Nothing sums up the loyalty and friendship of this lovely couple more than the fact they took a detour on the day of their flight to Latvia to get married (!) to make sure they saw me on my birthday.
And, they’d found time to make me a really thoughtful present to boot.
We are so grateful for Mike and Ilze and with their wedding now so close, I wanted to celebrate our many happy memories together in a couple of blog posts.
Hope you enjoy them.
In many ways, it’s been a pretty momentous week.
But, after some frustrating news on the Brexit and personal front (all in the space of 12 hours!), my 30th birthday weekend has been absolutely wonderful and I am in awe of my wife’s amazing organisational skills and incredible love.
It all started with a little girl waking me up singing “Happy Birthday Daddy!”, tunefully and happily. Lovely!
Then, the surprises began…
Naturally, we decided that the most sensible choice was to go straight to Swindon. There would be no traffic after all.
I should have realised how this leg of the trip would go when our car started drifting towards the steep bank at the side of the road and I had to shout “Niki!” loudly to wake up the driver!
Disaster averted but there was more fun and games to come.
If you go down to the woods today….
Do bears actually live in the woods? They do if you take them there and that’s just what we did when we took our very own Sophie Bear for a family break at Whinfell Forest Center Parcs recently.
With the group expanding and both artists now viewed, it really felt like the tour was beginning to click into gear.
June 5th was another off day, but it would be the last free 24 hours we had before the tour ended the following Sunday.
Better make the most of it then.
And what better way to spend it than racing across the M62 from Manchester towards the M1 and the glorious North East of England?
After the stripped back first two days of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour, Day 3 was a day off from gigs.
However, we did have to shoot straight back up the way we’d come, heading for the City of Manchester Stadium and the arrival of Bonjovi in my life.
After a vaguely satisfying sleep in the car we set off early on Friday 2 June.
For the first time (of many) that week, we travelled a great distance, taking the most direct route possible from Huddersfield to Bridgend.
It was a sunny Friday in half term so the roads were predictably busy. To be honest, it was such a long way to go. What were Bryan’s schedulers thinking??
When you think rock ‘n’ roll, maybe you think of Memphis and Elvis Presley? Or other huge American artists like Buddy Holly and Little Richard?
Or perhaps you look at urban centres in the UK like Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles, or London, and groups like The Rolling Stones.
I doubt you think of Huddersfield.
But, in the heady summer of 2006, on June 1, that was precisely where my JMB rock ‘n’ roll tour began.
O, what a night!