Belfast, UK

What’s happening today is so often the case. I’ve been to all corners of the Earth: from Southern Chile to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories of Canada; from Cape Town to Lapland; and from New Zealand to Mexico. But when it comes to my own country, I’m comparatively poorly-travelled. To put it into today’s context, though I’ve been to Northern Ireland twice (when we’ve performed in Derry), this is my first venture into the centre of Belfast. We arrived this afternoon on a (delightfully short) flight from North Yorkshire, and we’ve since been in Belfast Cathedral. It’s not just the venue for tonight’s concert (and it’s a beaut, in case you haven’t Googled it yet), it’s also the church where Jules’ father was Organist when Jules was born. I always love it when there are personal connections to the places we find ourselves in, and today’s is particularly special.

Last night in North Yorkshire, many of us were staying in a gorgeous old vicarage, set in large gardens with a church, chickens and an enormous vegetable patch. I’ve always thought of myself as a city boy, but after nine hours of deep sleep and a perfect sunrise this morning, I’m starting to think I might need a spot in the country earlier in my life than I thought. I don’t need my own church on site – I’m not that particular – but I definitely wouldn’t turn down fresh eggs in the morning, nor rhubarb when it’s in season, nor that level of sleep quality on a nightly basis.

Sadly I won’t have the same luxury of having had nine hours of sleep tomorrow morning – my flight back to London is at 7am. If I’m quite so effusive about how much I’ve slept at this time tomorrow, I’ll be very surprised.


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