Bolzano, Italy

I slept like a top, got up feeling rested and well. Ordered a pot of coffee and a bowl of porridge then went to the gym and for the first time in a while I didn't have to throw in the towel. Today's the first day I feel like part of the living again. Wandered down to the pool and laid round there reading for 90 minutes or so before cleaning up and leaving the hotel for our 75 mile journey north to Bolzana and our gig tonight.

Bolzano is at the northern most part of Italy bordering on Austria. One of many points of interest in Bolzano is the Museum of Archaeology home of Otzi the ice mummy who was discovered frozen in 1991 and is a very well preserved man from about 3300 BC. Needless to say, we didn't get to see him. It was straight in to the venue, Palaonda, which sort of had a very old eastern block vibe about it. The crew has had better days getting the gig set up, but it wasn't as awful as some. The thing that struck us all was how cold the place was, must have been 55 degrees in there. Sound-check, then catering.

I've felt very good today and couldn't wait to get some food in me, salad, bread, soup, turkey, dessert, whatever I could stuff down tasted like a million bucks. I think I'll live. Had a little play through the new song with John McCusker and he's been very patient and forgiving, signing me off and say 'that's great, Richard." Bless him. The two of us then played it for Mark who though it was great as well, so the next meet and greet will introduce the new instrumental sensation playing Frank's Reel! Let me tell you it's a fistful.

It was a great gig tonight, another brilliant capacity crowd of 7,500 brilliant fans and the band sounded great including an actual train wreck. The only reason I mention it is that we never had full blown cock ups, sure there's the occasional duff note here and there from person to person, but this was a full on miscue, screw up and it still sounded fine. The great thing about this wonderful band is that nothing can shake it. We simply pulled it back together and frankly I doubt that many if any knew there'd been a problem. As for me, it was a miracle playing a show with some food in my stomach. I'd been operating on nothing but fumes for the last week and have to admit my focus wasn't so hot, found myself drifting and not paying attention. Not so tonight and very pleased to be part of the band again.

Back to the hotel in Verona after the show and a grand glass of wine at the bar with Paul Crockford, Guy and Danny.

A day off tomorrow.

So long,