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Back home after a couple of days in Karlsruhe visiting family and tidying up some business issues.It was the first time Simone had been back since she moved here with Liam at the end of July so quite an emotional return accentuated by the fact it was my lady’s birthday on Wednesday. It was wonderful seeing her daughters again both of whom have settled well into our new arrangements. The visit was good timing as Simone’s youngest daughter Mona is heading out to South East Asia and Australia in a couple of weeks for a 6 month trek and her oldest daughter Tara starts her final year at Uni with a masters degree in economics her aim in 2017. With my own daughter Taz ensconced in France for the foreseeable future Simone and I are embracing our own lives here with her son Liam happy in the knowledge that our young women are finding their own places in the world.We are creating our own beautiful space together and my lady’s visible happiness was commented on by her girls who recognise that we are both so good for each other.Simone’s parents and their partners are also hugely supportive of our situation and their initial worries have all been dispelled as they have seen us all settle into our respective positions. Spending a couple of days with them all really brought the family together and with Simone’s Tara visiting us in a couple of weeks and her mother and partner coming over for Christmas we all feel a lot closer and less concerned about the distance than we did in July.
As well as quality family time we spent Thursday night after dinner with Simone’s Dad and his wife at the Kranz with our friends #steffenmross #petrapetti #michaelschneider #carstendelaporte Simone’s brother #torstenroesler , his girlfriend and some of Simone’s friends and her daughter #monagolecki splashing some Grauburgender around and me going over all things football with a good dose of Euro politik thrown in. A fine baying of party animals was to be heard before we retired for a relatively early night as we had a flight home next day.
We were glad to get back to the Studio as I had a workload to deal with. The material is now all chosen for the ‘Moveable Feast’ project which is now 4 CD’s across 2 German shows, one with Foss Paterson and the other with John Beck on keyboards. It’s a wealth of material and #SteveVantsis has done a great job compiling and processing the audio. I should be finished writing up the ‘Field of Crows’ sleeve notes by Monday and can then start collecting the photos which thankfully are now in digital folders rather than printed photos that are a trial to find. Steve is now focusing on filtering through the ‘Farewell to Childhood’ material and I’ll be writing up and choosing images for the 2 projects which should be a lot less demanding on my memory banks than the ‘Crows’ era which straddles a lot of history.
The only downer among all this is that my back problems have intensified and I have been in increasing pain in the last couple of weeks. In Karlsruhe they took a turn for the worse and I lost all feeling in the sole of my right foot due to trapped nerves. I had been waiting on my doctor getting back to me on the possibility of having what is now the inevitable operation on the NHS and after calling him yesterday when I returned I’ve been advised to follow the private route as I’m looking at a long wait otherwise. I’ve reached the point where something has to be done very soon and so on Monday I’ll be booking the operation at the Spire hospital in Edinburgh.Hopefully this will happen in November but the 6-8 weeks recovery are going to have a big effect on both current and future plans. Financially it’s a big hit at over £8k just for the op with physio topping that up into eye watering numbers. However this has to be done and the sooner the better as it’s not only extremely painful and de-habilitating but also affecting my mental processing and making it difficult to focus on doing anything creative. Long term this is my only option and thoughts on retirement will have to be postponed for now as album writing, recording and touring will all have to be moved back.
There was a very sad and concerning irony as when I was at my mum’s before I went to Germany she showed me an article in her newspaper about Phil Collins who is now walking with a stick after he had an unsuccessful ba
ck operation. I’ve no idea about Phil’s exact problem but it sent a shiver through me. The good news is that he is about to head out on a tour and all I can hope is that my problem isn’t as exacerbated as his and that my operation literally gets me back on my feet as soon as possible, unaided and relatively pain free. I’m now committed to getting this done and hopefully my procedure will sort my problems out. There’s a garden to be dug and stages to be conquered next year and I want to be all singing and dancing again before the season starts.