Saturday, 20th March 2004
had been a nightmare journey from my home in Sussex. As one
of the few remaining non-drivers in the world, I travelled to
Northampton by train…. or rather, I didn't!
stopped at Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, about 35 miles
short of my destination. We had hit a log on the track. This
had knocked out the brakes so the fact that we stopped at all
should have been appreciated but, in my desperation not to miss
the start of the concert, it wasn't! I had felt nothing but
others said they had noticed "a bit of a jolt". We
were informed that another train would tow us to the next station
but there was no sign of it and no indication as to how long
this little escapade might take. I waited patiently, if somewhat
anxiously, concerned that time was passing and I still had some
way to go.
When I could
delay no longer and, with ever-increasing levels of desperation,
I telephoned many taxi companies before finding one that could
make the journey immediately. Luckily, another passenger agreed
to share the taxi - and the fare, but it still cost twenty-five
pounds - each!
crosswinds then caused a lorry to overturn, blocking all three
lanes of the M1 and causing a four-mile tailback and a further
delay of an hour and a quarter. There was nothing I could do
except panic so that's what I did, seriously doubting that I
would make it in time. I eventually reached my hotel more than
three hours later than planned, tired and hungry and detecting
the approach of a headache. All I wanted was a shower, a cup
of tea and to go to bed - not necessarily in that order! One
out of three was all I could manage before setting off for the
I took my
seat. Such were the effects of the journey that I wasn't really
in the mood to be there at all but very soon I had good reason
to change my mind. Hayley. When she walked onto the stage and
began to sing, I just melted. From then on I felt good, then
great, jubilant and finally, absolutely elated. Her effect is
magical. The soothing qualities of her lovely voice, the enchanting
melodies, and her radiant beauty are enough to pacify the most
was gorgeous. Hayley was mesmerising and truly wonderful. Her
performance, particularly in the final song was quite magnificent.
And, as always, just to be in her presence was an absolute joy.
artists appeared but, for now, I will only say that their contributions
were thoroughly enjoyable and enhanced a truly wonderful occasion.
soon Hayley left the stage for the last time. I had seen her
on three previous occasions but never in her own concert. This
was what so many of us had been waiting for and it sure was
worth the wait. Absolutely delightful.
A full review
of the concert and of my subsequent meeting with Hayley will
appear following the conclusion of the tour. Meanwhile, I have
four more concerts to go to. See you in Cardiff, folks!
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