I have never had such a terrific 85th birthday. Starting with the suggestion that I should have breakfast in bunk I gracefully declined, fearing that corn flakes plus reconstituted milk might not taste so good after being spooned from my sleeping bag. After c. f. plus r.m. I was treated to a choc bar and let off washing-up duty. Then came the presents, both of them, each tastefully wrapped in bacofoil. One contained a mammoth, life-threatening slab of Cadbury’s finest and the other a set of ;playing cards with a hilarious joke on each of them., with the 2 of spades and the eight of clubs being almost funny. The piece of resistance – due for tonight’s gala dinner – is a pudding, the like of which no one here has ever seen before, its recipe handed down from generation to generation by the Bainbridge family, just occasionally skipping a generation when wisdom prevailed in his native Yorkshire. The number 85, perfectly spelt, was made by Andy, M.B., Ch.B, out of chopped and very dried apricots. The actual pudd. (as often named in Bainbridge country to this day) consists of flour, dates, chopped apricots, crushed biscuit, cranberry (nicely sliced - normally by virgins, but nothing even approaching that is on board) and dark chocolate, giving – in its entirety – an astonishing appearance, particularly in the shade. Whether this piece encounters the resistance for which it is so famed has yet to be seen and felt. If the pudd lives up to its reputation please look after our people. PS. It contains no sugar, is not fat-free, may have peanuts and contains all the vitamins a normal man needs in sailing from the Old World to the New (as C. Columbus knew so well). So far my 86th year is proving very good, but the pudd still awaits and is actually moving. There’s nowt so queer as pudds, as they say up Bainbridge Dale. Or did until 1824 when olde Bainbridge used his last tooth to nibble some on HIS 85th BIRTHDAY.
I hope I live to see an 85th Birthday like this! If you haven't been following this extraordinary voyage you can see more about the An-Tiki here. Hurry up, they are nearly there!