The journey home took us about twenty eight hours. We flew from Brisbane to Singapore, a six hour layover in Singapore and then a fourteen hour flight to London Heathrow. We didn’t get to see anything of Singapore apart from the inside of the airport. But to be fair it is pretty impressive, stacks of shops, plenty of seating and wifi. They even have an indoor garden and impressive display to celebrate the start of the Chinese new year (year of the pig).
The flight out of Singapore was about half an hour late leaving, which is no big deal when you’re looking at fourteen hours in the air.
We took our seats, Kip got the window seat, I was in the middle and to my left was a young, very tall asian lad who had a slow leak. This lad was amazing. He sat down, wrapped a blanket around himself, fastened his seat belt, put on his eye mask (let’s call him Zorro) and went straight to sleep without uttering a word. Zorro never ate anything or acknowledged anyone’s existence for the first eight hours, after which he stirred briefly so we took the chance to ask him to let us out to the loo. Zorro was a man of few words (as in none); he simply nodded and allowed us through. The effort of this action clearly wore him out as he immediately replaced his mask and went straight back to sleep. He even managed to sleep through the bumpy landing at Heathrow, but awoke as soon as the plane pulled into its bay. In a stunning feet of endurance Zorro managed to fart his way through the whole fourteen hour flight. He was rank. I can see now why so many Chinese walk the streets wearing face masks. If I’d had a medal I would have made a speech and pinned it to his chest.
We went through passport control and collected our bags without any dramas. Kip then phoned our taxi for the day, the lovely Sue.
Sue is without doubt an absolute star. I’d been mates with her husband Rog for donkeys years and when he got together with Sue, thankfully we all hit it off immediately.
Sadly we lost Rog to cancer toward the end of last year, which was a huge blow to us both and obviously even more so to Sue. I’ve no doubt she has her moments, but we’re both full of admiration for how Sue has kept putting one foot in front of the other and ploughed on with life after Rog. She traded in their large camper for a smaller one so that she and Cookie the dog can still come with us to festivals and clear off on their hols etc. Rog used to accompany Sue on guitar, so now she’s learning to accompany herself. When Rog died Kip committed to running a 10k road race to raise money for St Barnabas Hospice and Marie Curie Nurses as they both provided an excellent service for Rog during his final weeks with us. Sue has now taken up running for he first time in her fifty plus years so that she can do the race with Kip.
Sue and Cookie the dog had spent the previous night in their van at a camp site down the road, so that she could pick us up at 8o’clock that morning. Sue came into the pickup zone within minutes and after hugs and kisses we were off up the road toward home.
We’ve now had a day to start and get ourselves back into the home routine. Kids and grandkids to visit, send out posters etc for the gigs we have in the UK, plan the launch for our live album and get a PR campaign sorted for our first tour in Canada.
But before all of that we have to say a massive thanks to Australia and all of the people who helped make these past five weeks possible. I am not going to mention names as there are too many of you and I would hate to offend anyone by missing them out. Some people have played a bigger part than others, but every single one has been invaluable and we are eternally grateful for all that you’ve done. We will no doubt be badgering you again for gigs, beds, the use of washing machines and no doubt some more good times. I’ve included random photos and videos below.
For the rest of the year we will be doing out thing up and down the UK and into Canada in September. Please keep a check on our website (click here) for news and gig updates.