To continue. We got to the car hire desk at the airport early, unconscionably early, when it turned out that a blip in the system (or someone with an over-decimalized brain thinking that 16.30 was the same as 6.30pm) meant that they weren’t expecting us for another three and a half hours. So we sat and watched the airy-planes until they found us some variety of Renault – a Clio, I think it was. It had thoughtfully been parked at the end of the row, so it didn’t matter whether I set off in first gear or reverse, and the windscreen wipers were fairly intuitive – a good start.
After a certain amount of random driving around Belfast we found ourselves outside the Maths and Physics department of Queen’s University. Since the gig (Tim Minchin, in case I haven’t mentioned it) was part of the university Festival we decided that this was probably close enough, and as a group of astonishingly clean and unmistakably maths students decided to call it a Sunday afternoon, we gingerly (no pun intended, Rory) edged into their parking space.
After a pizza and water (see what depths this driving business plunges me to) we got to the venue at around six o’clock, with an hour to go before the doors opened. Keen as we were to get into the first few rows, this seemed somewhat obsessional, so we went for a token walk to pretend that we weren’t that bothered. It didn’t make much difference anyway, because we were still the only ones there when we got back again. By seven there was a respectable queue behind us, enough for a few gasps and murmurs as the man himself strode through our midst, rather taller and less diffident than we had expected, though that was probably a combination of the boots and an entirely understandable desire to get in out of the October chill.
Anyway, it was all decidedly worth it; Rory was the first through the door, so we got our front row seats, about four feet from the stage.