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Things went very well to start with - i got to Stansted fine, checked in my bag and was allowed to take my guitar on board no worries, and off i trotted to my departure gate, where I waited patiently for 30 minutes, then rather less patiently for another 30 as the plane continued not to arrive, and the SUPREMELY ARSEY counter staff (Stelios, train yr staff, give them PRIDE in their work!) continued to say nothing to us - even when other Actual Human Beings went to speak to them they said, face to face, as if it was somehow NORMAL "Please be seated in the area of gate 85 and wait for an announcement." It was ODD. Anyway, they started getting people boarded, and just as i was about to PROCEED they started UN boarding people - the plane's fuselage was cracked, so we all had to get off.
About 45 minutes later we were on a small BUS being taken across the tarmac to a different aircraft, and i RUEFULLY thought "This is probably going to take longer than it would have done on the train... OH! how the ABSENCE makes the heart grow fonder!" Eventually we set off, and for about 30 minutes all was WELL... until the pilot said "Er... we've got some bad news."
Apparently something to do with Take Off wasn't working, and as Easyjet don't HAVE engineers anywhere but London we had to turn round and go ALL THE WAY BACK! AAAAARGGHH!!! I've READ about My Aeroplane NIGHTMARE, and now i was HAVING one! BACK we went, sat around, got on ANOTHER plane, then had to wait MORE until a new CREW could come on. Still, i was glad of THREE things, ONE: I'd brought TWO books with me, as I'd now FINISHED "Turning Thirty" by Mike Gayle (ACE), TWO: I hate to think how MAULED my guitar would have got had it been chucked about between luggage compartments THAT many times and THREE: that i have the love of a good woman, as when I turned my phone on again i discovered that the FUEL of my ENGINES and her office mates had been INVESTIGATING my situation and formulated several ACTION PLANS to help me get to Glasgow somehow. Aaah! It was LOVELY!
Eventually we GOT to Glasgow, and i fear the TRAVAILS of the TRAVELS had made me somewhat SNIPPY, and i was positively SHORT with the nice lady at the Bus Information Point - it wasn't her fault that it takes 30 minutes to get to the City Centre, and me saying "30 minutes?" in an exasperated way didn't make it any shorter. BAD ME!
So yes, I got to the city centre, happy to be finally here, checked in to my hotel, got myself SORTED, headed off to the Glasgow Underground, got out at Kelvinbridge, and wondered the streets until i was discovered by my touring partner, Mr Adam Smith, his friend Martin (they were playing together as The Plimptons last night), and I think his MUM, who gave me a lift down to road to the Tchai Ovna Tea House.
What a LOVELY place. It was like someone's living room, but someone REALLY cool, one of those old hippies you very occasionally meet who NEVER sold out and are now... well, running a tea house, really. It was the sort of place where (V) on the menu means VEGAN, as EVERYTHING is veggie. I had a lovely cup of rice tea (actually, a POT of same) and some FALAFEL, during which the mighty Frankie Machine (in DUO mode, being Rob and Gary) arrived, and we started setting up. There was a TUSSLE for SPOTS, so we TOSSED for it - everyone wanted to go on first, and The Machine WON.
"Oh no - by the time I go on I'll be DRUNK" I thought. "Oh, hang on, no i won't."
On came the MACHINE then, and were LOVELY, especially "Black Eyes", which is my FAVOURITE (I've been singing it all morning, in fact, or at least the first couple of lines). It was actually a pretty good VIBE for them to slot in to, and all was BEAUTY. The Plimptons came next, and were VERY funny, although PITY the poor Crusty stood next to me, who FREAKED. "I can't believe I'm seeing this man" he said, and FLED. That's how good they were.
Then it was me, and once again i ESCHEWED use of P.A., and AGANE it was a really good idea, it felt NICE, and I made myself LOUDER by standing NEARER. I must say, I thought it went really well, i had a GRATE time, managed to make NEW IMPROVED REMARKS between songs, did "Clubbing In The Week" for the first time in AGES, did "Looking At My Hands" for the first time in public EVER (seemed to go OK), and generally had a SMASHING time. ESPECIALLY nice was the fact that, afterwards, several people complained of songs that had got missed out, that made me VERY happy. Also I sold about EIGHT copies of the CD - ZANG! I had POCKETS full of Strange Scottish Money.
Then it was HO! for an Actual Pub, and we found ourselves PURSUED by Licencing Laws as we visited FOUR seperate establishments, including Adam's SANCTUM SANITORIUM, and FRANKENSTEINS, where the toilets made Scary Noises. Automatic Scary Noises, that is, it was a little odd. We had a GOOD TIME discussing many pertinent issues, and it was a happy ME who returned to my hotel room and to bed, unaware that the day had not finished with me yet...
You see, in the past couple of years, since I've got USED to sharing my bed, I have taken to becoming CONFUSED whenever I wake up on my own in a strange place e.g. last year, staying at my parents' after the Beer Festival i woke up an PANICKED because I couldn't find the door, and ended up pulling down the curtains. It had NOTHING to do with BEER, by the way, that is a dirty FIB. Anyway, I awoke in the middle of the night and stumbled over to go to the loo... and went for the wrong door. I suddenly found myself standing NAKED in the corridor, with no glasses on, locked out of my room!
I could not believe this had happened. I stood, suddenly VERY AWAKE, unable to accept that I had woken into some kind of RIDICULOUS SITCOM, but soon I had to agree that, yes, I was completely naked in a hotel corridor. I tried to think of a way to get in, COULDN'T, and then dashed up and down the corridor SQUINTING CLOSELY at doors to try and work out where on earth I was. Eventually I made it, PERSONALS FIRMLY CLASPED (see, sitcoms ARE good for something, thank you James Nesbit in Cold Feet for showing me the correct procedure there) to the reception. "Er... I'm locked out of my room!" i said, and the reception guy GASPED, and LUNGED across the desk to make me a new one. He practically THREW it at me, and i RAN, i said RAN to the lift, and back to safety.
I woke up this morning in DISBELIEF that it had ever happened, but in Mr Benn STYLEE i found my second key card next to the bed, as proof that my adventures had been real. ROCK AND ROLL MAYHEM!
And now I'm off to HULL to continue the CHAOS... possibly. I'll remember to wear some CLOTHES in bed tonight though...
posted 21/9/2004 by MJ Hibbett
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