We went down on the train on Friday evening. Had a few drinks, obsessively checked we had the tickets and got increasingly more excited. When we arrived, everyone filtered off the train before us, since we were at the opposite end to our bags so we had to wait. While we were walking down the carriage to the door, my mum noticed an envelope on the table, "Oh look, looks like someone’s left their ticket," she said, picking it up and opening it, "Oh no, it’ll just be a single, won’t it?" So she looked inside and saw what looked like a single ticket, presumably the person who had left it didn’t need it any more. So she stuffed it in her bag because she hates leaving litter and we got of the train. There followed a nightmarish trek through the London underground, up and down stairs with heavy bags, but eventually (and amazingly, without getting lost) we made it to the hotel, dragged the cases up three more flights of stairs and collapsed on our beds.
The plan then, was to recover a bit, get ready, then go and get some food at the Pizza Express we had seen on way from the underground to the hotel. So my mum started going through her handbag, picking out all the stuff that she didn’t need to take to the restaurant with us, and one of the things she found was the envelope she had picked up on the train. Having more room now, she sat down pulled out the contents, putting a pile of tickets and paper on the bed. Then the picked up the top tickets, "Oh no, they’re not singles," she said, "there’s the return tickets here." So she examined them for a bit. The person who had left them would have to pay about £100 to get back again. Not good. Meanwhile, I opened the next bit of folded paper, wondering what else was in there, and sort of gasped. Live 8 tickets. Someone had left their Live 8 tickets on the train. Someone had won tickets, bought train tickets down, probably opened the envelope to make sure they had the tickets, put the envelope down, then got up and left it there. Shit.
So we had no idea what to do. I mean, what they hell do you do, you’re in another city, you don’t know anyone, you don’t know how to get anywhere, how the fuck do you find someone when all you have is his first initial and last name and the fact that he’s from Hull. Well, we had no idea. Probably because we were to busy stressing to think straight. For all ourobsessive ticket checking, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to check the envelope one last time and find that it wasn’t there. It would be a nightmare. In fact, I did have that nightmare a few nights before.
Luckily, when it comes to getting things done, my mum is some sort of genius. She never fails. So after much panicking, nail biting and swearing, she found the telephone number for Hull trains and rang then, explained what had happened, gave the reference number from the train tickets and asked if there was any way the woman could get in touch with the bloke who had left the tickets, give him her mobile number and get him to ring. Amazingly, it worked. The telephone number the bloke had given Hull Trains was a mobile, he had it with him, she left a message on his voice mail, which he picked up when he came out of the underground, he rang my mum and we met them and returned the tickets.
We met them at the pizza express where we were going to eat. Well, we wanted them to get their tickets back, but we’d already arsed about for an hour trying to get in touch with them, so we didn’t really want to put ourselves out further. So they found their way to us from London Bridge. They arrived just as we were finishing, with a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine and five bunched of flowers. Five. They were pretty drunk (which was probably why they lost the tickets, to be fair. Unless they were drinking to lament their loss) and thanked my mum profusely. I have never seen anyone so grateful. There was a lot of hugging, drink-buying and general disbelief that she hadn’t decided to sell them. We could probably have got quite a lot for them actually, there were people outside when we arrived what wanted to buy some.
So, a happy ending. I still can’t quite believe that happened.
The concert was absolutely fucking amazing. Two hours of queuing, two hours waiting inside, two trips to the disgusting portaloos, and 2 1/2 hours late ending. Every second absolutely amazing. We weren’t right at the front, but we were close enough to see the people on the stage, almost. If we jumped to see over people’s heads and guessed who was who. Mostly, I watched the screens at either side of the stage. There were other screens scattered around the park for people further back to see, and of course there were the big screens in another part of the park for people who had those tickets. We could have got closer, if we’d pushed through, but where we were was fine, so we didn’t.
It started at bang on 2, with Paul McCartney and U2 doing Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, then Paul McCartney left and U2 did their set. Since U2 are my favourite band, I thought it was fantastic, and I don’t think anyone else had any complaints either, but it’s a shame they were on so early. The crowd hadn’t really got warmed up yet, so there wasn’t the atmosphere that there was later. But they had to go somewhere else, and it was so great to see them because it was incredibly disappointing not being able to get tickets to see them this year.
Anyway, I won’t ramble on too much, since anyone who is interested will have seen it on TV, read the papers or watched the news or whatever, but yeah, wow. I don’t have the words to describe it, and I seriously doubt that anyone else does either. Wow wow wow.
And even though it was England, it didn’t rain! Perfect weather, actually. Warm, but no sun beating down making it too hot.
It kept going until midnight. It was pretty funny actually. Bob Geldof kept appearing on stage telling people it was gong to end late and the predicted end time kept getting later and later. First it was ten, then half past, then eleven. Eventually they must have given up, because a notice came up on the screens just saying it’d be after eleven. He told people to leave early if they wouldn’t be able to get home after the tube closed, but not many people did, I don’t think. There was no way all the people were staying in walking distance of the park or had a car parked nearby, so I don’t know how most of them got back. I don’t blame them though, because there is no way I would have left early. Even if it meant hanging around until the tube opened again in the morning, I was going to stay till the very end. It didn’t come to that of course, because the hotel was pretty close by. We did really well there, central, right near the park and cheap.
So wow. And wow, and wow again, because really, that’s the only word that comes to mind. Now lets just hope that it does some good and achieves at least some of what everyone’s hoping it will.