Lost, in Mid-Europe…

The AFO conference went fine, I think I got a couple of festivals out of it and it was good to catch up with some old friends and have a pint or two.
Here I am sitting in the hotel in Jönköping, I’ll be here for another week, as I drive out to different cities every day to play shows. Opposite me is the Jönköping Match Museum. You might think it would be quite a small museum, but it’s a big place. I wonder what’s inside..apart from matches? There is the wonderful genre of matchbox art of course, perhaps there are models of ships and churches that sailors and prisoners make from matches.
I would like to think there is a section dedicated to the various other uses of matchsticks. I could have done with a couple last night to keep my eyes open while driving back here in the dark and in the rain for an hour through the forests.
I was talking to my friend the Uilleann piper James O’Grady once, about folk musicians that are sometimes plucked out of very rural areas and thrust straight into the bewildering world of international folk festivals and tours. A friend of his, a box player had just come back from his first European tour, how was it? He had had an unsettling experience; he had a day off in a city somewhere in the middle of Europe and had decided to go out for a walk. He took a box of matches with him and stuck a match in the wall every time he turned a corner, so he could find his way back to the hotel. However, just like the Hansel and Gretel story, the matches blew away in the wind. ‘And there I was, lost, in Mid-Europe!’
That’s very lost.