Again I awoke in the realms of far too early and after doing a few morning exercises, cleaned up and proofread some more of the book. Breakfast was at the usual place however I ate something that didn’t really sit right, but since I have a stomach of iron, it was fine. I made for the rehearsal facility and along the way I bought an eight dollar smoothie which was alright I suppose, but I’m not sure it was worth it.
I got into work shortly after 9am ahead of the rest of UHTC and went though a bit of a to-do list. At this stage thankfully there are only little tasks to perform like labelling and tidying the equipment. Having woken far too early, it suddenly hit me that I was very tired; I had to sit down for a while. There is a comfortable sofa in front of the stage and I had a little flop, closing my eyes until the rest of the crew arrived.
Mickey’s mission this morning was to purchase a new 12-string acoustic guitar for Javier. In all, four-fifths of The Winning Team, and Dave, sallied forth on a shopping expedition; of course like any such trip, you always come back with more than you planned.
When the rehearsal got under way, Leonard motored through some songs and stopped them half-way, feeling confident they were in the bag so to speak. As the session progressed, he spent a bit more time on songs that needed a refresher until 7pm when he called it a day. I was quite glad of the end as I was exceptionally tired. As I prepared to leave the stage, I was greeted with a cake topped in candles and the classic song, ‘Happy Birthday’. Lo, I have travelled around the sun precisely 40 times. It was a vegan cake, well received as were the vegan peanut butter cookies. The secret spies had passed a card around and I now have everyone’s autograph with which I shall use to forge cheques. Surprise!
Unperturbed by the tiredness I enjoyed some cake and cookies and curiously, a bowl of soup and a cup of chamomile tea. When the impromtu party was at an end, Dan and I walked back to the hotel, the slight incline feeling a little more steep than usual. In truth, I was beginning to feel very tired and not well. It was never a birthday fantasy of mine to be sober and in bed by 8.30, but that was the case.
Around 1.30 am, I woke and could bear the roiling stomach no longer. Every time I thought about the dodgy onions I had with breakfast, my tummy groaned and eventually I had to pull the trigger: armed with a squeaky clean pair of fingers, I touched the tickle spot of my throat and a river of vomit sallied forth. It was surprising, nay horrifying, to see just how much my stomach held — you know the little sachets of ketchup you get at restaurants? Well imagine a gallon-sized one of those; now just nick the corner and press hard and watch the stream of used food propelled through space. Happy bloody birthday; have a new stomach, made of velvet.