So that's the tour over and done with - I write this back home in nithering Lincoln as I ponder just how I'm going to prepare my delicious steaks this evening while drinking a cold bottle of Old Speckled Hen. The last couple of shows were good, though not necessarily from a lighting point of view - poor spec once again thwarting Stefan Wolf. We arrived hours late in the impressive city of Bratislava where yet again smoking appeared compulsory among gig-goers, giving my already sore throat even more to grumble about. Despite this the Slovak people were all very nice, though it takes them an age to hoover a carpet. Support "The Ocean" missed the gig by being even more tardy than Anthema but this was no great loss as they'd developed a special way of annoying the hell out of me. How a band can complain they have too little space to set up when they have more lights on stage than amps and instruments is beyond me. Still, good luck to them.
The Prague show was also good, and I finally got the load-out pizza I'd been badgering Les about since the beginning of leg one. Another victory for pester power.
Thanks to some heroic driving through snow and rain we ended up back in blighty way ahead of schedule and dropped all the gear at Matt's handy lock-up near Derby. Later that evening, as I cracked open a bottle of wine bought on the ferry, I got a phone call from driver Tim.
"I thought you might like to know what happened on the way back to the depot," he said.
Apparently he was passed by his own trailer as he drove along the motorway. It had come uncoupled from the bus, most likely due to some idiots or other trying to nick it while he was parked up at services. I don't know why but this seems a fitting end to the whole tale. Maybe the trailer had finally had enough and was making a run for it. I wouldn't blame it after what happened in Romania.
We reconvene for three shows in Ireland in a few weeks. See you then.