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Sarah McQuaid / Blog

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MARCH 2013: NETHERLANDS & GERMANY TOUR

It takes a long time to get from Cornwall to the Netherlands. We left Penzance around midday on Thursday the 7th of March and drove 329 miles to Maidstone, Kent, where we stayed overnight in a Premier Inn and had dinner in a very nice Indian restaurant down the road. “Lovely hair,” said the waiter to Martin as he served our drinks. Martin was highly chuffed.

In the morning we got the ferry to Calais, then drove via France and Belgium to Landgraaf in the Netherlands, where we were staying overnigh...

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NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2012: UK TOUR

I’m afraid that I fell hopelessly behind with the daily tour diary during my November-December UK tour, so as one fan of my Facebook page kindly suggested, here’s one long blog post for the entire tour, with a whole bunch of photos interspersed amongst my recollections.

We headed out on the 3rd of November, trying not to be distracted by the Guy Fawkes fireworks going off as we drove up the M5 near Taunton, and stayed that night in Stroud at the home of our great friends Pete Coleman ...

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SATURDAY, 27 OCTOBER 2012: AUSTIN TX-WAXAHACHIE TX-MCKINNEY TX


Last gig of the tour tonight! After a lovely breakfast courtesy of the wonderful Diana Elliott, we headed back north to Waxahachie, just outside Dallas (stopping at the bank en route so that I could lodge the last of my US tour dosh), where I was making a return visit to In The Music Room, a recording studio that’s also an Internet radio station that’s also a concert series.

Hosts Randy Tredway and Helen Kennedy played support, with Craig St Clair on bass -- I particularly liked Helen’s original s...

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FRIDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2012: ABILENE TX-AUSTIN TX


“10 Things Ya Gotta Do In Abilene ...” proclaimed a sign on the hotel corridor wall. And we didn't have time to do any of them! I did manage to make time, however, for a quick scoot across two adjacent car parks (Martin reckons you could drive from one end of the USA to the other by driving through car parks -- it’s amazing the way they all connect to each other, unlike in the UK) to one of the ubiquitous Korean-run nail salons (with chairs that massage you while you sit in them!) for a pedicure...

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THURSDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2012: ALBUQUERQUE NM-ABILENE TX


A mere 483 miles to drive today from Albuquerque to Abilene (a destination we’d picked because it was a convenient stop en route to Austin, where I have a gig tomorrow, and because I’d managed to get us a free hotel room there using American Airlines frequent flyer points -- yippee!).

The high point of the trip -- and indeed of the day -- was a stop at Clines Corners, a motorway rest stop that has its own website and is announced on the approach by an endless stream of billboards: “WORTH STOPPING F...

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WEDNESDAY, 24 OCTOBER 2012: BLANDING UT-ALBUQUERQUE NM


More mind-blowing scenery en route from Blanding, Utah, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I had an appointment to record an interview and session for Art of the Song Creativity Radio, a syndicated public radio programme that’s heard on over 150 stations across the USA. Each show devotes a full hour to one artist or band’s music and thoughts about creative expression, exploring universal truths through interview segments interspersed with live in-studio recordings and album tracks. It’s a wonderfu...

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TUESDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2012: BURLEY ID-BLANDING UT


Gloomy clouds and snow-capped mountains lined the horizon ahead of us as we set off this morning on our 490-mile drive to Blanding, Utah, another stop en route from Seattle to Texas. Stopping to fill up at a service station, we were amused to see the words “The Middle of Nowhere” on the shop window. Never a truer word.

As the day wore on, the scenery became more and more spectacular, and towards the middle of the afternoon we began spotting signs for Arches National Park. At first we presumed tha...

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MONDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2012: RICHLAND WA-BURLEY ID


A mere 448-mile drive today -- the second leg in our long journey from Seattle to Austin, Texas. The landscape was bleak and the temperature bitter cold as we crossed the border from Washington into Oregon. Odd to think that tomorrow we’ll be in Utah. We stopped at the Baker Truck Corral and Restaurant in Baker City, just off Interstate 84, for a lunch of pulled pork followed by a live phone interview (conducted sitting in the car in the parking lot beside the restaurant) with Tim Moon on BCB Radio...

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SUNDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2012: SEATTLE WA-RICHLAND WA


The first item on today’s agenda was brunch with the wonderful guitarist and fiddler Randal Bays at a groovy little spot he’d suggested called The Dish, just up the road from the Dusty Strings music shop, where I was giving back-to-back guitar workshops at 10:30am and 1pm.

Randal and I had a lovely chat — that’s him in the first of the photos below. He’s a superb musician and a very nice fellow, and it was an honour and a pleasure to finally meet him in person.

I had an excellent turnout for both work...

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SATURDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2012: PORTLAND OR-SEATTLE WA


Threatening clouds clustered menacingly just above the horizon as we drove north from Portland to Seattle, and that wasn’t the only ominous thing happening.

The nearer we got to our destination, the more unhealthy our rented Chevy Cruze started to sound; meanwhile, assorted warning lights began showing up on the dashboard. It was time to phone Hertz and make an unscheduled detour to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

As usual, the people at Hertz couldn’t have been friendlier or more accommodat...

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