Anything left for this? (flashes a leaflet in my face.)
Sure, how many is it for please?
Four, if you've got them. Wherever you think best.
OK. Do you prefer the stalls or would you like to go upstairs, I have good seats in both areas? ( Ishow them the seating plan.)
(He mops his large bold head which is dripping profusely onto the counter top. His wife smiles benevolently. Neither have any intention of committing.)
Wherever you think will give us a good view, you know best. Don't worry, we won't come looking for you, just give us some decent seats. (They both laugh in an affected relaxed manner.)
I can see where this is heading but find at least three options of seating to show them which they study.They look at each other and then back at me. She is still smiling in a -'We are determined not to be any trouble.' - kind of way.
Yeah, any of those. Wherever you would be happy sitting is fine.
Perhaps they really don't mind and it's time to close this sale.
I usually sit downstairs, these are a bit off- centre but you will see the artist's faces very clearly. OK?
They both nod and he shrugs his shoulders totally non-plussed. I begin the process of booking still not entirely convinced. As I'm typing I see her out of the corner of my eye squinting at the seating plan, her index finger travelling over the seats I am about to book. She traces an imaginary eye line from the seats to the stage. She looks at him, he's busy soaking up the perspiration which shows no sign of abating. I wonder at this unpleasant affliction imagining the extent of their weekly laundry. Pillow cases, in particular, must be a nightmare. In my head I begin to count. 10...she tries to nudge him discreetly 9...he catches her eye and she raises her eyebrows 8...
Postcode please? 7...
He's suddenly caught between trying to understand her silent gesticulations and answering me. She's pointing at various seats which I have already shown them, 6...
And the name on the card please? 5...
The computer screen flips onto confirmation of booking and my finger is poised for authorisation of credit card. 4...3...2...
How much further back would we need to go for central seats?
With great sadness we watch the news as yet more of our soldiers are brought home slowly through our streets to their final resting place. We wonder at the waste of life both here and abroad, military and domestic and question our presence in these countries at all.
I wore my poppy today and felt how deeply pertinent and relative to the daily lives of serving families it has become. I wore it for them and for all victims of war.
James Blunt wrote a song called 'Carry You Home' drawing on his own experiences of combat which I would like to leave you with now. The sentiment is far stronger than I could ever hope to achieve with mere words.
I'm a bit of a John Denver fan on the quiet. I get it from my dad who played Country/Easy Listening as I grew up. We attended many of his concerts whenever he was in the U.K. and I even managed to see him when I was working on a summer camp in Maine over in the U.S. A girl I had become friends with, (I forget her name,) borrowed someones pick-up truck and we drove out to Orchard Park for an open air event. I was amazed by how relaxed the audience were sitting on their picnic rugs scoffing sandwiches while he stood on stage doing his thing and couldn't resist blagging my way to the front under the pretence of having travelled there especially for his show.
We had a blast, well as much as you can to his kind of music.
One of dad's favourite songs (and mine too) is 'The Wings That Fly Us Home,' which comes from the album, 'Spirit'. He wants us to play it at his funeral and is only sorry that he won't be able to fully embrace the experience himself except from some far away place wherever that may be. Dad thinks he is John Denver whenever he picks up a guitar to have a strum or a singalong which he doesn't do so often these days because his fingers have become gnarled with age and arthritis.
I loved it when he played. He became someone else for a little while as he escaped into that other world of dreams that didn't involve face masks to protect against inhaling sawdust from the machines he worked on all day turning out kitchens we could never afford to buy. I'd watch his fingers picking the chords, his eyes closed,on stage somewhere with John by his side rather than on the turn-table in the dining room, until one of my sisters' begged him to turn it down. He even got together with a few others to form a group and went around the old folk's home at Christmas time. (I may have been persuaded to take the mic' myself on one or two occasions but that's another story.)
I received a parcel today from America which I have been waiting for. Inside was 'Spirit' on CD because like dad, I only had a vinyl copy which has long since been gathering dust in the loft. The memories came flooding back the minute I put it on to play. My children stood amazed as I embraced the moment and howled along with John at the top of my voice in my own dining room this time, lost in another world altogether until they begged me to turn it down.
Johnny-boy died in'97, the same year as Diana. My dad misses being in concert with him and I miss being in concert with my dad. Anyway, here he is, follow the link below, close your eyes, relax and enjoy.