The Official Chris Difford Website

Sailing By


With only four hours sleep i managed to drag myself into the car outside my house in London which then drove me to Southampton at 7am, I fell asleep, next thing i knew there i was, in Southampton 9.30am. The ship there before me on the dock reaching up to the sky and almost as long as Marylebone High Street. And there i met Kate Harwood, it was her birthday. Matt Deighton and Claire his missis. Simon Hanson, the drummer we know and love, Emma Jayne complete with lovely hat, Chris Sheehan complete with mirror shades and our TM and all round lovely person Caroline from Cunard. Checked in and aboard we had a little talk from the ents officer Paul who is such a tender gentleman, followed by a tour of the ship. My guests arrived to see us off, my lovely daughter Grace, Alice TM to the stars and brother Lew from Overton. It was a long lovely afternoon. I felt emotional as we left, the unknown i guess, the going away and leaving loved ones and the whole separation from land which i never seem to do very well. On the back of the ship a band played covers, drinks were served, i did an on board TV show interview and unpacked my room. Small tidy and perfect, views of the lifeboats below and the great outdoors beyond. Glenn sent me a wonderful phone message, he sang me Sailing down the phone on a banjo, i do wish he was here he would love it, he is much more the adventurer than me. I do love him. Diner was in the Queens Grill at the back end, aft, great food and a birthday cake for our Kate. I eat too much while others sunk the vino. As darkness fell i could sense the slow passing of time, away in the distance the coastline of Devon, and then nothing but horizon. the gentle sway of the ship is what you might expect, my room creeks, the creek goes from left to right across my bed, its like being in a new pair of shoes. Its like being on a ship. Just like in the old days, i will be pouring over maps of the world soon and swearing like a sailor shouting at cabin boys and wearing a parrot. Its a real creek. Midnight. Three times around the deck is a mile, from my room to the front of the ship is about a five minute walk, im on deck nine on the starboard side, there are four more desks above me. I have a cabin boy. I have internet but no phone signal. I have a dressing room and a veranda, or balcony, i have what i need to get me sailing by. Thank you God for another day, if i keep it simple it will be a wonderful journey. The ship is now home for seven more nights, watch out for the changing ways of the waves and the long days working onboard ship. Next sight of land 2,600 miles away and New York. Time to get my sea legs out of my trousers.