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Greetings from The City Of Sails! We arrived here a couple of hours ago, and after the Rural Delights of Whakatane it is a bit of a culture shock to be back in The Big City... although quite a NICE shock. Shortly after I last BLOGGED i was told by several of the women in my family that I ought to show my left leg to a Pharmacist, as I'd been bitten rather badly on it, and it didn't look too good. The Lift In My Skyscraper and I thus WENT there, and the pharmacist said "Ooh, you'd better show that to a doctor". I thought that this'd be a torturous experience, but it turned out the doctor was next door. We went in, paid the (approx) 18 quid fee, and ten minutes later found ourselves stood outside having had my KNEE dressed, the whole thing full explained, also having CHATTED with both nurse AND doctor, and clutching a prescription. It was AMAZING! Then one of the people back in the chemists turned out to have grown up with my (now) sister-in-law, and all in all a pretty amazing trip to the chemists was had by all.

It turns out that when I fell over on The Diamondhead and hurt my knee in Hawaii it had got infected, which had spread down my leg when I'd got bitten by Sand Flies on the stag do. I am MR INFECTION! The upshot was that i got some antisceptic cream and some antibiotics. Last time i got these was just before i went to Cornwall to record the album, so i KNEW i was going to have to take them, and i KNEW it would infringe upon my drinking. They told me i could still drink a BIT, but not to Wedding Levels.

Next day was my brother Paul's wedding, and it was LOVELY. The ceremony was held on a beach that it took a 20 minute HIKE down a CLIFF to get to. It was all fine once we were down there - EVERYBODY pretty much cried, as they'd written their own vows which they'd also LEARNT and so spoke them with much EMOTION. It was a lovely idea, and was SO good to see, it'd be nice if EVERYBODY did it that way, rather than Repeating After The Vicar. Less lovely was the hike back UP the cliff after a couple of glasses of champagne, so when we got back to our MOTEL many of us SHOWERED.

Then it was off to Avaganda, where the reception was, and there was GRUB and some LOVELY speeches from the Best Men which, i have no shame in reporting, made me BLUB once again. After a short break I then got up and played a SET myself, and this is what I played:
  • Too Good To Be True
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Red And White Sockets
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • I Come From The Fens
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • Payday Is The Best Day
  • Fly Me To The Moon

  • It was BLOODY GRATE! The first song had people DANCING, which worried me a bit as the rest were going to be MINE OWN compositions, but it turns out that Paul, bless him, has been playing my stuff to everyone he knows, repeatedly, so HUGE sections of the crowd knew the words, and most other people just joined in anyway. It was HILARIOUS, especially The Best Men, Chris and Max, joining in with interpretive DANCING. LOVELY!

    Unfortunately, as soon as I'd finish, the combination of champagne, antibiotics, and All The Excitement left me suddenly short of breath, extremely dizzy, and wanting to vomit, so we ended up going home pretty soon after. Next day I woke up, forgot I was poorly, and got all surprised AND upset when I stood up and found that I still was. I thus spent much of the day moping around feeling sorry for myself, until The Film In My Projector and I went off to THE FLICKS that night to see The Wild Parrots Of Telegraph Hill. It was PRECISELY what was required, it is a LOVELY and HEARTWARMING and FASCINATING film and just generally BLOODY GRATE. Here at we say GO SEE!

    Then this morning we were off bright and early to go on a DOLPHIN TOUR. About 16 of us sat for over an hour on REALLY bumpy choppy seas in the POURING rain in an uncovered boat feeling cold, wet, seasick and generally fed up. AGES past and then suddenly we found ourselves in a school of ORCAS! That is, KILLER WHALES! It was UTTERLY AMAZING, and for ages we sped around with them surfacing beside and near us, and swimming under the boat. What huge elegant and beautiful creatures they were, just STUNNING.

    We then hunted round for another million years for dolphins before heading for Whale Island for a quick bit of Swimming With Seals. To be honest I think most of us who leapt in just needed to go for a wee, as most of the seals weren't playing and, indeed, looked scary, and it was REALLY cold. We drove around for roughly the lifespan of the universe again getting colder and wetter until SUDDENLY, just as we were heading back to base, we spotted a family of dolphins and GASPED at them for a bit. They were surfing!

    It was all very beautiful, and makes a much better MEMORY than a Thing Actually Happening as I've already edited out several lifetimes of Cold Wet Nausea in favour of extra bits of Surfacing Orcas. Ooh, they were BRILL. After that it was a matter of getting back to a Family Motel ROOM for SPA BATHS in rota (hey, it warmed us up!) before a rather emotional farewell, especially as it was the last time I was going to be seeing my brother James for nearly a year. It's been brilliant having him CLOSE AT HAND in That London for the past couple of years, and I'm REALLY going to miss him, so once again a few manly tears escaped my rugged eyes after we'd gone.

    THEN it was back to The Golden Age Of TRAVEL at Whakatane Airport, where the guy who checks your luggage in also guides in the planes and loads the luggage, more goodbyes, then off here to Auckland. Nice as it was to see The Family, it's also nice now to be back to being just the two of us in a Luxurious Hotel Room, knowing that tomorrow there will be ADVENTURES, and on Saturday we will be HOME! HOORAH!

    posted 12/12/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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