Monday, 7 October 2019

Kinky Boots.......

Just when we thought the French system had locked our CDS application in a cabinet at the local prefecture office in Angouleme, we received an unexpected missive asking us to attend a meeting with them towards the end of the month. A genuine surprise as we understood applications to have been frozen till they knew what was happening with the Brexshit nonsense.

The CDS is a Carte de Sejour, a card/approval confirming a right/entitlement to remain/reside in the country. Brits have been forced to consider applying for these solely cause of the threat imposed on them by Brexshit. As EU members, the CDS is not required but if UK drops out of EU it becomes a near-essential, for stability if nought else. Understandably to a fair extent we could see why applications were being frozen due to the sheer expense involved in dealing with the troublesome CDS process. The French are famously bureaucratic and the sheer volume of paperwork required - a whole folder of supporting documents for each of us  - is a prize pain. So, if UK in the end remains within the EU, there will again be no need for a CDS at all. All most troublesome.

Ironically, I'm off to Sweden tomorrow. We've bought a used car up there - where, surprisingly, used cars are relatively inexpensive and generally always represent good value - and I must pick it up and drive back down here. My initial plan was to spend a month or so up there but now I must curtail it and return doe the CDS meeting with the French machine. So, fingers crossed on that front. Another irony is that at present we both have our Swedish ID numbers and also have Spanish NIE/ID numbers but no French number...........yet!

I must be back for the meeting and then we are due in London early - mid November for meetings with a bunch of touring musicians, including the elderly UK bluesman, John Mayall, the guy who started the careers of Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor and countless other huge names. He's a cool guy and I spoke to him earlier this year and we got on really well. He is notoriously difficult with press, but was great, so he has given me a couple of Guesties - All Access Passes - for his London gig, where he usually refuses press access and restricts Guesties to his personal friends and family, all of whom want to see him when he visits London from his US, Laurel Canyon, LA home.

We meet and see Mayall on the Friday evening, followed by similar passes for a Norwegian blues festival weekend at the RAH (Norway has a busy, thriving blues music scene!), then on the Tuesday we have a similar Guestie pass for a visiting US musician, Kenny Wayne Shepherd. KWS's manager is a good, personal friend of us both and is on the road with the the KWS band in Europe. So, gonna be a busy weekend, also with a meeting with a lovely friend, a Canadian musician now resident in London, whose music I love and who is a truly lovely lady. Now in her late seventies, she worked with John Lee Hooker, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Gordon Lightfoot and everyone of note in 1960s New York. Back then TIME magazine said there were three great US female musicians - Joan Baez, Judy Collins and her, Bonnie Dobson.  These days she lives around the corner from ex-Led Zep frontman, Robert Plant., whom she also works with from time to time nowadays. I usually pop round to Plant's place when in London, he's a lovely guy with no front of any kind and a near-obsession with Welsh mysticism!!  Last time I called round to her and his place, I literally bumped into a guy oozing affluence and style, a face from the sixties, Kinky Ray Davies!

I leave you with Bonnie in full flow signing her own song - the first song she ever wrote as a teenager and one that became the signature tune of US band, Grateful Dead, back in the day - alongside her neighbour, Rob:




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