I might not mention my husband very often on my blog, but he really does exist. He is a very hard working man who has been an amazing father to Baby Bear and Little Chick and so we decided last Christmas to do something a bit special for him.
He has been a huge fan of Billy Joel for over 30 years. We even used his daughters name in one of ours! But for many reasons, he has never seem him live on concert.
We booked tickets to see Billy and Elton John in concert June 1998 at Wembley. About 48 before the concert, Billy Joel pulled out of the concert due to illness. We were given a choice to either have as refund or go and see just Elton John. Now, as the tickets had been quite expensive, we chose to get our money back as it really was Billy Joel that we had paid to go and see.
Queue 18 years later, and just before Christmas 2015 it was announced that Billy Joel was doing a tour. This involved just one gig in 2016 in the UK.
Well, what an ideal Christmas present?!?!
Eagerly I sat at my computer on the morning of the tickets going on sale. My plan was to get two tickets and then worry about who was going to accompany him to the concert. Now, don’t get me wrong I like Billy Joel as much as the next person. But I am not as big a fan as my husband is.
I logged on, grabbed the two tickets and hid the emails so he wouldn’t know anything about it until Christmas. Fingers crossed.
Christmas Day arrived and I handed him an envelope with an IOU voucher inside, and a copy of the order confirmation. He was absolutely blown away and genuinely didn’t expect that I would have ordered the gig tickets. And then we settled in to wait for September to arrive.
Both the girls said they would go to the concert with him as they quite like a bit of Billy Joel, but he was adamant that he wanted me to go with him.
However, before September, his birthday came along and I decided to book a hotel in London for the night of the concert. Again another IOU voucher and a copy of the booking was handed out. Train tickets were given by the girls. So he was pretty much set up.
Now, I have to admit I was okay with going to the gig initially however then realised that it was on the same day as the biggest plus size event of the year – The Curve Fashion Fest. However, he doesn’t usually ask for much in life, so of course Billy Joel took precedence.
I have to admit to being a little grumpy about missing out on The Curve Fashion Fest, however there was to be an even bigger bonus on the horizon.
A few years ago the whole family had gone to the Radio 2 Festival in a Day at Hyde Park and had an amazing time. We hadn’t been since due to not particularly liking the line up in the past couple of years, however we always listen in when they are announcing the guests just in case there is someone we are desperate to see.
For anyone not aware of the event, every year after Proms in the Park, Radio 2 hold a full day of music. The year we went, we saw Jools Holland, James Blunt, Lenny Kravitz, Beverley Knight, Will Young, Chic, Caro Emerald and Gary Barlow. All for around £40!
The date was the 11th September. The day after Billy Joel’s concert. Now, who was going to be on the line-up?
Listening with baited breath, the headliner was announced first – Elton John! What a great start.
Over the course of a week more names were announced; Madness, Gregory Porter, Jamie Lawson, Status Quo, Travis and LeAnn Rimes. Well I don’t think you could get a better line-up than that!
He has been a Madness fan for even longer than Billy Joel, so what a bonus.
I have been a Gregory Porter fan for the past few years, so the chance of seeing him alone was too good to resist. The others were literally the icing on the cake.
I waited for the tickets to go on sale, and again found myself up early sitting at the computer waiting for the time of release. Two tickets later and I was a happy bunny. And at the bargain price of only £42 a ticket.
The last thing I needed to do was to alter the hotel reservation. So now instead of having one night away, we have upgraded the booking to stay in private apartments close to Hyde Park. That way we don’t have too far to go after a hectic couple of days. To be honest I think we will need a few days off to get over it all!
Monday we have the choice to either spend a day having further adventures (afternoon tea if I get my way) or to leave and get our probably tired selves home.
Any suggestions of something leisurely we can do on that day? Not too expensive and not too exhausting please!
Hit me with your ideas