I normally write with a cynical edge but every now and again, an event occurs that demonstrates such a joyous fusion of madcap marketing and British, eccentric lunacy that I genuinely wish I had tickets for it.
I am, of course, talking about Ideal Shopping Direct’s Create and Craft cruise with the stars, setting sail this May bank holiday out of Hull docks. Yes – you heard me – it’s a ‘celebrity’ cruise in honour of a shopping channel.
OK , so Create and Craft has slightly more to it than mere buying and selling – the channel serves a predominantly elderly community of viewers, who are able to get their fix of beading, card making, and so on, while our hosts – gurus of glue and scions with scissors – dish out warmth, love, hints and tips in between the sell, sell, sell.
Still, the whole thing is undeniably ‘niche’, making a cruise somewhat overboard perhaps ?
But if it works ?!?!?!
We Brits have a proud history of hair brained schemes. We patented the horse powered minibus and the scrotum enhancing pouch (seen here) and, following on from this noble tradition of tangential thinktankery, we have organised a craft fair in the middle of the North Sea. Hurrah for Blighty!
The itinerary is a priceless gift…
If you are one of the lucky guests leaving port on Friday 4th May, you will be able to meet and greet the stars of your journey – in this case, teleshopping’s very own Nigel May and Leonie Pujol. You will also receive a complimentary goody bag chock full of cutters, scissors, silicone glue etc. In other words, a kind of terrorist’s handbag that wouldn’t be allowed within five miles of an aeroplane. It’s alright though, because boats rarely get hijacked. All the same, lets just hope that there isn’t an extreme right wing, religious, octogenarian nutter on the inaugural Create and Craft cruise – able to use her decades old MacGyver skills in order to construct a weapon of terror out of glue, safety scissors and a cutting mat. Things could turn nasty, especially as guests have been invited to take along their favourite crafting tools as well – an offer that screams “Bring your own knives!”
Saturday’s schedule brings with it an incredible dilemma: Let’s Craft (or visit Amsterdam). So, as the cruise ship docks in a busy, noisy industrial port, you can either get the hell out of there and embrace a different culture for the day, or you can stay on board and make another card.
Sunday’s offer of Another Day, Another Craft (or City – it’s Hamburg) brings up a similar quandry to yesterday – should you take the day out to enjoy a romantic wander along the Alster river, or perhaps take the air and marvel at Hamburg’s impressive city hall … or should you stay on board and make another card ?
There’s no choice on Monday, as the cruise ship takes the terrifying trip across the North Sea to home – notoriously choppy, this undulating mass of water could produce a pitching, weaving platform for the crafters as they attempt to string beads, or score card with their special knives, or glue tiny, nice looking things onto other tiny, nice looking things… Fine motor control and intense hand eye co-ordination do not mix well with a body of water famed for it’s vomit inducing rhythm. That boat had better be big and solid – or have plenty of buckets.
It’s easy to pick holes in the experience but I’m sure the actual trip will be immense fun – especially with the two shopping presenters on board. For once, I’m not being sarcastic – perhaps the more senior guests on a trip such as this feel linked to a time when there were just two or three terrestrial channels and television stars were Very Important People. For many of us nowadays, the magical aspect of the box in our living rooms has gone. To us, some TV people are no longer magicians – merely showbusiness plumbers, contracted to unblock our drains of fatty boredom, allowing the free flow of joywater once again. But to some Create and Craft cruisers, perhaps everyone on the box still holds a special, mystical excitement, whether those ‘stars’ are on BBC One or the Ideal Shopping network.
With this in mind, I hope that there will be a sense of symbiosis on the cruise – as golden oldies enjoy the thrill of travelling with ‘someone off the telly’ and the presenters get to feel like they’re on primetime for a long weekend. Lovely! I genuinely hope that everyone has a really good time.
Send me a card!
© Nova Amiko and The Has Been Who Never Was 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nova Amiko and The Has Been Who Never Was with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.