Ziggy played guitar

David Bowie died today. It was also the first day of our week in Barcelona.

David Bowie had a big influence on my life. If not for him and Life on Mars, I would never have gone into musical theatre and, from that, straight theatre. I may never have been an actor and, subsequently, I may never have met Mirinda. So, I owe David Bowie an awful lot. Thank you, David, for everything you did for me.

Barcelona, on the other hand, has yet to do much for me, though I’ve not been here very long as I type this in my hotel room. Actually, I’m not being very fair. We went for a wander after unpacking at the rather splendid Gran Hotel Havana and I get the feeling I’m really going to like it here. The fact that it’s not raining could have a lot to do with it, of course.

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In fact, it rained all night back at home and continued to drench our taxi as it chased the peak hour travellers towards Gatwick. As it was we turned up with lots of time to spare…enough for a proper breakfast in fact which wound up being enough for lunch as well.

I’d organised some Assistance for mum and it was, quite frankly, BRILLIANT. Talk about not being able to do enough for you. Okay we didn’t have it until we’d gone through security (though we managed to be fast tracked somehow) where, as usual, mum set off the alarms. This was especially annoying because she’d taken off most of her jewellery and left it at home.

Anyway, as I said, we had breakfast (eggs in various forms) then went and reported to the Assistance Area. We sat here until the flight was ready to board. We then climbed aboard one of those electric vans that try and run down passengers as they hurry for their planes. From this wonderful mode of transport (why are they only reserved for the hard of walking? Maybe I should start using a walking stick when I travel…) we were put in our own bus with an outside lift for getting you to your seat.

Then, courtesy of George, our driver, we were taken to our plane where the entire bus started to rise until the lift section was level with the plane door. I really, really wanted George to knock at the hatch but, sadly, it was just opened by someone from the flight crew inside. We then just sailed in and took our seats. It was all very seamless, stress free and courteous.

Then, in Barcelona things went even smoother.

We were last off the plane but mum had a wheel chair and various people to push her around and. generally, care for her. They really were very kind and attentive. Especially the last woman who took her all the way out to our car. Not that the kindness stopped there. Our driver was just as kind and helped mum all the way into our hotel then told me off for trying to wheel both our bags into the lobby behind them.

Speaking of our hotel…it’s rather lovely. Though, I reckon Mirinda wouldn’t like my room too much given it overlooks a very busy street. In fact, it’s possibly the busiest street in Barcelona. Still…

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Having spent most of the afternoon wandering the streets and getting a feel for the layout of the city, we returned to our rooms for a rest before dinner.

Mum was a bit perturbed because in Spain, no-one eats early and the hotel restaurant (her idea) didn’t open until 8:30pm. As it was, we were the only people dining until another couple turned up just before 10pm…as we were leaving.

Anyway, the food was delicious but it was soon time for bed. Big day tomorrow.

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