As a performer, I do a lot of travelling in my job. And sometimes I get fed up with it. Another airport lounge. More security queues. Another hotel room.
Just think of all the worst parts of your holiday caught in an endless loop, and you’re halfway there. And if I’m driving to gigs, it’s just a continuous ribbon of grey tarmac stretching off into the distance. It just goes on and on.
It’s not unusual for me to wake up in the morning in yet another hotel room, not knowing where I am.
I know it gets to other performers, too. One American rock singer even has an area of his house fitted out exactly the same as a Holiday Inn room. It has the identical furniture, duplicate fittings – everything down to the last detail. He did it so that when he’s in a hotel room, he feels at home!
Yes, that probably is taking things to extremes.
The person from whom I bought my car recently saw how many miles I had clocked up since I’d bought it, and thought there was something wrong with the mileometer! There’s not.
But on one occasion I was driving to Inverness for a gig. It was raining, the way it can rain only on the A9 – horizontally. The roads were wet. I was stuck in a long line of traffic that crawled along behind something I can only assume was being pedalled by a one-legged pensioner.
Miserable? You bet I was. All that was going round in my head was what a lousy job I had. I had to contend with the stage nerves, and the hours of preparation. But the travelling was probably the worst thing in the world – and there had to be a better way of making a living than THIS.
And then it happened. I spotted a wee man on the road verge. He was soaked to the skin, with water dripping off the peak of his cap… and he was digging a ditch.
Suddenly, it was as though the clouds had parted and the sun had come out. Who was I kidding? I had the best job in the world. How could I possibly complain?
I turned up the radio, and broke into a smile.
So, now, when I’m feeling drained from travelling, I think of that wee man. I don’t know who he is; but I know he would be glad to swap jobs with me at the drop of a soggy bunnet.
Sometimes it’s something insignificant to put everything into perspective.