Friday. Jan 10, 2020

It was a beautiful sunny winter day. It felt familiar and comfortable. I took a taxi to the port. The fare was 5,40 GBP. I gave the driver 10 GBP and told him to keep it. He said “Are you sure?” I said “Yes. I don’t understand English change.” He laughed.
 Tonight there was a military band and fireworks to send us off although we hadn’t started yet. This ship seems to be jinxed. When Moira and Joan came for Christmas someone had to be winched off. A week later the same thing happened in Puerto Rico. Peter says it happens all the time when he’s aboard. This time there was a problem and the QM2 had to sail to Halifax for winching. When it tried to make up for lost time it blew an engine.
The military band took me by surprise. The Brits in the audience ( 75%) took it as a prom concert and waved imaginary Union Jacks. They swelled with nationalistic pride at the “Land of Hope and Glory” finale. Cunard is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. I thought their British schtick was to attract anglophile Americans but it seems to attract Brits who hanker after the good old days of empire and today we are setting sail to explore much of that lost empire.

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