Since I'm the only one in the breakfast room and I'm running a bit late for my destination: airport, I tell the nice lady that I don't want a cooked breakfast but just some toast to which she replies:' Oh, you'll just have a quick zoom-zoom' (well, that's what it sounded like anyway) and if that's a quick breakfast, then indeed I do. With everything packed, I check out of my single room to have Ian, the porter ask me whether I want him to take care of my bag - an offer I cannot refuse really. I double check whether I've got my frog with me and head towards Buchanan Bus Station to catch the Airport Shuttle Bus and arrive well ahead of the announced touchdown time of 11.10am.
Finally, at last, the writing changes to 'on ground' and I get the frog into position - I don't really care what people think, I've seen people with all sorts of things...While I watch the escalators, a flurry of people comes through some door or other on the ground level and - naturally - the escalators are useless for me as my two friends (with their respective frogs) come from where the doors are J . There's too much to say in too little time. I try filling them in on what has happened in Northampton, Birmingham and Oxford without giving away anything from the concerts while we wait for the rental car and the frogs celebrate their reunion admiring their respective attire.
I won't take the blame for being mad, when I first had the idea of doing a special tour T-shirt for Hosi, it was my mum who offered to provide it which left me with only the printing to do (see? Madness runs in the family, but don't tell anyone she had to do two since I sort of burned the print on the first attempt, ahem). The car turns out to be a Daewoo, quite nice looking in dark green and plenty of space for the three of us and our whole entourage. At the hotel we speak to Ian again the lovely porter who not only took care of my bag but had it transferred to our new room already. Bless him.
After a quick refreshment and general excitement I can finally see the present we got for Michael: The only thing missing is a nice card to go with it.
Find a card? Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? Yeah, right. It proves to be a bit tedious, so finally after several shopping malls, a large number of shops and lots of cards not suitable for our purpose we settle for one with a big star on it. Which seems appropriate enough since he also has a star, hasn't he? Apart from being one...
Interesting fact that all the time while walking through the streets one of my friends would innocently drop in step next to me and ask me: 'Does he sing this? Does he sing that? When does he sing this?' Just so the other one doesn't notice it J
Now, Glasgow as we have seen it is not really that impressive, I think it's the motorway going right through the town that kind of spoils it for me, apart from a number of corners not looking too inviting...Sauchiehall Street is nice, though, with a lot of hotels and nice façades.
On our return to our room we see that the door is open. Which is a bit strange, but apparently nothing is missing so on we go. Suddenly the phone rings and who should it be but Pam! She kindly tells us what we missed during our hunt for the perfect card, since Michael seemed to have lots of time and she had her picture taken with him. Ah well, can't win them all - and since this puppy is not getting close enough in the first place that picture thing might prove to be a bit difficult...
At around 6.45pm we are ready for the big time, the card has been written, the present prepared...The way to the SECC is fairly easy, especially since I found a shorter way yesterday so we cross the Expressway via the nice pedestrian tunnel (comment Iris: 'Shame about the windows, it would be a great photo opportunity') and who should we bump into at the kiosk but Pam? She is waiting for a coffee (and not really succeeding) but it gives me time to introduce her to Ulli and Iris who she got the CD and video for last year.
The SECC looks really cool in the dark with the lights lighting it (oh, really?), much better than in daylight.
There is nothing quite as good as having the ticket for the venue in your hands well before 'take-off' so I cherish the moment. As I do indeed the fact that after three concerts I finally get my programme - as do the others.
Now, on my ticket it says row B and so after having been given the instructions to head down to the front (well thank you, who would have thought that row B may be fairly up front J ) I search for the seat number, but cannot find it in the middle block. That only leaves the left block and with Iris on my heels I go there, check the second row - to find the letter C on the seat. What is happening in Glasgow? Seems that the Scots left out row A, which of course makes row B the first row in that block. Since Glasgow was 'my' venue, i.e. it was the box office I had to ring, I'm really pleased that the lady had given me these in spite of me stalling on three numbers in the back of a virtual credit card...
In our joy about the great seats and a lot of hugs (people must really think us mad, especially when the frogs come out) we notice one man sitting on the aisle in the row behind us - Malcolm!
Since Iris is recognised she goes over to see him, because this could also be the chance to get our present to Michael on the first night and not wait till Edinburgh. Malcolm is extremely chatty, proudly says: 'I'm his BUSFAHRER!' (yes, indeed you are J ) and at one stage 'Das ist gut' (which of course it is J ). And, most importantly he promises to pass our present and card on, telling us that Michael apparently loves reading stuff like that when on the bus after a show and is amazed as to how far some people travel to see him. My comment that Germany pales into insignificance compared to America or New Zealand is denied, it doesn't matter where you come from. The present indeed arises Malcolm's curiosity, since he starts guessing what could be in it: 'A photo of yourselves?' (please, Malcolm, we want to give him something he enjoys not frighten him to bits...) 'An invitation to your home?' Ooooh, now there's a temptation I can't resist, since technically speaking it is. Sort of...so I say: 'You could actually say that!', which throws Malcy slightly off J . Anyway, Malcolm leaves at around 7.40pm and promises once again to put it right on top of the pile for Michael to see afterwards.
It's finally time to take our seats (the first row here is quite a distance away from the stage), not before Ulli has met her friend Jane who is sitting right behind us and all of us worry a bit about the speaker system which is directly in front of us. If it gets too bad I still have my earplugs from Oxford...
There is one slight disadvantage to our seats though - once again I for one can't see when exactly Michael appears during the thunder and lightning - which makes it four entries I haven't seen properly...
Oh, nevermind, it's easy to know when he's there as the crowd cheers, claps, gets up and gives him a warm welcome! Now, he certainly sounds fine again and in the first half I probably like the new songs best from 'I don't want a lover' (oh yes, from one of Scotland's best bands, Texas) 'You're still the one' (that gets better every time) to 'If tomorrow never comes'. The musicals medley is introduced in a fine way by Michael saying: 'If there is anyone who doesn't like musicals - you are going to hate this next bit' and 'If we sang all the great songs from the shows we would be here for five weeks or so' which of course is greeted with thunderous applause and general encouragement, but Michael adds in a hushed voice: 'Don't tell anyone, but I've got to be in Edinburgh tomorrow...' Oh, that's handy - so do we J . He leaves for the interval to standing ovations.
Before the second half Jane tells us that due to the enourmos power of the soundsystem she has changed her seat and will be sitting further away in the hope that it is better there. I have to admit, it IS loud, I don't think it was as loud last year.
In the second half comes what I think is probably my song of the tour 'You bring the best out of me'. It took me two concerts to really realise that, but now it's my firm favourite and I can't wait to hear it on the album (yeah, yeah, I know, I HAVE heard it by now...).
Now, I had been telling my friends about the 'flame-grilled-whopper' bit and the 'waffle bum' but for some reason we don't get that tonight. What we get is Mick suddenly disappearing into the darkness (Annie, Shéna and him are right on our side of the stage, so we can't miss it) and quickly coming back looking like he had a problem with his microphone or rather ear plug power pack. Sadly there is no speaker to sit on on our side of the stage (aaaaaaaaah) during 'Oh what a circus' so Michael instead sits down next to Annie as he did in Northampton.
His own section - or rather section of his own songs - starts with 'Never coming back' leading into 'Someone else's dream' and a little encouragement to actually try and sit down trying to write things down as Michael finds it 'quite carthatic'. Well, I guess with reviews or reports we sort of do the same on a different level though. These sort of 'biographical or autobiographical' parts of everyone's life are well displayed in 'Someone else's dream' which 'describes a very bleak period in my life and this next song is sort of the antidote to it. It proves that things will and do get better' which is a beautiful introduction to 'Just when' a song, which is again very different to the previous ones and the three of them together show a great versatility and create very different moods.
This section is then again followed by 'Love on the rocks' by one of Michael's heroes Neil Diamond and one of his favourite tracks from his most successful studio album to date, 'The Movies'.
After 'Why haven't I heard from you', the 'kick ass' song, the band once again gets their outing. And it's strange, but during 'Why do fools falls in love' I just cannot keep my eyes on Michael (sorry...), but there is SO much going on that during the snapping of fingers it's really hard to keep in rhythm while giggling all along.
That doesn't necessarily get better with one of longest introduction's to a song telling about Ricardo (the goat what???? swain? - according to my dictionary 'swain' could actually be right...another addition to 'Improve your word power with Michael Ball') and this devilish woman whose name I cannot remember and of course the band donning the sombreros. There was some discussion going on in the interval whether to try to get to the front during 'the rush' or not, but now that it's time it's just a kind of reflex really. Listen, listen, get ready, cue music...GO. Not right at the front, but close enough to witness Shéna having clapping disorder for a second (mind you, I thought that only happened to us during certain song bits, ahem) but laughing at it herself J . I sometimes think we must make a great sight to see, I mean, let's face it, we as the audience can't get our clapping coordinated in the first place (when one group claps the other pauses and vice versa) and need a little bit of help from our man to get in line again. As everything this show comes to end with 'You made me love you' sung in the velvet coat which replaced the leather jacket I think from Oxford onwards (though in Oxford we didn't even get the velvet coat, boooh).
That's it for this evening and slightly dazed I get my frog and my bag and the once more unused camera and altogether we slowly make our way out of the auditorium. Outside we head for the stage door since Malcolm also said during our conversation that Michael would not be doing 'a runner' tonight - and if Malcolm says so who are we not to a least have a glimpse. With Ulli, I have my congenial partner back for standing in the background, and so we stand away from the bus, see Malcolm whizzing around, see Pam and Iris standing closer to the bus as well and Shéna, Mick and Annie eventually coming out. And similar to the reaction to the entrance to 'Let the rivers run' the screaming and camera flashes are a dead give-away as to who has come out. We can't see that much, but since a security person shouts to clear the road for the bus it is safe to assume that Michael is inside, Malcolm is ready to go - but they won't let them. Eventually they do, so Malcolm goes past us and off into the night. We collect Pam and make our way back to the hotel since Pam requested to not go to hers alone, but is probably a bit disappointed that we decline her proposal to get something to drink somewhere. So this is where we part for the night, since we are to see her again in Edinburgh.
Can you go to sleep immediately after a concert? No, neither can we and since Ulli and Iris ask for a drink (not pub drink, but more like soft drink) and I do recall a 24h store named Mo's somewhere in the vicinity we go and hunt for that. Just to pass it about a hundred times because I cannot seem to remember which side of the road it's on. Cough.
Back at the hotel, Elmo (cuddly toy, Iris') who unfortunately couldn't come to the concert so Garou (frog 1, Ulli's), Hosi (frog 2, mine) and George (frog 3, Iris') have to fill him in with Hosi of course being the 'expert' with now 4 concerts under his non-existent belt.
All of us are a bit puzzled as to how the light in the floor can be on in the morning when everyone says they didn't put it on...ooooooooooooh, spoooooky.
Well, since I have more time on my hands I join my friends in getting the full hotel breakfast and a rather good one it is. I always thought I might not be attracted to having a sausage or bacon in the morning, but with company it just comes naturally. Interesting bit of trivia that through Iris' window she can see the sun shining whilst through the other window I can see it raining.
Some time later all the bags, toys and people are in the car and as unattractive as the motorway may be for sightseeing it is handy that it is easy to get on it when leaving Glasgow. The drive to Edinburgh is a) fairly short and b) uneventful, apart from the fact that even in the car you cannot get away from 'The Corrs', but our CD is newer...
Have you noticed something about going into new cities - the getting there is never the problem, but as soon as you start going into the city centre that's when you lose it. Needless to say that's what happened to us, in spite of this fantastic (*cough*) map to get us there and the instruction that the B&B is really only round the corner of the Playhouse within walking distance.
Keep that in mind while I take you around Edinburgh where directions are at a premium, a road we are looking for sign-posted at one crossing and suddenly completely gone at the next crossing. So, we throw caution to the wind and go where our senses take us - straight into a dead end road. Normally that is not a problem, but in our special case there is one tiny pitfall. Has anyone seen our reverse gear????
Well, after several minutes of fruitless attempts I finally get my working gloves out (I like to be prepared...don't ask...) and get out of the car which gets Ulli moving on the other side of the car. Maybe not one of my brightest ideas, but practical. Hopefully. Never mind a slightly ascending street with cobblestone and a b****y heavy car with all our luggage in - and of course that lovely builder man who I have a feeling might have been standing behind the gate a little longer than he lets us know, killing himself laughing. Oh, how I swore to myself once not to live up to the prejudice of 'women + cars' in particular or 'women + technical stuff' in general. Lovely man that he is he calls out his friend who has a go at finding the reverse - and unfortunately finding it. If ever I wanted a hole in the ground, now would be good timing...
Well, they have their fun and we have our reverse and have a second go of finding our B&B. And this time we are a bit luckier than before, because we go past the Playhouse where it says: 8 th October, 8pm, Michael Ball, sold out. Checking: right day, plenty of time, right concert, right artist...good! Now as for the 'just round the corner' bit. Strictly speaking the lady is right, it is ONE corner. She just forgot to mention that it is about 20 minutes up the road once you pass that corner...anyway, we have arrived.
As the landlady is not yet ready we just drop our luggage off and head for the theatre as we still have to collect our tickets since the Playhouse didn't want to send them out to us. I don't mean to be a pessimist, but until I have my ticket there will be some nagging thoughts in my mind after all my adventures this tour Iris and Ulli have been filled in about - and Ulli is none to happy herself when I mention it.
So imagine the feeling when it says: Box office opening hours: Mo-Fr whatever time, Sa whatever time, On performance days at 8pm (don't you think that is a tad late????) and Sunday closed????? Oh, pleeeeeaaaaaaase, this cannot be true? OK, so it is only shortly past midday, but...well, we cannot help it but with a bit of a dampened spirit (especially since we know where we are - or might be - sitting...) we trek off - and who should we bump into but Pam. (Am I repeating myself?) Again! She is on her way to her B&B to catch up on some sleep as she had a bit of a selfmade party in a restaurant as we parted ways yesterday. And she says not to worry about the tickets. Which I think is easy to say for her - she's got hers! She says she is going to be at the stage door later on, but we simply have to do a bit of the obvious sightseeing since the sun has come out at last - that's something. I may have been in Edinburgh nearly 10 years ago to the day, but I certainly cannot remember the castle or the monument and it is worth a visit, the view from up there is gorgeous.
At about 4pm we head back towards the theatre studying the restaurants' menus on the way back since we have to eat something. Eventually. Although without tickets...after the change at the B&B into 'concert gear' the next stop is the Playhouse again and - can it be true, there are some lights on in the box office and the door is open. We send Ulli to go in and collect the tickets and the lady gets the envelope, takes the tickets out has a look at the theatre map and states with a big smile: 'Oh, these are good tickets, you can't get any closer than this!' First row in the middle - no, you cannot, I suppose. On the map it actually looks as though the stage is a bit away from the first row, but then again...
The lady also says that the show will run till approximately 10.30pm, but it could take a bit longer. Thank you, not that we mind...we've got the tickets, a fact we gratefully acknowledge outside. It's already a bit late for any stage door adventures so we go in search of something to eat instead. The restaurants we checked earlier don't really meet with our approval so we go back to Princes Street, but agree that a McDonald's or Burger King (although serving a...whopper) is not really an option because who wants to smell of frying oil when you have a concert to go to later on...as a last resort (and a longer walk than anticipated) we settle for a meal in the Pizza Hut Edinburgh. The waiter is marvellous, we ask him kindly to give us a minute - we aren't talking about half an hour!
At 7pm we finally make our way back to the theatre with everyone a bit tense as to how close first row would be this night. The steward tells us to go straight down to the front...You think? And I don't think you can get any closer than this really. When you slide forward in the seat a bit (and I emphasise 'bit') your knees touch the stage actually. The theatre is actually a really nice place (yes, I know, I would say that now, wouldn't I? J ), but it really is. I think I prefer the theatres to the big arenas any day, although the NEC was good as far as atmosphere is concerned.
While we have taken our seats quite early, there is plenty of time to get a good seat for Hosi who has to enjoy himself on his own tonight because George and Garou have to stay at home - I cannot remember them being bad in any way - so why are they punished???
Pam arrives as well and physically threatens me upon seeing exactly where we are sitting. I'll remember that! J I have to give her two cards later on and of course we have to say our goodbyes as she is not going to Aberdeen and we will not see each other again for the foreseeable future. But she has been at the stage door and says it would have been really good for us to be there as well as the Brits apparently were outnumbered by people from New Zealand, Canada and all over the place...
8pm. There is one downside to our seat: again I don't see when exactly Michael is on stage, but again the noise is an indication as to when that is. I hope I will finally be able to appreciate the opening ceremony in Aberdeen...and soon after the opening number where of course everyone is standing anyway we realise the other downside. The lighting may be spectacular and really nice, but it becomes a bit irritating if you have a light straight in you eyes nearly throughout the show...
I am lucky (again) because where I sit Michael is between the spotlight and me - IF he doesn't move. Now we all know that is highly unlikely, so I get my share of being 'blinded by the lights'. 'I don't want a lover' is then followed by 'You're still the one' which is not only turning into one of Michael's favourite songs to perform but into one of my favourite songs to listen to.
During the first half (as Ulli and me later find out we both noticed) there is one tiny hair caught in his jacket where the sleeve meets the rest of the jacket and due to the lighting and us being so close - for some reason our attention is drawn to it and we would love to just say: 'Hey, psssst, Michael, come over here' take that hair away and then say 'OK, back to work...' J . But we don't...due to the announcement I'm sure everyone who has been to a show has heard by now there are not many photos taken, not by us either. But you know what: as much as I enjoy having at least one photo from every venue it is also great to just sit there and let yourself be enveloped in the whole experience.
'If tomorrow never comes' is growing into one favourite of mine as well. It is one of those songs where the lyrics make you think - OK, make ME think how true it is that you sometimes just don't tell people enough how you like/love them. And regret it afterwards when it is too late.
Last year at the NEC when a friend had organised front row tickets (again, I hear you cry, sorry...kudos to my friends though) I told a couple of people later that when you're that close you have one further advantage. I mean it is all well when you are in the same theatre as Michael but that close 'Gethsemane' took on a whole new dimension. I had heard it before and of course seen the ALW celebration, but to be there and then see how phased out Michael was afterwards left you completely lost as well. Since Edinburgh is even closer seatwise, the musicals medley blows you away completely (and yes, there is the similar introduction about non-musicals-lovers hating the next bit and him staying there for weeks - again encouraged by the audience - and again denied, because he has to go to Aberdeen...).
In the following medley, I don't know whether it's the eyes or the body language as a whole, but 'Losing my mind' just makes me shiver and 'Les Mis' (Happy 15 th Birthday): I actually think during 'Empty Chairs' he looked as if he would burst into tears and somehow you find yourself saying: For heaven's sake, somebody console him!
'I dreamed a dream' is different, but then again Michael explains that himself before the songs, 'Empty Chairs' is about the loss of friends, hope and a goal you believed in, whereas 'I dreamed a dream' is about the loss of something we are all born with but sadly have taken away from us sooner or later - our innocence. 'Love changes' ends a beautiful first half. Which ends in complete darkness, as the lights literally go out.
Now, to lighten things up a bit (no pun intended), I decide I have to take a picture of where we sit (we are speaking interval here - NO artist on stage) and as soon as I do I am approached by a security person to put the camera away. Please, in the interval? A picture of my friends? Ah, well...
The security guy looks as if he intends to stay right down at the front in the middle of the aisle, but after the first bars of 'Something inside so strong' he disappears...oh, BTW, the sparkly tie looks even nicer up close...of course, we get 'Titanic' and 'Walking in Memphis'. Throughout the second half there is one song I'm really looking forward to and that is of course as I mentioned earlier 'You bring the best out of me' which is just a great song, full stop.
Following the section with his own songs we are brought to life again with 'Why haven't I heard from you' which after the Chippenham (I nearly wrote Chippendale here - wonder why...) tape has really grown on me throughout the concerts. It's a song to put a smile on your face - especially after Pam's latest comment that Michael has to have extra suspension at the hips - otherwise he couldn't do all that gyrating J . What a great comparison...
Now, I'm sure most of us will have heard the 'portable commode' thing when Michael explains to us why poor Neal has to stay at the back as they have to wheel him in and out of the venue with said commode - but can somebody please enlighten me as to WHAT Michael says that has him giggling his head off and saying 'I can't believe I said that'? Yes, it is hilarious enough without knowing what he says, but oh - sweet curiosity...all the giggling certainly doesn't help with 'Why do fools fall in love' a song that always seems to encourage hopeless 'finger snapping' disorder... J .
For 'La vida loca' there is not going to be anyone in front of us - apart from a few people getting up and pushing towards the front a bit too early.
Now, there seems to be a bit of controversy over the 'grabbing' parts of a concert. It is my own personal opinion that I don't do it, because if roles were reversed (OK, highly unlikely...) I wouldn't like it. Apparently - or in Edinburgh rather obviously - some people have a bit of a different take on it and so we see some ladies trying to get a hold of Michael's trousers (I assume we are talking trousers here...) every time he goes past. Since they are right in the middle of the stage he passes them quite often... Things really seem to get out of hand when Michael wipes his face with a towel and after some coaxing shouts throws that down the front which nearly sends the poor lady catching it down to the ground as people fight over it.
During the whole 'party' bit people at the back apparently try to get up and come to the front a bit, but seem to be held back by the minders which Michael comments on with: 'If they want to get up and dance and enjoy themselves please don't stop them - we have to leave soon.' I don't know whether the bouncers listened but I certainly hope so.
After 'Help yourself' and a generous applause for the band, Shéna, Annie, Mick and musical director Callum McLeod, the backing singers help get our clapping into a rhythm which sets up the opening beats of 'Hot Stuff' rather neatly. Michael returns in his black velvet coat (sigh) and during 'One step' actually comes and stands right in front of Ulli and me for a while which forces us to crane our necks, but - nice shiny shoes he has J . A bit of trivia...I know he likes pulling his trousers up, but the amount of times he has done it in Edinburgh suggests that a new hole in the belt might be called for J .
All too soon we reach the final song for which he sits down on the 'grill' again and there is one more highlight I think for everyone, because 'You made me love you' is dedicated especially to everyone who travelled from afar 'we've got people from New Zealand, Canada, America and Europe' (thank you J ), but mindful of the local people the dedication is extended to everyone 'even if you just travelled down the road to see us' (it was the corner, Michael, the CORNER...) I have the impression that the international feeling has really taken off this year, it seems amazing to gather such a diverse group of people in one place for one person.
Well, to thunderous applause he takes his final well-deserved bows and heads off the stage - as we head out of the theatre and the way we are going I have NO idea whatsoever as to where we are, it seems a rather uninviting alley. Since I have to give Pam the cards I blindly follow her and we end up in the general vicinity of the stage door, what a surprise...there is a fair crowd at the tour bus already, so Ulli and me decide to stay on the opposite side of the road, which is fairly narrow in those parts, especially since we are standing right in front of the crew tour bus.
The same applies as in Glasgow, the noise is a dead give away, and after getting into the bus Michael draws the curtain close which separates the bus interior from Malcolm's seat. Only to open it again straight away. The tease...
Slowly the bus starts moving which firstly ends in the crowd dispersing but then some of the ladies hanging on to the 'non-driver's' seat window, because Michael is sort of half hanging out of the bus, waving, grasping hands and saying farewells. He hasn't passed us yet...and just when I turn to Ulli to say something Malcolm has reached us, there is no one hanging on to Michael's hand and what do you know, we are rewarded with a 'Take care, girls', one heck of a nice smile (as far as I can see in the semi-dark alley anyway...) and a wave, which we finally react to by waving ourselves (we should have said something, but sorry, words fail me at a time like that) - only later do I realise that I wave with my frog in my hand...cough...
After passing us he stops for a couple of other people and then finally he's off up the hill and into the night. There it is, just like last year's wave off the step of the bus over everyone's head at the Oxford Apollo towards us (there was no one apart from us standing way behind the back of the bus, so it WAS for us J ), my own personal 'Michael-moment' as they are so adequately described, shared - again like in Oxford - with Ulli standing next to me. And we're getting better, aren't we. First a wave, now a wave and spoken words - oh, can't wait for the next tour...there may be hope for this puppy yet...
We rejoin Pam and float up the hill...of course Pam gets all the details (which pale compared to hers, but who cares, it's our memory to cherish) and Linda, who I met in Northampton on the day of the cancellation introduces me to her husband Gordon who does not beat about the bush and immediately asks: 'So, HOW do you get front row tickets?' - 'Um, with luck I suppose' - 'Oh, just like the football, then'. Oooops.
Now, I knew that on the day of the Glasgow concert England were playing Germany at Wembley and I for one was very glad not to be in London that day, but I don't know the result, so Gordon kindly tells me that Germany won. And it is obvious he is none too happy about it...
Now, as much as concerts are a chance to get together - and I did that a lot and met some truly nice people - there always comes the day when ways part. So it is now, at the top of the hill that I have to say goodbye to Linda, Gordon and Pam. I was a bit apprehensive at first, because I have known Pam for a year only, but things turned out well and (I hope she agrees) I certainly am looking forward to seeing her and her friends again. But, goodbye is goodbye and I can only send her off into the night with the good luck and hoping that she will enjoy the rest of the tour as I will our last concert in Aberdeen.
The three of us - Iris, Ulli and me - head back to our B&B round the corner and contemplate what has happened with a mixture of disbelief and sheer happiness. Although Ulli 'complains' about the fact Michael said 'girls'. Oh, pleeeaaaase ...