"AC/DC - Amsterdam-London"


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April 25th 2010
Published: April 25th 2010
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24th June ‘09:

I took a few pictures of the AC/DC show from “front of house” last night. The best “seat” in the Ajax stadium was a basket suspended from the rafters - rather like one of those window-cleaning cradles that dangle from skyscrapers. Clad in a full-body harness (nothing like a corset), I pranced gaily along a metal catwalk just beneath the roof...and looked down. Gulp! Access to the basket, as shown in the photo, was down a rope ladder. The specks below are not dwarfs; 140 feet directly underneath are AC/DC fans. They quaffed Amstel from plastic pint pots, blissfully unaware I was climbing over a waist-high railing above them.

'Nothing loose in your pockets?' asked one of the house riggers, checking I even know what a carabiner is, let alone how to clip onto the inertia line. 'Only a phone, camera, some petty cash and half a dozen signed plectrums,' I said innocently. Blimey, it was high up there. How these rigger chaps can happily straddle beams at this altitude, winching motor cables all day, is beyond me.

Ooh, just while I think of dizzying heights, if you get a chance to see “Man on Wire”, then do so. It's a super documentary about a French tightrope walker who fraudulently enters New York's Twin Towers in the '70s. He rigs a cable, and sure-footedly crosses between the two towers, much to the consternation of the police. But what can they do? Helicopters hover; officers shout. But no one likes the look of retrieving him from the wire.

Wired on nothing but coffee, last night’s drive - finally - was back to Britain. Ah, the White Cliffs of Dover and a plethora of illegal immigrants. Home, sweet home. Those gloved Neanderthals at HM Customs & Excise waved me past, but I had that momentary indecision of looking straight ahead or smiling at them. It's like the green ‘nothing to declare’ channel at airports - if I avoid eye contact I feel conspicuously suspicious, but glancing over chummily could be interpreted as a double bluff. Any expression, I find, is one of guilt, as though I’m concealing a condom of barbiturates up my bottom.

Vultures neatly sidestepped, it was the home run - quite literally. Abandoning the truck at Wembley Stadium, I’ve sneaked down to my house in Hastings on the train, hoping to goodness that I turned the iron off in April..

25th June: 09 (“Home, sweet home”)

Exhausted, I can do little more than dribble in front of Facebook this morning. Yet it seems to be in Swedish, or possibly Finnish. Staring at the screen, utterly fogged, I'm on the verge of despair. Help! As if by magic, a British Airways stewardess rings me. A honeyed word, and she has fixed it. The button, should you ever face this difficulty after a foreign jaunt, is in the bottom left hand corner. The choices for English, incidentally, are UK, US or Pirate. Try the latter, and see if your PC metamorphoses into a parrot and says, 'pieces of eight.'

As usual, there's no time for tomfoolery; the Old Boiler has booked me for lunch. Oh dear, I’m asked what I think of her new fringe. Now this is a trick question, right? Like, ‘does my bum look big in this?’ My answer, however, can’t be too hasty in case I sound dismissive and insincere. I stroke my chin a couple of times and ask her to swivel her neck before admitting she looks rather lovely. In fact she looks rather more lovely than I’m comfortable with now that we’ve "mutually" decided to cut out the sex..


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