- August 2012
Maltesers Can Be Fatal
What do you mean "it´s a silly title" ? Consider the source!
But you must admit you are intrigued .... read on!
I am off to Oslo now, on my way to Gressvik for the Summer Party. It will be party number 9 and number 8 for me and I always look forward to this date.
Norwegian is a good airline. They are extremely consistent and you always know what to expect, which is rare in these days of cheesy, cheap airlines that charge you for breathing just so they can get their cheap tickets paid for! I was in 4D, an aisle seat, which I chose because I needed to do some work en route and this would give me a touch more elbow room than a window seat.
The Boeing 737-800 was equipped with internet as are most of their fleet and, somewhat unusually, the cabin crew was Spanish and, perhaps even more unusually, they were quite friendly, especially the lady working the front of the cabin! I wanted M&Ms but she talked me into Maltesers because she liked them and she proved it by eating quite a few of mine! It was fun ... no more than that, so don´t get me wrong. I know a lot about flight attendants (I was married to one for 16 years!) and their "secret" languages, but flights of fancy are forbidden territory to a man whose heart is wholly owned. It just struck me as fascinating that something as innocent as Maltesers could have the potential to be fatal!
After landing in Oslo a little late (do we see a pattern developing with flights lately?) the first thing I did was put on my jacket! I had come from 38° in Spain and here it was 17° and raining .... YUK! But Petter was there and Heidi was driving so I was safe and warm for the drive to my hotel in Fredrikstad. The drive actualy took a little longer than usual because, at that time of day, it takes time to navigate the traffic on the Oslo ring roads and road works didn´t help much either! But we eventually made it and I checked in in under 2 minutes. I want to give a little plug to the Hotel City in Fredrikstad and I recommend it for several reasons. The staff are very professional, warm and friendly, the rooms are comfortable and always well-kept and the restaurant serves great food at all times of day.
If you come for the 10th anniversary concert of the Summer Party next year (and you should) you should book this hotel early (like now!) but don´t ask for room 639 .... that is mine, as it is every year. I had a free evening to eat dinner, rest and relax, all I needed now was ..... and there its was .... YES!! An ash tray! After an excellent dinner, fatigue started to catch up on me and I finally gave up at 9:30pm and went to bed!
And once again I was up before the chickens! But that was okay because I had a lot to do and I needed the time. Breakfast was excellent, the weather had improved and the forecast was good. I took a rare morning siesta and prepared for the local radio interview with Petter and Eric, which was relaxed and easy. Then we headed for Gressvik for a band meeting and lunch before sound check, or at least that´s what I thought had been planned and agreed.
For a variety of reasons, all this went out of the window and I eventually had to retreat to a psychological "safe area" because I got the distinct impression that the situation here was out of control, not just out of my control but out of control .... period!
Changing productions companies to save money is a risky corner to cut and in this case it was clearly a mistake but it was more of a personal feeling that I was struggling to deal with. Somehow I began to feel more and more "disconnected" from everything and everyone and I am still not sure why.
(As I sit here now in seat 9C on my flight home, I am still wrestling with all of this and what it means or may mean). The gig was good, the audience was great, there were moments of brilliance but there was something missing and I think it´s going to take me a few days to figure out what it was. I was pleased to get to my room and happy to go straight to bed!
Another great breakfast and a nice chat with Finn. Lars and Merete picked me up at exactly 11:00 as planned and we drove to Horten where we would catch the ferry to Sandefjord. Different and fun. Along the way, Lars got a call from two of his friends who were driving through Croatia at the end of their vacation and just happened to be blasting Uriah Heep! It is a small world at times ...
The boat ride was short but pleasant and Lars, Merete and myself found lots to talk about as we always do. Our plan was shifted a bit but we still managed to grab a quick lunch by the marina before they brought me back to the airport and I was finally able to check in.
Back to 9C .... In an hour or so we should be landing in Alicante where Monica will be waiting and where my world will be okay again.
I am still wondering about the world I just left behind ....... and I still have some Maltesers left!