11 hours in my car from home to Holyhead and then the storm came in and then the snow fell and then I had to think on my feet. At the Holyhead carpark where you line up to get on the ferry I was minding my own business when a cortege of cars pulled up […]
11 hours in my car from home to Holyhead and then the storm came in and then the snow fell and then I had to think on my feet. At the Holyhead carpark where you line up to get on the ferry I was minding my own business when a cortege of cars pulled up beside me, with a coffin covered in printed pictures. Some of them fading. It was a cold night and the storm had already hit the radar in Holyhead. The ferry was cancelled and getting wind of this, so to speak, I turned the car around and raced back down the A55 to Manchester for a comfy bed. But what of the funeral cortege what of the coffin! No hotels in Holyhead would take that lot. The following day I woke up and The Strypes were playing along the road with Paul Weller, a time to cool down and be with some friends. No ferry today again, bad weather has stopped them all from running and the port has been smashed to pieces by the storm. The boys were in good form and played well, that support slot, 30 minutes and half a crowd I remember well from many tours like that with Squeeze in the early days. A silver lining was some catering food with the chaps right before the show. It was like being back on tour, hold on, I am back on tour. I briefly said hello to PW in the dressing room and then made my way back to my hotel in the cold night air.
The next day I made my way to The Castle Hotel to stop over closer to the port, but again no ships a sailing. But what of the coffin? I had a nice pie and went to my cold room, with electric heater at the end of my bed. I went on line, more ships cancelled and sadly I had to pull the show in Castle Bar on the other side of Ireland, which I simply could not have made. Mother Nature rips its tights off. I set my alarm for early o clock, watched the weather web sites and then more news, the ferry I had re booked for was delayed by four hours, so I re booked for the next one, that one too was being delayed, and the roads into the port were jammed with people trying to get on board the stranded ferries. A second show was thrown into doubt and moved to next week, over in Ireland the snow and the cold is even worse. Its not going well. And so another night away from home not on tour but in a hotel running up costs I cant afford. Maybe its all a lesson, a rich stroke of the brush from someone above me telling me to paint my pictures from another place. Ok already, the punishment begins, and a year of sodden stages where reflections of self once shone like glitter on the floor of a disco. Lessons to be learned and pages to be turned, but its ok already if I had this coming to me then how on earth could it have been stopped. Like the storm, it comes and it passes, we talk about it for days and the shops run out of bread, its no big deal in the passing of time. Our lives are enriched by such moments.
Conwy is a lovely little town and this hotel is run by some nice people, I once came here with Jools on his tour and we eat nice food into the night and laughed about life, very good company and im glad I remembered this place, it being near Holyhead but not in Manchester. The plan is for me to stay here again tonight and get the ferry first thing to make the Cavan show the start of the Irish dates, with all the trimmings of The Outer Limits and my family Cavan. Four days its taken me to get this far, the storm has been unpleasant but I feel lucky to have a nice hotel and the support of Mrs Difford at home and Ray who is waiting for me in Dublin to tour manage whats left of the tour, I hope a week of fun and games wonderful people and the odd song. Meanwhile what of the coffin what of the line of cars with all those ruddy faces and rusty beards. Where did they end up? Did they just toss the body into the Sea? Did they head home or are they still there on the dock side waiting for a crossing? Thats some send off.
Saturday afternoon was spent catching more updates on the crossing, and it got worse, both ferry’s were out of sync and therefore not on time, one 7 hours late! But they seem to be sailing. Even though the sea is rough. I went for a drive and some Joni in the car to clam my jets, then back to the hotel for a long sit down. Bored already with plenty to do, but more than anything all I wanted was to be there or at home with Mrs D as we celebrate 7 years on skates. It was and still is simply love.