Manchester, England...25 May, 2010

A day off yesterday and I was up reasonably early, had some room service sent up, downed the coffee, toast and left the rest. Got my togs on and made a bee line for the gym. A fairly well stocked facility for it's size and it certainly kicked my ass having not done any exercise in two weeks. A combination of having to rest between sets and sorting the American pounds to kilograms conversion, it took me nearly 2 hours to get through it. Back at the room I was starving and piled into the muesli, yogurt, fresh fruit and whatever else was left from breakfast.  It was eventually all eaten.

Our pal Bob, one of our drivers, kindly took me to the University of Manchester in the afternoon. My son went to school there for a semester and never got a sweat shirt or T. So after all these years, I picked up a sweat for him with the U of M emblem. Later that evening I met with Danny and Glenn, took a cab to the Curry Mile, not far from the university, and had a fabulous Indian meal. On the way back we stopped at the Malmaison Hotel for a drink in their bar. The bar at our hotel is as sanitary as they come and really doesn't make one want to drink. It was an early evening and a much needed day off.

Today wasn't much different. I stayed in, read, slept and practiced until it was time to go the the gig. Another old standby, the M.E.M Arena. I remember playing here decades ago with Neil Diamond. We did our first meet and greet tonight since the 2008 tour. We're simply not doing them this time, but this was for charity and we happily obliged. It was great fun dusting off the old Hawaiian and Celtic tunes and didn't take long for them to come right back. We sounded pretty darn good if I have to say so myself.

That done it was a very quick dinner, change and on stage. An incredibly relaxed show that was tight as a drum and a terrific audience that gave us a stand up gig at the end. Great.

Staying again tonight in Manchester so it was a short ride back to the hotel and a couple of glasses of wine in the sanitary bar with a few of the boys. Tomorrow we fly to Cardiff for a show then run to London after.

So long,

Richard