Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
All's Well That Ends Well
by Russell Turner - 16:15 on 23 March 2017
Yesterday began badly but finished even better than I’d hoped. Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman were brilliant.
My plan had been to begin the journey to Glasgow by car to Dingwall, where I’d join the train to Inverness that Mrs Tweedy had taken from Invergordon. However, unwilling to risk Son of Seat being marked as abandoned and towed away after three nights in a car park (it does need a good clean), I activated Plan B which began with a brisk walk from The Rural Retreat to a nearby bus shelter.
The bus from Cromarty arrived on time at 11.10am, then creaked away in the direction of Rosemarkie at the speed of an arthritic tractor (because we were stuck behind one) where it stopped while the bus driver chatted on his phone with Stagecoach HQ. From there we crept to Fortrose where he cheerily announced that we would go no further because of a suspension problem. This was not good news for those of us with a train to catch.
I should have arrived in Inverness with almost an hour in which to relax before the 12.53 to Glasgow Queen Street sped south. In the event, after a nail-biting half-hour wait the next bus got me there with twenty minutes to spare. At the station I was greeted by a blithely unconcerned Mrs Tweedy who hadn’t received my panicked text because her number had changed.
Things improved after that: the journey was pleasant; in Edinburgh we found the Brooks Hotel, ten minutes’ walk away, with the minimum of fuss; and not long after that we were dining in a handy Italian restaurant. We’ll overlook the monsoon that was soaking the city. From there it was another short walk to Usher Hall were we joined a small throng waiting damply for doors and the bars to open. At least the management let us into the foyer, out of the rain.
As you’d expect, the crowd that filled the auditorium was predominantly male and grey-haired (where it still existed) but there were a few female companions, and even some younger-looking music fans. The band came on only ten minutes late, Rick Wakeman in trademark gaudy cloak (which failed to hide his pot belly), then for two hours played old Yes songs to general rejoicing. The musicianship was spectacular – especially Lee Pomeroy’s five-minute bass solo – and Jon Anderson’s voice seems unchanged from the Seventies.
The set ended with Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Wakeman (with mobile keytar) and Trevor Rabin walking into and around the audience while they played, then ended properly with an encore of Roundabout, the whole crowd on its feet. I’d wondered if the gig could live up to my hopes. It was better.
Back at the hotel, in the bar we discovered that two other guests had been at the gig – a couple who’d travelled from Huddersfield and enjoyed the pre-gig VIP package of meeting the band and attending the sound check. Much chat ensued and a Jack Daniels or three was taken. Both seemed bemused that I’d attended the gig with my substitute wife, and that neither of our spouses were concerned. Maybe they didn’t realise we had separate rooms.
Our platonic partnership ended this morning when Mrs Tweedy took the train back to Inverness and I took one to Glasgow. I’d planned to spend tourist time in Edinburgh but, unlike further west, the rain still fell so I left early. That may have been a mistake. My room at the Merchant City Inn was not available until 1.30 so I spent ninety minutes tramping around Glasgow, broken only by a brief wander around the Museum of Modern Art (the only such place handy) where I found nothing to enjoy. I’ll seek out better ones tomorrow.
Matchgirl's old phone took rotten gig pictures, so here's one of the band on stage in London a few days ago (not by me).
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