'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Airport Antics

Robin is now acclimatising to life at home.
He did perform an extra concert on the Queen Victoria, as she circled off the coast of Istanbul, waiting for the sea to become calm enough to dock.
All the staff and crew were very grateful that he stepped in, at only 30 minutes notice, to entertain the patiently waiting guests.

Then the eventful journey home began.
Whilst going through customs at Istanbul airport, Robin was taken to one side, searched and questioned.
"Have you visited any other countries before arrival in Turkey?" was the first one.
With thoughts of the film 'Midnight Express' coursing through his head, his mind went completely blank.
He couldn't remember one destination he had been to in the last week.
"Errm, ohh, you're not going to believe this but I really can't remember," didn't seem to satisfy the officer.

Eventually, he pulled himself together, explained that he had been on the Queen Victoria, and handed the official a Turkish landing card.
The customs men were happy, and off Robin went.

Once I arrived at Manchester airport to meet him I was greeted with the information that his plane was an hour late.
That was OK, I'd made arrangements for children to be collected from school, so purchased a newspaper and rather enjoyed some time reading and some people watching.

However, as the information on the screen shifted to 'landed', then, 'arrived', and slowly to, 'reclaiming luggage', (yes, I'm very familiar with the whole process, and for those not so used to it, don't be fooled by the 'reclaiming luggage' stage. Sometimes that only appears once you have already been reunited with your loved one, or, they are wandering around looking for you, whilst you while away the time in a coffee house thinking thy are still disembarking...)
But still no sign of Robin.
Even on the occasions of missing luggage, of which there are many, (try this one, or this one, for a start) he should have appeared by this time.

I was starting to become concerned.
Then, finally, he appeared and all was revealed.
He must have been looking particularly shifty on this day, as once again, he had been stopped at customs.
Not just stopped and asked to remove shoes and go through the scanner once again, I mean seriously stopped.
Taken off to an interview room and asked to sit down.

"So, Mr Hill, how long were you in Istanbul?"
"Just under two days."
"That seems a strange length of time."
"Well, I was just passing through."
"Passing from where?"

He we go again.
But this time he was ready, and recalled the various destinations, reasons for his travels, which was reinforced by the concert guitar in a large, protective case right next to him...(which had already been scanned and proved to be completely harmless.)
Finally they let him go.

Strange really.
He passes through the airport so frequently that you would think he was on first name terms with most of the staff.
Then again, maybe that's the problem.
Frequent traveller, multiple destinations, glazed travel weary expression...
Anyway, he's home and he's fine, as thankfully he was able to convince the various customs officers that he simply wants to play his guitar, and make music.

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