Brisbane, QLD

Friday, May 1, 2009


Saturday 29 January 1949
A lazy day, sunbathing and eating. Very hot so I went under the spray on deck for a cool down. Lovely and refreshing.

Went to concert after dinner. Very good. Danced on the fore deck from 12:00 to 1:00am.

Sunday 30th January 1949
Still in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Had a shampoo and set in the morning. Sweat pouring off me under the drier. Sunbathed after lunch. Supper party late at night. David slept out on deck. He helped in the Kiosk and he was ringing wet. Real assortment of people and dress. I get fun watching others. Turkey again for dinner.

Monday 31st January 1949
Rather rough. Wash coming overboard. Heavy showers of rain occasionally lasting 3 mins which soaked me through in bathing costume. First time we have had any rain and it does come down. Lashes up the sea and you can watch it coming. Temperature still very high.
Gossip, rumours and scandal are most amusing. It is far worse than living in a village. We get no end of fun from the tall stories and yarns we hear.
We could buy tons of best quality sweets, all varieties of biscuits, Turkish delight, sugared almonds. We have delicious ice creams at lunch and dinner times. Still nearly another week of ocean before we see land but I don’t care how long this lasts.

Clocks on again. Glorious sun set, pinks, mauves, lemon and gold.

Tuesday 1st February 1949
Squalls occasionally. Just as I settled down on deck for a sleep in the afternoon the rain came in a few minutes then dropped down and stopped in 3 mins. Portholes had to be closed. Although it is windy, the sea isn’t rough; I can scarcely feel any movement. In fact when we are at the pictures or a concert one forgets that we are moving. Evenings getting longer. Dancing in the evening.
Can buy as many tins of 50 fags as one wants for 2/6 each. ("fags " was the English slang word for cigarettes.)


  1. Ma'am Diane, you are very fortunate to be able to keep your Mom's diary and share the memory of her long voyage by the sea down under. I'd been into overnight sea travel from Mindanao to Luzon many times in my life, back in my country, and I can tell you, two days rocking on a rough sea was an ordeal. How much more for your mom to endure such a vast ocean from England? It looked like she was having fun though with all those social dancing and piping fags. Very interesting. I ventured checking your blog here. By the way, all the videos are fantastic. I have made myself melted cheesy toast the other day soon as I read your Swiss brekky, now I have another to try: fried shredded potato! Yummy!!

  2. Your mother's diary makes me dream of a cruise again. I did one 5 years ago through the mediteranian sea. It also was so beautiful. The word "fag" is still used in England and honnestly until this "No smoking" campaign started everybody smoked ! It was even not well seen if you didn't smoke ! Non smokers were outsiders today it's just the other way around.

  3. I just found your blog of your mother's adventure. I haven't time to read it all now, but I will. We came out from S Africa in 1974 so we had a very different experience.

  4. I can relate to the "fags". Both my parents were heavy smokers, and yes was fashionable during the war, Mum a nurse, and Dad in the Army. I still get violently ill if someone smokes in a car...and am very strict about the no smoking rule in the house or in my car. I could never be in an enclosed space where everyone was smoking....and smile gently to myself when anyone rants on about the no smoking policy and silently "hear hear"......the years of being subjected to others smoking had to be born silently but no more thank goodness.

    Your mother certainly enjoyed the voyage...and the food would have been a revelation after the strict rationing during the war years.
    Cheers lizzie b.

  5. Your mom does sound like quite the glamorous lady. Now we know who you take after.

  6. I have heard that definition cigarette, and it amuses me how convoluted our language becomes. Love the pictures. It's interesting how the rough sees didn't seem to affect her since she comments "I don't care how long this lasts." I get sick if I even set one foot on a boat.

  7. hey diane...I have been following your posts for some time but have been unable to leave comments again. I have a new computer so I am going to try it again.

  8. hi Diane, I am hoping this works finally got my new computer set up. I have been following your blog for some time and love the stories and pictures you have been posting. Have been unable to post comments until now. Hopefully this works.

  9. Hi Diane, I popped into your blog through Brenda's Rinkly Rimes. Wow, I want to scroll back and read the whole diary and will soon as I have time. I live in South Africa and though I've flown many times, I've never been on a cruise ship. Your mum was a really glamorous lady and loved the trip - imagine all those yummy sweets and ice-cream. *Sigh* I'll be back. Blessings.

  10. Another exciting installment. You can feel her excitement and enthusiasm for eating and shopping. She enjoyed 'people watching' all her life. I remember her showing me how it was done!
    Fantastic, Mum!

  11. I'm so glad that you are all enjoying Mum's story.
    Kathleen: My mum was very fashionable and dressed well all her life. She also made most of her clothes. However. I was a big disappointment to her because I wasn't interested in clothes. I wanted to dress like a boy, and all my life I have opted for the casual look. I certainly am not glamorous or fashionable. More like neat and comfy.

  12. Diane - You always look very nice in your photos, and you definitely have beautiful social skills with people. You are glamorous whether you realize it or not. You are glamorous and beautiful from the inside out my dear. Glad I met you over this crazy cyberspace we have now. You are glamorous in your own way. It may not be the same, but you are!

  13. I don't know Mum; I'd say you were fashionably comfy!

  14. As you say, it was largley the fashion then. Good to see that it was the food vice that passed down and not the smoking one.

  15. Ah yes, I am very familiar with that slang word for cigarette. I grew up with it and though it isn't a very nice sounding word, it certainly didn't have the negative connotation it has now. My parents started smoking during the war, my mom in the air-raid shelters when someone offered her one to 'calm her nerves'. These are such incredible posts Diane. Thank you again for sharing them. They would make a great movie, a wonderful book.

  16. It is amazing how everyone seemed to smoke in those days. My parents also smoked a bit after the war. Dad gave up early on, but my Mum had the odd one for many years later. Diane

  17. It is amazing how many people smoked in those days. My parents both smoked, Dad gave up early on but for many years onwards my Mum would have the odd fag. Diane

  18. Still reading these posts Diane - I haven't given up yet. A real credit to your Mum's writing skills, the photos and your hard work in collating them !

    1. I'm so glad you are enjoying the story. I can't believe it was back in 2009 when I wrote it. It seems like yesterday.