Friday, February 27, 2009

Ancient City, Tigers, Crocodiles. Monkeys and Elephants

Have you ever seen a painting elephant, men wrestling crocodiles, tigers walking about and a monkey in a football shirt?

Well it all happened to me today - only in Bangkok . This place is truly bonkers but a good bonkers!

We went to the Ancient City and saw all the attractions of Thailand in one place - in minature. Although minature means just slightly smaller. It was fantastic!

We then went to the Crocodile farm where we saw men wrestled with crocs - not the shoes, tigers and a monkey in a footbal shirt. There were hundreds of crocodiles - some of them were massive and a bit frightening looking. Then we went on to see the elephants. One of them painted a picture and I filmed the whole thing. Martin bought that painting and I bought one as well.

After that we went to the coast and had dinner before heading back to the hotel. AER are here too so the guys all met up for drinks - but me - an early night as I've got to sing tomorrow.

This place is fab! Highly recommend it and our Hucky and Tao are really looking after us!

Speak soon for more news. See the pics from today.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Interviews Squid Ink Bread and Ravi Shanker

We had such a bonkers day today. Back to back interviews with press, mags, Radio and TV. At lunch the bread basket had Squid Ink Bread in it - jet back - didn't eat it though - too scared! Would make a fabulous byro. You can't get blood out of a stone but you can get Ink out of a Squid. Mango mad!

Interviews went well then we went for dinner with Hucky and Tao back to Hucky's house and met his gorgeous cat Micky - see pic.

Seemingly I am in Ravi Shanker's room!!! I can feel the vibes.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Arriving in Bangkok

Wednesday 25th Feb

The flight out of Colombo was at 1.35am on Wednesday - so we were flying through the night. We arrived in Bangkok (for the 3rd time in seven days) at around 6.00 am. Hucky met us at the airport and we were whisked off to the hotel. Rooms on the 23rd floor (the executive rooms) beautiful!

I seemely have Ravi Shankers room - so I'm looking around for any crumbs that he may have left behind! The view from the room and executive lounge is stunning and the staff are amazing.

We had a couple of interviews in the afternoon as well as Thai Guitar TV - an online TV station.

We ate some sushi ( veggie for me) in the exec lounge and then went for a light dinner in one of the hotel bars.

Masterclass & Temples

A picture from the Masterclass.
A x

Masterclass, Elephants and Interviews - Tuesday 24th February

Tuesday 24th Feb

Here are some pictures of what we got up to today!


Hoppers and Fab Foodie

Monday 23rd Feb

After an afternoon's shopping - we were out to dinner with some friends who live in Colombo. I had the most amazing foodie there - our friends had hoppers made on site!! They are like small deep dish shaped crispy pancakes that you have with curries and other ace Sri Lankan food. Hoppers have changed my life - they are probably the best thing in the world to eat!! I had a plain one and an egg one - out of this world. I just have to come back here again to do hoppers. Can't live without them now.

Tuesday 24th Feb

Today Martin and I have an interview with Steve from The Age newspaper in Sri Lanka. That went really well and I took a pic of me and Steve.

After that Martin and I met a friend who is Buddhist and we went to a nearby temple. We had an amazing tour around and one of the monks gave us his blessing. We met the resident baby elephant and the monks said that I could adopt him . So I sang him a wee song - Hey Good Looking fed him a pineapple and tried not to get my feet stood on. His trunk was unbelievably strong - he really grabbed that pineapple. Then gave me a crazy look.

Back at the hotel I got ready to head to the British Council to do a vocal masterclass. That was very well attended and it seemed to go well. Martin came in for the last 10 mins and played a couple of tunes with me and I stayed on to sit in on Martin's master class.

It was a great day and I'm sorry to leave - we needed to get back to the hotel to pack as the flight to Bangkok was at 1.30am.

Checked out and a car picked us up at 10.30pm. Goodbye Sri Lanka - I will certainly miss you and I just know I will be back soon. XXXXX

Monday, February 23, 2009

Colombo Day Off - ish!

Monday 23rd Feb 2009

Show was really fab last night and I've managed to sync in with the local time. Jet lag no more!

Breakfast was rice, Japanese sauted potatoes and grilled tomatoes - oh and some really thick fruit juice that I can't pronouce let alone spell! It wasn't the kind of fruit juice to be found in Tesco that's for sure. We get a raw deal!

I met a lovely lady last night, an actress and director - Alison Skilbeck - she teaches at RADA and she's fab! I was trying to wangle my way to doing a show with her as I would love to do some acting again at some point. We hit it off and we're going to keep in touch. I really hope that I'm free to go and see her one woman show at The Kings Head in London 21st - 26th April. I just know she will be fabulous... I just know it!

Gosh big storm brewing here - large bangs and lightening all over the shop!

We went to some of the shops today and I bought a Sarong - sa right. I think it may look not too bad in Perthshire if the weather improves there! Gosh it is hot and humid here.

We met Alison again in the Sarong shop - so we all went for a light lunch and compared purchases.

Back at the hotel I took a picture of the view and then we had an interview with The Age - Melbournes leading morning newspaper. That went very well and the interviewer Jessica was on the button.

Dinner tonight - probably not outside as it is just chucking it down here. Tomorrow we have more interviews with a radio station here and then I am holding a vocal masterclass with 20 or so attendees. I think most of them were at the concert so they have a good idea of what I do on the vocal front.

OK - fruit!

Speak later


Sunday, February 22, 2009

21st Feb 2009 - Saturday

Ok - we finally managed to get to Sri Lanka. Within 24 hours of leaving Edinburgh airport we have been to Bangkok twice, we've been met with confiscation, the plague (Bird Flu), political unrest and terrorist attacks! I knew singing jazz would be trouble!

We left Bangkok on a late flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka. We were a good way on our journey in the air when the pilot anounced that we had to turn back due to the airport in Colombo being closed. I must admit I got a bit anxious to say the least! Martin and I cracked some jokes on the way back.

So we arrived back in Bangkok to see the news that Tamil Tigers were attacking Colombo airport as we were in the air. Planes, terrorists and jazz - not a good mix! Anyway we we're finally allocated rooms in a really beautiful hotel - it was gorgeous. Although I had about 2 and a half hours to enjoy the sleep as we were asked to be back down stairs for news of flights at 6.30am.

Well - no sleep but great breakfast in the morning and eventually we were taken to the airport to try again for a flight to Colombo.

We eventually arrived on Saturday afternoon - we left Scotland on Thursday so 3 days later 2 1/2 hours sleep - and guess what - a show that night! Totally pooped we did the concert and it was great. Afterwards I have probably the best burrito in the world at the bar then I headed off to my room. Slept the BIG sleep.

22nd Feb 2009 - Sunday

What did I do today?
Slept the great wall of China, reinvented myself as a wheel and ate a banana. Show time - pick up at 5pm and sound check thereafter. What a great venue - outside venue with all the tropical birds doing their thing in the background. It was a full house and we had loads of signing afterwards. Now I can eat! We are being taken to a pretty amazing restaurant and the food was fantastic. Since I only had a banana all day I think I could nosh for an army.

Need to get some sleep now as we are going shopping tomorrow! Shoes? Clothes? Not sure.

Speak soon and drop by for next tour news.

Ciao for now


Friday, February 20, 2009

Bangkok Post Feature

Well here we are in Bangkok after 11 and 20 hours on a jet plane sitting next to the the Bird Flu Man who is still on the run! Tired and waiting for connection to Colombo in Sri Lanka.

Listened to Tony Bennett and Julie London all the way - that kept my mind off the people with the plague coughing and spluttering!

Wondering how the cat is???? He boaked up on my lovely silk bedspread when he saw the Big Suitcase coming out! He knows - you know!

Ok here's the transit pic - Mmmm??? One eye on the North Pole and one on a bowl of soup!

Lovely feature on Martin Taylor and me in the Bangkok Post.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Just finished doing a series of interviews with press and radio for Australia. I think I've done around 20 now and more to do when I get there. Looking forward to heading over to Oz soon but before that I've got shows in Thailand and Sri Lanka to pack for. Will miss the cat though!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I've just returned from doing a show in Durham with Martin Taylor but before I left I got a chance to see Martin playing at the Fife Jazz Festival with Florin Niculescu. Dynamite.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hi there - I feel really bad as I haven't checked in for some time! Bad Dolly!

Anyway - I'm here now and I thought I'd share my tour news with you. I'm off to Sri Lanka, Thailand and Australia for a long long tour and I'll be updating my blog from the road on a daily basis. There will be pictures and scandalabre galore!

Since my last chat I've been doing a bit a globe trotting doing lots of concerts. I played recently with Martin Taylor's Freternity in Almeria in Spain which was wonderful. It was great to get some sunlight on the eyeballs.

Various guitar festivals, Christmas and a Burns Supper later - I'm ready for the Big Smiley Tour around Asia and Australia!

I've one more concert in the UK before I head off. I'm hoping to meet up with various people in Australia that I know and also some other artists who are out on the road in Oz.

I'm buying a new camera for the trip and I'll be snapping away at every opportunity - so loads to look at when you drop by at the blog.

Ok - in the meantime here's a favourite recipe of mine - try it out and let me know how it goes.

Findus Crispy Pancakes - purchase a box of your favourite FCPs with suitable filling ( I always go veggie) pop under the grill or baking oven in the Aga. Nip out to the chip shop for a bag of chips and a cream egg. Make it quick mind as the pancakes won't wait for you.

Take the crispy pancakes from the grill or Aga and assemble with the chips on a warmed plate. Squirt with brown sauce to taste - Mmmmm!

Cream Egg is your pudding!

Lots of love