Each day off we have is usually necessitated by travel distances and the crew were ‘overnighting’ to Hamburg where I’m sure they made the best of their town for the day. For the band, “One of life’s true pleasures, a day off in Amsterdam” as I put it yesterday, lived up to its hype. It was hot. Actually too hot for walking very far. It’s a good job downtown Amsterdam covers such a small area. What I should have done was to organise an SUP and gone for a paddle around the city as rental companies have finally found a base here. I thought this as 3 Paddleboarders serenely drifted past the hotel. However, the canals and waterways are also a photographers dream, especially later in the day as the sun starts to set and the water glistens. I went wandering with Danny armed with the Canon 6D and a Sigma 70-300mm zoom lens I ‘stole’ from the internet for £30.

Light breakfasts and light lunches are now ‘de rigueur’ in the band camp as the waistline battle intensifies. As with any conscious regime, he laughs, portion control is key. Today’s breakfast was 1 banana. Lunch was some crudités and Hummus. Pre-sound check soup was a Ridiculous Tuscan Bean and dinner, post-sound check, was a child portion of…get this…Fresh Chanterelle Pfifferlinge on Toast served with a Pankoed (Japanese Breadcrumbs) Goat’s Cheese and Honey Tortellini, a fresh Rocket, Courgette ribbon and a Lemon and Mint Salad. What a dish. It was wonderful. I felt virtuous about the day’s consumption thus far, so I allowed myself a small bowl of Mango Cheesecake. You only live once, I thought and the box is now ticked.

Because our dear friend and fellow musician, Nigel Hitchcock now lives only an hour from Hamburg with his lovely wife, Tini, they were able to come and see the show. We met up in catering an hour and a half before show-time. It was so good to see them. Nigel is one of the few genuine musical geniuses as anyone who has worked with him will testify. Nigel recommended Graeme to take his place in the band as Nige had other commitments. Nigel is also one of the funniest men I know and his after-show text to Ianto read “fell asleep after Corned Beef City, what happened next?”. We all love Nige. He loved the show…as did we.

Evening was soon making way for night as we took to the sky once more in the big White Asparagus called Joy. 3 cities in-a-day once more and Prague was a mere 50 minutes away. As we charged down the runway, the pilots noticeably gave the engines a little more thrust than usual. The outside temperature was still in the 80’s which led me to consider take-off velocities when the hotter air reduces its density. It is clearly a factor. The thoughts were soon dispelled as the first Gin and Tonic arrived and we found ourselves toasting the best days of our lives once more.