Leaving the stadium

Thursday 9th August 2012

GIGS that are truly wonderful should last forever. I guess that’s why they invented the encore: to remind us we’ll all have to go home at some point, but not quite yet.

It helps if the bar’s still open. Then you can stay at the venue a bit longer; chat to friends; maintain something of the atmosphere; unwind if you’ve been performing. The number of audience members showing a reluctance to leave is often an indication of how fantastic the evening has been.

After watching I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue recordings, I usually go out for a meal with Barry Cryer and Colin Sell: a sit-down Chinese slows the pulse, fills empty stomachs, and allows Baz to entertain us with more of his vast store of stories.

Likewise, there’s a chippy in Solihull and a curry house here in Cirencester that have become part of the evening’s repertoire. The days of partying till dawn, however, are long gone.

I wonder if the nation will suffer a collective slump when the Olympics are over.

For many, this has been the ‘greatest show on Earth’: a sixteen-day gig of non-stop, visual and emotional excitement. But what happens when the last finisher in the last event crosses the line? or when your evening in the stadium ends? or when reminded of all those postponed chores?

Time and tide wait for no man, unfortunately.

A school friend and I went away for a week’s camping after getting our A-level results. He’d just bought a second-hand car and, to my surprise, we made it without incident to Cornwall.

Being football followers, we ended the week in Torquay, to take in the Friday night game at Plainmoor: the first of the new season and a (somewhat plain) 0-0 draw. Good weather though and a sizeable crowd. We parked a few streets away and simply followed everybody else to the ground.

But what I remember most about that night was trying to find the car afterwards, wandering a maze of streets in panic and dismay.

However humdrum next week feels, I do hope nobody has had similar problems on leaving the stadium.







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