Greetings Campers - the Ukes are back on the road in Germany after playing out a few summer gigs around the UK. This week long tour comprises eight gigs all around the country (from the top to the bottom) and we will be here for eight days - leaving next Monday from Berlin.
Since coming home from our last English gig in Exeter, I've carried on slowly painting the interior of our house. The big excitement in our household has been daughter Poppy's first paying gig (at a funeral in Folkestone - singing Mozart's Ave Verum as part of a quartet) it might just be fatherly pride, but that girls getting an early start in showbiz.
So it was up with the lark (5.50am) to catch the early train up to London - I arrived at the Row of Heath (airport) at 9AM.
Our first gig was to be at a small festival in Bleckede (North Germany) - which meant flying to Hamburg and then jumping on a bus to Luneburg, where our hotel was, dumping off our stuff and then going to the gig.
Here's our plane
and a grumpy morning shot of yours truly
Arriving in Hamburg and meeting tour manager Viola
Large and fairly comfortable bus for the one and a half hour trip to Luneburg
The north German countryside sped by - for non European readers - we (us Europeans) are in the middle of a heat wave here - it said in the newspapers today that France had recorded 45 degrees - thats a record!
Having blagged the back seat, I proceeded to get a good doze - which was useful, as on arrival, we had precisely eight minutes to dump our stuff in our rooms, turn around and get into taxis to get to the gig.
Arriving at the venue and getting stuck into the always excellent German catering.
Signing the dressing room visitors book - the festival we are playing at is called the Festpiele Mecklenburg-Volrpommern and is in the grounds of a converted Schloss (Castle/Chateau) which has been converted into a wildlife museum.
The venue - I don't think we've ever played here before....
Takeaway schnitzel - still delicious
Waiting to go on
It was a really good show (for a first day, straight off the plane type gig) and lovely to be playing in the balmy evening air. The whole evening was filled with birdsong and a couple of times - some huge storks flew over! Jonty, who lives in Hamburg, informed me that this area - along the Elbe river is called 'stork alley' - (or whatever the German equivalent is) as there are so many here. We were all presented with flowers at the end of the show.