Once, when I was a kid, perhaps about ten years old, we set off on a family holiday to one of Britain’s Channel Islands.
This involved a short-ish drive to a nearby port, waiting in a queue with lots of other cars, and then driving up a ramp and into the belly of an enormous ferry (very exciting!)
Getting out of the car, we climbed a narrow staircase up to the accommodation deck and located our cabin at the end of a long corridor with numbered doors.
At which point, I remember, we were put to bed for the duration of the overnight crossing. It was disappointing at the time, though as a parent myself now, I can see the logic.
Waking early, I pulled on my clothes and leaving my family asleep, I set off to explore the ship (making a careful note of the cabin number, so I could find my way back).
Strangely, the ferry seemed quite deserted. No one at all was about.
I assumed it was still too early for breakfast. Everyone was clearly still in bed.
I hadn’t got further than the end of the corridor when I heard my father’s name being called over the ship’s intercom system. Would he please report to the car deck, IMMEDIATELY?
I raced back to the cabin, woke everyone up, and we rushed back down to the car deck to find that our car was the only one remaining.
A visibly-irate sailor waved us down the ramp and back onto dry land. We’d caused a significant delay for the queue of cars waiting to board for the return trip to Britain.
Inexplicably, our whole family had slept through the intercom announcements counting down the approach to land and then relaying instructions for rejoining our car and preparing to disembark.
I never did get to explore the ship, see the sea, or have the promised breakfast.
Which brings me to the point…
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