Thursday, 8 November 2018


 So... I get to the Festival Hall to queue for Michelle Obama tx at 8 am.Tickets were going on sale at 10. Plenty of time I thought. My daughter really wanted to see Michelle in person, but  unbeknownst to moi, so did 30,000 other people, online on phone and in person. It was chilly as I joined the queue at the bottom of Hungerford Bridge. They hadn't opened the doors yet and the crowd snaked round the building. Commuters hurried, staring past the queue, uncomprehending, making their way from Waterloo across the bridge to work in West End. Here  was a graphic representation of class and race in Britain (if ya wanna go that way) most people in the queue were black, most of the commuters were white. I must have stuck out like a sore thumb in the queue. At 9.05 a cheer erupted from the front of the queue, round the corner and about 40 yards and 120 people away. The cheer was for opening the doors: we could carry on queuing in the warm now. We moved inside, the queue snaked around the foyer, the box office terminals were still off. I, nursing wounds from trying to get on a bike yesterday and falling off,  gratefully found a chair and sat for fifteen minutes before the queue  moved forward a few  feet
At just gone 11am I didn't know what to do, we were nearing the front of the queue but  the ushers told us there were no more tickets. People were beginning to get annoyed and looking anxiously into their phones connecting to the South Bank website 'Welcome to the queue' it said. Back to the real world. I stopped peering into my neighbours phone and look at the scene in front of me -  still no tickets. The ushers, while trying to deal with the queue, were doing their best dealing with an uncertain situation and swiftly changing information in their earpieces,. I checked my phone, it was dead, out of juice, so I borrowed a phone and called Jasmeet to warn her. I had to open the shop at 12  and there was a customer waiting, she said.  I might be late opening the shop I said.
'Sold out' they announced at 11.20. I left the queue and hurried to make my way to the shop by 12. I got to shop at 1202 and called again to let the shop know that I  had arrived. ‘Oh that customer is not coming ‘ I needn’t have rushed. I was obviously flustered I don't know if I heard clearly but I think she said "you will rise nicely" quelling my seething, perturbed spirit. Yes life goes on, we rise above these little traumas. Yes but I would like my daughter to have seen Michelle. But then later when I text her to let her know of queuing in the early morning  cold for non existent tickets she texts me ‘it’s chil dw’[‘don’t worry’], oblivious to my efforts. Hmm, I decided not to educate my unhearing daughter on the finer points of the difference between needless anxiety and heartfelt concern. On we go ... 3 hours in the cold though ... on we go

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