Here I am!

Dear all,

Greetings from New Zealand where I intend to blog rather more than recent form. I’m doing a hell of a lot of driving around while I’m here but as any musician will tell you, these drives are frequently broken up by cafe stops which can involve wifi…So this is by way of being a ‘day one in New Zealand’ blog. The journey was as hideous as everyone who has made it will tell you it is. First it was off to London to stay the night to avoid the high blood pressure of relying on trains on the day of flying. Then the 7 hour flight to Dubai which curiously I actually rather enjoyed as I read the papers for the last couple of days, had a (mostly) successful shot at the crossword and watched a couple of episodes of the Big Bang Theory! Then in Dubai as I had a long lay off Emirates kindly give a hotel room to their passengers. This part was nice. Getting there was rather tedious as the passport checking people at the airport took a phenomenally long time to check everyone’s passports, not for any security reasons but simply because they were very busy talking to each other and not to anyone who was waiting to get out the damn airport. Then at the hotel my key didn’t work. But anyway, eventually I got a few hours sleep which certainly helped to feel less deathly…then came the loooooong trip from Dubai to Melbourne, all thirteen hours of it. It’s always the last four hours that get me on this – when your brain just can’t do anything except wish it was off the damn plane. Comedy, films, papers, books, songwriting – not a bit of it by this stage. Bloody awful. But not to worry, prior to that I wrote a report on the recent Live Music Now work I did in Wales and watched Red Dwarf, the Office and Friends and read a paper and some of a book. It could have been worse.

And then to Auckland where Roger and Hilary who host the quite wonderful Devonport Folk Club which I’m playing tonight came to get me and hosted me with some fine conversation, nice food and some of Roger’s superb home brewed beer. Naturally I was half dead by 10 owing to jet lag but all in all a good way to start. Then today it was off to Auckland city centre on the charming little 10 minute ferry ride which was delayed (seriously how do I do it?!?!?!?!) so I had to rush a bit to get to New Zealand Radio where I performed live down the line at 1pm. The link is here:

And that’s about it so far. I feel reasonably non death-like from the journey and am simply very happy to be in this wonderful country once again.

Very best wishes to you all. No doubt there’ll be some ridiculous stories to relate from here soon…In fact I’ve sort of had one just now. I came out of the radio and needed a bite to eat and rather more urgently the toilet. So I popped into this agreeable looking cafe, placed my order of a sandwich and a tea and to my horror saw the ‘out of order’ sign on the toilet door. I asked if there was possibly one that wasn’t out of order I could use and was given an electronic pass card to a rather official looking building that was officially closed and directed to use two different lifts (!) and use my pass again to open the toilet. A tad bizarre and I did of course forget the direction I’d gone as is my general way but it’s all good fun.