Friday, 11th March 2005 in Road Trip U.K. 2005.
Arrive at Worthing early. In sea-front hotel by 1pm and then in room overlooking sea by half-past. Because of the financial stringencies of the tour we always expect to be overlooking the dustbins, but Roadrunner can work fiscal wonders.
A room with a view!
So with a sea view and a four poster bed we unpack everything over the floor, open the window wide., turn the heating off and go out for lunch. Neil finds a small Italian bistro and has a fantastic lunch of mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, followed by well-cooked lamb etc etc. Assuming we would have the same luck with restaurants in Worthing as we had had elsewhere ie. if you actually find one that looks promising it is shut – I go to get vital bits of this and that – jewelry, shoes and hats etc – and miss lunch. I find that the shops are actually rather good and when I rejoin Neil we find, at last, a present for J.J. It’s a clock with a large rounded blue base and one extended eye. It’s name is Knobby and if you ask Knobby a question it will answer you. Useful when you need to know the time in the dark!!! After this there is nothing to do but go back for quick bit of shut -eye. We set out for the Pavilion around 5 pm to find they have been expecting us since 2pm so there is a slight ‘atmosphere’ as we manhandle the gear out of the van.
The inside of the cavernous Pavilion at Worthing
The Pavilion is a great barn of a place, all glass and peeling paintwork and right on the sea front at the start of the pier – so typically English that I cant think why I don’t take a photograph of it. But there you are. I think about it often but by the time I go out to take the photo it is too dark. The next day the same thought swims across my brain as we pass the building on our way to Kings Lynn. Anyway back to the present. Taking a while to set up because the place is so big – the sound guys have quite a job to get it right but they know what they are doing. Wondering how many it will take to make the place seem even half full. Tom’s parents come to the show and then two long lost relatives of mine Jenny and Fred – on my father’s side. It does get quite lonely on the road – Neil used to tell me this, but now after the last year, I know. You miss your family, your friends, a familiar environment, decent food and although we meet so many lovely people, there is never enough time to chat to them. Neil has a zizz after soundcheck and in a couple of hours there are enough people to make the place seem over half full. They are really enthusiastic bringing just about everything Neil has ever recorded to be signed after the show. They join in, clap, sing and laugh so long and loud that you get the impression the place is full to bursting. It’s a great evening and we sell a lot of CDs. But Neil is bushed. Tonight there is no sitting up late story-telling etc, for us anyway. The younger element on the tour always stay up late – and misses breakfast –which, I should stress, has already been paid for. I don’t know what it’s all coming to!
Neils thought for the day –‘ We are like Russian dolls. Inside each of us there is a baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager, a binge drinker……. and in my case a sex god and a pompous old git.’
JJs thought for the day ‘I just like being here and now’
Toms poem – Monosyllabicisms’ ‘If you write for the Sun, Make sure all your words are one, Syll.’