Banjo jokes….

It’s odd that Bircher Muesli can vary so much from hotel to hotel within Europe. Being a lifelong fan, I’ve sampled a few bowls and this morning in Leipzig, the centerpiece of the breakfast tray was another such offering. Long before there were juicers and nut grinders, there was Maximillian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss doctor who used raw food to treat patients at his sanitarium in Zurich. Bircher believed that a healthy life depended on one’s harmony with nature . He also believed in breakfast and in 1900 invented the now famous muesli cereal. There are clearly many ways to prepare and each time we tour Europe, I promise myself that I’ll start making my own. I never do.

I noted upon check-in this morning that there were signs on my floor to a pool so once I’d grappled myself out of bed and found the phone I ordered breakfast. Once it had arrived, I set off to see if the pool would accommodate a few lengths. I was in luck, just. I managed 50 short laps before a 15 minute visit to what I can only describe as a disco-steam-room. The disco element came from the multitudinous led lights which changed colour randomly. Adequately sweated, I returned to the other half of my waiting bowl for muesli. Coffee still warm, I set to the diary. Yes, coffee. I know, it should be tea but milk is often off-putting in Germany so I opt for coffee. hey, it’s a free world!

There was a mild comedy bus moment as we left for the gig, Dirk was prevented from joining the main road at the entrance to the hotel due to the size of the bus (46ft) so had to use a slip road which turned onto a different street, full of traffic. 15 minutes later we were crawling past the hotel, this time on the correct road. Once we’d arrived at the venue, the now familiar Leipzig arena, Bob’s lot were just finishing up their sound-check and we were itching to get up there and do ours. 15 minutes later we were onstage running a couple of things, making slight alterations to some of the dynamics in one of the songs..etc. Then off to catering where a delicious curry-fest lie in wait.

It’s an age thing – I took some long exposure shots last night which aren’t worth publishing but a consequence of that was that I left the camera on manual focus all day today so all my pics are blurry. To illustrate this, here you go…two of the worst photographs in the history of photography.



My lovely wife Laurie flew in to Berlin last night and she bought my banjo. I’ve owned a waverley 5-string banjo for about 15 years but have never got to grips with it but having Donny Herron around backstage willing to teach myself and Richard is an opportunity not to be missed, I tentatively asked Laurie if she would bring it out with her. Donny said “she doesn’t quite know what she’s letting herself in for”! I figure even if I fail to master it, it’ll give our pet Hahns Macaw, Poppy, some competition in the squawking stakes.

Why was the banjo player staring at the orange juice? Because the label said ‘concentrate’.

What’s worse than a banjo player? Two banjo players. ….What’s worse than two banjo players? nothing.