Suddenly, I realise how busy the past couple of months have been, touring, completing promotion-duties and getting through myriad personal commitments, all told, and I haven't described a moment of it.
I leave on an early flight tomorrow for warmer climes to visit close family, so there won't be a great deal of words forthcoming right now.
Highlights shine as beacons, as always: Paul Horton's exhibition of 60+ new works at Birmingham Museum of Art (stunning); Finnsnes audience in north Norway (yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak - slurp, slurp, slurp - yak, yak, yak yak, yak, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Never again); Tromsa, also in north Norway (fabulous. Was it really only a clutch of miles distant from Finnsnes? Felt like we were on a different planet!); three fine days alone in a great hotel in Oslo, playing and chatting Live on NRK with the wonderful legend that is Finn Bjelke (always memorable); Drammen, in south Norway (a joy to play to serious music lovers who applauded each solo and most improvisations); Haugesund (special in lots of ways - more on that later, but there is a sweet house on a cool fjord with a classic yacht moored alongside its private pier where I might just stay to record an album of new songs next Spring); a UK Tour with a band who are playing out of their skins, and audiences whose respect and support never ceases to fill me with pride and humility; and more, much more.
I took a while to wind down after the playing finished - but much more was in the diary, like meetings re the Manchester show in April and the three added shows, promoted by Kennedy Street, not me and Comeuppance! My friend the decorator has been re-arranging the kitchen in many ways for Mrs Harley, and as a like-minded bird watcher of some knowledge, we have been spending too much time applauding the magical shows the acrobats have been putting on in a near-constant display of feeding and phitting from branch to branch. The tits, great, blue and coal, the robins, blackbirds, the pair of flashy, narcissistic magpies, the great spotted woodpecker who was born and bred here - all brought great entertainment to Den and me. Eventually, I would sidle off, back to the grand piano at which I am writing hour after hour, and he would return to the job at hand.
The garden looks busy and beautiful when the birds are there. The kitchen looks good, too.