There are some things in life that make you feel very ‘English’ – fish and chips, cream teas, supporting the underdog, losing penalty shoot outs, apologising and of course queuing!
We are known across the world for our truly amazing queuing skills on all occasions (mostly in cars on the roads into Manchester city centre!) and how many times do you say ‘sorry’ in a day. No one says sorry as much as the English do – why is that? Sorry you’ve just stood on my toe! Sorry you closed the door on my hand!
So, it should really have been no surprise on a June Saturday night, as we made our way to Old Trafford stadium to watch the fantastic Billy Joel (69 and still rocking despite a double hip replacement!) to see these English traits in action!
We politely walked from the city centre in a nice orderly moving queue and then turned onto one of the side streets approaching the ground to be met by a sea of people – mostly standing in a huge queue. What were they queuing for? Did anybody know? We asked a few people who answered that they ‘had just joined it’. What should we do? Amongst the sea of people stood a smallish member of the stadium team with a loudspeaker barking instructions that no one could hear whilst thousands of people politely stood and queued!
Feeling a bit rebellious we made our way down the middle of the very congested street (I can’t lie the number of ‘queue jumper’ looks aimed towards us was very unsettling!) We reached the front and had no idea what to do or where to go! Cue much-needed police take over (is that really their job?) and at last some order appeared as they began to direct people into more queues! We went as one giant snake back out of the stadium grounds, round the outskirts and then back in.
Join the queue to pass through the turnstiles, queue to find your seats and I am not even going to comment on the length of the queue for the lady’s toilets. Make new friends in the queue, find people from your hometown who (on the advice of the stadium) have parked in the worst place and will be queueing again in a few hours (don’t mention that though.)! And all the time stand politely, smile often, talk to strangers and don’t forget to apologise at every opportunity!
Are we sorry we went? Definitely not! Two and a half hours of favourite songs, band led jamming, Nessun Dorma(?!) and even some Glory, Glory Man Utd! The promised rain and thunderstorms never showed up and as the sun set the stadium was every photographers dream. Thank goodness for the trusty Huawei P20.
Standing ovation, encore, rousing finish, then off we go to stand politely and queue again!
Life and other