Gratitude Retrospective: Ian Gillan Part 2, R. Bruce in England 2004

In Part One (scroll down to July 27 if you missed it) we had decided that I would do a tour in England, specifically in southwest England where Ian lives. So in early December of 2004, I arrived in the UK and I was driven to Ian and his wife, B’s lovely home in Lyme Regis, Dorset. He had arranged for his friend, Steve Black to put together a pub tour that would end with a show at Steve’s performing arts theatre in Axminster, Devon. I am very grateful to them both as well as for Terry Stacey’s help with sorting the PA.
Sally, Ian, Steve and me
Ian and me figuring out the mobile phone I would be using.
It’s an odd feeling, especially looking back now as I have my heart spread across two countries and two hemispheres. But I remember feeling a pull, a connection there. I am not into the whole ancestry thing, but I am mostly English and Welsh and I reckon my roots are there. I could feel it.
My roots.
It is difficult for me to believe that it has been over ten years now. It does not seem that long until I try and remember details. I am struggling. But I don’t need to remember too many details, as I have said, this blog is, “Short, easy to read and has pictures.” So I am going to rely heavily on the photos. I am grateful that I have them (twas all "point and shoot" back in the day). Here are just a couple of the pubs on the tour.
The Ship Inn Pub
On stage at the Ship Inn Pub
Yes, it is the Nags Head! A lovely little pub in Lyme Regis.
At the Nags Head
Yes, I did have a blast! There were great shows, wonderful people and wonderful new friends. You can’t be in southwest England without visiting Stonehenge and Glastonbury. Thank you Steve Cross for being such a fun tour guide! I am grateful.

Stonehenge and me
The iconic shot of Stonehenge. Even right by the motorway, it is still awe inspiring.
Saint Michael's Tower on Glastonbury Tor
Glastonbury Abbey
The Chalice Well in Glastonbury
I remember returning to Steve Black’s flat after a gig and eating fish and chips while watching “Sherlock Holmes” on TV with Steve and Sally. Now that’s an English evening, mate!
Steve's flat was just around the corner. Convenient indeed.
I fondly remember sitting by the fire after a delightful supper with Pat and Steve Campbell and talking (mostly listening) about King Arthur with Steve (and by the way, yes most men in that region do seem to be named, Steve).
Steve Campbell by the fire discussing the Arthurian legend. I had a great time.
And I had a wonderful time at B and Grace’s combined birthday party with the pirate theme!

Steve Black and me as Pirates!
The birthday girls (I wish I had not just gotten the back of B's head) but there they are.
And I will never forget hiking with Ian on the Undercliffs. I even stood on the Cob (a jetty like breakwater) as Merle Streep did in “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” which was filmed in Lyme Regis. I am so grateful for all these experiences and these wonderful memories of them.

Ian, my hiking guide on the Undercliffs.
Standing amongst the boulders of moss covered chalk on the Undercliffs.
Standing on the famous Cob at Lyme.
The finale of the tour was at Steve Black’s performing arts centre, the “i.e. Theatre” with a sold out show that broke the house attendance record. That is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am grateful.
The i.e. Theatre SOLD OUT.
The audience at the i.e. Theatre. I love them to this day. Just look at those wonderful faces!

Birds. Peace. Love. Earth. Laughter. Music.