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My father books a cruise - profits warning alert for Fred Olsen lines after drinks offer

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 27 July 2016

Dad and I are now into a good routine here in Shipston. He does not say much about my late step mum but he is getting a task done each day, sorting out his papers, her papers, probate, making a few plans, writing stern memos in his semi legible drunken spider handwriting. On Saturday I head back to the Mrs - who is now at 34 weeks - for a Bristol break and he will have his first time trying to cope alone without his cook and companion. We have a few folks popping in to see him during the six days before I return and we shall see how it all goes.

Plans have been made for carers and visitors right up until September but then - as you know - I shall be in Bristol for the birth of my son, something that I am incredibily excited about. Luckily Dad has now booked a cruise for some of that month. We spent ages on various websites and discussing where he wanted to go. New places so he might get an extra country in his six decade battle with his brother C involving who has been to the most sovereign states? Nope it was going to an area he loves. So he will be travelling to Venice and Back. No new countries but places that make him happy.

The lady from Fred Olsen lines said "For £10 a day extra he can get as much drink as he wants." Bloody hell, I think I might book in to go with him. I asked the lady if she was sure? Can Fred Olsen's bank balance handle this offer to my father? She clearly does not know of his reputation and seemed sure so it has all been booked.

Naturally we all worry about how Dad will cope alone on the ship given that he is pretty immobile but my father seems absolutely sure he will be fine and that he will have fun. And so all siblings and step siblings are happy that he heads off to blow a healthy slice of the inheritance with Fred Olsen.

But will Fred Olsen see its balance sheet holed beneath the waterline by that drinks offer for my dad? If so, I can help Fred out. In the old days Dad used to get to go on free cruises lecturing on Hellenic matters. And he'd love to do it again. So much so that if Fred offers a surcharge for the right to give lectures at, say, £500 a pop by the time he is back from Venice, Fred's balance sheet will be greatly strengthened and the inheritance will have taken another beating.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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