Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Home visits

In all the years traveling back and forth to the States, I have always travelled Aer Lingus. I rarely if ever check the prices as I am always of the opinion, when one can, one should support companies from home. Especially during these times of recession. However, recently, I have noticed that the prices of gas have dropped yet the prices of their flights were rising. So for the first time I looked elsewhere. Now when flying back and forth to Dublin from New York you only have three choices for a direct flight. One is already mentioned, the second is Continental and the third being Delta. Once before whilst on Celtic Thunder duty I was flown Continental. Never again. Small plane from the 80's does not bode well for a relatively tall man. Indeed there is always the option of first class, but as mentioned, I was not paying. Not that I could afford it even if I wasnt. So I swore I would never do it again with them. This time round, I checked Delta, and they came in a couple of hundred dollars cheaper. Needless to say, I thought, lets do it Byrom. I felt guilty for not supporting the national airline of my homeland, but until they learn to be competitive, I need to look elsewhere. Plus, its not like I get anything more for my money that a shamrock on the wing, and trust me, even thats looking a different shade of green these days! 
So before I went to the airport, I checked in and choose my seat,which many of you know always ends bad for me. I seem to always go for seats that are in the kindergarden part of the plane, which I never realised existed until my past 8 flights. Im possibly just unlucky, but I always seem to be behind, in front or beside a child. Now again, anyone that knows me, knows I LOVE children.Possibly because I am one at heart, but I get the company of "that" child on the majority of my flights. (I must insert here,that I am not talking of babies,we all know its difficult to control a baby, and I always feel for parents who have a crier.)  Im not sure its the child I have a problem with, or the modern thinking parents who feel it will serve the child better not to reprimand him/her and ignore them. Therefore not giving the child pleasure of attention. I know I travelled a lot as a kid and let me tell ya, I dare not budge. Colouring books and crayons were at the ready. There was no game consoles or personal movie systems. Im not sure really what my point is here, but I just find it utterly inconsiderate to other passengers to have to sit through 7 hours of an unhappy child without some attempt to restrain it. I know also that the majority of the comments flying at me from this will be from mothers telling me that one day it will be me and that I should consider them. I do often. I try to keep that in mind, and indeed try to imagine what I would do differently. I have no idea, so please don't go there. Im just venting and possibly, hopefully opening a discussion amongst you all. 
Anyway, I digress (as always). So I check in the night before. All grand, aisle seat picked, and am checked in and ready to go. Seats and my knees get to know eachother early on. I take out my noise reducers (which after the last paragraph clearly dont work,I hear you say!!) Pick my movie (We Bought A Zoo......dreadful) and dose off. Only to be woken as I often am by a trolley cart testing the strength of my knee caps! Little or no sleep got and I land in Dublin. First time since April. Flying from 90 degrees everyday to what can best be described as apocalyptic weather is never good for the soul. However I dont know why I was so shocked as I grew up in Ireland and know what the weather is like in July. What is harder to figure out was why I was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. When I was met at the arrivals gate by my sister, she burst out laughing and told me she had my coat in the car! 
At this point I will say, one should never come to Ireland expecting good weather. We are not a sun destination. We have far more to offer than that. So give us a shot and come visit. I am also thinking that this is why we enjoy a pint so much, as there is nothing better than sitting with great company in an old pub around a fire looking out at the rain. Thats who we are. Its why our country is so green and grown. I wouldn't change it for the world, but its been a while since I went from such heat and sun to the utter extreme's in July! So worth mentioning. 
This trip home I flew solo as Dominique doesn't get much time off at work. Days off are a lot less than what workers in Ireland are entitled to. In fact in a recent world survey, Germany and France top the poll of amount of days off, and surprisingly, the US is bottom of the list with an average of 5 days off. Just a useless fact for you! Anyway, I was due to attend my cousins wedding in Monaghan, and as they asked me to sing and that I set them up in the first place, I couldnt let them down. The reception was in the beautiful Castle Leslie, as many of you would have seen as a bonus feature on one of the CT video's.
The party went till the sun came up and I was in bed by 6am!Since this was the first wedding I was attending since my own proposal to Dominique, I was noticing every little detail, and it all started becoming very real, knowing that soon it would be my turn! 
The following day I was off to Leitrim to join my school pals as one more of us is taking the plunge, so a good stag was on the cards. There are not many of us left on the shelf so none of us want to miss a stag as there are not many excuses left for us all to leave our wives, girlfriends and children in some case for a weekend with the boys. Needless to say, what goes on stag, stays on stag, so I will end here. However I did wake up the next day in wet clothes from head to toe! Thats all your getting! Next stag is mine and I am scared!  
During the following week I spent most of it with my family and catching up with them. Its so nice everytime to go home and have them all around me. Mom's cooking doesnt help with the fitness regime, but when I say she is one of the best cooks ever, I do not lie! Grandma is looking stronger on every visit home and that is purely down to the dedication of my mother to give her the best of everything in her twilight years. It is an incredible task for anyone to take care of a loved one. Be it, elderly, disabled or ill. I have the utmost respect. I've said it before and I'll say it again. My mother has a HUGE heart and wouldn't have it any other way. 
On Thursday last, Dominique arrived home in the early hours of the morning. I collected her from the airport, and even still, after nearly five years together, my heart pounds when I see her come through those gates at arrivals. Even after 6/7 hrs in a plane, she looked radiant. We went to her home and had a big Irish breakie with her parents and family then started out in what would be a jam packed visit. As Dominique only got two days off this year and probably wont be home again with me till our wedding day, we needed to do and see a lot! Including friends and family.  We visited a number of venues, met the priest and booked the church. Even got an engagement party in there as well. Everyone was so excited to see her, as Im always back! The girls get very excited about the ring, and I got real joy out of the fact they all thought I did very well in picking it! 
On Sunday, I was at the airport dropping her back for her return to NY. The weekend was all over in the blink of an eye. I was flying on Monday due to schedules and airline. I felt so bad putting her on a flight alone,but knew I would be seeing her the next day. 
When I arrived at the airport early on Monday morning, I realised I forgot to check in on line, and when the lovely girl behind the counter informed me that in order to assign me a seat I would have to pay €40.00 for the pleasure, I laughed. I thought she was joking. Well then she informed me that "flying is a serious business and Delta don't joke", I declined the offer of paying on top of the €800 I had already spent to get a seat. I was confused. Was I going to be sitting in the toilet for the flight? In between two burly men? Standing in the aisle? Amongst the kids (sure why change now)?serving drinks and food to the customers who were smart enough to check in, or wealthy enough to pay at the desk? Or worse yet, down below with the chickens and goats?!?!? 
All these things were going through my mind,but my stubborn streak would not give in and I told her I would take my chances. Well when my mom rang as she always does before I board, I told her my dilemma and she assured me I did the right thing and "ya never know, you might get bumped up to first class". I laughed out loud as we all know what my luck is like when flying. 
I went to the desk prior to boarding and asked the assistant what do the plebs like me do when waiting to find out our fate for the next 7 hours, and she said all the seats were taken and that I would have to make do with what was left........1ST CLASS! I couldn't believe it. I snatched the ticket and ran to the toilet before she changed her mind. I knew she couldn't come in there! I looked at the ticket and there it was, seat 1E. I couldn't stop smiling. I felt like Charlie did when he opened the chocolate bar and discovered the golden ticket. I was off to Wonka's factory!
I boarded and settled in to my seat. All the time waiting for someone to come up to me and say, excuse me sir, are you having a laugh? This is not your seat. Instead I was greeted with a menu and a glass of champagne. I was living the dream. For the next 7 hours I was that person up there in 1st class that I always wanted to be, yet could never justify spending the cash on. I always thought it was silly money,it is, but after sampling it, I could see what the attraction was. It was the best flight of my life. I will NEVER check in on line when flying Delta again! I felt after all the years of unlucky child roaring, feet in my back, men farting flights I took, God decided, today Paul, it ends. Enjoy, and by God I did. I got some sleep in my fully reclined chair,watched a fantastic movie called "The Best Marigold Hotel", had beautiful food, without the needles in my sandwich and each time I used the toilet, I caught myself smiling in the mirror. Nothing beats winning!! 
Anyway, now Im back to reality and expect never to enjoy flying home as much as I did yesterday. As a thank you to Delta, I booked my flight home in August with them and although I know I will not be as lucky as I was this time, I will still smile at the thought someone else is experiencing the trip I did! 
For the next two weeks I will be annoying management and agent about getting more dates in the diary for the US, and hopefully even Canada, but what has been explained to me is that few promoters in America will touch me unless I have the support of the local PBS station. Indeed this cant and wont happen till I have something to air for them, so priority at this moment in time is finding the funds and creative team to get one put together. It has always been a dream of mine to get my own PBS special, and hopefully I will. If not, my American dream of touring the states on a regular basis my come to a shuddering end, and I wont let that happen till I have drained every possibility. Life here is great for both myself and Dominique. Much as I miss and yearn for home, my family and friends, this is where I see real things happening for me. For us. I would love nothing more than to spend the next few years here. Starting out married life here, maybe, God willing, having children here. Without putting the cart before the horse of course! Though the stark realism is that a lot of it is out of my hands. The net few months will be critical to both of our American dream. Lets keep the positive thinking going and I will continue to fight the fight and chase the dream. After all, its meant to be......right? 


Keep well, 
My loves 
My Doves 
My Eggs 


Paul 
xxx    

62 comments:

  1. Wonderful Paul. A joy to read. I truly wish you all the success in the world.

    I have a question about something that happened at the CT show that I saw, can I ask you?

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  2. sure, Cindy, ask away. Cant guarantee I will have an answer for you though

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  3. Wonderful Blog Paul, and I'm putting on my thinking cap and gonna try to figure out funding for that PBS Special,Though I think your agent is wrong about having to have a PBS special to get rolling as so many wonderful artists have never had a PBS and do very well, so anyway I am going tothink think think and hopefully come up with something! Have you tried asking some Major corps to sponser you??

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  4. What a wonderful blog, Paul. I can feel your smile as you talk about your adventures with Delta. We would LOVE to have you film a show for PBS in New England - NHPTV seems to be especially supportive of CT - so, maybe for you, too. Looking forward to seeing you in Cambridge, MA in September. :)

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  5. Great blog, Paul, as always! So you need a PBS special? Now there must be a way to get that going for you. Your solo show is fantastic!! Is it not possible to tape it at a venue you are booked at.....like the one in Boston??? Now, I surely don't know the technicalities involved, but there has to be something! How can we help you??
    Jeanne

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  6. I heard, via Youtube, your rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. That is the way the song should be sung. Great Job. It is such a noble song and you gave it what it needed. I was hoping they would have you sing for the Capitol Fourth concert, but alas no. We all have great thoughts for your future.

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  7. This is one of your best blogs ever. Love it!!!! I said it before and I say it again, you really should think about writing a book. You are good, funny, entertaining and keep your readers' interest from beginning to end.
    Can't wait to see you in Dublin on August 9!!
    Hugs,
    Jutta

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  8. Fabulous blog as always! I hope America can give you all that you and Dom desire. :-)

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  9. I have four kids, & I am WITH you on the misbehaved child not being reprimanded & ruling the roost where s/he goes. There are rare instances, special needs exceptions & the like, but I just wanted you to know I hear ya!

    Loved your post -- so much upbeat optimism! If all we gotta do is get you on PBS, you know you've got the backing of your fans!

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  10. totally enjoyed this blog - you had me laughing out loud. you might consider my area for some dates - we have a large irish community that triples and more during the summers - although it may be too late for this year, think about next year. they have all kinds of irish performers, an irish arts week etc - just look into east durham/durham new york - this is just one of the places. http://www.irishvillageusa.com/memorial-day-festival/ and also nearby is hunter mountain ( a good ski area) which has a weekend celtic festival every august - amybe your agent could look into some of these venues
    linda

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  11. Wonderful blog as always Paul. Great to hear from you. As for those kids, I am sorry but there is no excuse for that. In my day, that did not happen. We wouldn't have DARED behave like that or we'd have gotten our butts kicked. My mother always said she was never ashamed or afraid to take us to other people's house because we knew how to behave. We knew if we didn't what would happen. We sat quietly. Like you said, the crayons and the coloring books. Rides in the car we behaved. We sat quietly.
    So glad you enjoyed your time at time.
    Your love for Dom shows. So wonderful to see.
    I wish you luck with the PBS show.
    Love you always,
    Me

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  12. I simply must tell you about one flight I had from Chicago to Philly. There was a young family with 2 children, and Momma had them with her while Daddy was on the aisle seat across. Both children were under 4 yrs old. The most beautifully behaved children you could ever imagine, with two lovely parents. It was an absolute joy to see them sing, laugh and play with their parents,even though the flght was only 90 minutes, it was a delight! Surrounding passengers complimented the parents upon arrival, and we all offered them assistance with bags, and a wagon they had brought along to transport the little ones to the airport exit! They had thought of every detail!

    Loving the blog, wishing that the funding would come through for PBS! We discussed this on the last cruise, I have not forgotten! Thoroughly enjoyed your show last Fall in Philadelphia.
    We fans would all love to see a special of yours anywhere! Maybe sharing the stage with another performer of your choosing could work in your favor? I hear that there is a talented, unemployed Irish singer looking for a job! You may even know him...tall, dark hair, voice like a bassoon? ;-)
    Good luck with your wedding as well!
    Cheers!
    Maggie

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  13. Paul, I am a mom and have had my kids flying and do make them sit still, of course now I'm a grandma. but, I'm like you always end up in front of behind or next to some kid that kicks the seat or pounds on the seat in front of me or is next to me and raises and lowers the arm rest and the parents ignore! Why!!!!!!

    I hope you get that PBS show soon, I really wish you would come close to home for me in Ohio!

    God Bless and once again congrats to you and Dom!

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  14. Great blog Paul...had me laughing all throughout!! I'm a mother and don't blame you one bit for wanting the parents to control their kids. Sad the way things are now...seems kids have no consequences for anything anymore. Best wishes for all the upcoming wedding plans...very happy for the two of you!! Hoping to get to see you at one of your upcoming tours...which I'm sure will be many :)

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  15. I think the greatest compliment I have ever received as a parent was to have the person behind me on a flight tell me that they didn't even realize we had children with us. I have been on nightmarish flights where you just want to start parenting the so called parents. I have been known to offer the loud child in the row behind me some crayons and paper to keep them occupied on a flight while their parent naps in the seat next to them.

    I am sorry that you have had more than your share of bad flights but I hope that this trip back to the States made up for some of those!

    Thank you for the blog. Please let us know if there is anything we can do, as fans, to help you with the next steps in your career.

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  16. Paul,
    You should do as the group Apocolyptica (a cello rock band) do and have the fans submit all their video to you. then you can cut and paste a grand show together! you would be impressed with what we can do when we try really hard!

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  17. Paul,

    As always you put your heart and soul into your blog and don't pull any punches. That's one of the things that I love about you the most. Let the slings and arrows fly, you speak your mind. I have to agree with you about the unruly children. I just traveled to Egypt which is 10 hrs each way and believe me it was full of parents that didn't make their children mind. On the other hand there were many that did have behaving children. Sadly the unruly ones make for unpleasant traveling.

    I've also had that wonderful 1st class upgrade and took full advantage of it when it happened. It really is so much nicer, but sacrifices have to be made when on a budget. I will pray that you get another upgrade next time you head home. I'm also going to keep an eye on Delta flights to Ireland since I'll be heading over next year.

    It's so nice to read that you and Dom's wedding plans are taking shape as well. It's been a joy to watch your relationship grow into such a deep and abiding love over the years. It renews my faith in everlasting love. :)

    Keep fighting the fight to get on PBS and of course I'm still hoping to see you on Broadway some day. Hopefully I'll get to see you somewhere this fall. Still can't believe I'm missing the BB King show. I'll be in NY the week after for the CT concert and to see POTO so can't make it in 2 weeks in a row.

    As always, you have my love and support. Give my love to Dominique as well.

    Pat

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  18. Jutta said one of the best yet and I have to agree. I'm still smiling that you got first class. About time, since we all know you *are* first class.

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  19. Paul, so wonderful to hear about your trip home and your enjoyable flight back. Unfortunately kids are not made to mind these days. Don't want to break their spirits. So I've been told. Anyhow, I"m so happy for you and Dom!! Your dream will come true. Just keep reahing for the stars. XX

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  20. Paul,

    so glad you had the "first class" experience on your way home; as an international Purser for American, I have seen just about everything, until one of my colleagues posts what they saw on one of our Facebook pages. We do what we can to assist families, as many of us have kids. I don't, but I'm an auntie, and most of my friends have kids and I realize that sometimes moms fly solo with their kids. What really rings our bells is when we see the elite fliers in first class put the kids with the nannies in coach, or just put the kids in coach by themselves, then the kids constantly run up into first class to get food, because we don't serve food on our shorter flights to the caribbean or Central America. Recently I had the parents in first, and they put the 3yr old in coach with the big sister who was like 8 yrs old? and as we had the meal cart out in the aisle, my other flt att almost backed over this lump in the aisle? it was the 3yr old sitting on the floor!! fortunately one of the first class passengers grabbed her before she stepped on him, and possibly injured herself in the process.

    My brother didn't take his first transatlantic flight till his early 40s, and it was to Paris with his wife. It was also on Delta, and they were in coach. He called me when they got home, astonished at what I was doing for a living as I had only been flying for a few years. "People were gross! they changed their babies diapers on their tray tables then ate off them ten minutes later! yuck!" "I know," told him, all because they're too lazy, too ignorant or too tired to get out of their seats & go to the lav with their kids and change a diaper and dispose of the diaper and wipes there.

    With all the things that are available for passengers to bring to distract their kids on flights, both long or short, they don't, whether it be coloring books & crayons, food, juiceboxes, sweaters to keep them warm (how come you don't have a blanket on a one hour flight?), snacks that are age appropriate for their child, diapers in case of a delay (yes, we get hit up for that, too), well, we get nailed for everything. Then the child is agitated and then mom/dad is agitated and all the passengers around are agitated.

    But then again, I have had some kids from 2-15 that I would trade for adults, with the best manners I have ever seen. Some have travelled with families, some have travelled as Unaccompanied Minors and are just perfectly well mannered.

    All you can do is .. breathe in, breathe out.

    As for rolling the dice on getting an upgrade next time by not checking in.... weeeellll, I don't know that I'd play that game, unless you're travelling alone and do not absolutely have to be where you're going by a certain time. I don't know how often that ever happens. But I still am SHOCKED over a 40euros extra charge... never heard of that one!

    I wish I knew someone to jumpstart your PBS deal, with your CT background, we are out here shaking our heads... wth?

    Good luck on the wedding plans.... as for the stag party? waking up wet? seriously? I had a girlfriend who once went out on her birthday, I left a certain time, left her with a few of our contractors who promised to bring her home; let's just say she accompanied them to a strip club, they brought her home, she doesn't remember how or when... her clothes were wet and she found an job application for the club with her purse and didn't remember much else! was it something like that? LOL

    All the best... still hoping you can wrangle a performance here in Ft. Lauderdale in Jan/Feb 2013 that coincides with the Cruise, you know, you, Ryan, Damian? pretty please?

    Take good care and all of us here in the USA embrace you and Domi with our red/white/blue arms... even if you are a Celtics fan! (Go Heat!)

    Debbie Richardson
    Hollywood, FL

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  21. Not only are you a handsome dude,a super fantastic singer, a good dancer, you are also a delightful writer! Enjoyed the blog so very much. Thank you, Paul, for sharing. I am looking forward to seeing you in November. Good luck with all your endeavors and especially PBS. Stay well.

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  22. Paul, your blogs are always so entertaining. So glad you got to see how the "Other Half" travels. Hope your show plans work out. I saw you at your very first solo in Portland Ore. Cant wait for you to return.
    I too saw the movie "The Best Marigold Hotel". What a charming little movie. Take care. Remember, we all love and adore you.
    Debbie

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  23. There is this blog I read, she has "those children" and she hates taking them on flights because she doesn't want to be "that mom", her story of flying to North Carolina was sad and yet hysterical because she was trying to entertain her toddlers they just weren't interested. Many parents are just as embarrassed as those of us who have to put up with it. Although I do still recall the child from hell who flew from Charlotte, to Houston and then on to Seattle on the same plane, it was a nightmare Children kicking seats, running up and down the aisles and the mom??? Well she had taken some benedryl and fell asleep.

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  24. Thank You Velvet Voice for the wonderful blog. You could be a writer. Love the way you give a such a good insight into your life. Glad to see your Gran doing well with the help of your wonderful Mom. Not easy to do. Also happy to see how your beautiful fiancee is making you glow also. We are going on 48yrs very soon. I wish you that and more : )

    So happy to see you in 1st Class, that is where you belong, and it makes for a nicer flight.

    So now we need to get you on track for some publicity. Have you explored other parts of the country? Has anyone else given you venue information? Do you have to settle on one PBS station or can we try to contact others. I emailed our local entertainment writer asking for help but he just said it was up to your agent or manager to do those things for you. If you choose a PBS station, we all can inundate them with messages to have you on. Wish I had more to offer. When your management settles on something, just let us know what to do and we will do all we can to help.

    Love and Hugs to you both!!

    Jean O

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  25. I always look forward to reading your blogs. They're always insightful and are a good conversation starter. Whats more, it's refreshing to see someone who isn't afraid to speak their mind and call things as they see them. Too many people are worried about being politically correct these days! You're just a pure joy!

    How exciting that the wedding plans are moving along. I have no doubt that the day will be everything you both want and more. It'll be exciting to call Domi Mrs. Byrom.

    As for the children on planes, I didn't even think about that and since I'm taking my first ever flight this October, it makes me cringe. I'm not getting into any heated debates with anyone, just stating my opinion.

    I really hope to see another tour in your future. I wasn't able to get to a show during the last one and I hope to make it to a show during your next tour... I'm confident in you. If there is anything that any of us fans can do to help you out, please let us know!!!

    As always, much love and hugs to you and Dom!!!

    Melissa K.

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  26. LOVE your blog! I'm of the thinking that "some" children, along with their parents, should be put in the cargo hold! I'd rather sit next to the chickens & goats... Have been the receiving end of the child-kicking-back-of-seat through a transatlantic flight - NOT fun!
    Wonderful to see your wedding planning! You guys make a stunning couple!
    Huggs to you both!

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  27. Paul, Wonderful blog as always. I hope you can succeed without the PBS special but I believe you will find a way as you definitely have the will. I will do my part (as small as it may be). Contacted Don Gibson theater in Shelby, NC about tickets since you are not listed on their website yet. The person who answered my request for a sale date was surprised that I thanked them for bringing you to our area. She said she has had a number of inquiries but did not know anything about you. She is planning on attending now. I will try to spread the word to get you sold out (any fliers by chance?).I am really looking forward to seeing your show and wish you all the success you can handle.

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  28. Paul, I love you, I really do, and this post was really interesting, but I think you could benefit from having someone check over and slightly edit posts. (I know I sound like git posting this. I'm sorry.)

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  29. Great blog Paul. Lucky you on the plane. Good luck with the PBS special. Will request ours if you get a show together.

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  30. I agree with all the wonderful things everyone says about you! I also think you would make a great writer!
    Now as a mother of 4, I would have killed my kids if they misbehaved! Then I ran a daycare for 17yrs. So now I really don't have the patience for unruly children. I find 80% of the time it is the PARENTS fault. So I have NO problem being the mean lady who tells the child to stop kicking my seat, and then looking right at the parent and explaining that I believe it is THEIR responsibility to CARE for the child haha. Ahh the looks are great, sometimes embarrassed, others pissed off, but they all feel like what can they do without causing a scene and then they are even more embarrassed!! "Other times if there are 2 kids and 2 different parents I will loudly tell the parents of the good child what a wonderful child they have and they should be very proud...then tell the parents of the rotten kid that its a shame the only thing I will remember about there child is how awful he acted. We grew up with our neighbors telling our parents if we did something wrong, now nobody wants to mention that a child is a brat. I think we need to go back to that and not worry so much about being the mean lady on the plane!
    I also don't understand the whole PBS thing you are being told. What I see is if you can afford to pay the venue you can use it. I know its scarey wondering what size you can fill to actually make some money in the end. Think of the places you went with CT and where it was so crowded, then maybe find another venue near there more your size. Melbourne FL has a nice place that you all played at..I personally thought it was to small for CT. Anyway, get some ideas and I know there are many fans out here that will do whatever we can for you!!!
    Tell Dom to do what I used to do, my husband always had more vacation days then me..so I went without pay!! Don't overdue it, but an extra 2 days on a 3 day weekend..:)
    Love and Hugs to both of you as you enjoy all the planning!!

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  31. Loved every word of your blog.. You are such an interesting person to 'listen' to! I can relate to the flying thing - it's a big bus in the air.. I flown many times, but have never had an irritating child near me 'yet'!..
    I do hope you get lots of dates for your tour. I know you would fill the "Arts & Culture Centre" here in St. John's, Newfoundland! PBS is a great venue to be seen in, but as another person said it shouldn't take that to be able to find places to facilitate your tour. All the best with that!
    My favourite part of your blog was your expression of love for Dominique. So humble and beautiful!
    Looking forward to the next installment. Have a great day!

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  33. PS: We're going to the UK and Ireland on vacation in September for the very first time. I hear it doesn't rain quite as much during the fall??

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  34. Paul I loved this!! As I am only 17, I have been flying on airplanes my whole life and trust me, I've had to sit between a smelly old lady and an Elvis impersonator!! First class is quite lovely, but I've only flown American Airlines :)

    Anyways, congratulations to you and Dominique! I hope you two have a long and happy life together!!

    Lots of love~~

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  35. So I tried to comment using my phone earlier but it wouldn't cooperate (I'm still learning my new iPhone) anyway I wanted to say that I completely agree with what you said about taking care of loved ones, but it isn't even just loved ones it's when you are a caregiver for anyone it is hard. I grew up helping my parents care for my elderly and ill great aunt for many years and now as a young adult I have ended up as a personal support professional for the developmentally disabled (fancy way of saying I'm a caregiver that has an awesome but sometimes terribly stressful job). I know growing up I missed out on somethings because I was always home with my mom and dad helping take care of my great aunt but I wouldn't change it (or the awful things that happened when she neared the end of her life) for anything. And now working in the DD field I have a job that is stressful, aggravating, terrifying and hard but at the same time is amazing, inspiring, eye opening, fulfilling, fun and enlightening. I get to get up everyday and make a difference in three men's lives ( work in their home) I get the chance to make people's lives better everyday and to help change stereotypes. So, while care-giving might be difficult and a challenge every day it is also very rewarding.

    Btw I don't know if I ever said this because with my job I haven't been online much in months but Congrats to both you and Dom! I hope you have many happy years together.

    I wish the best for you,
    Kathy Nason

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  36. You are simply amazing, Paul!

    I think you deserved that bit of luck. Maybe it was a sample of the not too distant future, who knows :)I'm wishing the best for you and your lovely fiancee, you are spectacular together. The two of you could move mountains if you wanted, and maybe you will here in America. One thing is for certain: you are most welcome here in this country.

    Which reminds me that I'll be visiting yours in March 2013, by the way. Only for a couple days before the tour moves on to Scotland, Wales, and London. But Ireland is the part I am most looking forward to. Any advice for me?

    Love the music, love hearing from you.
    And don't ever give up that dream! You're inspiring me to chase my own.

    Much love and appreciation,
    Kortney

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  39. thank you for your delightful story. I too travel alone and enjoy peace and quite. In 2003 my family took a vacation to Germany. On the flight over, a mom had two small children with her. As we waiting to board,we all thought, hope we aren't next to her. Well,of course she was just behind my dear mom. so when the baby cried and cried my mom simply stood up and asked if their was anything she could do. She helped this mom all during the flight and even took the other child by hand as we walked off in Frankfort. It showed me my dear moms compassion and what a little help from a stranger can accomplish. My mom is gone now,but I will never forget this and will never forget the love and nights she helped me with my babies too. So as I ramble, I can sympathize with your flight situations. Oh and my husband was flying from New York to Tokyo and (that's right) bumped right into FIRST CLASS! being that he is 6'3",this was a very great bump! so,happy flying, sometimes the skies are clear and sometimes they may be a little rocky but the goal is the gate and those who wait at the end of the line! sincerely, Luanne from Chicago

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  40. I feel your pain in regards to the children on planes. It was last year and I was flying from Victoria BC ( Canada) to Berlin for a field school and so far the trip had not been going well. I am a fairly tall individual my self ( 5’11 and proud) with long legs to boot, and I had spent the 9 hour flight from Vancouver to London stuck in a middle seat in Coach. Needless to say by the time we landed my legs were in a great deal of pain - seeing as the people beside me had fallen asleep and I did not wish to wake them up so I could go for my inflight stroll/stretch.
    I caught my connecting flight to Berlin ( which did not go much better, although this time I did have an aisle seat- thank heavens) I had been hit in the head by the man in the seat in front of me as he leaned back. I leaned back and tried to get a little shut eye ( I’d ad no sleep on the flight to London) but I quickly awake to a small child trying to steal my boot. No joke. A four year old little boy sat at my feet with my boot in his hand, he smiled at me before running off with my boot. I chased him down and spoke to his parents who gave me nothing more than a “ kids will be kids" shrug.
    I remember back in the day when I was a kid and I had to fly, either because we were moving or visiting my dad at the military hospital in DC, I was always given a comic book and a colouring book to keep myself entertained....or if I got really bored I would harass my mom into playing car with me.....but I never stole someone else’s boot!

    Anyways, that’s my story. I’m glad you had a god trip home and I wish all the best to you and to Dom with your upcoming nuptials.

    Sincerely,
    Erin O'Brien

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  41. Paul a thought concerning a PBS special for you. You have an upcomming concert on August the 9th(wish I could be there my brithday is the 7th!) what about getting a film crew to film the concert and use that for your PBS special? it would cut down on costs I would think anyway as opposed to starting from the ground up. Just a suggestion!

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  42. Oh Paul I know what you mean about the small feet in your back is like, and it should be up to parents to teach there children, but nothing got me more when on my first trip to Ireland, the captain said folks we are ready for take off and a little voice from behind me said "WE ARE GOING TO DIE" the mother said something to him and I never heard from him again. I think it's wonderful that you and Dominique are finely getting married, she is a really sweet girl. You 2 just fit.

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  43. Hi Paul...I don't know if you are still with Golden Voice, but why would they not do as they did last year..your tour seemed to be just fine. I would love to see you again at the El Rey in LA...nice venue, easy to get to and out of...we camped for 6 hours and it was great...please come back there if you can...!!!!!

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  44. Halo Paul
    This is the first blog of yours that I've read. Loved it and hope there will be time in your busy schedule for regular updates in the "life of Paul Byrom"
    I am sure your dream will come true and that you will get onto PBS. Best wishes from your South African fan.
    Barbara

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  45. Great blog!! Good luck in the coming months. Looking forward to that PBS special!!

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  46. Hi Paul, what a great story you have. Very informative for a girl like me who is from the Philippines. I truly enjoy your music by the way. Ever since a young girl, I've always dream of going to Ireland. I can't explain it, I just want to go to Ireland. I love your music, your culture, and the people. Hopefully, one of days I will be flying there. Good to know though about the weather.

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  47. Ah, the joys of plane travel! One of the main reasons I haven't been to Ireland yet is that the thought of 7 hours in a plane gives me nightmares. Traveling in a wheelchair is just awful--why they even bother putting the handicapped accessible logo on the plane bathroom is beyond me. Even on my crutches I can barely maneuver. Oh well, maybe someday I can afford first class and manage it that way. I'm glad you had a good time with your family and friends, and hope that you can pull together a PBS special.

    Laura

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  48. Have you spoken to your local PBS station about sponsors and what would be involved in getting a special filmed?
    Best of luck with it!

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  49. It's always so wonderful to hear you speak so lovingly of your family and of Dominique. *sigh* You are definitely a gentleman. What I'd like to know is, what kind of funds are we talking about? You know us fans! We would love to do whatever we can to help you achieve these dreams of yours. You deserve the best, Paul. If there is anything at all that we can do on our end to get this ball rolling for PBS, please let us know. Ready, willing and able!

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  50. Hi Paul...

    Beautiful blog...you had me in tears in some parts. You and Dom have a wonderful life to look forward to. You both have amazing families and friends. Sure your dreams will all come true. You are an amazing person. God bless you, Dom and your loved ones.
    Hope to see you again in Pittsburgh or NYC.
    Cathy

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  51. Hi Paul,
    thank you for this wonderful blog. Your 'first class experience' must have been awesome. This story made me laugh, I'm still smiling. My fingers are crossed for your next flight. My next flight will be to Dublin! I still can't believe it finally will happen. So looking forward to hear you sing in the National Concert Hall. Please make sure you get your flight to Dublin!!! ;-)

    It's so wonderful and touching to read about your love for Dom. I wish you two all the best and a long and happy life together. Did I get it right that she wont be with you at your concert in August? That would be sad cause I would love to meet her one day.

    See you soon! Love from Germany
    Claudi

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  52. Hello, Paul!

    Absolutely loved the blog...was roaring in laughter when I thought about you grabbing that first class upgrade and haring off to the loo...the parents of that kid should have been keeping the little darling occupied, but, like a lot of modern parents, they probably didn't want to traumatize Junior by spanking his little bottom and making him sit down like a civilized person. Really wish you and Dom all the happiness in the world. I married my best friend, and we were very happy together until he passed on. There has to be a way around you having to go the PBS route...I'll have to do some research on the idea. Can't wait until your show makes a stop in South Florida...'til then, much luck, and much love!

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  53. Thank you for this wonderful Blog Paul. I am so glad that everything worked out for you on that flight where you got to sit in First Class. I thought it would be so much fun some day to sit in First Class. You get the better food the better drinks and seats and service.

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  54. Delightful blog, as always. I so enjoy how you just chat with us, like you're in the same room. I know it's late notice, and I know it involves $$$$... but could you film your concert in Dublin next month? And use that footage for PBS? And as long as I'm here, CDBaby has some great ideas for artists who need a little help with funding - which most people probably do. Good Luck Paul!! I can't wait to work the phones for your PBS special. It will happen :)

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  55. I really enjoyed your blog. Years ago I was upgraded to first class. I was on my way to East Aftica for two years service in the Peace Corps and got up graded from LA to NY. It was wonderful, Choc.icecream sundays and two movies! Too bad it is so expensive to upgrade. Got upgraded again several years ago so it can happen twice, keep fingers crossed! I know what you mean about unruley kids on planes. It amazes me today with all the entertainment one can bring on a plane for kids to do. But sometimes kids just don't behave regardless but it helps to see parents at least trying and a simple apology goes a long way.I'm a pediatric nurse and one thing you might do that might help is carry gum with you. Kids often have trouble with their eustation tubes when flying causing pain, which can lead to unruley behavior. If you have some gume ask the parents if it would be OK to give them a piece. It might help. Good luck with your goal to get show on PBS. I would love to see you there.

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  56. Paul;
    Thank you for the wonderful blog, it has been a long time since your last one, this one was really enjoyable. I really feel for you when you get stuck next to a child I know you love children but somethimes you have to wonder what parents are thinking letting their kids act up on a plane or anywhere for that matter. I am happy to hear that your Grandmother is doing well, my thoughts and prayers continue for her. Your mom sounds fantastic and makes me realize how much I miss mine. I look forward to hearing about the wedding plans taking place, and of course your continuing success here in the States. I would love to see a PBS special on your, it would be a fantastic showcase of your talent your wit and of course your singing,not to mention your funny facial expressions. I agree with one fo the other post you should write a book, your thoughtful, insightful on many different things and very funny, I could go on and on but time comes to go to work. Sod take care have a wonderful time doing what your doing, hug Dom a lot and hug your Mom a lot also.

    Peace
    Jeannie

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  57. I've already commented on your fb page. Just testing to see if I was actually able to set up to comment here. So just a test. Cheers, Paul.

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  58. Loved the blog. Hit on so many of the things that make travelling fun and horrible.
    Your comments about getting performance dates here in the States caught my eye. I met you at BB Kings during your gig last November. (The 6'1" black lady with the shaved head ) Loved the Stevie Wonder anecdote.
    I am friendly with a lot of musicians and this comes up a lot. There are some people I think you should meet. @MsDonnaDavis on Twitter.

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  59. Dear Paul: I have a suggestion for you. As often as you can with your busy schedule, try to write your musings of the day in a journal. You have a genuine love and talent for the spoken (and written) word, and you write much like another talented Irishman-Frank McCourt (Angela' Ashes and Tis). I am certain you will have a long and successful career in music, but I hope you do a little writing someday. I may see you on Phil's Tranquility Cruise. All best wishes to you and Domi as you start your life together.

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  60. I loved your blog .... very funny .... Next time you have a child acting up on the flight ...ask the parent very nicely ...Excuse me ... Could you really do me a big favor (with a smile Paul ) ..... could you please ask your child to lower the volume a little ..I really would appreciate it ...(with a smile )... The expression on you face will really help. When I was a teach aide in a High School to get the studies to pick their trash up off the table that is how I got them to do it ...
    You know I'm wishing you and Dom the best ... Hope all your wedding plans go smoothly ...
    I'm not sure what you want us to do so you can get your shows here in the states...Just let us know and we will do our best to get it done ...

    As always God bless you and Dom ... MomMomCharlotte

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  61. Excellent blog Paul...had me having a laugh all throughout!! I'm a mom and don't fault you one bit for seeking the mom and father to management their children. Sad the way factors are now...seems children have no repercussions for anything any longer. Best desires for all the future marriage programs...very satisfied for the two of you!! Expecting to get to see you at one of your future trips...which I'm sure will be many (Y) Open Revolua Registration By Revoluza Network .

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