Wakey wakey, it’s time to plan to be early and end up rushing around and panicking that we’re going to miss the train. One thing about taking the train to England is that I can bring all the records, because there’s no weight limit, but can we fit them in the suitcases? Can we move the suitcases when they’re in? Can we get them on and off trains up and down all the stairs, through the labyrinth of the London Underground? Well, as it happened and this must be a first, every station had a lift. Result! Getting to London was really straightforward, less stressful than the plane. Siv dropped us off at Rhöndorf and we took a train to Cologne (50 mins) and changed there for Brussels (2 hours). As soon as we we hit the Belgian border, there was snow. It was a reminder that it was actually winter in Europe.
I closed my eyes as soon as we got on the Brussels train and relaxed into Black Sabbath Vol. 4. Ha ha, really. It’s such a melodic album, Ozzy always sings catchy melodies and Tony Iommi always has great guitar tones. It’s a fascinating story about Tony Iommi, he lost the tips of two of his fingers in a factory accident, so he plays with caps on his fingers and uses super light strings.
We were on the luxurious ICE train,‘flying’ across the countryside, Germany, Belgium, France and from Calais on the Eurostar through the tunnel to England. I managed to get a snap of the Atomium (1958 Brussels World Expo) as we went by.
We met all kinds of interesting people on the way. On the Rhöndorf to Cologne train we met Travis, 27, in acting school, nice fella, friendly, helped Olivia get her designated heavy record bag on the train (Ha ha). Favourite actors, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and more but had never heard of Richard Burton. If he gets back in touch, I’ll be sending him some lists. Arriving in Cologne, coming across the great iron bridge with the oxidized statue of the famous man on the horse that no one knows and the thousands of love locks attached to the walkway. You might have seen it before in Paris, padlocks of lovers, symbolically binding each other together forever. I wonder who did it first? How did it catch on?
It was the third train, the Eurostar, where we met Jake and Mitchell. Jake, a photographer from Sydney, Mitchell an environmental scientist or as he described it “I’m in waste management”! We discussed film, acting and music for two hours. We arrived in London at King’s Cross/St Pancras and although we had gone through customs on the other side it takes a while to wind your way through the corridors and passages to the other side of the exit and to where all the shops and restaurants are. It’s going to be so different when Brexit comes into force, when all these people of different nationalities will be in the ‘alien’ queue, like arriving in America. We will suffer going to Europe and our time there will be limited. Looks like Olivia and I will have to move to Portugal. Will keep you posted on that one.
We’re staying with our friends Biggles (Pete) and Colleen. Biggles produced our (with Dare) first demo, The True 100’s. I’ve mentioned him before (he was the A&R man for Carrere Records). Biggles was at the Fulham – Swansea game, 1-0 (94th minute). We got to the house about 20 minutes before he did, Colleen met us and fed us, Bear, the dog looked at us, oh it’s just them.
So we’ve just spent that 3 hours chatting away and realizing that we’ve been travelling for 9 hours and should probably go to bed. So goodnight.