Michael Day's personal notebook and e-diary

2018 has started at a manic pace with life away from work being as, or even more, hectic than my business activities.

Sue and I saw in the New Year in Vienna. A beautiful and very walkable city with wonderful architecture and history provided a welcome short break and ended 2017 and started 2018 on a high. The street party on New Year’s Eve was spectacular with great music, food and drink. In recent years we have been lucky enough to see in New Year in Prague, Berlin, Budapest, Krakow and Vienna – all have been wonderful.

We actually didn’t have to wait long until our next trip as the end of January saw us visit Egypt on one of the most fabulous trips we have ever undertaken. We started with three days in Cairo before flying to Aswan for three days and then six days on a Nile cruise.

The trip was based around the archaeological sites along the Nile and we visited Memphis, Saqqara, Giza, the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, Luxor, Philae, Karnak, Komombo and Abu Simbel as well as a Nubian village, the incredible museum in Cairo, the Coptik church and museum in Cairo, the botanical gardens at Aswan and took trips on feluccas on the river Nile.

The trip was simply amazing – 5000 years of history, good weather and great company. Tiring but wonderful!

Our next trip abroad is in March to France where we will take in three Wishbone Ash gigs on our five day road trip. Sue and I are particularly looking forward to staying at Mont St Michel in Normandy. Gigs at Brest, Ballan Mire and Paris will provide evening entertainment.

Before we go to France we have a weekend in that most exotic of locations, Leicester! The Wishbone Ash annual convention will be held in this city in October at the historic Y theatre. As the organiser of the Friday night Wishclone Ish fan’s gig, I will be there scouting potential venues. We will also take the opportunity to catch up and have dinner with Dave and Sharon, our former neighbours, who moved to near Leicester a few years back.

April will see us in Sheffield for the HRH Blues weekend which has a fabulous line up including Bernie Marsden, Sari Schorr, King King, Del Bromham, The Della Grants, Danny Bryant, Catfish, Rainbreakers and many other favourites.

On the subject of gigs, I have already attended many great shows this year including Papa George and Micky Moody, Good Old Boys, Sari Schorr, Storm Warning and Bad Influence and have many more dates already booked including Guy Tortora, Pat McManus and Camel.

2018 has also got off to a busy start with four of my gorgeous grandchildren having birthdays in the first few weeks of the year. Georgia was twelve in January, Tia Rose was six on Valentine’s Day, James was three in January and Jack will be five in early March. All have been suitably celebrated with various family get-togethers.

I am delighted that the insurers have finally settled our claim following the kitchen fire we had back in November and March and April will see the remedial works undertaken to get the house back to its former glory. A long, disruptive and frustrating process but, in fairness, our insurers have settled in full.

Watford FC finally sacked Marco Silva who had conducted himself appallingly as Head Coach after Everton came knocking for his services. The Pozzo family who own Watford acted decisively and a new Head Coach was in situ within hours of Silva’s departure. There has already been an upturn in morale and results. I fully expect Watford to finish comfortably in the top ten and allow me to collect my winnings from William Hill come May!!