A Thursday in December. Grey London sky. Rain. Just a few days before Christmas, 2012. Breakfast in the ‘Queensbury Deli’, Willesden Green, with Toby… bacon sarnies and tea.

The studio: A large poster of a young Bob Dylan greets us … the omens are good. There’s make-up in the ‘Green Room’, drummers drumming, pipers playing, lighting engineers, cameramen, cables and good company. Terl on drums, Ron on bass, Simon on guitar, Toby standing in for Nick (who’s gigging up North) on grand piano, Anna on vocals, myself on bouzouki and Sadie (of course) on guitar and lead vocal.

‘Nothing New’ bursts out of the speakers and we’re off …

“All of the fish in all of the sea, all of the stars we can’t even see”

Later, there’s red wine and Pandoro, the traditional Italian ‘Christmas’ sweet yeast bread, dusted with vanilla scented icing sugar and resembling the snowy peaks of the Italian Alps. Pandoro appeared in remote times, the product of the ancient art of breadmaking. Its name: Pan d'oro means, literally: Golden Bread. Throughout the Middle Ages, sweet breads, enriched with eggs, butter and sugar or honey were reserved for the palaces of the nobility.

Pandoro was also the last meal eaten by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini before his execution in 1945... hmmm.



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