Photo Friday 9th November 2019

Oxford in a nutshell - beautiful old buildings, bicycles and students.

Oxford in a nutshell - beautiful old buildings, bicycles and students.

If you follow me on social media, you have probably discovered that I travel a lot, mostly in the UK. You also know that I’m a huge music fan and that I have something of a live music addiction. Ireland is not great for alternative rock and metal. I hear it time and time again from bands; it’s too expensive to travel over and often for little gain. I get it. It makes more sense for me to hop on a plane with my little suitcase than for a band to drag all their gear over here.

As a result, I have visited more UK towns and cities than most people, and yet I have seen very little. Touring is a very specific type of travel. Before I started my touring travels, I didn’t believe bands when they said that they see very little although they travel the world. Now I know this to be true.

On a typical day on tour, I get up, have breakfast, catch a train, arrive in my destination, find my hotel, eat again, get ready for the gig and go. It doesn’t necessarily always go in that order, but you get the gist.

People often ask me if I saw such-and-such a place when I was in X, and I nearly always say no. Touring allows little time for sightseeing, so I form my opinion on little glimpses of the place I’m in. I see whatever is between my hotel, the venue, airport, railway station and restaurant. That might sound boring, but it’s not. It’s just different.

I still have favourites among the places I have visited. I was recently in Oxford for the second time in my life, and it truly is one of the most beautiful cities I have seen. I love all the old buildings. I don’t even have to do anything when I’m in Oxford; I’m happy to just gaze up at the handiwork of people who lived centuries ago. We don’t create anything like that these days. I also love location-spotting in Oxford. I’m a huge fan of the TV show Lewis - and particularly Lewis’s sidekick Hathaway - and more recently of A Discovery of Witches. It’s pretty cool to stand in a spot you’ve seen on TV or watch an episode and go, “Oooh, I was there!”