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Back From Oz

Here I am back in old Blighty. I have just got back from my six week tour of Australia. Most of you will not know this but this tour was nearly cancelled. For the last nine months I have had a 'chronic persistant cough'. By January it was stressful as it was a struggle  not to cough in the middle of a song of even worse cough up gunke onto the front row!!  Back in the autumn I had talked to my Australian agent Andrew Pattison about cancelling the whole trip. He reckoned that I should go ahead and that the Aussie sunshine would do me good ( she'll be right Vin!).  So I committed to the trip. The day before I was leaving I had my fourth  appointment with a consultant at the James Cook University Hospital not knowing  if  I would be getting on the plane. His verdict was the same as Andrew's. He couldn't say what the problem was or how to treat it but assured me that it was nothing sinister and that a bit of sunshine would probably be very beneficial. So off I went.

Andrew arranged a great tour but it was only about half of what I normally undertake so apologies to all of you who were disappointed in Perth and Brisbane and the other places that I usually get to. But it did mean that I had a bit more time off to do the tourist thing while not over taxing my inflamed trachaea. Pat and I were able to spend a few days in Kiama down on the South Coast. We stayed with Yvonne and Kathleen O'Grady who spoiled us with their kind hospitality. I recommend Kiama to anybody looking to have a holiday. It is small and unspoiled with a beautiful coastline. I have never been to South Coast, south of Sydney before and was amazed at how green it was due to the recent rains. I have only ever known red Australia. We also had free time in Yatteyattah, Melbourne and at Andrew's Burke & Wills Winery. Andrew and Heather pampered us with copius amounts of home grown delicious Shiraz. All I had to do was turn my empty glass upside down and say "kiss shiraz goodbye" and another bottle of "Dig Tree" would appear. Pat's not used to drinking wine and is currently in rehab!

All the gigs were great. I played at some new places such as Wollongong and Cobargo Festival. Wollongong was settled by Welsh steel workers who named it after the Welsh town of Wollongonggonggogogogh! It was great meeting new people and old friends and new organisers who are now friends!

The hospitality that Pat and I received was just amazing. I cannot name everybody here as there were so many of you  but I  really really appreciate everything that was done for us.

So thanks to all of you who: accommodated me, fed me, organised me, made maps for me, provided sun cream and wine and most importantly  thank you to all of you who came to the concerts without you there would be no tour. Thanks a million!


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