Mavis ready to set sail again

WANDERLUST has seized Mavis Bensley, The Evening Star reader whose adventures aboard the QE2 have kept many entertained for the past four months.No sooner had she returned home to Ipswich, than Mavis, 71, was to be spotted reading a leaflet in The Evening Star reception advertising another cruise!“I shouldn't, but what great value that looks!” said Mavis from Bolton Lane.

WANDERLUST has seized Mavis Bensley, The Evening Star reader whose adventures aboard the QE2 have kept many entertained for the past four months.

No sooner had she returned home to Ipswich, than Mavis, 71, was to be spotted reading a leaflet in The Evening Star reception advertising another cruise!

“I shouldn't, but what great value that looks!” said Mavis from Bolton Lane.

“I already have a Baltic cruise booked for this summer with the family, for my son-in-law's birthday, and I am going back to Turkey soon too.”

Fresh from her world cruise, Mavis was presented with flowers and copies of her weekly columns which she filed from the famous ship charting her journey.

Readers particularly liked her descriptions of the colourful characters on board, as well as the destinations she visited and interviews with staff.

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Decked out in a Beijing baseball hat, she was carrying a QE2 bag packed with souvenirs including a cannibal's fork from Fiji and a silk jacket from China.

Many will be presents for family and friends but she added: “I don't know what to do with the rest! You find yourself thinking why on earth did I buy that?

“I tried to get something small from each place, which was relevant to the place.

“Some people were buying carved rhinos and marble buddhas - great huge things which I don't know how they carried home.

“At least my QE2 world cruiser badge means I get straight to the front of the queue next time I check in! I did have some South African wine too, but I drank it!”

She said Australia was her favourite of the 41 destinations visited on the four-month cruise: “I would like to go back there and New Zealand but not on a cruise - I'd like to go further inland and spend longer there. When we sailed into Sydney Harbour alongside the Queen Mary 2 it was the best moment of the trip. That memory will stay with me forever. The harbour was chock-a-block with boats hooting and tooting, water cannons were going off, and fireworks, bands were playing.

“Next year all three Queens will be meeting up in Sydney and I think that will be quite something as the Australians love boats and ships so there will be a warm welcome.”

She felt the restrictions of cruising in places like Fiji and Tonga, where the political climate prevented passengers from going-it-alone, and they were asked to stay with tour guides.

Mavis, whose husband Don died three years ago, was welcomed home by family including eight grandchildren who are all destined for presents from her travels.

Have you enjoyed Mavis' Globetrotter column? Write to You Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Mavis's souvenir stash includes:

T-shirts by the dozen

Boomerang from Australia

Oriental fan from Japan

Giraffe salad servers from Africa

A carved wooden Dodo from Mauritius where they were last seen

Wine bottle sleeve from Singapore

Teddy called Queenie from the QE2 Chopsticks from Japan

Magnetic bead jewellery from the canaries

Madeira from Madeira

Spices from India

Fridge magnet calculator from Japan

Platinum world cruiser badge from QE2

Panama hat from Panama

Keyrings

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