“A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for!”
I was ready to board The Pride of York with my violins, amps and other essentials and in high heels might I add. I wasn’t sure if the heels were a good move or not but hey, I’m always up for challenge haha. And that was not my only challenge. I am deathly scared of water, and being on a boat, no matter how large, so for me this felt like a brave move!
So, what was I doing on a boat, I hear you ask? I’d been busking in Scunthorpe Town Centre (I like to do that when I have some free time, mostly to chat to people really haha) and was seen by a man called Jack who asked if I would perform on the Pride of York as a surprise for his wife’s birthday, and then in Brugge the following day whilst they dined. What a great surprise. Unfortunately I couldn’t travel on the ship to Brugge as I had a booking the following day, but I could perform before it set sail. Jacks excitement was apparent, he was so chuffed (Yorkshire terminology), especially when P&O agreed and arranged for an assistant to get me and my equipment on and off the ship. I was also really excited, it wasn’t something that I’d done before. It’s moments like this that I sit back and think, wow I really do have an incredible job.
When the guy who was assigned to look after me walked around the corner to find me, there I was, casually slumped on the trolley piled up with equipment ready to board the ship…in high heels *head in hands*. When I made it on board (with ankles in tact) I met the entertainments manager who was such a laugh…in fact, everyone was. The show bar was where I set up to play as guests came aboard the ship…the ceiling was really low so I couldn’t be as dramatic as I like to be when I’m on stage. I would most definitely have smashed my violin into the ceiling which would have no doubt landed on my head *grits teeth*
As I was playing, it suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea who I was looking for. I had never met Jack or his Wife Jayne. In the distance I saw two uncontrollably waving arms behind a lady…it was them. They sat right near the front, though Jayne looked reluctant. I played to some individual tables including theirs, so that I didn’t give it away. Meanwhile Jack was saying to his Wife “I’m sure I have seen that girl playing in Scunthorpe Town Centre!” Just before I performed the last song, I announced that I hadn’t in fact been booked by P&O, I had been booked by a gentleman called Jack Franks to surprise his Wife Jayne for her Birthday. I looked over to her and she began to cry *melting heart* what a moment. I played ‘Happy Birthday’ to her and some of the guests in the bar sang along. It was incredible. I absolutely loved this day.
We had a lovely chat and goodbye hugs before I abandoned ship haha.
The drive back to my studio took longer than I expected, and I only just managed to get back in time for the two violin students that I had…phew, I was so relieved.
A couple of days later I received some lovely thank you emails…thought you might like a nosey…