MacPhail – 20.2.20

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The Fergie MacDonald album review will have to wait for another week as I’ve still not managed to get a copy!  I was very surprised that on our travels of the last few weeks in Western USA that I’ve not been able to find one anywhere!  From Sonoma, to Bodega Bay, to Long Beach and Las Vegas, not one of the shops we visited had it in. Perhaps Fergie hasn’t finalised his trade deal with Trump yet!  I’ll get one as soon as I arrive back in Scotland and it will definitely be in next week!

In the absence of the album review, I’ll give readers a flavour of my winter travels.  Holidays, till fairly recently were very unusual for me but by chance, I ended up on two different 10-day excursions back to back in the last month.

The first was an activity-based stay at a resort on the North West side of Lanzarote and the second was a long-planned trip to visit my auntie and uncle in Sonoma, California.  Both were very different, thoroughly enjoyed and were a great way to escape Ciara, Dennis and their other miserable friends who were relentlessly battering everyone at home while we were away!

Ania and I flew to Lanzarote on January 30 and not since I was fishing over 15 years ago have I done so much exercise in a week! Being a lazy musician is not conducive to living a healthy lifestyle and now being in my forties, I can no longer get away with doing very little physical activity if I’m going to maintain any reasonable fitness.

The Lanzarote experience was a great way to kick-start a range of new activities, some of which, I’ll hopefully keep up. Swimming lessons, stand-up paddle boarding, jogging, yoga, Pilates, indoor-cycling and an absolute hell-like class called cross-fit were all tried. I’m not too bad at lifting or throwing something heavy once, but with this cross-fit carry on it was lifting things 30 or 40 times then running round a 400m track and doing it again and again until I was a sweating, swearing, staggering, peching mess that could barely stand up or breathe!  To make it worse, there were old caileachan firing away at it no bother at all!

After being back home for two days, I headed off with Andrew to California.  Since I was around 15, I have been planning to visit my mother’s sister and her husband, who live in Sonoma just North of San Francisco, but it took a twisting of arm from Andrew to actually get me to finally book it. Similarly, he has been wanting to visit the Ocean Liner, Queen Mary, which is moored at Long Beach for just as long, so we decided to combine the two desires and headed off across the Cuan an Iar. (Western Ocean).

Andrew has many talents and attributes, but one thing he excels at is travel logistics and inserting plenty mischief and great experiences into any journey, so I left most of the planning to him.  He absolutely surpassed himself on this trip and once I get Fergie’s review done, I’ll give a few tales of our escapades.

Both holidays were hugely enjoyed, but as I write this in Las Vegas airport, I am very happy at the prospect of getting home in a few days time!