May 20, 2013


Well, I didn’t actually go skiing (of course, when have you known me do any exercise, lets be honest…) but I did go to see Alice in the Swiss ski resort of Crans Montana a couple of weeks ago. Helluva journey, I left home early to catch the 6am bus from Cirencester to Gatwick, then flew to Geneva, this was followed by a 2 hour train journey to Sierre at the bottom of the

mountain, (all along the side of Lake Geneva, would’ve been beautiful if it hadn’t been so foggy) which was then followed by a funicular ride up to Crans. Shame it was dark by then. It was about 7 pm when I finally arrived at Claire’s hotel, The Hotel Royal (Posh!) and then we managed to convince them to give me a lift to mine, LaPrairie (Budget!)where I dropped off my bag. I wanted to stay in the same hotel, but it was full up with crew…

Claire and I went out to dinner, and were enjoying some nice ravioli, when she got a call, saying would we like to come to the rehearsal, even though Alice might have gone to his hotel. . . . . . OF COURSE WE WOULD!!   Mad scramble to get cash out and call a taxi, and off we went. But the idiot taxi driver got lost, and finally left us standing by a stage truck in the middle of nowhere. WRONG ONE THOUGH. How many stage trucks can there be in the vicinity?? We were so sure it had to be the right one. . . . . . 
So, shall we just play thru the set one last time????
Luckily, before we had time to panic,  he came back for us, having realised that it was the wrong place, and we eventually ended up at some teeny bar, getting out of the taxi just in time to hear the last note of the rehearsal, grrrrrr…. BUT, on the plus side………Alice was still there !!! And we managed to get a pic before he disappeared. Happy happy HAPPY .
Nah, lets not bother
Chuck and Tommy repaired to the bar,  whereupon we saw Tommy’s baby scan pics and discussed his name choices for his son, due in July (I think) - we went with Finn Cooper Henricksen. Eventually a bus came and took us got back to the hotel, and we went and  and sat in the bar for a while, where we joined by Ryan and a couple of the crew. Eventually I had to get back to my hotel so I  inveigled the lovely Portuguese reception guy with the van to take me back home.
Amazing who you can bump into when you're in the middle of nowhere

local mode of transport

In the bar after rehearsals

How much?????

My bed was LOVELY – Why are hotel quilts
always so nice?? Soon as I get home, I’m gonna buy a new one. Anyway, woke up at a reasonable time, gorgeous sunny day so I decided to go out without my coat – BIG mistake – the wind is freezing my tits off. Well it would if I had real ones. Luckily my hotel also has a man with a van and he spotted me trying to make sense of my map whilst shivering, and took me back. Meanwhile, Claire is texting madly, ‘Band in the lobby, band in the lobby, GET HERE NOW’, so I got a taxi and arrived about 2 minutes after they’d left. Ho hum. So we went for a walk to blow away the hangover, cor blimey, the wind whistles up your nostrils, does a quick fandango in your brain, before whizzing out your ears, bloody cold. We ended up at the golf club…..and, no, Alice wasn’t there, but we had an extremely expensive but neccesary cup of tea before heading back.There was a point where we briefly considered a bit of sledging, having found a convenient slope, but we couldn’t find anything to sit on. Also, I fear for my crumbling bones.  Yes, I am a coward.

There is a dearth of ‘normal’ shops in Crans – fine if you want expensive ski wear or Designer Things.. So we were quite excited when we found a CO-OP!! Although they seem to spell it COOP, lol, anyway bought chocolate, and water and exciting stuff like that, and briefly flirted with the idea of taking a carrier bag back to the slope to sled down on. . . . . . . . . . but only briefly.

The wind freezes our ears off
So  I went back to my hotel to meet up with Sunila and friend Florianne. Claire and I were hoping for a lift to the venue with the crew before the gig, so we planned to meet up back at her hotel later on.
Sunila, Florianne and I got ready and headed out for a bus stop, but after waiting for a while and seeing zero buses,  decided to walk in the general direction, in the hopes of spotting one. Which we did!!! I jumped off at the Royal, and Claire and I went to the gig with James in the crew bus. At this point I was vaguely concerned about the next meal, which I didn’t have enough cash for, so I was well happy when the bus took us round to the crew entrance, and we went through a maze of tents – although this is a festival, it’s too cold outside so the whole thing is in a series of luxury marquees -  and into the crew dining area. I would imagine some of the places they go to are a bit basic, but this one was lovely – big insulated tent, tables covered in black cloths, flowers, ambient lighting etc etc. The food (and wine)was pretty good too – and the band were sitting on the next table!
At this point, we were lucky enough to get guest passes, thanks to James, Toby, and Bujie. At this point, I’m thinking, pinch me I must be dreaming.

We sat in the lounge area for a while and then went out to muscle our way to the front with Sunila and Florianne, while support band Black Motorcycle Something Club were on. They seemed quite good at first, but went on too long and were sooooooo, yawn, repetetive, god, they went on and on and onnnnnnnnnn………Got rid of them eventually and shuffled  even nearer the barrier, ready for Alice. The stage had a set of wide steps leading down from it to a walkway along the barrier, hopefully he will come down and see us!!

And he was worth waiting for  - was a bit worried as they hadn’t played together much recently, but they were EXCELLENT. The pyro was brilliant! I heard a story about why it didn’t work at Cardiff. Apparently Pat Novak had his head in the line of fire, so if it had gone off, we’d have been treated to the sight of him running across the stage with his hair on fire. . . . . . . .

The set list was the same as the last RTD show. Alice did come down the steps to the barrier and walked all the way along it – haven’t seen him do that before! During Schools Out, he stuck the asword in one of the steps and it fell out and nearly impaled one of the crew……

Missed out on a cane AGAIN – it actually landed quite close and  the guy who caught it gave it to a kid standing near me.  Am impressed that I didn’t beat him up and wrestle it from him, lol., but then his mother was standing next to him.  I caught a couple of dollar bills, and gave one to the girl next to me – she was about 15/16, and hadn’t seen Alice before, she was having such a good time!
During Dirty Diamonds, Alice threw out a handful of beads, and the whole crowd kinda fell over scrambling to get them, Chuck was laughing at us, the crowd were so polite, we all helped each other up, sorry sorry sorry, it was really funny. And I got some of the beads!!

All too soon it was over, so we went back to the lounge and met up with the German twins, Claudia and Andrea, and JeanYves, who were doing VIP, and we hung around as long as we could. Claire got Glen to sign her jacket, I shoulda got him to sign a pic I brought, but I was like, ok, I’m so cool, I don’t need any more autographs……what an idiot, of course I do J. I did ask him what he thought of the Cropredy gig, but he was as baffled as we were as to the why’s and wherefores of it all.

The crew bus took us back to the Royal, and of course my Portuguese friend then took me back to my hotel. I think it was about 3 am at this point, I was sure Sunila would be asleep, but they were still up! I packed up my stuff, and lay down for a bit, but I had to be back at the Royal for 5, so I didn’t dare go to sleep. I had booked a taxi for 4.30 but I was worried it wouldn’t show – and I was right! Lucky for me,  a car appeared with 2 drunken boys in it  at about 4.40.  Lol, they had no idea how to get into the hotel (it was all shut up) so I managed to point them in the direction of the night entrance, then I commandeered their taxi  to get me back to the Royal. I thought I had just  enough cash to pay him – except that he asked for more than I had, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Fortunately he let me off, jeez this country is SO expensive….

I sat in the foyer with Pat, and gradually everybody else appreared, and the crew bus took us all to the airport  - driven by man in a neck brace who seemed unable to look left or right... We giggled like schoolgirls until I spotted that he could see me in the mirror, oops. In my defense, I'd had an entirely sleepless night, and also, I AM still a schoolgirl in my head.  . . . . and Claire and I eventually came home to pouring rain and the discovery that her car had a flat tyre... . . . . . .
What a come down, lol.

Alice points st me! Yes, I am poison


He's still 18. But now he knows what he wants.

 A brilliant show and a real treat for me to see him so soon into the new year. Here's hoping there will be many more times before 2014.

1 comment:

  1. another chapter in the life of the Alice group - what fun Pen!


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