And because of the intensity of certain timings Marino fired up, like a cat on a hot tin roof.  By the time the album was finished, it was December, a week before Christmas day.  Joel told me he could not get me an air ticket, ‘apparently’ everywhere was fully booked due to the Christmas period. (They must have known, they did have a good chance to book a flight some time earlier, before they actually did.) The plan was, as soon as the album was complete, we would all have this break’ for Christmas. They’ were already packing up, to go back home. And in the New Year, fly me to Germany, meet with them together, with another guy whom was waiting to do a recording deal.  But now I find, that I will be going home…by train…and much cheaper!

Don’t worry they said, it is all arranged with simple instructions. Its no problem, you train to Paris, change trains to Calais,  ferry to Dover. Its ok!! Easy……  Not!! It was the worst journey in my entire life.  When they dropped me off at the train station with my suitcases too, Joel told me where to go. He said everything else is simple. Good luck, he laughed, and drove off.  He purposely booked the train ticket with no bed or cabin.

The train was one of these large long-distance types, with bunk beds, and a Lounge for those, who either, could not have a bunk bed (through being fully booked), or could not afford one.  I realized immediately upon showing the ticket office my ticket, what Joel had done. There were no room in these Lounges either.  No where to sit.  So’ I sat on my suitcases in the corridor of the train.  And the journey began…from Rome…to  Paris……

Hour, after hour, after hour.  Somewhere halfway into the journey, the guard’s changed on the train, at a certain station.  And one spotted me, in the corridor, looking as white as a sheet, and not feeling very special.. Can I see your ticket please, Oh!.. I see,.. he said. Your going to Paris. Where did you get on.  ‘Rome’ said I.  ”’ROME”’… he spluttered!, have you been here all this time.  Yes! Came my exhausted reply.   You still have a long way to go as well, he said. In fact hours yet. I explained what had happened, and what this particular person had done..  My God he said. This is Crazy,.. have you any money.

I fumbled into my pockets, and found £20.  He said, right ok, you just stay here, and I will come back for you. ( I assured him, I wasn’t going anywhere.)   And off he went.  It seemed like ages… and I wasn’t feeling too good.  It was the black of night by this time,  Suddenly the door opened. The guard had returned.  Have you got the £20, thank you. Now come with me.  I will carry your suitcases.

We went down the corridor, carriage after carriage, until we arrived at bunk bed quarters. Shhh!! he whispered, you go in here, top bunk’ and get sleep, do not worry about a thing, ‘I’ will be back in the morning at 6am with your suitcases, and will show you where to go, ok, don’t worry, get some sleep.  By this time I could not have cared less even if the train was on fire, I managed to clamber up to the bunk, but can’t remember my face touching the pillow.  The next thing I heard, was the door opening, people already getting up, and leaving the cabin.

And sure enough, there was the ‘guard waiting outside the cabin with my suitcases.  He pointed out to me what to do. I thanked this ‘male angel’ very much, and continued on. I felt awful, and hadn’t eaten or drank for at least 17 hrs.  But here I am in Paris, desperately holding on to my train ticket, and cases of which now weigh like a ship’s anchor.

And my fingers wrapped around suitcase handles in pain’. I arrived at the clerk desk, and asked where to change train’ going to Calais. Oh he said, you go out over there, up the stairs, and look for the Cosmopolitan tube, go down to the tubes going to such and such station,..get off and up onto the street, where you will see (a something or other,) cross over the road, and walk East, up the the road, about 800 hundred yards (or something like that, in broken English) and the train station is right there. I could not believe what he had just said. But there I was, (God forbid)  fully loaded, hungry, thirsty, walking down some street in Paris.. LOST. … In the grace of God, I heard English voices, in front of me, carrying small bags and things. Excuse me’, would you happen to know where the train station is’ for Calais… Where!! ..came the reply.

Calais” I said.  Oh! Yeah, that’s where we’re headed. C’mon,, come with us.  I swear my spiritual guide was with me.