My flight landed at Calgary and we all waited on board for an hour before the last leg to Vancouver. Flying over the Rockies was stunning. They’ve had a recent late snow shower and were looking pretty awesome and wintry to be honest. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little frisson of fear as well as excitement about seeing these mighty mountains next week close up from my bike.
There followed a long and rather tense wait for ANY of my luggage, bike included.You know that feeling: every passenger that you recognise from your flight seems to have waltzed up and claimed their case, dog cages, baby buggies, golf clubs, and there you are, pacing up and down checking and rechecking the normal carousel and the oversized items one too. Having spent so many years as a musician touring the world, I normally consider myself a pretty laid back flyer, but having so much at stake over this trip I realised that all that experience wasn’t helping at all. I just wanted my bike and panniers NOT to still be in Calgary. After several walkie-talkie messages, the problem was finally identified, and my stuff suddenly emerged. Outside I found Stewart waiting to meet me, and we hit the road back to their beautiful home in sunny Tswassen, close to the US border south of Vancouver.
The bike was dumped in Stewart’s painting studio and I was reunited with my old friend, and fellow member of Guildhall Strings for 20-odd years, Gill Kent. We had a lovely evening together of fabulous food, lovely wine, great conversation and reminiscing, and even managed to fit in a brief uke/bass jam, the double bass being one of many strings to Stewart’s bow. Although in fact he plucked it.