10. Do I exist? The fox-stole lady incident.

WomanAt times like these, I begin to notice how different I am to other people. I must already have established how different Velma and I are! She says I get excited over such silly, childish things, when it comes to the luxuries on-board, but the other passengers do seem so blasé about it. We don’t all go on yearly cruises with whatever and whomever of the European aristocracy, or the who’s-who of the transatlantic notables. And I am so very sad I didn’t get a chance to meet the king on his previous jaunt aboard – now that would have been a thing! [I admit it, Velma if you’re stealing a read at this diary again! Just because you think he’s an outdated expression of a bankrupt, male chauvinistic power structure – well, whatever].

While Velma is as strident as a fire engine [you are], and is in every way the definition of a Flapper at sea (with enough makeup to sink a battleship, or at least give us a port list [though I’m being catty now, and you are incredibly elegant, my dear, of course, as you fine-well know]), sometimes I’m not even certain other people notice the finer things on-board, or notice me for that matter. Indeed, earlier today, I tried to pass a frumpy old woman in a fox stole and pince-nez, who was standing in a promenade doorway leading in to the upper deck. A cold breeze was blowing. And a silly thing: she just stood there. Didn’t even move to let me by – as if I wasn’t even there. I tried to awkwardly breeze past her, but the old battle axe was as stolid as the Rock of Gibraltar in all her fox-fur finery (well, I admit it, if she’d continued to stand in that doorway, we may have been trapped there all day, and Velma might have done something deplorable, so I did give her a little two-handed shove… and she still didn’t acknowledge me).

Very queer.

For that matter, the ship-board security don’t seem to move around much either (is everyone so stiff-necked?). Velma even waved a hand right in front of the eyes of the guard outside the presidential suite – taunting him, saying he wasn’t guarding the gates of ‘Bucklington Palace’ now, and how we’d all been better off when old Vics had been on the throne, and he didn’t even blink – stoic to a fault.

Perhaps he thought he was still guarding the King? Ha! Ha!

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