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Murder Movie survivors, Hogwarts attendees, lonely cat boy and Princess Pat!

And like a set of speeding musical boomerangs we are back!

Well that was quick, but looking over the holidays we Boxtones managed to squeeze in a world of fun on our various trips across the Globe. Whilst everyone here in Dubai was enjoying the peace and calm that Ramadan brings (Gary excluded), the rest of us were off racking up the good times in Europe and the Americas and it was bloody delightful!

“Ooh, what did you get up to?” we hear you cry…well if you were stuck in the swelter of Dubai during Ramadan, or if you are looking for holiday inspo for your next trip then here are the highlights.

First, let’s follow Mr. Patrick Thibault across the continents to the Frenchy-French Canadian world of Montreal. Patrick enjoyed buckets of rain bouncing off the leafy habitats of his home vegetation whilst gorging on 4 and a half good books (to be exact) and spending time with his family and friends. Part of his travelling excitement was the added mystery of where he would sleep each night. The highlight of this activity was a very comfy ‘Frozen’ bed. Sadly we don’t have a picture of Patty sleeping soundly like a Disney Princess under this very dreamy duvet but he did manage to snap a quickie of his eiderdown pre-slumber for your mental image store bank. 

Good job Pat! Further fun took place at his god-daughter’s dance show where she danced to a Kathleen Hana song and this was followed by a screening of Cars 3 with her brother! Rock n Roll Patty. Although it wasn’t all Disney Classics and page-turning for our bike loving Boxtone. We are proud to say he participated in the Tour de l’ile, a 50km bike ride around the City of Montreal and here is a picture of a beautiful Windmill to prove he cycled on past it!

There was also a short sojourn to Amsterdam en-route to Canada whereby Pat managed to wander around the abandoned streets of Amsterdam while it’s residents slept in on their lazy Sunday morning. Poor Pat couldn’t even find an open coffee shop, so it was a ponderous and reflective street peddling he enjoyed instead. 

All in all it was a successful trip filled with family and fun and a lot of much-needed downtime. Job done!

In stark contrast to Pat’s minimalist trip, Gill and Will took on the mantra of ‘Go Big AND Go Home’! They managed to bag themselves a couple of shmancey Business Class flights all the way to Winnipeg, Manitoba. After supping free Champagne, ordering their in flight meals on request and generally pushing all the buttons and flaps available to them repeatedly, they were picked up at the airport by Will’s mum and his best bud for a super smiley reunion.

Again, these two enjoyed all that Canada had to offer in the way of walks in the rain, daily Slurpees, bacon and Poutine, Star Wars, vinyl hunting and time spent with friends and family.

Their highlights included seeing the amazing ‘Kurios’ by Cirque du Soleil, visiting historical and cultural sites such as The Forks, trips to Manitoba Museum, the Zoo and even a cool Planetarium. Of course Canada being Canada, the great outdoors was fully utilized. Our budding outdoor enthusiasts enjoyed the sun, rain and thunderstorms whilst taking in Assiniboine Park, camping in Cypress Hills, horse and helicopter rides in Banff, wildlife encounters with elk, mountain goats, deer and most impressively the terror inducing grizzly and black bears native to Canada’s Rockies.

There were lots of musical opportunities as always, since Will’s family are basically the Canadian ‘Von Trapps’! He managed to enjoy some time performing piano duets with his mum at three different events as well as enjoying live music from his step-dad’s school kids choir, his German Oompa Loompa Band and the Dixie Beats in which he plays drums.

Now despite all of this, Gill and Will tell us that their highlight of the entire trip was an unexpected one. You may never have heard of the wondrous place named Swift Current and to be fair neither had our unsuspecting duo until they unwittingly ran in to car troubles on their way across the wilderness. They made the best of their three-day hiatus in the back of beyond and tried their damnedest to beat the infamous and ruthless pensioner, Betty Barker, at the local casino (the only social haunt to be found within miles). Try as they might Mrs. Barker beat them at every turn so it was back to the Bates Motel for card games and beer until the car was replaced and they could make their way out of the Twilight Zone and head back to civilisation!

Lastly these cheeky love birds found their dream tattoos to add to the collection and their wedding venue in the shape of Fort Gibraltar to boot. The perfect date of May 26th 2018 was booked and readied including a nice little side salad of “Axe Throwing”! We can’t wait for that!

Next up I hid behind my child and under the pretence of being a good parent just to visit the Harry Potter Studios in London. It’s fair to say the obsession to all things Hogwarts is not just Rosie’s, but don’t tell her I said that as I scored major brownie points. Basically the entire three-day trip to London was to facilitate this obsession and it didn’t disappoint. We spent a rollicking 6 hours in the studios, gawping at real live sets, guzzling Butter Beer and of course emptying the gift shop of it’s wands and glorious merchandise!

We also squeezed in a short trip to Madame Tussauds and ‘The Shrek Adventure’ as well as an incredible first night in London’s West End seeing ‘Wicked’ which I can say without a doubt was THE best-acted musical I have ever seen in my life! All in all London was hot, green, cultural and bags of fun!

Next up we were beyond excited to board that flight back to the Motherland and once again Scotland provided everything you need from a recuperative trip home; amazing weather with a few days of much requested rain, loads and loads of greenery, walking till our feet nearly fell off, Prosecco and pals, family parties and celebrations, museums, country parks, a family wedding and even a celebration for my cousin who earned a medal at the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her service to terminally ill children with cancer!

Not content with London theme parks and Scottish outdoors, we then hop skipped and jumped across the seas to beautiful Italy and plonked ourselves right down in the middle of it’s most gorgeous treasures. We visited the Isle of Capri and walked up to its summit to enjoy the spectacular views of the Aqua Blue Mediterranean, then it was off to Pompeii on a gloriously rumbling old rickety train (exactly the opposite of Dubai’s uber-chic Metro) and we finished off with a day trip around the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, stopping in at Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Ravello and some cool cave grottos where the water was electric turquoise. Utterly amazing!

Would it surprise you to know that Gary stayed home to write more music?  But would it really? I didn’t think so! So picture this, we have Gary in his Star Wars house robe with no one but Willow the cat to talk to, locking himself away with as many instruments as he could garner from the other band mates and trying to get those old musical juices flowing for our next album!

But don’t feel too sorry for him. He did venture out the house on a few occasions and even found some friends to play pool with, he managed a brunch and of course went out to watch the Scotland/England game.  However, all that shouting from the very narrow loss of the game damaged our wee lonely Scots voice box so he was off to the Drs to get fixed. Naughty Gary – No more shouting for you and his punishment was more cats. Yup he fed and watered not only our cat but Gill and Will’s three fur babies too. If you know Gary this is not his idea of anything remotely close to fun, so he threw himself back in to song writing and came up with 37 demos and 3 songs! Not all bad!  Then as a reward he bought himself a mega monster R.O.G Asus Titan X Gaming PC for the sheer fun of it!  He does admit now that he wishes he’d gone somewhere for a break but there’s always next year eh Gary!

Ok guys that’s about all for now, but now that The Boxtones cogs are back churning keep your ears and eyes peeled for all of the coming season’s treats and announcements. Don’t forget you can catch us pumping out our own tunes along with some favourite covers at Lock Stock and Barrel every Wednesday night from 10pm onwards! We’ll be seeing you stage side soon. 

Peace Out

The Boxtones