Sunday 27 October 2019

It’s up to you, New York, New York!

So following on from the shameful bin-throwing up madness of Friday, I am now a fully functioning, non alcohol consuming adult again for the foreseeable future. Until I turn 30 in a couple of weeks, at least. 

After a fairly painful flight, where they fed me cheese and crackers because the wrap was beef, we landed in New York around 10pm. The time zones have changed again, and I’m still running on San Francisco time. As a result Bertie and I found our pathetic, hungover selves at a chicken shop having the most incredible (obscene) fried chicken at 11:30 at night. 

We then slept until midday, eventually surfacing to forage into the nearest place that sold brunch. Once rejuvenated and fed, we decided to walk the hour or so journey into the centre of New York, right into Central Park. 

It was a beautiful day, with the sun shining, and we ambled around the park joyfully. Bertie had a hot dog, and then we saw a live roller disco, with the most wonderfully bizarre collection of people taking part. I could have watched them for hours. 

We were then lucky enough to also witness a live proposal! The man had arranged for all his friends and family to stand on the bridge over the lake where you can hire sail boats (my mum and I once hired a boat there and tried to row it, and I was so cack handed I legitimately nearly decapitated a terrapin - there’s a picture of me doing this, but it was back when I was thinner and I don’t need a reminder of the ever constant fattening of my cheeks) and they all stood there with placards and balloons, and waited for him to row past - he got down on one knee in the boat and everything - not an easy feat - and then when he did, they popped the balloons up and all held out the placards. It was so lovely and wholesome, and because we are in America, everyone cheered and clapped and I wholeheartedly joined in. 

We also ate a lot of pizza. 

We then left central park and headed to Times Square - it was everything I wanted it to be - full of lights and colour and people dressed up as Minnie Mouse trying to rob you of your money for taking a picture. Two girls were there completely naked with only body paint depicting the America flags over their boobs - but funnily enough no one seemed to mind giving them money for photos. They did have a bumbag, obviously, for keeping the dollars in. They aren’t stupid. 

We explored there for a little while, including being offered drugs on the street corner, which was totally exciting and a very authentic experience (I say this - they completely ignored me and just approached Bertie because he obviously looks like a ruffian) and then we decided to go and see a show. I say decided - I dragged Bertie to the TKTS stall to try and find the least offensive show that I could get Bertie to agree to seeing (most likely followed by promises of dinner/head rubs/wine.) 

Brilliantly, the show we saw advertised was Derren Brown’s ‘Secret’! I absolutely love Derren Brown, and in Bertie’s words “anything that’s better than a musical is fine” - so we headed there to watch it. 

During the show we were asked to write down a personal confession - I shared my much lamented truth that (until 3 years ago) I thought that those large brown huge animals you saw in forests were called “beefs” - I did not know they were called “bulls”. What a total treat this was when he raised it in front of everyone. Cheers Derren. 

We also ordered a beer and a coke at the bar. One beer, and one coke. It came to $28. I suggest going elsewhere for a drink. Seriously though, $28 is ridiculous. They came in some kind of ludicrous cup too. Apparently you didn’t get any more back if  you return the cup either. Stupid New York. 

I have loads more to update but I’ve already waffled on enough! Expect more tomorrow! Xxx

Friday 25 October 2019

Officially part of the crew.

So I haven’t done an update for a couple of days. This is mainly because we headed back to the sunny sunny land of LA and I led like a sausage by the pool and tried my best not to move. 

The flight back to LA was fine - it was three hours, but bearable and I wasn’t sat next to anyone talkative which is the main thing. Netflix had Pitch Perfect 2 available to download so I was totally buzzing to settle down and watch that. I was flying on a different flight to Bertie, running 3 hours ahead of his schedule. As a result, it meant there was no shuttle waiting for me, and rather than pay out $100 for an Uber, I decided to get the bus! 

So there’s a direct bus that links the airport and Hollywood Boulevard - no stops or anything. It’s also an incredibly financially viable option, costing only $8! Unfortunately because it is only eight dollars, they cut costs in other places, such as suspension, seat belts and air conditioning. It was a long 75 minute drive, but it meant I didn’t have to sit in the airport for three hours, so it was worth it. 

I then had a struggle getting the room key, because (clearly) I am not a 6 foot man with facial hair called Bertie. I was so desperate for a wash and just to take my bra off I nearly cried when the man said he couldn’t give me the key. I presented pictures of our wedding day, a photo of Bertie’s passport, the bill from our last stay - everything I could think of - but still was not allowed the 
key. Thankfully, the tour manager had arrived in the morning, and he was in his room!! So they called him and got his authorisation and finally, the key was mine! 


I judge my baths on what I call the “knees and nipples” scale. Basically, if it is possible for both my knees and nipples to be submerged at the same time - it’s a winning bath. 90% of the time this isn’t achievable. But this bath delivered, and I’m not ashamed to say that over the 2 nights we were there, I had three baths. 

Not ashamed at all. 

That evening, Bertie and I went to this amazing restaurant up in the Hollywood Hills. It was absolutely amazing, and we drank champagne and took in the view whilst having amazing Japanese food. Bertie had waygu beef, which is beef from a cow that basically spends it’s life being massaged so it’s extra tender. A massage for a cow. A moosage, if you will. 

I fully dressed up for this dinner, and I can only assume I’ve looked so rough for the rest of the tour, because when I was there in my nice dress and make up, two of the band walked straight past me in the lobby.

We then played our last gig at the Hollywood Bowl (I’m saying “our” like I’m totally part of the team now) which was lovely, and there were many famous people backstage including Ringo Starr and apparently Jennifer Aniston but I didn’t get to see her. There were lots of other people too but I had no idea who they were because I’m a rubbish blogger and I just wanted the free crisps. 

This is where things get a little hazy. 

I know we started drinking, and then moved on to a bar called Frolic to continue drinking some more. Frolic isn’t really a classy establishment. The toilet has its own bouncer. Anyway, I know I definitely met a lady who had been at the show because when I woke up I had her phone number and email on my “notes” section of my iPhone. We drank there for a bit, and then headed back to the hotel to drink more. At 3am, I stumbled back to my room to go to bed - remarkably I did actually remove my mascara, which I think is a testament to my good upbringing and also a nod to my dear friend Dani who always taught me no matter how smashed you may be, 
you don’t ever sleep in make up. Cheers babe. 

When the sun came up, I was not okay. I will just say now, that if you are reading this Mum, skip the next paragraph and you’ll continue to be the proud mum you always have been. 

If you aren’t my mum, then you should know I was so hungover this morning that when we got on the bus to the airport, I managed 45 minutes before throwing up into a bin. Whilst we were driving on the motorway. Surrounded by the band and crew. 

It was like being on a school trip and being that kid that always gets travel sick and makes the whole coach stink of vomit. Only I’m not a school kid and I wasn’t travel sick, I’m just a very nearly thirty year old who’s completely fucking incapable with a penchant for gin. 

I am blogging responsibly and sharing both the good and the bad - so I would file that experience under “bad”. 

Everyone was very very kind and then said this means I am officially integrated so I think that’s something. Richie also told me he was also once sick on a coach but there was no bin so he just had to do it all over himself and someone else’s rucksack. At least I didn’t do that. 

And this is where I leave you, sat on my American Airlines flight, with sick in my hair.  

Thanks for still loving me. Xx

Wednesday 23 October 2019

I know it’s called Canada but I keep calling it “Canadia”

Today, the sun did shine! Thank the baby Jesus and all his friends up in the sky for bringing the warmth and rays upon me! 

Seriously though, after yesterday’s absolute downpour, having the sun shine was literally transformative. 

I’ll start back at the gig, which was absolutely brilliant. Definitely the best crowd so far, including a few super fans who wanted me to take several pieces of merchandise backstage for signatures. Sorry mate, I’m only in this for the free gin, not fetching signatures.

So far, my favourite bit of this tour has been pulling up in the artist van to the stage door to see people anxiously holding CD’s for someone to sign... and then the door opens and it’s just me with a face full of Hershey’s chocolate wearing an oversized waterproof mac and falling off the last step. The disappointment is real. 

One guy did take a photo though, so I’m probably famous now. 

I also enjoy lying to various members of the public who ask what job I do on the tour. I usually lie and say “social media and logistics” which sounds like a legitimate job, rather than “blogging and washing my husband’s pants.”

 Last night I actually also had the exciting job of holding Liam’s waxy in-ear monitors, so you know, I reckon that’s a promotion? I don’t know really. 

Anyway, today was a day off for Bertie, and he had his eye on heading to this suspension bridge about 25 minutes away. After being told it was 70$ in a cab to get there, we set off towards the tube! It’s a lot like the London tube, only with slightly less body odour hanging in the air. We travelled to The Waterfront and found the free shuttle bus to the bridge. We were like actual tourists, on a coach and everything. Bertie was totally thrilled. 

We probably should have researched a little more before heading to this place, as a ticket to the bridge and surrounding walks was 60 dollars each. Or it should have been, but I sent Bertie away and managed to get student tickets for 39 dollars. I have no shame and the face of a nineteen year old. Might as well make it work for me. 

This place was absolutely beautiful. The bridge is 240 feet high, and completely breathtaking. It wobbles quite a lot, but that just made it more fun! You walk over a waterfall and a river, and are at the same height as the trees. There’s a lot of people taking selfies, and I swear to god we were stuck behind these two women who acted like they were models. It’s just like - come on Tracey, 
you’ve pulled the same pose in the last six shots and all the trees look the same so MOVE ON because you’re blocking the fucking bridge. 

The whole place was lit up with these beautiful spheres, and it was truly magical. We did tree top walks, across 6 or so mini suspension bridges, walked through forests where we saw amazing mushrooms and even saw a banana slug, which is a yellow slug, that looks a lot like snot. Not crazy about the snot slug, but the rest of the place was incredible! We also did a cliff walk, which was awesome, if slightly less bouncy. 

(I should also mention that I don’t have a problem with heights - just enclosed spaces - as a result, Bertie turned to me halfway through the day and went “you don’t have a problem with heights do you? I know you don’t because you’re being much less annoying than usual” - thanks babe) 

Also people kept picking up the giant leaves that were falling from the trees. It was kind of beautiful - it felt like you were in the middle of glorious yellow snow (not the wee kind) and it scattered around you beautifully. However with no explanation this man kept tucking them inside his hat, so obviously there are weirdos all over the world.  

After Capilino Bridge, we ventured into Granville city centre and having a mooch around the shops. I still haven’t bought myself anything but flip flops, and I am upset about this. I just want to treat myself, and there’s absolutely nothing I want. My chin spots are flaring up a treat though. I’m basically touring my acne around America. Maybe I could buy some super expensive cream here full of false promises that will just make the problem worse, but I’ll truly believe it will help.  

We finished off the day with a Japanese BBQ, where you cook the food yourself on a grill in the middle of the table. This kind of thing is nonsense really, because you’re just paying money to cook your own food and may as well just have a bbq at home and that way you won’t have to have kimchi, which is rotting cabbage and we’re all pretending it’s okay. It’s not. 

I’m heading back to LA, and absolutely buzzing for the sunshine! If you need me for the next 2 days, I’ll be the lump next to the pool, holding a gin. Love you! Xx

Monday 21 October 2019

36 hours in Canada! Middle day :)

Hi all! 

Well, we left rainy Seattle and ended up in even rainier Canada. I don’t have an umbrella, and I can no longer wear a jumper under my lovely Joules waterproof because I’ve eaten too many burgers and the zip won’t do up. So from now on, expect photos of me in Bertie’s very attractive north face jacket, as I can still fit in that - for now. 

So we flew over with Alaska. Not a massive fan of Alaska, and they didn’t take the seatbelt sign off for the whole 40 minute flight. I have the bladder of a child at the best of times, so this wasn’t particularly enjoyable. But apart from that, flying was painless and I sailed through immigration and into the land of maple syrup. 

The hotel here is a mixed bag. It has 2 beds! But they are single and a half beds! So it means Bertie and I are now sleeping separately, not unlike Basil and Sybil Fawlty. I’m pretty sure she rocked an eye mask and earplugs too. What a glimpse into the future! 

Beds aside, this hotel HAS A BATH. I have already had two and I’ve only been here 24 hours. It’s actually better than other baths I’ve experienced so far on this trip which have been best described by Sam as “an extended shower tray with slightly raised sides” (he’s not wrong). This one does actually cover my knees, so that’s a start. It also has a coffee drip machine thing, and (inexplicably) a microwave. But hey, it means hot drinks in the room, so that’s something! 

We arrived yesterday and headed out to this place called Cascades. By some miracle, we managed to find a place that does an English Sunday roast! Upsettingly though, the only option was beef, so I had to miss out on the roast. This definitely made me sad, and my curry definitely wasn’t anywhere near as good. We ended up staying there until 11pm - the cocktails were great, the waitresses were lovely and the music was good. I’ll include a picture of our bill, modelled brilliantly by Jon! 

What I will say, is that this is the first place that I feel is cheap - America has been so expensive so far, but Canada is amazing. We drank and ate all afternoon and I couldn’t believe how low the bill cost was!

We also stopped at a burger joint on the way home, and they had a Beyond Meat burger on the menu! I was so pleased to see it as just part of the menu (side note - I am not vegan, I definitely covered it in cheese and mayo) but it was delicious!

So after sleeping off the cocktails (in our separate beds) Bertie trundled off to work, and made tracks to head to Granville Public Market - due to the rain I tried to order an Uber - THERE IS NO UBER HERE. So I had no 
choice but to pop on the unattractive blue coat, and get my walking booties on. I popped into the shop across the road to pick up a brolly - then very quickly put it down because dropping twenty quid on an umbrella is a fool’s game! But thankfully a good rifle through the bin produced this blue child’s umbrella for 6 dollars. What a win. 

(And as a side note, I quite genuinely beat off a guy who tried to knife Bertie last Christmas, by only using a child’s umbrella, so I’d choose that as my weapon of choice at any given moment. This sounds like a joke, but it’s not!)

So, armed with my child’s umbrella and a downloaded 
podcast, I set off on my 25 minute stomp to the market. 

What I saw on my way was the absolutely beautiful turning of autumn. The colour of the trees here is absolutely mind blowing. Even with my knickers rapidly soaking up rain water, and my tights absorbing half the sky, I still stopped to take some photos of the leaves. Even with the grey sky, Canada still looked pretty damn beautiful.

The market was super cute. It was made up of loads of little shops, all gathered together in a collection of big 
buildings. There were foodhalls, craft stalls, a theatre, a workshop building, everything! I did a full loop to take everything in, opted out of buying everything covered in maple leaves, and then, like a kind of homing pigeon, headed straight for the bratwurst stall. Put me anywhere in the world and I can sniff out a German sausage like a pro. No shame here, just sausage. 

Sausage consumed, I then treated myself to a mocha, and started the long (uphill) walk home. I’m now getting ready for the show tonight and running my third bath. 

Hopefully the rain will stop soon! 

Sunday 20 October 2019

The day I met a man called Big Pete.

Good morning! 

I would like to start by apologising for yesterday’s update. What a miserable thing to add to your day! But you’ll be pleased to know I have been well fed, rested, and was given half a pint of wine before bed. I’m now in a much better mood! 

So, let’s reflect over Seattle. I don’t think the greyness helps. The people were also a little bit peculiar and, in my opinion, went against the super-saccharine personality that most Americans have. 

They’re also really weird about asking for ID, and will only accept passports, not driving licenses. That’s a ball ache. I am my mother’s daughter and feel twitchy when my passport is anywhere other than a safe. 

But the market is an absolutely incredible place, and chewing gum alley was super cool. I’m a bit upset I didn’t get to leave my own piece, but I was ill prepared and also get the fear every time I chew gum that I’m going to swallow it. I would fully recommend going to spend the day at Pike Place Market, with the added bonus that it’s indoors and therefore less wet than outside. 

They’re also super big on seafood here, and you can buy crab and oysters pretty much anywhere. It’s not my thing, but if that’s something you like, then Seattle would be good for you! 

But, grumpiness aside, I spent the day yesterday doing the laundry (in case you are interested, it cost considerably more to do laundry here than in LA - I know you’re not interested but this is my blog so shove it up your bum) and then heading to the market to have this delicious naan based treat that I saw the lovely Sam have yesterday. It had red Dahl and masala sauce on top. Very pleasing. 

I was then picked up by this awesome driver called Pete. Big Pete. He wasn’t a small man and he was wearing red sweatpant shorts. I loved him. It was just me in this giant minibus thing, so I sat up front and rode with him. He was brilliant and we nearly ran over this complete jobsworth who threatened to call the police because he couldn’t find his registration on the list (spoiler - it was on the list.) 

Anyway, we were doing the T Mobile park stadium. It was giant. It was literally a venue used for sporting stuff (Soccer? Baseball? American football? Whichever one it was. Are they not all the same?) - either way, walking out onto the pitch was amazing, and felt totally surreal. 
People were sat way up in the Gods and looked like little tiny ants. You can see by my photo here that I’d perked up a bit, and Richie was absolutely thrilled to be in my company. 

Also massive shoutout to the lady in the crowd dressed as Geri Halliwell. 

The gig was great, and to top it all off, there were these crisps, HIPPEAS, in the dressing room. They’re chickpeas, turned into crisps. Who’d have though they could get any better? Falafel, Houmous and now  crisps! What a legendary food.

We left the gig fairly promptly, and headed back to the hotel. Bertie and I took this opportunity to hide in the hotel room, order pizza and watch Netflix.  What a total treat! 

We are now on the Alaska plane to Vancouver. Canada has a load of rain, and cold waiting to greet us. I have two warm dresses. I’m thrilled. But on the plus side, I packed woolly tights, so it’s not all bad! There’s a lot of time off headed our way, so hopefully we can explore what Canada has to offer :) 

Keli xxx