Howdy doody folks, yeehar! I'm in Killarney, on our wackerooney Irish jaunt, what stunning scenery here, so green. However that's what you gets if you're no stranger to the raindrop, which darn well is the case here. It's boiling in my garden at home, and raining here, still never mind.
It's been a while, but I shall carry on as I left off, except to let you all know my Endowments matured a couple of weeks ago. Why mention that? I have no idea.
I'm no longer well endowed though...
Finland. Cold, cold and colder. Started good in Helsinki, bit colder in Tampere (which I like as a place), by the time we got to Oulu, the last show, I was freezing me nuts of, which could be another reason why I'm no longer well endowed etc.. Maybe I'm just not well. I did however buy a replacement nose hair clipper from the same shop in Tampere I purchased its predecessor at. Wow!!! I'll give you the name of the shop if you like.
Saint Petersburg. What a beautiful city, absolutely class, well it is downtown at least, however it's a lot more fun if you don't get pickpocketed, as Andrew did. We were out walking, this lot were really pro, saw us walking out of a Tourist shop, which they were obviously watching and were all over Andrew like a rash, acting like they were guides, hands all over him, then they were gone. 30 seconds later he realises what's just happened, by which time of course they've gone, no point to go back. He's just cancelling his cards when this kid runs up and explains in kind of sign language he saw them stealing the wallet, taking the cash then throwing it down. So he ran after us and gave it back to Andrew. No cash of course but all else intact. What a great bloke that was, talk about 2 different sides of human nature in 1 minute! Good show, some lovely tottski as well. They LOVE In the army now there, I mean love it. We should have started and finished with it, with an acoustic version during the show, after the reggae (cont'd p.94). On to Moscow on the overnight train, good time had by all, not as Cold War type as it was the last time we made that journey, still good.
Moscow, phew, how smelly, not sewers, just air pollution, worse than Mexico City in my book. And the drivers. Now they are MAD. Think of Italy where they drive really fast, then add a bit of India, where they don't let mere details like traffic lights get in the way, then Romania, where they just can't drive. Multiply that by 10 and there you have it. Anyway, I'm walking across Red Square try to find a badge for me guitar strap, when this chap starts talking to me, a Quo fan from Scotland. We get talking and it turns out he lives there some of the time. So I get his card and say next time I'm in town I'll give him a call.
Next time I'm in town turns out to be the next 6 days! So I call him up, he's now me new best mate George and he really did make my time there at worst tolerable and mainly really interesting, lots of Metro stiff, went to the headquarters of Tass (the Russian press agency, very cold war looking) as we walked in to the first station he pointed to a small shrine and casually remarked that was were a Chechen suicide bomber had blown himself up a few years previous. However, it was worth the risk as far as I'm concerned. For me it's the 8th wonder of the world, Soviet art from the Communist period is starting to look fantastic I reckon. Thanks again George, well interesting that was.
Cut to Stalag Moscow. Calling to order, escape committee briefing, day 6. Those present: Group Captain G. Smith (DSO) Quartermaster A. May (BAR), Flight Lieutenant P Marks (dec'd), RSM L. Miles (AWOL, as his football team Gillingham, or Gillingham nil as he prefers to call them have just been relegated). Smith: "Right lads, there's nothing for it. This dashed ash cloud must be faced head on. I have a cunning plen. (Stiff upper lippish for plan). Let's hotfoot it to the airport, pay someone loads of money to charter their private craft, get aboard and fly to neutral Germany.(what? Germany neutral? That's the EU for ya!), where we can commandeer a bus which coincidentally has just arrived at the airport we are about to land at to take us all back to Blighty, where we can regroup and re-arm for another tour of duty with the Quo army. What do you think lads?" Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah! for the good Captain.
So we got home. The first thing I noticed when we got off the 'plane was the air. Clean air! I do feel really sorry for the Russians. They just look like their life is one of complete drudgery, can't be much fun. Or maybe I'm wrong. Since I paid off my endowment I just don't know any more.
After missing the Rossi tour due to unforeseen family illness, which I was gutted about, would have liked to see that Fred, I hear he was quite OK... it was on to Strasbourg (beautiful city), rocking show, with a French band before us called Ange. Zey were,'ow yew say, very Fronche Hmmmm, too late for us to be honest, on at 11.30, should have been tucked up in bed.
On to a fantastic day off in Luxembourg where I managed to miss the Champions League final, but there you go. Great venue in the middle of a disused steelworks, nice to see Daisy with her new hairdo and Hazel? I think she is, and of course me old mate Hans the headbang animal. His mum loves him though.
Right, that's the lot for now, au revoir from a wet Killarney,
John "little willy" Edwards. x