Post card;Summer School

14th August 1998 at 01:00

On the boat, we foot passengers were shuffled like a pack of cards and thrown down in new combinations all over the crowded, high seasons decks.

Children bumped into one another.

Parents looked for somewhere quiet to sit away from the video games.

Young couples ate enormous, nervous meals, while single people roamed back and forth between the restaurant and Duty Free.

As land came into sight, one asked another 'Do you know the way back to the coach?

I think it's on Whale Deck.' A conversation begins with 'May I sit next to you? God it's hot in here!

Do you mind if I open this window?' We take off our coats, settle back, peel oranges.

Shall we speak in English or French?

Are we going on holiday? Or home?

Do we mind knowing each other's name?

Hugo Williams has a fortnightly column in 'The Times Literary Supplement'. His pamphlet 'Some R amp;B and Black Pop' is published this summer by Greville Press

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today