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notes from a weary traveller 1

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2005

why my life gets really complicated when my internet connection is down…
Well for one thing, trying to sort out travel arrangements with no internet these days seems, not only frustrating, but rather inefficient. I mean, I’m an artist, I have more than enough things in my life which are inefficient, er, me, for example….
As I seem to spend a lot of my time bitching about France Telecom and my isp, and for good reason, as the fuckers seem to have blocked port 80 at their end of my dsl connection and are in complete denial about it, today I’ll try to spare you all from whining about that and, instead, whine about something else, that being, what I’m spending so much of my life doing at the moment, namely travelling what seems to be enormous distances in the name of art and the art of feeding my family. The two things tend to intertwine in my life, but then I guess I’m the lucky one…. Now don’t get the idea that I’m somehow ungrateful for this life, that couldn’t be further from the truth, it’s probably just that I spend way too much time on my own… watching… thinking… all the exact things I should avoid…:)
the travelling bitch
I’ve just spent nearly four hours on a TGV, en route to Paris CDG in order to fly to Los Angeles, tomorrow morning, getting up at the crack of dawn, in order to board a, doubtless, crowded aircraft, waiting in endless lines of check-ins and passport control then passing through countless security checks, while lugging lots of… luggage… (hmmm never quite grasped the tautology before……)..I’ll be burning up precious hours of my, all so, finite life, waiting…..in what Dr Seuss, so astutely calls The Waiting Place, although I’m not sure the good doctor meant it quite so literally. More about philosophy another time, OK?
Now I shouldn’t complain, after all I’m lucky not to be always stuck in one place, but why are the flights I always have to catch really early in the morning? It inevitably means staying in a hotel near the airport, which always cost sooooo much more than a normal hotel, followed by lining up for eternity in the morning to check out, waiting for an age for the airport navette and then doing the whole, aforementioned airport waiting thing. Couple this with the French attitude towards service and you know it’s going to be a l o n g day.. . I’m not being xenophobic, by the way, just try taking your kids to MacDonalds here and you will understand where I’m coming from.
This musician/artist thing, as a lifestyle, certainly isn’t very glamorous… at all. I have to say, though, that when travelling with a band, or even just with a tour manager, one has has the opportunity to share the tedium but share the excitement as well. Travelling on your own, over well worn paths, can really be likened to the daily drudge of commuting on the London Underground… And for a brief aside, for I am one to make those things, how come I was recently the only one on the London Underground without an iPod?… So many people packed so tightly together without any sense of community whatsoever is something we should be afraid of, in the whole scheme of things. It was quite disconcerting… That, and that the people panhandling me were wearing $200 trainers and asking for money for cappuccino……And they had iPods..
Anyway, I digress… comme d’habitude ….
It certainly never seems apparent when you see a performer doing a show, for example, up there on the stage, all lit up like they’re something so fucking special, that they have wasted away so much of their precious lives lining up for this or that, tracking down missing baggage, and waiting around for shit to happen. Life is too short.. Me, I don’t know what to think. It’s lovely getting affirmation for the work that one creates but sometimes it’d be nice just to to enjoy being instead of doing. I can’t truly be when I’m waiting, because the idea of living in the moment, while standing, packed like sardines into an car rental shuttle bus, seems strangely redundant to me…. right at this moment… One day perhaps when I’m old and hopefully will have acquired some wisdom, that simple truth may be revealed to me. In the meantime I’ll be waiting…….

4 Responses to “notes from a weary traveller 1”

  1. mike

    Cool blog, man.

    (Good luck.)

  2. Steven

    Excellent blog Robin. I thoroughly enjoy reading
    your thoughts on…whatever seems to be on your mind at a paricular moment in time, people who have pissed you off, etc. Quite colourful! Anyhow, I’ve got tickets to your Los Angeles showing of Lumiere on Nov. 20th. I cannot wait
    to see you as its been nine years since I last saw you. You were playing with a pretty cool band back then ;o)
    I have your Imperial CD and Mysterious Skin soundtrack and I must say…awesome. I look forward to getting my copy of Continental. Any idea when you might be releasing it?? Keep up the good work! And GOod Luck!!!

  3. graham

    robin hello there long time since backstage in spain. would love to see you sunday. please feel free to contact me and again ill look for you sunday night. graham

  4. Salome


    Remember how nice England is too…
    Single glazing windows when it’s minus 3.
    Sharing house with strangers cos you can’t afford an 800 quid per month tiny studio.
    Late and smelly trains.
    Deep fried battered food.
    Crazy and dangerous fireworks fights.
    Drunken disorder every night (single glazed windows, remember?)
    Work work work career work.
    All shops closed before you are out of the office.
    Shit day time TV.
    Shit evening time TV.
    Football beer football beer more beer.
    Fuckin BT getting your internet bill wrong every time and pre-recorded operator helpline driving you nuts.
    Road works on the Circle line – 45 minutes late to your meeting.
    Huge council tax!
    Half naked 13 year olds dressed as slags in the middle of november.

    Are we even? ;o)

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