Posted by Andy “Smartlane” Bell
This short series of holiday cameo blogposts is in wind-up mode, but not over just yet.
Some reflections to come, but first the visuals.
Not all of the 633 stills and videos taken during a five week road trip to the US & NZ will make the cut … probably !
To begin at the beginning.
Let us start with the splendid sight of Hikaru Freeman taking possession of the Full Catastrophe CD case on the eve of my departure.
This traditional ceremony dates back to mid 2012.
In Blighty, they must have known I was coming back after a decade & much more away from my native nation-state.
There was a reassuring sight at a bus stop and obvious concern about my health in the media.
In the north-east of England, my return after a while away caused media waves … possibly.
But my major footballing appointment was in Swansea where I gained an expensive replica shirt and tasted defeat.
Back in the north-east of England there were other signs of footballing life from another faraway place AKA Melbourne.
Something a little closer to my heart lay nearby.
After temperatures nudging 100F/38C in Palm Springs, I ventured to cooler and similarly gay climes – San Francisco. Still in love with the place … and not for all the obvious reasons.
It sings to me in so many ways – Go Giants !
And to sum up the enterprise in a visual and all-encompassing way. One lovely afternoon in a special place with a beloved friend.