Despite Brian’s longstanding aversion to cruises, there was no way he could pass up the opportunity to join an ‘expedition cruise’ to Melanesia. After all, this little known corner of the Pacific Ocean included any number of delectable destinations, not least the myriad islands that made up New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
So Brian and Sandra signed up – for two weeks at sea in the MS Caledonian Sky, and what would turn out to be two weeks of discovery as this pocket cruise ship made its way north from New Zealand up through Melanesia to Papua New Guinea. Along the way would be encountered isolated communities, novel cultures, lush tropical vegetation, volcanoes – and, if one was Brian, a series of self-induced melancholic episodes that threatened to ruin the whole trip. Whether it was a contemplation of the failing of friendships, the malignant nature of political correctness or just the trials of old age, Brian just couldn’t help immersing himself in gloom – despite his far from gloomy situation.
Indeed, so relentless were these attacks of melancholia that Brian was obliged to resort to a remedy once used by Captain Cook’s crew when they were in this same part of the Pacific. Because to relieve the tedium of their long voyages, they would set about the composition of any number of crude limericks…
So, Melanesia, Melancholia and Limericks provides not just an insight into the fascinating islands of Melanesia (and the not-so-fascinating depths of Brian’s melancholia) but also fifty brand new and not in the least bit melancholic limericks. Most of which Sandra found profoundly crude. Inevitably.