The first night of our voyage, and being sick, not from the seas but excitement, was thrilling. I got over the “excitement sickness” very quickly. After Mummy read me her stories from my beginnings and our many “living” places in England and Ireland I slept, but not for long. I woke up the next day at 6 am, immediately looking out the port-hole, seas were all around, nothing else. It was amazing that as a little girl we had a room on a ship, going to America, and it was surrounded by water. I didn’t think I could fathom it. We were in this tiny, closet for 7 days, but to me it might as well have been the a Grand Suite. I didn’t care, I’m sure Mummy and Daddy cared a lot since they couldn’t move and had absolutely no privacy, but I can honestly tell you I didn’t care or remember any thing about it. I was in my glory.
The first thing I did was look for children, British or French, to play with. I couldn’t find anything or anyone at that early hour. I remember Daddy told me I could run around but had to come back for breakfast. I did just that, I ran around. It seemed like no one was awake? I wondered why? I didn’t understand that 6 in the morning was just a bit too early for roaming around. I came back to our cabin and Ka was awake, Mum was feeding Yv, not like she couldn’t feed herself but she had just turned 2 so I think Mum was making sure she was going to eat. Daddy was in the miniature bathroom and it was only 7 am. “Daddy where is everyone?” asking almost as if the ship was empty. Daddy replied “D. I’m sure there are a lot of children on board, but they don’t all speak English, remember this ship came from France, so when they all have their breakfasts with their Mummy’s and Daddy’s we will know where the children go to play, the playroom and everything you’ll be able to do for an entire week!”. I was so excited, but I didn’t get sick this time.
After breakfast in our own, the children’s dining room, oh that was so wonderful, I was treated like a real lady. A lady of 8 years old that is! We were then taken to the French puppet room, it was a true “Punch and Judy” show. We knew no French whatsoever, but we knew how to relate to the attacks on Punch and Judy. It was a traditional, popular puppet show featuring Mr. Punch and his wife, Judy. The performance consisted of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically the violent Punch and one other character. I didn’t understand why Mr. Punch was hitting his wife? But the funniest thing was, it was completely in French! Traditional “Punch and Judy” is a British coastal show that my parents would watch yearly during the summer season on their coastal areas. When something is in a different language you are basically watching what is happening and reacting. Photos were taken of my sister and I but were lost, we were so into it I think I was on the top of my feet yelling at Mr. Punch the most. I had a blast.
The ships director then took us to our own playroom..our own playroom! There were more toys in this playroom than in my little lifetime!
From the picture we do have, which is of others, it doesn’t look a lot but it was, I played all day, after breakfast till tea time, till dinner, till bedtime, there wasn’t a thing I wasn’t doing as a child in this luxurious liner.
I was very outgoing, besides thinking I was French when I wasn’t, because I would just talk to anyone that would speak to me. There were also an indoor pool, an outdoor pool and most of us kids were only in the indoor pool. Mostly because it was the safest, and the ship had personal babysitters to watch us in the water. I think I lived a life of excitement that no other child had during that time period. It was full of life, love, thrilling moments, special treatment for us, and I don’t even remember what my Mum and Dad actually did? I do know they took care of Ya since she was little, but they had their own adult things to do, which I didn’t see nor did I care about. I went to bed after the second day, I was so tired from every the SS France did for us I just passed out…until Day 3…that’s when all hell broke loose.