On Sunday morning my alarm forced me to get up. I didn't want to get to breakfast the last minute.
It looked quite wet outside and quite dark and it stayed like this the whole day. Added to this was a strong wind so it was impossible to use an umbrella. As I nevertheless didn't want to stay in my room all day I finally got the better of it and searched for the tracks.
Still at home I ad read in the paper that a CD from the 1970's with the title "Muswell Hillbillies was just republished. I hadn't given it much thought first and only understood it was quite a good album and worth to be republished.
It took some time before I caught the connection. Muswell Hill is the part of London where the Alexandra Palace can be found. The Hotel in which I stayed as long as it existed was the Muswell Hill Hotel. And the band which had produced the album was the English band The Kinks. Now was there a connection or not?
Of course all of you will say who knew more about rock music then I do. And by now even I say of course.
The founder of The Kinks, Englishman Ray Davies, was borne in 1944 only a few minutes away from the hotel were I stay now. He was the seventh of eight children. His brother Dave, member of The Kinks as well was borne three years later. Both grew up here and went here to school and in the Clissold Arms just across from their home they had their first gigs.
At that time - at the end of the 1950/beginning of the 1960's it looked rather different up here. Davies reports about his memories when living at his parents. Everywhere Word War II and the aerial attacks had left their marks. Muswell Hill or at least the part of Muswell Hill Davies lived was more a working class environment while today it's in many parts at least middle class as the shopping facilities reveal. Ray Davies seems still to live here - at least he enthused in an interview about how beautiful it is in this part of London above the city and how near one is to the sky.
At this point the first part of my search of tracks had to be ended - I had to return to the darts! The rain had changed into drizzle and I arrived more or less dry in the well heated press tent. In the first year in Alexandra Palace it was very cold in there and the players got ill by the dozen. The officials probably as well but you didn't hear as much about it.
Sunday evening seemed to be sold out - Raymond van Barneveld would make his appearance and he is -as you will all know - very popular in England. The most thrilling match of the evening was the first match between John Henderson and Dave Chisnall. Chisnall seemed to oversleep the first two sets but then started quite a fight back which ended in an eight leg in set five, Henderson there proved again he was the stronger player in the match and progressed into second round. The rest of the evening was far less thrilling as all seeded players progressed in rather one-sided matches though they all showed good to great performances.
There still was drizzle when I left the now quiet Alexandra Palace. Only a few singing fans still waited for their taxis or buses. But who really would like to stay outside in such aweather.