Stands, places hand on heart, plays Te Deum – squeaks!

Well we’re here folks. Well, not actually here as in Baku, but here as in it’s all starting today. For the benefit of the non-believers this week leading up to the week of the live shows has become rather ritualistic as those of us who fit snugly into Eurovision-branded anoraks eagerly await our first glimpses of the stage, the rehearsals and reports from location. It’s the first opportunity to get answers to those burning questions. The beer is Oslo is HOW much? Is Dusseldorf really anywhere near Cologne? And this year have you been personally greeted by one of the President’s seemingly endless offspring at the airport.

Reports so far seem to indicate a moist and sticky welcome awaits us on Friday evening with temperatures soaring in Baku. Oh I do hope we won’t have to be stopping every 5 minutes to cool off with a Xirdalan beer (product placement warning), drinking can become so tiresome at Eurovision after the first 9 or so glasses. There also seems to be some high degree of cheeriness amongst officials and event volunteers that is being appreciated by the blogosphere and which will make a good first impression. Technically, as reported, we do seem to have our first hitch and a slightly delayed start but it’s early days and only Montenegro (and it’s allowed my own late start to go almost unnoticed).

So until departure later this week I will join in with my views on the first rehearsals using the medium of You Tube, with an enormous thank you to everyone already out there assisting with this. I’m working until Thursday so will have to squeeze it all in around that. Today I’m most looking forward to seeing how Montenegro and Latvia stage their songs; watching Jonsi stride about whilst his Greta enjoys an energetic fiddle; seeing whether Eleftheria has worn a skirt long enough to cover her kleftiko; ‘that’ note from Albania; and a close up of the Romanian accordion player’s squeezebox.

I’m so excited that a bit of wee might have just come out.

Monty x