How’s your imagination? Picture I am some famous singer appearing at Glastonbury … I did say it required imagination! Anyway, headlining – obvs – and walking out onto the Pyramid Stage to harness the adulation, the first thing I would do is ask/tell anyone sitting on someone’s shoulders to get down and show some consideration for those behind! The ego! What makes them think … actually, that’s it, they don’t think. These people – and there are more and more of them – seem to believe that their needs outweigh those of anybody else. Not a thought for those behind, too polite to say, who can no longer see the stage, now eclipsed by a stranger’s backside; a stranger who has paid exactly the same as them but believes herself – typically, female – to be more worthy. No! A bugbear of mine for forever, shots of the crowd during Elton John’s set sent my blood pressure soaring. There they were, set astride, towering above their fellow revellers, loving themselves and desperate to be seen. If the TV cameras, by chance, missed them, they had backup – arms outstretched, they filmed themselves! Meanwhile, down below, those too polite to complain – or, more likely, who had received a string of four-letter expletives in response to their complaint – had, now, to be grateful that their hearing was enhanced courtesy of their lack of vision! Honestly, I don’t understand why anybody allows it? Scared, I suppose, the excuse for so much in this world today for we are no longer connected; it’s all about ME. Dog-eat-dog and to hell with it. All ego, no heart!
Glastonbury. I cannot imagine anything worse, quite honestly. People. Thousands and thousands of them, feeling the love – supposedly! Not convinced. Granted, there are those who pay no heed to the luxuries of hygiene or cleanliness, driven by the need to be a part of something; to see their favourite band; to just be there. I understand. I just couldn’t do it. Claustrophobic at the best of times, to be trapped in amongst thousands of hot, sweaty strangers, unable to get in nor out – let alone see – would be my idea of hell. That’s before the effects of alcohol and inflated egos … Hell! Not even to see the Eagles?! Nope. Not even for them. Elton John?
I saw Elton John in the Eighties at the Odeon in Edinburgh. Wish I could find my elusive ticket stub but … I have long said, however, that it was one of the worst concerts I have ever been to. Honestly! Perhaps that has something to do with expectation. It was Elton John, after all! I love his music – who couldn’t? Absolute classics. Sacrosanct. Or not! Not sure if he had emerged from his druggy phase by then but, suffice to say, he seemed to enjoy giving each of the old favourites a new spin, particularly the endings – which never really ended! Off he went, he and his piano, to somewhere only he knew while we, his audience, were just thankful we had recognised the beginning … Slight exaggeration, perhaps, but there were echoes of that Elton at Glastonbury. No denying the legend that is, nor his amazing catalogue of music, the soundtrack to my life – let’s face it, to everyone’s – but he still hasn’t mastered the art of a good ending, at least live. Rocket Man? Well, he’d been to Mars and back – probably even bumped into Ziggy Stardust – before Elton could prize his chubby little, genius fingers from the piano keys! Oh, well. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. That ‘old dog’, however, has penned the best. Funny, but one always feels compelled to choose a favourite. Don’t know why. Mine, then? Someone Saved My Life Tonight. Always has been, although I do love Crocodile Rock and …
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart? Greatest disappointment of the night. Where was Kiki Dee? Washing her hair?! Where did he find Rina Sawayama and who is she? No substitute, that’s for sure – and someone could have told her that her apology for a dress was see-through! No respect …
Can I segue into Tom Cruise, here? Not sure why they’re, all, in italics now but humour me. Tom Cruise! I mean, who would believe he would follow me to Rome? Only there a week and in he flies, right into the Hassler! Thing is, I was busy so missed him on the Spanish Steps – in soaring temperatures, I might add – but we did pop down for drinks that evening and saw him on his return from the premiere of Mission Impossible 7. Tom Cruise. THE Tom Cruise! Arguably, my favourite actor – well, besides Hugh – he is the real deal, albeit tiny! The guts of the man, though; the definition of ‘macho’. Renowned, too, for being the nicest guy – is he, though? Becca questioned whether he is only the nicest guy when the cameras are rolling? Perhaps … There was a young boy – teenager – and his mother outside the Hassler. He had a bag with him, his hand clutching lots of Tom Cruise paraphernalia to be signed together with a special pen. They had been there all day and seen the Hollywood star come out of the hotel in the morning. He smiled and waved but didn’t speak to anyone. He was to do the same on his return. As he stepped out of the car – looking slightly dishevelled, I might add – shades on, he flashed that smile, lifted his hand and straight into the hotel without a backward glance. What would it have taken to stop? Yes, he had been on public display all day and it was late but … that young boy and his mother had travelled from Tuscany specially. They had been there, in the blistering heat, all day. The boy, clearly, idolised the actor. Tom Cruise, at that moment, fell from his pedestal – he is tiny but, to that young boy, it was a huge fall. More than that, we felt the pain of his mother who was broken-hearted for her son … One of life’s many cruel lessons: all that glitters is not gold. As for Tom Cruise? I’m sure he didn’t notice the boy. He couldn’t know his back story but it might pay him to remember, always, that a few minutes of his time – just a measly few minutes – might mean the world to someone else. A small price to pay.
Ryanair. I can only shake my head – and fill out the survey, as they requested, on my return. Big mistake. Huge! It seemed there was no word limit and I submitted my essay without mishap. Someone will enjoy that! More than deserved, though, after my horrendous journey home last Thursday night. No information, no communication, no apology, just delays, endless queues and buses. Like mindless sheep … As we stood on one of said buses for half an hour in the blistering heat, I saw our plane land. Squashed in like sardines, I couldn’t stop thinking about the lost submersible, Titan, and its five occupants, trapped and running out of oxygen. It would be the following day before they revealed to a gripped world that the tin can had, in truth, imploded when they lost communication one hour and forty-five minutes into their descension to the depths – on Sunday! Who would, voluntarily, choose to do such a thing, let alone pay almost £200,000 for ‘the privilege’?! Utter insanity or just a lack of respect for life … Nothing short of a suicide mission. That is my worst nightmare, to be confined in a tiny space with limited oxygen, forced to sit there for two hours while descending into a darkness broken only by the eerie sight of the Titanic looming up from the sea bed – right there! Gives me the shivers just to see the footage. Resting two miles beneath the surface of an unforgiving ocean, it is, after all, a graveyard; a sacred site, first looted in 1987. The pull of the macabre … Those who could afford to squander hundreds of thousands of pounds on what amounted to personal entertainment have, instead, achieved notoriety; claimed, too, by the wreckage of the doomed ship which deserves to rest in memory – and in peace.
So much to say … no time to do so. Why was the world misled for a week by the Titan ‘rescue’? To distract from the crimes of humanity in a world in which Nicola Sturgeon, somehow, remains an MP? One in which the sexualisation of children is out of control and the pushing of a twisted gender identity in schools is deemed more important than reading or writing; in which a child, this week, has identified as a fox! A world now devoid of respect, responsible for spawning feral adults capable of defacing the most popular monument of the ancient world by carving their initials into its Roman travertine … The tip of the iceberg – told you, I don’t just throw this thing together!
Anyway, the doom and gloom is all-consuming; the prospects poor, at the very least. Escapism would seem our only defence. Bring me a toga – and mine’s a Limoncello Spritz!
‘Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.’
J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan.
This is Trish, signing off.