I’ve been in Athens for a while. A good friend was celebrating a ‘big’ birthday and had to be there for a conference, so a bunch of us descended on him and took him out to tavernas and to see the wonderful sights.
It’s always amazing there, and reminds me very much of my father, but in a good way. He used to take me around the ruins and the museums, and tell me amazing stories that were not in any guide book. I feel ashamed that I can’t now remember many of them, to replay them to my friends. It’s a little sad that back in those days one could walk more or less anywhere among the ruins, whereas now there is so much construction and restoration going on and you’re very limited.
I think I have finally shaken off the post-tour blues. These last couple of legs really took it out of me, what with airport security issues, computers breaking down, work permit shenanigans and so on. I really love touring but when things go awry and you have to pull out all the stops so that the show can go on, it’s very draining. Especially at my advanced age! I have played over 75 shows in the last couple of years, and for the most part it’s been fantastic. The audiences have been so welcoming, and have made me feel right at home. My band and crews have been great. But I feel I’m done with touring for a while now, and it’s time to move onto the next phase.
Now I can relax and get on with some new music. It’s good to be back in England, actually seeing the seasons change. I have spent only short periods here since I left in 1986, and I’ve always enjoyed visiting, but there’s a certain continuity that I’ve missed out on; here it’s more about the quality of life than the standard of living, and now my family will get to experience that as well, going to English schools, being around their relatives, making new friends.
We had some drama a couple of weeks ago when the whole East Coast of Britain was hit by a huge gale and many small villages like ours were flooded. The tide was about 9 ft higher than it was supposed to be, seeping up through the beach, and all around our house lagoons of seawater were forming. There’s a small bridge you have to cross to get to our house, and the water was over the road so we were effectively an island for a few hours. The kids of course thought this was very exciting, but beautiful as it was, Kathleen and I found it a bit disconcerting. The flood was not strictly speaking a result of global warming, though the incidence of high tides like this may be on the increase. However, there were many villages in East Anglia that disappeared under the waves over the centuries, and ours could soon become one of them.
So I’ve been on the lookout for a lifeboat. Preferably a classic wooden one with lots of character. I plan to put it on blocks in my garden, like an Ark. It will make a fantastic studio; and if one day we all have to clamber aboard and float off across the ocean, I’ll just keep right on making music.