Monday, September 23, 2013

ilove!!!

Thanks to Tony for this fantastic book cover should i ever do one from the blog! Arrived home yesterday, catching up with a few things and then its time to catch up with the blog.
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Friday, September 20, 2013

Manchester…

After arriving home last night from two weeks in Germany ( which i will get around to blogging about), being back for 16 hours , it was time to drive over to Wakefield to pick up John Kelly from Philadelphia, Frank fro Arizona and his girlfriend Dora from Hawaii. They had been in London the last couple of days seen the show at Wembley 2 nights ago and had taken the 10am train up to Wakefield.

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After picking them up at the train station we headed back to my home town, Holmfirth.They got to meet m dad at the house and we all headed on for a drink and pub lunch in the village.

We started the drive over to Manchester around 2:30 and arrived at the Premier Inn in Manchester just before 4pm. The guys checked in and i waited in the lobby. No idea what these girls were doing in the lobby but the head in their bag looked a little suspect!

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Just as we were about to leave, who should walk out of the bar but Glenn (Povey) he was staying here too and the five of us jumped in my car and drove down to park by the arena for tonight's show. I had arranged a pre show meet up at Henry J Beans in The Printworks which was a five minute walk from the venue. As we passed the box office John wanted to see if he could better his seat for tonight's show, he had second row in front of Jon and Harry at the moment but as he said, there was another row ahead of him that would put him 3 feet nearer! We bumped into Matt Leonard from Boston and his friend Barry from the UK while at the box office. it looked like John had to be content with 2nd row tonight (such a shame huh John? : ) Glenn had been to the box office earlier in the day and managed to pick up a9th row dead centre for the show so he was happy, Matt Leonard had just bought two tickets in the 2nd block back on the side so he was also pretty happy.

We all headed out to the pre show meet up bar, John and i calling at a hotel on the way to pick up his ticket that he’d bought off a guy on one of the forums.As it turned out I'd met a couple of them on the last tour, we had a quick chat John got his ticket and we headed back to the bar. We’d met in this same bar 4 or 5 times over the past few years/tours so most people knew where to go whether they had seen it on the blog or not. Elzira and Alberto from Brazil arrived, as did Mat Johns, Mark from Liverpool and Greg from New Jersey who John had bought a ticket from for Paris and arranged to meet at the bar.

Three or Four months ago I’d had an e mail through my blog from a guy (Gary) who lived in my hometown of Huddersfield and he was going to the Manchester show and wanted to meet up. While John was in London inline for the Wembley show he was stood next to a guy from my hometown and started chatting to him, they went in the show and stood together during the show. John sent me an e mail the next day telling me the above. Not an hour later i got an e mail from gray telling me he had met a friend of mine, John from the USA and had seen the show with him!!!! Small world!  Anyway Gary showed up at the meet up too and it was great to finally meet him ace to face.

We all started to head down to the venue a few at a time and on arrival i bumped into Kevin, He’s been in Europe working with Leonard Cohen shows the past few weeks so hasn't done as many Roger shows as he normally would, but he’s happy and doing something that he enjoys and that's what counts:) On entering the venue immediately bumped into Graham Pippet and his wife, we've known each other going on ten year, have met up all over the world and he had also come up from London after seeing the Wembley show, was going out to Dublin as we were the next day and then also flying to Paris to see the last show. I headed down to the floor area, found John and it turned out graham and his wife were sat right in front of him in that row that was 3 feet closer, the front one!

Robbie came out to the front of the stage to see us before the show, Alberto and Elzira posed for a few pictures with him and as always he was chatty and happy to oblige to people asking him for pictures and autographs.

I was 16th row dead centre tonight, sitting next to Kevin, although for the 2nd set we sat 2nd row on the aisle right in front of Roger. The past shows in Manchester have been amazing, the crowd have always made the shows what they are and the help of a few thousand “scousers” from Liverpool has always made it a show to remember with hundreds of people singing and cheering the whole night. Tonight was different though, as much as i knew and had heard there were lots of people there from Liverpool, the crowd stayed seated for all of the first half of the show.

What amazed me more than anything about tonight though was how small the wall looked! It had been a while since I'd seen an indoor show and the Manchester Venue while it is similar to a normal indoor arena, its a very narrow arena with only 3 blocks of seats across and each block only holding 20 seats at the most. This was even more evident when you looked over at where the hotel room would come out, actually right onto some of the sets on the first tier!!

Manchester Arena (post show)

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The crowd did pick up a lot during the second half of the show, Roger getting everyone to their feet during Comfy Numb and Run Like Hell.The projections and the sound was incredible, made me decide that i do prefer the indoor Arena shows, until i saw Dublin and again my mind was changed lol. When the hotel room did come out, one guy ran up to behind Roger and took a couple of pictures, he didn't return to his seat though he just stood their watching. it was the nearest I've ever seen anyone get to Roger during a show and Duncan and Todd ( Rogers security) were going crazy on the floor below the hotel room, waving the guy to go back and trying to tell the local security to get the guy back, took probably 60 seconds for this to happen though! Dave’s shadow at the back of the arena during Comfy Numb was fantastic tonight,show three clear “shadow Daves” unfortunately i was a bit too slow with my camera as the solo tonight was unreal and i was concentrating on that! During the first half of the show as Roger was doing his “Mother speech” they showed Roger on the big screen behind him,which looked great! this is the first time they have done that and it just shows you even though there's only 3 shows left, Rogers still looking at things and changing things all the time.

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Few shots below from In The Flesh, Run Like Hell and Waiting For The Worms:

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As you can see from the above pictures, Kevin and i moved up to second row dead centre for the second half just off the aisle, and John came across from his 3rd row seat in front of Jon Carin and joined us too.

I kept looking back at my friend Mark Poole from, Liverpool, he had come over with his friends and was having a blast in the 4th row, standing up all the time and trying to get everyone else to, also getting noticed what he was doing by Roger and getting lots of eye contact and encouragement from him to carry on what he was doing to help!

The show its self went without incident and it was a great reminder as to just exactly how far this show had come along, after seeing countless outdoor and Arena shows, to see it in such a small venue again was great! I dropped Frank, Dora and john off at their hotel and i drive the 45 minutes back home. I was getting the train over to Manchester airport the nest morning to meet up with John as we were both flying over to Dublin at 3:30pm

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dublin….

Will catch up on the blog soon, great show tonight, audience were great, sound was incredible.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Berlin, day 1….

So the last two nights I'd been in a hotel slightly out of the city, Kami, Mark, Beth, Kim and Joe were arriving from the US today so i was changing hotels and would be with them all for the next 2 weeks.

Kim and Joe were due in around 9am, Kami, Beth and Mark around 1pm.  took a cab over to the Park Inn hotel around 11am and tried to check in. The lady at the desk said they didn't have the three rooms all on the same floor ready yet so i was unable to check in. i told her it was fine if the rooms weren't on the same floor and she immediately allocated me a clean corner room on the 27th floor overlooking the Berlin TV tower.

I’d remembered booking this for us all a few months ago the second i entered the room as the bathrooms were like a glass pod within the room itself. it had lines of frosted glass on the sides which gave a bit of privacy but unless you are very familiar with the person you're staying with i wouldn't recommend it!

After unpacking my case i headed down to the lobby to wait for Kami and Mark and Beth to arrive. Kim and Joe were in the lobby and had arrived a couple of hours ago and were unable to check in their room so had been off exploring. Kim told me about this bowling lounge they had found across the street and was very enthusiastic about us all going there sometime. i took them both over to the reception and managed to get them checked into a room on a different floor,the 26th, one floor down from ours. I then headed back down into the lobby. it wasn't long before the others arrived, it had been nearly 3 months since I’d seen Kami, the longest we’ve been apart  during the last 2 years! They were pretty tired, then arrived at Heathrow at 7am, then had 10am flight to Berlin.

Lots of other friends were coming to the Berlin show too. Wendy and her husband Chris were due in tomorrow morning. Ole and Stuart the same but later in the day and Jens, Emil, Kevin, Phil, Laila, Frank, Bluenose Matt and many others were all coming in within the next 48 hours. Kami and i also had two friends in town who we last saw in Buenos Aires in march 2012. Marcelo and his wife Veronica were on their honeymoon and had been touring around Europe for the last 3 weeks and had 3 more weeks ahead of them. They were leaving the next day so i called them up and arranged to meet them for drinks at the top of the TV tower tonight at 6pm as Mark had already made reservations for the 6 of us before leaving the US.

Beth, Kami, Joe, Kim and Mark, 3 hours after arriving               The TV tower and our hotel

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We headed over to the tower around 5:30pm only took a 10 minute walk and Beth was excited as we passed both a Dunkin Donuts AND a Starbucks on the way over there! We headed up the tower and took a seat at the bar, al of us needed a drink and it was our first drink together while on our German vacation.

Mark and Kami heading up the tower          Kami, Beth, Mark, Kim and Joe                 Mark, Kim and Joe discuss German beer!

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10 minutes later i called and spotted Marcelo, they had just arrived, it was fantastic to see them again. Kami and i had so much fun hanging out with them down in Argentina and it was good to catch up, just  shame we didn't have more time and they were leaving tomorrow. Kim mentioned about having dinner at the bowling lounge, everyone pulled their faces up and Kim continued to tell us it was like no other bowling alley she had seen, with awesome couches to hang out in, bar areas etc etc

Marcelo, Kami and Veronica                      Myself, Marcelo and Veronica.

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None of us had eaten most of the day, some had eaten airline food earlier in the day, others had eaten sausages and toast with brown sauce at Heathrow! I got Mark hooked on HP brown sauce the last time i was in Virginia, i took a large bottle over with me and he loved it! so when he saw it in Heathrow he couldn't resist. We decided to give in to Kim and the eight of us headed over to the bowling lounge. It was raining when we came out of the tower and after the 10 minute walk to the entertainment centre and finding it was all closed up, we headed back towards the hotel and had a nice dinner at a restaurant attached to the hotel. It was around 11 when we said our goodbyes to Marcelo and Veronica and the rest of us headed up for an early night and to get some sleep ready for a day of sightseeing on the “hop on, hop off” bus tour around Berlin tomorrow.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

OMG, how did they get in here ?

 

There were “Arabs with knives”  at the foot of the bed, they were at the foot of the bed.

Sorry for the lack of updates, I'm a few days behind and will hopefully catch up soon, I'm travelling around Germany on vacation with family now so have little time to write, however I've just spent half an hour typing out what happened last night while it was fresh in my mind!

So as most people who know me know, my favourite Roger album is “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking” its my “dessert island” album. So for me to be in Germany where the album is set and to be travelling around for two weeks is a great experience while listening to some of the lyrics and seeing some of the sights. However, what happened last night in the hotel room here where i am in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber at 2am in the morning was more like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds than Rogers story about a dream!

Kami, Kim, Joe and i were sharing a separate annex to the hotel here, its got two bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room , kitchen and also a hallway that's used to access both bedrooms. It was nearly midnight last night when Kami and i walked back to our room from the terrace of the main hotel, We’d all been sat out on the hotel terrace watching the fireworks and drinking nice wine.. We were both sleeping when they arrived back to the room as I’d been driving for 5 hours today and i fell straight to sleep the second my head hit the pillow.

Our hotel                                   The terrace                                                Wine!

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I woke up in the middle of the night feeling busts of wind over my face, i looked at my cell phone and it was 2:30am. i let my eyes focus for a few minutes and while doing so i could hear and see some small black things floating around in the room. At first i thought they were months but they were too big to be moths, it was then a realised they were bats!!

There were only two or three in the room but it sounded like there were a dozen! they were flying from one corner to the other in the room, swooping down to within inches of my head! i turned over and tried to get to sleep but that wasn't happening at all. i turned and looked at Kami but she was out cold sleeping. I then got out of bed and opened the bedroom door a little more to try let them fly out, it was then that i saw what was probably between 15 and 20 bats all flying around in the hallway! Kim and Joe had come home and opened the window in the hallway wide open. I kid you not, it was like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds!! I desperately needed to use the bathroom which was the other side of the hallway so  I just closed my eyes and just ran across to the bathroom, i was totally naked, running through a hallway with 20 bats flying around my head!!

The hallway                                               The point of entry!

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As i headed back, i remembered their was another small bedroom with a single bed in off the hallway. I looked across and the door was closed, no bats in there i thought. I went back in the bedroom and laid on the bed for 5 minutes, Kami had woken up by this point and i told her the whole story of my dash to the bathroom. It was at this point that one of the bats decided to “Go on Judge, Shit on him” right on my face! then on the sheet of the bed right next to me!

That was it, i was done, i got back up and opened the hallway door, i just stood there and looked as the bats filled the hallway swooping from one side to the other, i could see them lit up in the moonlight from the open window. i thought about closing the window to stop any more getting in but how would the ones already there get out? Again, i just hunkered down and ran for the small bedroom, opened the door, went inside and closed the door behind me within nano seconds.

The spare bedroom

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It took me an hour or so to settle down but i finally fell to sleep. the next thing i knew it was 4:30am, Kami was at the door and told me al the bats had gone so come back to the other bedroom.I shook my head, said something i cant remember, rolled over and went back to sleep!

Its now 9am, I've been up since before 7, i headed back to the main bedroom walking through the hallway and noticing that the hallway, both bathrooms and our bedroom had the lights on, it was like some horror film where you have to leave the lights on so the vampires don't come get you! Kami was wide awake and told me how she got the bats out of the bedroom apart from one which she watched crawl up into the top of the curtains and is still there as i type this! We have to get it out by tonight or risk getting shit on again! i so wish i had taken a picture of the hallway as i opened the door, what probably would have been a more horrific picture though was me stood there naked running through the room terrified!

The bats in there somewhere!                                Picture in our room! looks like me last night!

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I know for a fact that Kim is frightened of spiders, needles and other trivial things, i dread to think what would have happened had Kim needed the bathroom and opened the door to the hallway, you would have heard the screams the other side of the world!

I dread to think if I’m gonna get any sleep tonight, it hasn't helped seeing the picture that my friend Jackie posted on my facebook page after hearing the story!

Thanks Jackie, this is gonna make me sleep so much more tonight!

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More pictures of fireworks from last night:

Friday, September 06, 2013

Day two of two exhausting days..

So we hadnt moved on the train for the last 30 minutes, i went to find the hector and asked hi what the problem was, “engine, problem” he said, ugh that's all i needed.

Workman and his bread roll!                       My sleeper train! (not really)                          

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TWO HOURS later we start to move! the second we started moving i started to try work out if i would make my 11:10 connection, it was close, i would have ten minutes to spare to get form one platform, find out what platform the connecting train was going from and then getting over to the train.

Just for the fun of it i looked on Easyjets website at flights from Budapest to Berlin, they weren't too bad and the flight time was good, however i really wanted to make the train and see the rest of the country as we were travelling through Hungary and Germany. We rolled into Budapest at 11:08 exactly, i was one of the first off the train but unfortunately the carriage i was in was at the far end of the platform, by the time i got to the timetable board it was 11:14, i looked up at the board and the 11:10 to Berlin had left 4 minutes ago! ugh!

I went to the ticket office and asked about the sleeper car for the 8pm train that would get me into Berlin at 7am. The sleeper was sold out and you have to have a compulsory reservation for the overnight trains and the thought of spending another night in a cabin on a train with 5 6 or even 7 other people in the room didn't appeal to me at all. I headed over to Burger King, logged on to their free Wi-Fi and looked at the Easyjet flight. It was now nearly noon and the flight to Berlin left Budapest at 5:30pm, arrived at 6:30 and I'd be in the hotel for 8, perfect!.

Train timetable in Budapest, must have known Kamilla was coming next day!

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I booked the flight online but then found out you couldn't get the boarding pass to your phone, you HAD to pint it out!! I then logged off and found an internet cafe, logged in to my e mail, paid 50 cents to print the page, paid 50 cents for 3 minutes use on the internet and then went outside and took a taxi to the airport!

I got to the airport, found a bar, sat down and just started to breath! where had the last several hours gone ? it all seemed such a blur.

Flight left exactly on time, i arrived in Berlin around 6:45pm took the train straight into Berlin and then a taxi to my hotel, i was in the hotel for 8:15 and the sort hotel bed has never looked so good! i remember my head hitting the pillow and the next thing i know it was morning.I had this hotel booked for two nights before Kami and family arrived and would then be moving over to their hotel for 4 more nights in Berlin.

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The next day consisted of me walking to the post office for a cardboard box! I had to bring my suit and smart shoes with me for Rainer's wedding last week and rather than carry them around all over Germany for the next 3 weeks i out them into a box and mailed them back home! this made space in my suitcase and lightened the load a little. I also need to do some laundry, I looked on Google around where my hotel was and found a place not too far away, i dropped if off at 10am and was told it would  be done for 1pm. I didn't do a lot the rest of the day and night, i chilled out at the hotel, watched a couple of films on my laptop and had an early night ready for checking out in the morning and meeting up with Kami and family at the other hotel when they arrived around 2pm.

Few more pics below: