When I first started this blog it was my intention to post at least once a month, and for a couple of years that’s exactly what I did. However this year has seen my posts dwindle which is not ideal. John hasn’t suddenly stopped being funny and entertaining, he still loves to have fun and to laugh loudly and often. Life has simply got in the way and time has been quick to turn hours into days, days into weeks and weeks into months.
I am sorry for allowing this to happen, I am sure I have lost a few followers along the way who eventually gave up waiting for something, anything, relating to the inimitable, politically incorrect but oh so gorgeous Johnelmo.
I intend to put that right and will from now on try my very best to be a good little blogger and to get Johns stories out there and I hope, extracting a few titters from you along the way. For those of you who have stuck with it and waited patiently for a post, I hope this one makes up for it.
September the month of all things ‘S’ Boatish was heralded in by John waving a picture of the ‘S’ Boat in my face. It was actually only Friday the 21st of August. “Ember” shrieked John as I collected him and his box of tricks. “August” I replied whilst being slapped around the chops by the ‘S’ Boat. “It’s still August John, now stop waving that picture about there’s a good lad or you’ll have my eye out, go and find your iPad charger for me please.”
John continued to slap me with the picture; clearly I hadn’t noticed what it was he was showing me and this game of ‘Name the month’ wasn’t any fun at all! He tried again but this time with one arm firmly around my neck holding me in place as he pressed the picture of the ‘S’ Boat up against the end of my nose. Surely I could see what it was now. He put his mouth to my ear, “Ember mummy, Esssss Boat.”
Waggling my index finger around inside my ear I was able to remove most of the spit caused by John’s elongated Essss. “Eiw! thanks for that John, now let go of me and we can talk about your trip on the ‘S’ Boat in a more civilised manner. It’s only twelve more sleeps away!” “EMBER” bellowed John. “I KNOW….” I bellowed back “that you are going in September, but it’s still bloomin’ August!”
The rest of the weekend was a lost cause as far as sanity was concerned. John needed to spread the word far and wide that he was going on the ‘S’ Boat in twelve sleeps, holding seven fingers up, and that it would be in September. “How wonderful” exclaimed the little old lady in Sainsbury’s car park “Such an unusual name.” She nodded at me and then in the direction of John. “September” I enunciated the word slowly so that she would understand what John had been saying. “Oh!” she exclaimed “That’s an even more unusual name than Ember!” We see her regularly wandering around the little car park and I often wonder if she has been there for years, searching for the exit.
Next on John’s list was the awfully kind ladies in the ‘Smelly Shops.’ John marched into each shop, had a quick look round, chose a couple of Christmas cds, shouted “Ember” and ran out before I could pay. I can’t run anywhere these days, and even have a job trying to keep up with him just walking. I have to hang on to his arm which has its own drawbacks. I once asked John to help me and he tried to lift me off the ground, unsuccessfully. He put me down at an angle not conducive to remaining upright and so we both fell in a heap. We were wrestling around on the pavement outside that well known pub in the middle of the village but nobody batted an eye lid, there are regularly people doing some very strange things on the pavement outside!
Anyway I digress, by the time I had paid the last lady for John’s purchases he had disappeared. I could have cried. Just then a lady appeared who knows us from our regular Saturday sweep of the ‘Smelly Shops,’ she pointed at the cake shop two doors down. “You’re alright love, he’s in there making eyes at a lemon sponge”
Finally John wanted to tell the roly poly man in the station all about his forthcoming trip. He is a lovely chap, always smiling and John loves him. “Ember” said John with his face up against the glass. “Hamburger?” replied the roly poly man, perking up at the mention of food. John jumped up and down slapping his head “Yes burher, man, peas” He looked at me in amazement that the roly poly man was actually going to give him a burger. Up to now John had been unsuccessful in getting him to share anything from his pile of tempting treats which were all safely stacked up on a desk in the far corner. “Yahoo” he shouted as he pogoed around the station foyer shouting “Chips, burher?”. “Ships?” said the roly poly man into the microphone so he could be heard over the noise of John slapping and leaping about. “Sort of.” I butted in to try and clear up the confusion. “He was saying September, John wants you to know that in September he is going on his favourite boat” The roly poly man looked blank. “So does he have a burger on the boat then?” “Chips!” yelled John, the roly poly man clearly having failed to take his full order. “Oh he has burger and chips on board does he, that’s my boy, love burgers me you know. Hehehe fancy that, burger and chips eh John, don’t forget the tomato sauce now, no good without plenty of the red stuff. Hehehe, funny that, him and me liking burgers.”
Twelve sleeps later and John was on cloud nine and on the S’ Boat to Belfast. With him were two very capable support staff who love to see him happy and take great care of him. I can’t thank the boys enough.
All of the staff at Stenna Line also deserve a very special thank you, every year they go out of their way to make sure that John’s trip goes smoothly with the minimum of fuss and maximum fun. This year was no exception. Siobhan, the lady on the reception at the Twelve Quays Terminal in Birkenhead has a special place in her heart for John and she had arranged a surprise. John was to be captain for the 24 hours he would be on board. He and his support workers, who were almost as excited as John, were invited onto the bridge. John was presented with a captain’s hat and a pair of binoculars, or knockers, as John calls them. (There is a post from a long time ago all about his knockers, you may want to read it!)
John was allowed on the bridge whenever he wanted for the entire 24 hr cruise, he sat in the huge swingy Captains chair and he kept a keen lookout for icebergs. He loved every single second and took over a thousand photos on his iPad. At the end of the trip they were all treated to a free full English breakfast with extra sausages. The Captain then held a special ceremony where Johnelmo was presented with a ‘Certificate of Competency’ in the capacity of Captain. There are no words….