Our chum Keys.
A terrible holiday snap.
The first of what turned into many.
Goodness me what a week. I am very glad to have been away but very glad to be home.
What a hoot Moscow was!
Normally our flights this Summer have been one or two hour jaunts with the odd connection here and there but when you're on a flight with a movie you know your going a long way!
Good old BA beckoned at the respectful hour of 1 pm and formalities over we boarded for Moscow!
I think everyone was rather excited. It was the first time to Russia for myself and Comrades Boabienov and McMeldrewvitch. Peter had been there previously on a poetry exchange as a lad and was equally thrilled about the trip. So, off we set having gotten ourselves in the mood courtesy of a fantastic Bloody Mary in the Terminal 5.
You may not know this (nor really would you wish to know) but I love airline food. I once had an idea to open a restaurant serving airline grub in airline seats. The waitresses would be dressed as super saucy trolley dollies and I could parade around in a Captain's uniform. Three different kinds of food e.g. economy, business and first. Sadly I never quite got round to it but ..... never say never. Anyhoo, I was most pleased when Comrade Boabie's appetite failed him and I got to eat the other half of his quite disgusting pasta dish while watching Star Trek ..... aero-heaven!
4 hours later and we descended into Moscow and our feet touched foreign territory. It's weird but you can almost smell that you're a long, long way from home. Generally different countries have a different feeling about them but there are certainly similarities. In Moscow though you felt the differences outweigh the similarities palpably. From the cyrillic writing to the physiognomies of the people in the airport. Everything was different and quite exciting. One thing that wasn't different though is that if a suitcase will be missing it'll be mine .... and it was.
The bloke behind the desk may as well have had a ten foot square sign behind him saying "Fuck Off! I Have No Interest WHATSOEVER In Your Lost Luggage So You May As Well Piss Off Right Now!" I eventually found it in someone's office who I had only just been explaining my predicament to and had neglected to tell me ..... funny that .... hmmm.
Anyway, luggage recovered off we tootled through customs and were met by a rather sweet welcoming party of fans. Quite how they knew which flight we were on is anyone guess. I think they realised that we would probably fly in the day before and were just staking out any flight coming from the UK. Such devotion was rewarded by a few free tickets, autographs and photos which Peter handled patiently. It's funny sometimes, fans come up and politely ask for photos which is lovely but some other people resort to some very odd methods to take a photo when all they have to do is ask. Quite rude some of them. There was even one later in this trip who's put up a really creepy secretly filmed clip of Peter arriving back at the hotel from what looks like the vantage point of a plant pot. Very creepy, gave me the heebie jeebies when I saw it.
Anyway, did I mention that we were staying at The Ritz? I know to some of you that this may seem a little extravagant but to gentlemen of our calibre it's the least one should expect when jet-setting internationally. Quite plush is the old Moscow Ritz and bang on Red Square. Peter popped off for some rest and relaxation while The Boabie and I, accompanied by McMeldrew, were guided to a local hostelry. We were treated like kings and not for one second allowed to put our hands in our pockets by our most generous of hosts. I think they started getting a little worried after the 5th horseradish vodkas were sunk .... I believe The Boabie started to get frisky at this point so we thought it best to get back to the hotel.
I was then taken on a midnight tour of Red Square and the surrounding environs by one of our kind hosts, took some really bad photos and then retired to my suite for a luxurious sleep (once I'd figured out how the light switch worked).
Oh, nearly forgot to say hello to Keys (a man you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of). Keys was in town with Snoop and from the photograph I am sure you can work out what his job on the payroll is. However, he's a lovely man and didn't even kill The Boabie when he came at Keys with a lethal corkscrew / lockknife combination. What a gentleman.
Awoke surprisingly bright eyed on gig day to the telephone ringing. Mr Doherty suggested breakfast cocktails in the rooftop bar and who was I to refuse. Swiftly we were joined by The Boabie and McMeldrew who were simply thrilled to enjoy such a liquid breakfast. I suppose this was the beginning of what was yet to come. Wonderful fun!
I shall now attempt to upload some snaps and perhaps discuss the events of later in the day at a later juncture.