Summer 2017: gigs, wine, weddings and good friends!

The Killers rock the British Summer Time festival

Alison and I were pretty exhausted when we arrived back from Hong Kong, so it was great to know we had some exciting summer plans to look forward to.

Summer in Zadar

First up was a trip to Zadar, Croatia. We thought it was about time for a relaxing break after our manic Asia trip!

sunset in Zadar, Croatia, summer 2017

What a sunset!

We took a real punt on Zadar as we’d noticed that Easyjet had just started flying there. And we’re so glad we did. Croatia is beautiful! Stunning architecture and scenery, gorgeous Mediterranean food, excellent wine and some of the most incredible sunsets we’ve ever seen!

We’ll definitely be returning, although the flights may be more expensive once more people start to discover it.

Wine in London

Feeling refreshed after our week away, we decided to make the most of London Wine Week happening on our doorstep. If you’ve never partaken before I’d thoroughly recommend it.

You buy a wristband for £10, which gives access to special deals which dozens of wine bars offer in the capital. These are mostly £5 “wine flights”, where the bar picks three small glasses of wine for you to try; often ones which come from lesser-known grapes or regions.

My wife is quite the wine aficionado (complete with Sommelier qualifications!) So it was great to attend such an event with someone with her knowledge!

Gigs on gigs on gigs!

Mid-June saw the beginning of our mammoth summer gig season. This kicked off with Guns n Roses at the London Stadium, with the Stone Roses at Wembley the following night. I’ve been a big GnR fan for many years, so to see the band in (almost) their original line up was fantastic. We knew several people also seeing them over the weekend. It was great to compare notes and share in the excitement

Guns n Roses Summer 2017

Guns n Roses

We also spent quite a lot of time in Hyde Park in London for the British Summer Time festivals. Starting off with the retro Phil Collins (who, despite not being able to stand, gave an excellent performance of wall-to-wall hits).

We headed back to see Kings of Leon a few days later, before finishing with The Killers, whose lead singer Brandon Flowers gave a masterclass in how to hold an entire audience in the palm of his hands (while wearing a very fetching pink leather jacket!)

…and that wasn’t all! In between Wembley and Hyde Park we made our annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury Festival, which was a lot kinder to us than it was last year! I’ll be writing another blog about the access facilities there soon.

Andy Barrow with Aaron in the New Forest

Wandering with Aaron in the New Forest

Seeing old friends

Over the last few weeks we’ve had a fantastic time catching up with some old GB rugby friends including Aaron Phipps who, along with his wife Vicky was the perfect host when we spent the night with them in Southampton.

We also saw lots of GB stars past and present at a gorgeous wedding in Surrey, as well as at the concerts a few weeks previously. I’m so happy to still be in touch with so many friends from my playing days; it’s great to see them all doing so well.

We’re now busy tying up loose ends before we head to the other side of the world once again, where we’ll be staying until December. Make sure you check back to see what we’ll be getting up to!

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