24th March

March 24, 2004

It’s 3am in the hotel bar and Steve Jansen, pleasantly drunk and pleasantly intense, keeps on asking, “But are you balanced?” to anyone who’ll listen. Guru Jansen’s lessons in life and love abound in this faintly surreal post-rehearsal gathering.

Earlier in the day, on the Milano Malpensa bus, I’m face to face with one of my favourite writers, Harold Pinter. Not able to work out what to say or whether it really is him, I stare intently at his travel-weary face (made even wearier by some ingrate staring intently at it!). As two waiting limousine drivers hold up signs saying ‘Tim Bowness’ and ‘Harold Pinter’ (a fine comedy double act in the making), I get my answer.


As on my last visit to Milan, I’m determined to get as many cups of glorious Italian coffee as I can. My copious coffee consumption combined with the fact that Milan is a veritable lady paradise, means that I wander around the city’s fantastic yet graffiti-strewn architecture, buzzing like Jim Carrey on speed.

Discovering the 1970s musical experiments of Franco Battiato (Eno, Floyd, Cohen and Stockhausen rolled into one) temporarily distracts me from caffeine and dark-eyed beauties.


Tomorrow the Milano Duomo experience.