I open one eye and see that the clock is close to saying its seven am. Time to get up. Lou is already on the school run. I waddle into first gear and take my bags to the front door, have a small breakfast and take in the grey clouds outside on the downs. In […]
I open one eye and see that the clock is close to saying its seven am. Time to get up. Lou is already on the school run. I waddle into first gear and take my bags to the front door, have a small breakfast and take in the grey clouds outside on the downs. In the car I never say very much, Lou tries hard to keep me heading in the right direction but I have retreated like a crab into its shell. At Gatwick airport we park and head to the check in counter, the kind lady at the desk sees how emotional I am and offers to walk me through security to the gate. For 20 minutes Lou and I say goodbye, and then she unfolds a tear and we embrace and say goodbye, for three weeks and five days. Its the saddest of all feelings.
I am escorted to the plane via the lounge and some fresh mint tea to calm the nerves, everyone is so kind to me, the Virgin staff are wonderful and understanding. On the plane I get to my seat and unpack my case, headphones, I pod and therapy book, drugs and my lucky toy bear. The Captain shows me the flight map, he tells me of the bumps in the road and that the plane is made for much worse, a 747 of some years old. The take off climbs, I look out and see the green countryside of Sussex as we head off down across Cornwall and out into the Atlantic for a nine hour journey. Lunch is served, and I try to stay awake for the first two hours, and then its drugs and bed. Sleep. The bumps indeed come and its like being in the back of a transit van on some dodgy roads in Europe. I sit in my seat firmly gripping and riding each wave as the plane seems to go up and down, sideways and back. The crew look after me so well and with so much kindness. Orlando appears below, the plane routes around the coast and then in line with the airport, I look out and see the ground coming home to me. Passport control and baggage, the drive to the hotel and the reality of another tour, since May 1978 I have been coming here to tour and I think that journey has roughly always felt the same. How can I break this fear, I wish I knew.
Disney supply a hotel for our first few shows, its called Animal Kingdom, its filled with kids and people on holiday, most people have Micky ears on top, its huge and very overwhelming, but I soon find solace in an African styled restaurant. Outside the room I can see Giraffes and wildebeest and Buffalo. On TV the same old 100 channels of not very much. Breakfast is incredible, there are so many families all lining up for meats and eggs, breads and cakes! Its a bun fight. Quickly, because I’m bored, I eat two sittings. Two full days off in this Disney fantasy land where you need to download an app to order any room service. I feel claustrophobic even though there are over one thousand rooms in this lot alone, and there are three more on this site. Its a kindergarten of horror. The flight is behind me and the countdown to home and the next flight starts one day at a time, but first a month of shows which I can’t wait for. Time to rest and catch up on emails and plans for next year, time to focus on the right stuff, the sobriety of life, and the patients I will need to keep serene in my day. A tour bus is on its way, but first six half hour shows here in Disney, it will be weird, it will be everything we always knew it would be. To pass the time I unpack and tidy my room, tidy my bag and my desktop, emails are answered and I feed myself with more food. Lunch, and I discover and Indian type of menu in the hotel next door, another huge building full of kids and people on the large side, I will be there soon I’m sure. I feel so lucky to be this fat. Its all bought and paid for after all.