04 Dec 2003 - Nicko lets the train take the strain!

On board train from London to Newcastle.
Time: 3pm.

Well, well, well,
How are you all doing today?
I’m feeling GOOD today thank you!
We have been having way too much fun over the last week, I can tell you.

After our last couple of shows, things have been getting very cool.
I last wrote to you about our show in Hamburg. I wrote the diary in Leipzig the afternoon of the show. Well, that evening in Leipzig we had a great gig and the audience had, it seems, as much fun as we did. They were very loud. We played well and all enjoyed the night.
After the gig we stayed in Leipzig. I met with, Matteo, and a few of his friends in the hotel bar for a wee night cap. I hit the hay at a little after 2:30am and had a restful sleep.
The next day we flew over to Poland. The show was in Wroclav.
We arrived at the venue and hung around for the few hours before the show. I had a spot of dinner in catering and then went to watch the local support bands.
Just before show time we were presented with a gold disc from our pals from EMI Poland.
A BIG THANK YOU, to all of our Polish fans for making that possible. God bless you!!!

So on to the gig. It was a great show. The fans went wild when we hit the stage. The sound in the room was very echoey but we still managed to stay on top of it. We do have a sound engineer, [despite the spuds growing out of his lugs] who can get us a ‘Kin great sound anywhere. His name is Doug 'Spuds' Hall. You rule Bones!!!!!

So after the show we headed straight of to the airport and flew back to blighty. I was in me pit for 2am. The next two days were off.

On the Saturday I had arranged to go over and see me mate Jim in Milton Keynes. We planned for a 9 o-clock dinner. Jim, Pauline, Howard and Zena joined me; we went to a lovely converted pub near Bletchley and had a wonderful evening. When we returned home to Jim's we had a nightcap and watched the snooker on the box. It was the Hendry/Carter semi-final match, and I really thought that Ali Carter was going to win. OH WELL. Maybe next time.

We hit the sack and the next morning [Sunday] I left Jim’s and made me way over to visit with me sister Ann and me brother Geoff. Me niece Sally and her family, Steve, Ben and Lady Louise popped over for midday. We had a nice spot of lunch and I was on me way home by 2pm. On the way I had to pop into Marks and Spencer’s to buy a Dickey-bowtie. You see Jim had invited me to the Grand Order of Water Rats ball that evening and I was missing the tie to me outfit. As I didn’t have anything at home to wear. Jim supplied me with a very nice dress shirt and a wonderful dinner jacket with a pair of Faberge cufflinks, which by the way I have told him I’ve lost TEEHEE!!!!
No boys and girls I haven’t lost them really. More than me life’s worth to mess with Jim I can tell you!
Well, I arrived home and had a couple of crumpets and a cup of rossie. I had ordered a car to pick me up for 5 o-clock. It was to take me to the Governor Hotel where the ball was to take place.

I arrived at 6:15pm. I met with Jim and Pauline and we went down stairs to the Grand Ballroom where I met with Victoria, Jim's daughter, and Ellie and John. They had just announced that they had gotten engaged too be married. Fantastic!
We mat with our friend Dec, and his family and went to a room to meet some more friends. Andrew and Melodie Sachs were there and we had chat and a wee libation before dinner. Just as we were called too take our seats I spotted a dear old chum over in the corner of the room. It was Gordon Giltrap. I made a record with him 31 years ago. We were reminiscing of our time together. It was a real treat to see him again.

We took our seats and got ready for dinner. On our table were my dear friends, Bert and Maggie Weedon, then Jim and Pauline, next to them was Michael Black, and his beautiful wife Julie Rodgers, Andrew and Melodie Sachs, [I was sitting in between Victoria, and Melodie. The thorn between two roses]. Lovely.
Bob Potter and his lovely wife Barbara, were on Victoria’s left, next to them was, Graham Cole [baby rat] and his wife and daughter.
We had the best time I can tell you. The evening was filled with great conversation and merriment. I eventually got to me drum at a little after 2am.
A very special thanks to, Jim, Pauline, and to all of the rats, and their guests, for a most memorable evening.

So on the Monday it was off to Gatwick to meet with Bruce and a whole bunch of fans for our Bruce Air trip to Dublin.
The flight AUE666A was due to depart at noon. I was at the airport and checked in for 11am. It was my very dear friend, Martin Connelly’s 50th birthday today, so Bruce and I treated him to our trip to Ireland. Bruce took care of the flight and I took care of the hotel for him.
He was having a great day so far.
We took off on time and I had the greatest pleasure of taking the jump seat in the cockpit. Captain John Mahon, Astraeus’s director of flight operations, invited me to take the seat when we were on our Paris trip. As I hold a pilots license me self, it was not a problem to do this.
I decided to borrow one of Johnny B’s cameras and film the take off and landing and some of Bruce in-flight. I hope that it will turn out OK. I got some great footage.
We arrived at Dublin airport on time and some of the passengers went to watch Harry plying football and some went straight to their hotel and on to the rubber-dub.
I went to my hotel and had a wee siesta before venturing on too the venue. I left the hotel at 8-oclock and did a wee interview with the lovely Val Potter and a couple of smudges for Q magazine, and then it was off to get changed for the show.
Well, I can tell you, we had a blast; yes a blast, yet again.
Boomer was out in full flight that night I kid you not.
The gig went great and at the encore, just before Journeyman, we lifted a pint of Guinness to all of our fans in that room. It was really cool. We don’t drink before or during a show so it was very special for us to do this. Mind you, after is another story AAAAHHHHEEEE!!!!!!!
It was very nice too.

So, after the show we headed back to the hotel and had a wee drink in the bar. I hit the sack at around 2am and then had to be up and at the airport for our return trip on Bruce Air.
We left Dublin on time. After Bruce had levelled out the, other first officer, Paul Jones, former DJ for Red Dragon Radio Cardiff, took control and Bruce and me self popped through the cabin signing autographs and taking smudges with the fans. They were all great to meet and we had an absolute hoot with everyone.
From the bottom of me heart a great big THANK YOU too all of you guys and girls that made it a very, very special time for both Bruce and me self.

When we got home to Gatwick I said farewell to Martin and jumped the Gatwick express back into the city. I was home a little after 4pm.
I had a rest and then went out too dinner.
Yes of course I did didn’t I!

After dinner I went to the movies. I had my usual at Toff’s and then went over to the cinema and picked up me ticket.
I saw Master and Commander, The Far Side. Great film. If you aint seen it go as soon as you can. Cool movie. When I got home I hit the hay and had a very restful sleep.

In the morning I arose and made me way too Kings Cross to jump on the 1pm train to Newcastle.



On board the 12:40 train to Nottingham.
4th December. Time 2:20pm

Well, the gig last night in Newcastle was immense.
We had a blast. There were a few mistakes from the band, [of cou+rse not from MEEEEEEE] TEEHEE!!!
We still had a good time though. The crowd went crazy and pulled it all together for us.
I have to admit that I really enjoy taking the train. The trip yesterday was fantastic. It was only Ian Day and me self but we had lunch of pea and mint soup followed by bangers and mash.
WHAT!!!! It was really good as well.

And today Bruce and I are travelling together; we were saying how cool it is on the train. He loves trains almost as much as aeroplanes. We like to take the train.
Well, I’ve just got me cup of rosie and a piece of fruit cake, compliments of Virgin trains, so I’m going to go now.
I’ll speak with you soon.

All my love
Stay safe and well
God bless you all.
Love
~Nicko~
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