I missed Saturday’s post because I was through in Glasgow visiting my parents. We didn’t leave until early afternoon, which suited me fine as it meant I could get on with some work before we left. I have so much to do over the next couple of days because the Muse Conference starts on Monday and I need to get up to speed with all that’s going on with it, as well as completing this new series of articles I have been assigned. It’s going to be a really hard week if I don’t get these articles completed, because I want to give the conference my utmost attention and get the best out of it.
My mother made a wonderful meal of fresh chicken, mashed potatoes, sprouts, carrots, gravy, and later on, the roast potatoes joined us, too. It was delicious and very filling, and despite my father dipping his hands in to help himself early on, we all got plenty on our plates.
Several months ago I was lucky enough to get tickets to see Queen & Paul Rodgers, and tonight was the night of the gig. Leaving Laura with my parents, Gail and I set off for the SECC for the gig, and on the way there I took Gail through the world famous Clyde Tunnel to get to the venue. You can’t beat the Tunnel for childish excitement as one passes under the river, craking jokes about cracks and leaks in the roof.
We got there safely, however, and just in the nick of time, too. Ten minutes after parking the car the band were on stage; Queen, led by Paul Rodgers but without bass player, John Deacon, and of course, the late great Freddie Mercury, had a lot to do to convince me the £110 I paid for the two tickets were worth it.
Two and a half hours later and after a gig of epic proportions, I would have to say that, yes, we got our money’s worth. I’ve never paid that amount for a ticket before – and probably never will again – but it was a superb performance that I wouldn’t have missed. Queen belted out hit after hit, but also reflected on some of the older songs and paid tribute to Freddie on a couple of touching occasions.
For me, the highlight was when they used the stage extension that poked right out into the centre of the crowd, and started playing at the end of the runway. At one point they left Roger Taylor on his own, with nothing but a cymbal to play on. He began playing it slowly and then a roadie come on with a bass drum; the rhythm got more complicated. Then the roadie was back with a snare – more rhythm – and then another drum – and this continued, so that as Taylor increased the complication of the solo drum set, the roadie actually built a large set of drums around him that got used more and more expertly. It was true genius.
Brian May’s not a bad guitar player either. I forgave him for his public spat with Madness front man, Suggs, earlier in the year, and really enjoyed watching the man with the big hair do his thing. It really was all about Freddie, though, and while Paul Rodgers is a great singer of extreme confidence, Freddie seemed to be in the back of most people’s minds throughout. It’s unavoidable, but hats off to the band for pulling off something so spectacular without him.
Before we left today, my mother gave me some photographs of me niece, Charlotte, and some old ones of me as a baby with various members of my family, some of which have made it onto the wall in my office already. She also gave me a great book for my birthday; The Wit and Wisdom of Great Writers. It’s packed full of great quotes by writers through the ages and will make great “toilet reading”, but not in a bad way.
After a hearty breakfast of rolls & sausage and coffee, we packed up and headed back through to Edinburgh around lunchtime today. We stopped off at one of Edinburgh’s Royal hotels to check the place out for a wedding Gail is shooting next week. I accompanied her inside, and was taken aback by the history adorning the walls. They have memorabilia, photographs, and limited edition paintings of World War I and II veterans alongside paintings of various senior members of the Royal family. Everything was carpeted (with the good stuff) with mahogany features along the walls and a staircase that looks as though it’s come from a time when these things actually mattered. We were shown through various reception rooms, the cocktail lounge, and the dining room, and in the library, amongst their extensive collection of rare books, I saw a first edition hardback about the Great War written by Winston Churchill. Quite something, I have to say, and all of it went into my notebook for the day when one of my characters finds themselves inside the building.
Back home and after a trip to a couple of DIY stores, I got back to work. My Slick synopsis is now fully complete and ready to go and I finished the second draft on the new articles. Also moving forward nicely is my NaNo novel outlining, and tomorrow I can get stuck into the Muse Conference with some ticks on the GDR sheet to take the heat off.
An early start should suffice.
£323.71 already raised!! On Sunday 5th October I abseiled off the Forth Rail Bridge in aid of the charity that runs Edinburgh Zoo, the RZSS. You can still help by donating a few pounds by visiting my sponsorship page at:
This conference is going to rock!