BACK TO THE UK! TIME TO PREPARE THE VAN!

As every year, towards the end of the spring i come back to England and get ready for the summer season. This time however, due to my drummer’s wedding and the invitation to partecipate to the London International Ska Festival, i had to get back at the end of March. If the 21st of the month usuallty sets the beginning of the Spring in reality it doesn’t really work like that, at least in the UK, where the temperatures i’ve found were nearly 30 degrees lower than the tropical days in Bali!

busking-van-norwich-uk I normally don’t steal as it goes against my principles, but once the captain announced the outside temperatures i managed to nick the company’s blanket, that was easily hidden under my jacket and once i’ve got on the coach to Norwich has been turned into a super scarf!

IMG_2670Everytime i arrive in Norwich from Heathrow airport, my way to the city from the bus station is always the same: i normally walk through the Hay Market and always pay a visit to my good friens Mark, who runs a very cool vintage shop at the back of the market. He’s always sporting a big welcoming smile and he likes tio know about my travelling adventures, plus his dad was a jamaican Ska singer back in the early sixties and wrote a couple of amazing songs!

IMG_2673After a day i was able to put my hands on the gear and prepare all i need for the upcoming tour. My new Guild however needed a litle fix as the humidity levels of Indonesia changed the action a bit too much! Cookes, my favourite local music shop did a great job while i was trying a new amp in the room next door.

IMG_2675After a busy day it’s always good to catch up with good old friends for a proper pint of Ale!

IMG_2683Months of Asian food made me crave for cooking simple recipes such as “Riso e verze” an old italian dish based on rice and Savoy cabbage.

IMG_2684While in India i bought my friend’s van and all i had to do as i was back in Norwich was to pick it up, try to fit all the gear in it and most importantly find a solution in order to convert the car in my hotel room as well!

IMG_2696We removed the seats and made some room for the equipment.

IMG_2698 IMG_2703At first we thought of measuring the internal area and buy some wood to build a bespoke bed, but after a few visits to shops we opted for a cleaver idea: buy a folding camping bed, lighter, flexible anwe found just what i needed, just the right size!

IMG_2707 IMG_2715With a little extra money i’ve got myself a folding bed frame, an enflatable mattress and a very good sleeping bag good until 2 degrees temperature: definitely warm enough for the south of Europe, i hope!

IMG_2717When all the interiors were sorted all i had to do was try to drive around Norwich to experience the English way!

IMG_2719IMG_2691I was a bit nervous but after a few attempts i managed to get used to the size of the van and catching roundabouts from the wrong size!
I’m now ready to say goodbye to England for 6 good weeks and play more than a dozen shows in France and Italy! I’m looking forward to come back to the UK at the end of may, when hopefully the weather will be a bit more Spring like!

IMG_2732!

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