There are two moments of the day that I really enjoy when I am on tour. First is breakfast. If I am up early I can saunter into the catering section and enjoy whatever selection there is. On a health conscious day I may settle for a bowl of porridge but sometimes a good fry up in any one of its incarnations can be appealing. A full English style breakfast (often with unusual variations in Europe as it's impossible to get a proper English sausage in foreign supermarkets -one may have to make do with some continental variety of sausage-polish, bratwurst, or a frankfurter paired with alien forms of bacon)-but sometimes a simple fried or poached egg on toast is sufficient or bowl of cornflakes enjoyed in the morning quiet, a time that allows one to gather one's thoughts is a delightful way to start the day. The best breakfasts of course are those of the hotel variety enjoyed on a day off or the morning after a day off , sitting at a table with a view of the city ,presented with a magnificent selection of foods tempting one to try everything on the buffet and followed by innumerable cups of coffee to make the morning feel complete. Ah! is this not happiness?
The other time I really enjoy is when the day is finally done. I have done my interviews during the day, maybe had a stroll around the town if I am close enough, dealt with technical issues with my keyboards, finished sound check, charmed fans at the meet and greet, put all my energy and concentration into performing the show and afterwards the chance to entertain the guests and share a beer with them, or if I have no guests a chance to catch up with last emails and then the ritual of packing away of my stuff into my bags and head toward the tour bus. My mind empties itself of the days cares and I relax. If I finish early enough I might find the bus empty, deserted, peaceful and complete with a fridge full of freshly made sandwiches. Ah! ,the pleasure of the evening sandwich, accompanied by a packet of crisps and a cold beer to imbibe It is a regular ritual that signals that the day is done, and the remains of the day (to borrow a phrase from the title of a famous book) is now my own-to read a book or to sneak into the cosiness of my bunk or maybe to simply sit in the lounge and natter with the 'family' about the day's events or whatever rubbish we may care to natter about.
I am not a fussy eater and sometimes any sandwich will do, although there are periods when the caterers seem to have a habit of including in the sandwich selection sandwiches that no one eats-the hummus sandwich for example and every now and then, maybe because we sometimes have Americans on our team-the peanut butter and jelly sandwich :
Now personally I love hummus (and I don't mind a peanut butter and jelly sandwich either) but at the end of the day I don't care for a hummus sandwich (or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich). I want something substantial, savoury and chunky like a good cheese sandwich or a tuna mayo to accompany my crisps. Often we have names on our sandwich and this is done becomes there are fussy eaters on the bus. We have vegetarians-and the vegetarians usually have the habit of going into the bus sometime in the afternoon to swag the veggie sandwiches so they can hide them in their bunks to stop them from being pilfered by the meat eaters who may, on a whim, prefer a cheese sandwich that night rather than the sausage and pickle sandwich simply because they like sausage but lament the fact that it has pickle in it and they too, being so fussy, cannot deal with pickle on their sausage sandwich. There are times when a fussy eater may find that their personalised and labelled sandwich is not present, for it may have been forgotten due to human error on the part of the sandwich maker or it may have accidently found its way on to the crew bus and by the time this fact has been discovered it may have already been devoured by a hungry crew member and thus leaving the choice of either consuming the hummus sandwich or settling for a packet of crisps or some jellied sweets or maybe simply going without and avoiding the unnecessary calories of which we, old farts that we mostly are, become so acutely aware of as we examine the unflattering photos that we get tagged in on facebook. Such is the price of being in the public eye