Getting ready for the new tour now. It's cold. My toes are numb. I'm sitting by my desk trying to think of something profound, witty and entertaining to amuse our followers but I'm also thinking I had better get on with packing my stuff; and so with this half a page or so of scribbled lines I think maybe I should buy a new suitcase. I go through suitcases like socks. I have several in assorted sizes. The big one for long tours, the middle sized one for one or two weeks on the road and a little one for stints of three days or less. Like Goldilocks ransacking the three bears' house for the perfect porridge or the perfect chair, it's sometimes hard to find the one that is ' just right' . Then there's an overnight bag-something for the odd festival gig or something to take while I attend some rehearsals.
There are things around the home that need doing. Jobs that need fixing but now it is too late. It will have to wait until next time but coming off tour I tend to hibernate. To disappear and turn off from everything. The constant bubble of the road has been exchanged for something else and it takes a little while to adapt to a regular domestic schedule and now it is time to return to the bubble of tour life again.
This tour coming up has been divided into convenient periods. It helps with home life as long weeks on the road can make the other side of existence difficult and awkward. But this French tour is only a couple of weeks long -so I think I will need a middle sized bag. Enough to have house sufficient amounts of clean underwear. T shirts and jeans can be worn for more than a day but socks and jocks need to be packed in abundance. I think I've done an entire tour in a single pair of jeans-although admittedly they were pretty smelly by the time I got home. I do have a middle-sized case in my shed but it smells a bit 'musty' and the last time I looked at it had become home to several spiders in the zipper crevices. Poor, sweet things I am not keen to deprive them of their home. The option to burn the case is not practical here ,so there they must remain-eating flies and insects. They have their place in nature. They can't help being born as a spider. It must be really frustrating for them to have been born a spider. Maybe they would have preferred to have been born a bird or a tree or something fuzzy and cute that makes you go "aww!" , that you want to feed it , love it ,cherish it. But really, I don't mind the spiders that much. They live out their lives in small little corners doing their spiderly thing, having their spiderly problems, trying to avoid being sprayed with poison or being squashed and screamed at, or poked out by the neighbour's curious cat that explores the garden and then leaves a deposit a poop on the veggie patch.
The tour begins and we are off to France but it won't be warm at this time of year. Nor will it be particularly touristy experience-with a couple of exceptions. A shame really, for some of the French destinations are truly lovely. We'll enjoy concrete monolithic buildings designed for shows and sports. The facilities of these places are fine enough though. Plenty of dressing rooms with private showers and usually somewhere to sit and place a laptop or whatever device you prefer on a desk as you stare at yourself in the mirror, wondering where have the years gone , one day closer to death ...
A life measured out in tours, of cups of coffee and after show pizzas, of joyful audiences and the eerie quiet of an empty venue when everything has packed up and the floor of the venue is strewn with the litter of plastic cups , the artefacts of a passing moment in time, etched into people's memories and relived again upon our return. A never ending cycle.
Like an endless river...