Brown Trousers
The temple of humiliation, the room of ignominy, the chamber of pain, the basement of belittlement, whatever you prefer to call it, hotels put a sign on the door which says ‘GYM’. Having only been on the road now for a mere 11 days, signs are already showing of the effects of the ‘feeders’ as Georgina so eloquently described herself today in catering. That combined with the will power of a hungry child, regular visits to the darkest chamber are now a requirement. And as if that isn’t torture enough, I write this staring longingly at the bread basket which accompanies this morning’s continental breakfast with Augustine Birscher Muesli (6/10). By the end of the tour I will have gathered enough data to be able to announce the best hotel Birscher in Europe. Current leader, the Four Seasons Istanbul. The bread basket is a test for me, which I pass with flying colours as I proudly wheel the breakfast trolley outside my room and wave ‘sbohem’ to the basket of temptation. Richard’s gym routine is no laughing matter as I discovered when I decided to emulate it. Now wiping sweat occasionally off the edges of my uberfast MacBook Pro Retina, I type whilst cooling down from my late morning exertions.
The morning soon turns into afternoon as the many photographs taken from the day before are sifted, resized, adjusted or deleted with derision. The two cameras I have with me (Canon 500D and EOS-M) both utilize huge 64Gb memory cards and the MacBook has a very handy side slot for these. As I’ve written these diaries, I’ve enjoyed the photography aspect and am always keen to learn more about a subject in which I don’t pretend to excel. I have recently made friends with some really talented folks at Hasselblad and look forward to maybe trying out some of their remarkable cameras. Ironically, Hasselblad initiated and sponsors the “Rhino Conservation Awards” in the fight against rhino poaching in Africa.
A Tatra streetcar race in Prague…
Inferior interior…
Philipp and Bernie…
Today’s exciting endeavor involved a day trip from Prague to Zagreb and back again. Croatia is a truly beautiful country as we were reminded when the Legacy landed at Pleso airport, Zagreb. It is difficult to imagine the scene here a mere 15 years ago as Yugoslavia was torn apart in the worst conflict on the European continent since World War II. Thankfully, the wounds of war continue to heal but Croatia now faces the same problems as the rest of Europe in the midst of deep recession. Croatia has undergone huge transformations since independence in 1991 and after a process which has lasted 12 years, will join the EU on July 1st 2013. Croats will see few changes on this day, but the process of joining has already transformed the country. Now a new chapter will begin which will demand fresh thinking to tackle the economic morass.
The steps to the stage today reminded me of the steps of the Bellerophon, the space craft in the groundbreaking 1950’s sci-fi movie ‘The Forbidden Planet’. That memorable scene as the invisible monster from the ‘Id’ bent the steps as it climbed into the ship to wreak havoc on its occupants.
At the venue, we once again spend quite a while at sound check, ironing out some issues with our in-ear monitors from the previous show. It turned out that some of the drivers actually blew, Richard suffered with no high in one ear and no low in the other and Mark had issues too. With these problems resolved, tonight’s show was sonically much better and the warmth and generosity the audience showed was much appreciated. Apart from one unfortunate technical meltdown with Simon’s lighting desk (no fault of his I might add) which resulted in a ‘brown trouser’ moment as we tackled the first 16 bars of Telegraph Road in COMPLETE darkness, the show went without hitch. To resounding cheers we left the building and Mannfred Frank and his capable Stars and Cars team whisked us off to the airport and the waiting Embraer. Liz saw to it that we didn’t go hungry, or thirsty and we toasted yet another fabulous day in what is fast becoming the tour of all tours. With a day off in Prague tomorrow and a very long drive for the crew, we look forward excitedly to the next show in 46 hours time.