A Travellerspoint blog

Southern Holland

semi-overcast

We have not long arrived at Arjan's house for another one of his mother's fantastic meals. Fajitas with a mix of crispy chicken, Mexican chicken and beef chilli. Just what the doctor ordered! Although I'm surprised I managed it after eating not two hours before. We all woke quite late this morning. Or should I say afternoon. I think we all needed the sleep catch up. There hasn't been a large amount of good quality sleep on this trip. Not long after I woke up I went for a trip down to the supermarket with Alex, Emily and Tom while Callum remained peacefully asleep in the tent. We are running pretty low on funds so it was going to be a very budgeted shop. I figured if I was careful, I could buy Callum and I enough food to last us until we go home. That would be nice. And it would seem that we will be going to Arjan's house for dinner everyday until we leave. Which is delicious on the stomach and on the wallet. Excellent news! The local supermarket has everything one would look for in a supermarket. Budget friendly food, free samples and free coffee. Love it! It's located about a 5 minute drive from the campsite. I would recommend it highly. It's a chain called Albert Heijn.

The band have another radio show tonight at 9pm-11pm Netherlands time (8pm-10pm UK time). We are not entirely sure of how it will pan out but it will be more or less the same as yesterday, but longer. The band will be performing Don't Speak Out Loud, Memories and Lion, live in the studio. They are going to have a practice soon to prepare for the show. If it goes anything like it did yesterday, it's going to be a great show! It went really well yesterday, and the celebrations afterwards were full if delights and humorous banter back at the campsite. Although there was a minor accident when Alex slammed my finger in the car door. But the pain was quickly phased out by the absolute hilarity of a rather inebriated Alex attempting to bandage up my finger.  Another recommendation, everyone got their pens at the ready? Never let Alex Gruz be a doctor! He tries his best, and his heart is in the right place, but i ended up taking the dressing off before I retired to bed, as it was near cutting off my circulation, I quite like having circulation, i think I'll keep it. I'm really liking this part of the your. It's a lot more relaxed, and I can be involved. It's pretty exciting! 

One thing we have not included in this blog thus far is a bears update of Callum's beard. To be honest, it needs a blog of its own. It's quite epic! For the first time in the tour I managed to persuade Callum to finally shave this afternoon. He needed to, his face was rapidly disappearing under a huge mass of ginger hair. He had a Tom Hanks from Castaway look about him. He wears the look well, but it's nice to see his familiar face again!

The guys are playing a game of cheat before we venture back to the campsite for a rehearsal. This has been a game played many times on our Europe jaunt. At least twice in ever country I'd say. It's pretty funny times. I don't think I'll ever be a winner at this game, but I'm quite happy being a participant some highly entertaining down time.

If you would like to tune in to the radio show tonight, tune in to www.streekomroepstart.nl at 9pm UK time. Also, if you would like to hear the radio stream from yesterday's show, go to http://www.omroepstein.nl/node/292

Posted by Jarmitage 10:25 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Southern Holland

Elsloo

sunny

We have arrived! We are at our final campsite of the tour in Elsloo, Southern Holland. It's beautiful! Less of a campsite, more of a sizeable back garden equip with some swings, a sea saw and a concrete tunnel. I dare say there will be some quality time spent there! Everyone loves acting like a child. After the truck stop we drove straight to Arjan's, a friend of the bands. He's been in charge of sorting out the radio shows that the band will be featuring on in the next few days. That's going to be great! And I'm going to be singing on some of the tracks. Excellent stuff! His mum had prepared us a meal of chicken soup and sandwiches. It was so good! And very much needed! It's amazing what you take for granted when you're camping round Europe; home cooked meals, warm showers, money. None of these things have been things which we have possessed recently. It's nice to come in to contact with them again. Leo and Harrison are staying at Arjan's for the last part of the tour while Alex, Emily, Tom, Callum and myself stay at the campsite. It splits the group up a bit but it's nice not to have so much intensity.

After setting up our tents and getting settled, we ventured down the country lane outside the campsite gate, so that the band could have an unplugged practice before the radio show. It was sweet! I've never heard an acoustic twist on Gruz music before. It really works. The two songs they are going to perform for the radio show are Don't Speak Out Loud and Memories. It was definitely a highlight of the tour;  standing in the dusk down a country lane in the Netherlands, looking out on to the crimson skyline, having a stripped down acoustic jam. It was pretty epic. It sounded really good too. I think this radio show is going to be fun!  

Posted by Jarmitage 08:54 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Southern Holland

Elsloo

overcast

Well that was an experience! Pitching up in a truck stop was...interesting. Callum and I are getting pretty good at pitching up our tent. We've had to be. Pitching up in the dark is not easy! And on reflection, pitching up right in the corner of a grassy patch was not the brightest of ideas. It became known that it was the corner where all the weary truck drivers went to urinate. Lovely. The odd one or two would see the tent and walk away, but most would ignore the sizeable red dome in the middle of the grass and just go behind it. Needless to say, the tent will not be returning to the UK with us. It has served its purpose. I will miss it though. It has served me well. Stayed strong through many a festival. And it has been our home for the past two weeks. But there are plenty more tents in the garden. And the next one will be even better! 

Slightly, although not greatly refreshed, we returned back to the van to continue on our journey. Not long now! Couple of hours or so. Can't wait to get settled for the last few days! 

Posted by Jarmitage 06:55 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Southern Holland

Elsloo

overcast

We're playing catch up with the blog now, as it's been difficult to keep up with everything that's going on. That's the one thing about starting a travel blog in real time...you actually have to keep up! We are on our way to Southern Holland now. This is our last stop on the tour. I'm quite glad about this. Travelling around from place to place is fun, but it's nice settling down in one place also. We are about 10 hours in to the drive. It's been pretty quick for Callum and I, as we have slept through most of it! We were so tired. And to be honest, quite hungover! Lastnight we went to three different out door clubs in Warsaw. The night was flavoured with polish honey vodka. Which is absolutely lush, but doesn't accommodate for good writing technique. The venues were pretty cool. They were opening for their last night before they close for the cold season, so there were loads of people there. In the thousands. A woodland rave in Warsaw. A definite must! 

We are 3 hours shy of our destination. Alex and Emily are shattered, so we are going to pitch up on a truck stop for the night and set up our tent. Driving further wouldn't be a good idea. And pitching a tent in a truck stop has never been on my list of things to do, but I'll try anything once. Let's get our head down for a few hours.

Posted by Jarmitage 03:13 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Poland

Warsaw - The bumpy entry in to Warsaw and the Kosmos Kosmos gig

overcast

Greeting from Warsaw! About time too! That was one epically long car journey. Try 23 hours! We left Amsterdam at 12pm on Thursday, all quietly dreading the 14 hour drive we had ahead of us. A mammoth traffic jam just out of Berlin saw to that journey being a distant dream. To this day we still don't know what the cause was. We were directed off the motorway before we saw the route of the cause. The dreaded red stream of break lights set our collective thoughts; we ain't moving from this joint anytime soon! 2 hours in and less than 100 kilometres covered; a cigarette is a must. There was denying it. Tom, Callum and myself hopped out of the van, with the plan to continually walk forward so that we were never far from the van. We thought this plan was fool proof. Turns out, fools were its main prescriber. Half a cigarette down; and Tom decides to get back to the van. He must have sensed what was coming. Callum and I stayed by the side of the road with no hesitation. There way plenty of time...no there wasn't! The stagnant res lights from the cars wasn't so stagnant anymore.we has movement! And we weren't in the van! We stubbed out our cigarettes and ran in the direction of the cars. But they weren't stopping! Every time we got closer to the van, it ventured further away! We are going to have to step up the pace! Callum grasped my hand as we started to run at full pelt towards the van. What must we look like! Sod that...are we going to make it! It was us against the cars. Adrenalin took over as we surged forward to catch our van in the distance. We could see it clearly now. One last blast and we will have made it. Ready...go! We made it!

After a long, all too familiar drive we had made it to Alex's house at 7:30am. I can honestly say I can't remember the last time I was so pleased to arrive at someone's house! It was long overdue. And what's that? A warm shower, that works? Don't mind if I do! And my what a pleasant experience. The hot water beat down on my skin warming my muscles and healing my tired head. It was wonderful. I didn't want to get out. Refreshed and rejuvenated, I was ready to embrace optimism...after a sleep. 

The time had arrived for the gig at Kosmos Kosmos. This was a smallish venue located in the centre of Warsaw. It was a funny little venue. Its decor was futuristic silvers and whites with spaceships and planets patterning the walls. The toilets had a sliding glass door, leading in to pod-like toilets, like those on a spaceship. This was a quirky venue. Quirk is good. I have love for the quirk. The gig was edging closer, and spirits were high. I think we all had the common belief that this was The Gig; we had really enjoyed our time in Poland, all be it short, we had all recovered from our sleep deprivation and were all feeling pretty positive. And there were loads of people there! ...Although all of the gigs had been a positive experience, that was a first. Yep, this was going to be a good gig! ...and we were right! The gig went so smoothly!  The band were on fire! The most in sync I've seen then yet. And the crowd were loving it! Including Emily and I at the front; the proud girlfriends. This is the part that makes all the hard times worth it. I can't really put in to words the feeling I get when I watch Callum play. It's quite lovely. So what's the verdict...a rather enthusiastically requested encore, 25 EPs sold and an amazing night had by all. Success! Check out the band EP on www.gruzmusic.com 

A great gig, good banter, and an actual bed to come home to...today was a good day. 

Know the stats

Time spent: 3 nights, 3 days
Money spent: £60
Top spots: Kosmos Kosmos, Czwecka resteraunt, Playground outdoor night club
Memorable meals: Every meal cooked by Alex's mum (recipie page on it's way!)
Overall chillometer score: 8 chills

Posted by Jarmitage 08:26 Archived in Poland Tagged warsaw travels www.gruzmusic.com Comments (0)

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