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  • ursulaburns2

If the Flight Case could talk.........

Updated: Feb 21




The most dramatic sticker I ever had on my old flight case was "Destination Hell"

I cant remember much about Helsinki

but that sticker stayed on the case for so many years and garnered many a laugh at check in.


There was so much touring over the years

Lots of times i took my son out of school to hit the road.

He loved it

I remembered the set lists and key changes and the venues

but not the city .....


Travelling for 30 years now with the harp and rarely had a drama

but always separation anxiety at outsize baggage

The harp is massive and has to go in the hold - its too big for a seat!



Easyjet did break it once

the sound

of a broken harp

case as they wheeled it to the door

My heart sank

Looked like they had dropped it from the plane.

Luckily the flight case did its job and the harp was ok.



After that, I invested in a Ray Dogherty carbon fibre case

and that has lasted, I think around the last 15 years.

The box literally did melt in a big top In Oz,

There was no air con and lots of shows.

It needed braces to make the journey home. Took it to a motercycle shop that had a weilding gun

and they patched it up for me.

I normally lock up the case in left lugage at 20 quid


Myself and my son stopped in Dubai and the securtiy googled the posters

and sang my songs to me when I came a week later to collect the case.

I was delighted they never found Dry your Eyes........


It's a head-turner walking through the airport with a harp case Like that

The jokes

mines a harp

you should have played the whistle

Is that a coffin

offers of help

the kindness of strangers

chats in the queue

checking in




It has finally become too expensive to fly with my kit.

In 2023 I had to turn down solo gigs due to the expense of traveling.

Not the first time that happened. Renting a harp like mine is complex except if your going to Paraguay.......

Traveling in 2024 I worrie no more......

Supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’. I will be updating my flight case and traveling with a lighter and robust harp for outdoor, circus and flying work......

I am still using my Paraguayan harp for recording and theatre and all the juicy gigs.......




I am sitting at gate 44 watching Ryanair load my brand new Dusty Strings carbon fibre case

loading on to the plane

it was a dream to wheel it through Alexander platz in Berlin

Case is so good i wonder could i get wings attached and fly it home myself!

Normally it costs a fortune in taxis

but now i can get the train

and luckilly the harp plays a dream

I needed a lighter smaller harp for other reasons............

I am deeply grateful to  #ACNISupported #NationalLottery #ThanksToYou and @LottoGoodCauses.......





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