The day began at 5:30 this morning, wide awake, did some reading and catching up on the writing of the last few instalments of these notes that I've neglected. At noon I had a return engagement at the Harvey Nichols hair salon (see May 1st notes) for another dramatic lowering of the ears. I went back to the same guy who'd cut my hair so well a few weeks ago. He remembered me and said my hair had kept it's shape, then shook his head in contradiction. Again he managed to leave more of my hair on the floor than on my head and somehow make it appear I hadn't had a hair cut. Genius.
This is a bank holiday weekend in London meaning a long weekend and general day off on Monday. There are so many road, rail and underground "improvements" going on this weekend and getting round is tricky. Underground lines are inconveniently closed while being worked on, hopefully to be re-opened by Tuesday. The lines that are open have absorbed all the overflow and are packed. Getting to Harvey Nichols was like having a massive anxiety attack. The next part of my day was a welcomed reunion with my wife's brother and family and ours, the very first time all nine of us have been together in one gathering ever. Amazing. A lunch was arranged at a restaurant just next to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on the Thames. Getting there from Harvey Nicks was another nightmare and a long walk but we had a good visit and decided we will return next year for our niece's wedding.
Oh yeah, it's opening night at the Royal Albert as well. I arranged for one of our cars to pick me up at the restaurant and arrived at RAH happy but exhausted. As soon as I walked on stage for sound check I felt completely alive and ready to take on the night. Albert Hall does that to you, never fails to inspire and scare you a little. It was John McCusker's first time in the place and as soon as he arrived this afternoon, walked into the hall and had to make a hasty retreat to the dressing room to calm himself a bit. I felt the same way the first time I played here well over thirty years ago. We'd all arrived in various states of readiness and tiredness but came together when we took the stage for a smashing opening night. After the show there was a reception for friends and family who'd attended and we spent a little time making the rounds before returning to our apartment on the South Bank of the Thames completely knackered.