Safety First


We got back from our travels Sunday night and trying to catch up here with our impending tour/album release in a few weeks. Can't get space in my head to come up with anything coherent in the way of a post, but why should that stop me?

Since they passed the law in France that every car must carry on board a neon safety vest (and safety triangle), safety vests have become an obsession. There were supposed to be heavy fines imposed (90 euros) if you were caught driving without a vest in the car after July 1, but they were impossible to find. In the plan to make the autoroutes safer they somehow forgot to stock the stores with enough of the damn things. There were so many people traipsing from LeClerc to Carrefour to Super-U in search of anything resembling a fluorescent gilet that they had to amend the rule - now we have until October 1 to steal, I mean buy, a safety vest.

There've been times in my life where I crave the perfect pair of black knee-high boots, and on a busy street I zero in on every pair. It's as if everything else is a mere sketch - the only thing I see in detail and 3-D is the boots I crave. Same with jeans, if I have in my mind the ultimate dark wash slightly vintage looking jeans, I'm scouring the crowd, and if anyone's sporting something close to my object of desire everything else melts away.

So it is now with the neon safety vests. Aided by the fact that they are designed specifically to show up. On the streets of Limoges or Whitstable the only thing I can see are the brutishly loud, ill-fitting things, usually worn by red-faced workmen. There we were at Edinburgh Castle last week, surrounded by history and pageantry, and Eric playing with the Proclaimers in front of 8500 people, and all I could think was "gotta get a vest."

Safety of another kind was on my mind in Norwich. We were returning to the Brickmakers, the venue where back in September I took a foolish risk and really hurt myself. Maybe it's something about the citizenry of Norwich, who as an audience tend to enjoy things in such a laid-back manner that you want to hold a mirror up to check if they're still breathing. It's just the Norfolk way I guess, but last time it made me want to do something, anything to shake things up a little bit. So I jumped off the not very high stage at what seemed like an appropriate moment.

It's something I've done before and been fine. But this was not one of those times - the floor was slippery, I had (the perfect knee-high black) boots on, and when heel met floor I fell and hit my head on the stage.

It hurt my tailbone, my head and of course my pride, but I crawled back onto the stage and carried on playing. It was only when I noticed the previously stony faces of the audience looking increasingly uncomfortable, concerned and even downright horrified did I realize that I was covered in blood.

Eric and Charley who runs the club took me to the emergency room where a doctor glued my head shut. Better than stitches I thought, only I had to endure glue in my hair for months after. I tried searching online for some solvent to get it out - believe me, there are way more websites out there catering to gluing and ungluing things from the scalp than you could ever imagine. In the end I gave up and let it grow out.

So this time when we played Norwich I decided no matter what, I wouldn't pull any more stunts like that. Just going through life is dangerous enough. So risky, we need to wear safety clothing.