With temperatures dropping a man has to look after his head and I decided with all this heavy frost today a Dr Zhivago moment was apt.The furry bonnet is Russian and belonged to my dad who bought it in Berlin in 1994 at Checkpoint Charlie 10 years after I’d been there during the ‘Childhood ‘ recordings and 16 years after my first ever visit. He’d been out there with my mum visiting my then in laws and my she gave the hat to me a couple of weeks ago.Happy memories and perfect timing.
Normally at this point in the year Elspeth is constantly reminding me about Christmas card designs and I admit that in recent years my card writing has been wanting, to say the least, due in the main to tours grinding right up to the start of the holidays.
Last night I reminded myself and found what I thought would make a great shot for the cover.This morning with a sharper eye I pressed the delete button but had an inkling that somewhere in the file I had opened there was a contender for the card.
By accident I came across a photo I’d taken in Krakow last year on a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine when I was there for the rescheduled Polish show. In the depths of the mine the workers excavated a huge chamber which they turned into St Kinga’s chapel and carved religious reliefs into the rock. The massive space is lit by crowds of chandeliers made from salt and contribute to a dramatic and beautiful experience.
I saw the chandelier image and opened the file to find that this particular chandelier was illuminating nativity scenes and you can quite clearly see the 3 kings carved into the rock face.It couldn’t have been more fitting and I was really chuffed to find it and hand it to Elspeth to get to the printers in perfect time for getting them signed and sent out.
It’s been a busy week crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s with everything to do with the new releases. Identifying any glitches and setting up the ‘distribution’ for what we expect to be a huge rush of orders in the run up to Christmas has taken a lot of thought. John Reid has been sorting out the web site and mail order pages to make sure the remaster/’Feast’ T shirt offer works smoothly and it looks like it will be up and running by tomorrow night. An announcement will be made here and on the website when it’s working and can take preorders so please hold off until then.
My back is getting better slowly but surely and I had to remind myself to take it easy at the weekend after slightly overdoing it on the Friday. Mark and Julie Wilkinson were up and I spent a lot of time recumbent on the couch letting things settle again while we talked all things ‘Weltschmerz’ and Mark threw his ideas onto the table. It seems we are both working towards the same goal from different sides and we were both getting quite excited about the project despite it being in very early stages. I admit to getting quite inspired from our conversations and I could sense the monkeys on the typewriters in my head chattering away more than normal.
Fine wines, food and company in front of the fire listening to Leonard Cohen, Caravan, Japan and Free on crackling vinyl. What more do we need?
It must have been a sign of our age as phones were mostly ignored all weekend and we completely forgot to take a selfie ! 🙂
The back settled down and I paid more attention to physio in the last few days. It’s a lot stronger but still in recovery and I have a visit to the hospital to see the surgeon on Saturday. I’m still not driving and haven’t been out the house, apart from in the garden, since the operation.By the time I get down to the Polish barbers I’ll have a beard that could get me a gig at Jenner’s Store as Santa.
I’m still frustrated at not being able to contribute much in the house but Simone has been doing a wonderful job looking after me. I must admit to not missing the school runs and getting an extra hour under the duvet although I feel guilty when I hear the hiss of deicer and the rumbling of windscreen wipers over knobbly frozen glass through the window. I’ll make up for it.
Phone calls to agents and promoters are setting up a European tour in October and November with a UK tour being booked for December. It gets my heart racing a bit when I think about it as a tour means having the new album written and recorded, promotion carousels and finding a band. A lot to sort out in time that is more fleeting by the moment.
Somewhere in all that I have a shoulder operation and a letter from the NHS yesterday is setting up that particular showdown for roughly 12 weeks away. I think what I am dealing with just now is a dawdle compared to what is coming at me in the next months
If the results are the same as what I am experiencing from the spine op I’ll be a happy man indeed.
Tonight is a log fire, a chunk of chicken and home grown mashed tatties with cabbage, a goblet of wine and settle down on the couch to start series 2 of ‘The Blacklist’, out preferred eye candy of choice just now. I’m just glad I’m not out there in the freezing ice and fog on a tour bus curled around a warm roadie just now.
To my compadres out there on the road tonight, happy trails and remember getting there safe and sound is more important than a late arrival. The gig will always be there.