enough to work out that the ship was lurching its way through a storm and had tipped me out of bed. It was when I woke up on the floor of my cabin in a pool of water that I knew I wasn't cut out for cruising. Such unaffected and putatively innocent appreciation of their servants may no longer be available to the royals.. As for royal servants, there is John Brown, attendant to Queen Victoria, shown standing outside Osborne House, his masculine self-assurance - something that interested the Queen a great deal - etched against the building's fa?e. The famous portraits of the Yorke family at Erdigg in the Welsh Marches are among the most appealing. But there are many other paintings that tell of affectionate attitudes towards the servant. It put the finger on a peculiar angst about social roles that, when confronted with the misfortunes of the Royal Family, the apex of the pyramid of deference, is appalling and fascinating in equal measure.Walking through the National Portrait Gallery, one witnesses in picture after picture the changing fortunes of those individuals who served the rich and powerful Some look miserable or are derided in pencil and paint.
The recent Channel 4 television series Masters and Servants was notable solely for the abject failure of the different families involved - one family plays servant to another for a week and vice versa - to understand that the master-servant relationship should not be an opportunity to humiliate people. It revealed the vicious class anxieties still prevalent in Britain today. As the public relations expert Max Clifford observed on Friday, other former royal servants, some of them earning the grand sum of £ 9,000 per year, may be watching Mr Burrell's rising bank balance with fascination. Gosford Park more recently played on the dangerous intimacy that wraps masters and servants together.Because such relationships are inherently unequal they are so fragile.