My sister Mandy is married to a lovely man with a lovely mum. She is lovely. Not only is she lovely, she is also a Super-Mum (as I revealed in a post named “Would You Like To Meet The In-Laws?”)
However, she has a problem. It is a problem that I find difficult to comprehend. I try to be understanding, sympathetic, compassionate, but frankly it baffles me! My sister’s mother-in-law is a PANICKER! In one particular situation she loses all sense of reason and her behaviour is incredibly unpredictable. Do not be out at sea with this Super-Mum – who knows what might happen?
I first realized this when we took a trip to the Isle-Of-Man (or Mann, I am rather confused about whether it is supposed to have one or two “N”s because everyone seems to think differently.) I have made that trip many times because we had great friends over there and we thought it a lovely escape for a weekend.
The Irish Sea can be a rough crossing indeed. I don’t suffer too much myself with sea-sickness, but I have been on crossings that have been so turbulent that almost everyone had to be out on deck with severe regrets that they had breakfast before they left the house!
But, one thing that has always reassured me when I arrived at Liverpool to set off for the crossing to Douglas, is that the Sea-Cat can only sail when the water is reasonably calm. If it is too choppy, they have to use a different kind of vessel. The Sea-Cat (I am no expert in ocean vessels) kind of skims across the surface of the water. It can only do that when the sea is reasonably calm. I have been on journeys that were changed due to weather conditions. Our two hour Sea-Cat crossing was changed to a four hour trip on the “Ben-Me-Cree” which took us to Heysham instead. Then we had to travel by coach down to Liverpool. That boat the “Ben-Me-Cree”, it seemed to bob around like a cork in water and we felt the heaving and swaying dramatically.
So turning up at Liverpool Docks on a sunny day with the faintest of breezes and learning the Sea-Cat was definitely running I was a happy bunny. I like travelling with a group of friends and family members. We have fun! This was the first time I had traveled with my brother-in-law’s Super-mum. She is a lovely lady…but almost from the start she started to show signs of anxiety that I had never seen in her before.
It became much worse. There are times when the Sea-Cat seems to slam down onto the water quite forcefully. She started to become alarmed to an extent I had never seen before. We all kept telling her that was normal. But she was not able to accept our reassurances. She started running around and screaming in panic shouting “We are going to sink!”
Her own family were trying to retrain her, but they were unsuccessful. A couple of the crew on-board became involved because she was so frantic. Other passengers just stared in amazement. I was bewildered. How could a woman who was normally perfectly rational and capable deteriorate so quickly into this abysmal state of panic?
Her angst only dissipated when we were safe on dry land. When she had fully recovered she apologised to everyone who had been worried by her state of panic. Then she told us it was not the first time, or the worst time! It seems that travelling by water is not advisable in her case. When they were on vacation in Spain they went out on a hover-croft with a large group of fellow tourists. The stampede of panic she had caused after she became convinced that the hover-craft had been damaged and they were in danger of imminent cap-sizing was so severe, that she had been formally told by the company running the Hover-craft tours that she would not be allowed back again.
I do love her as a member of our extended family, and I don’t want to be unkind about her, but I swear, she is the last person on earth I would go on a cruise with!