On Wednesday evening, we saw Adele at London’s Wembley Stadium. En route there, our Metropolitan line train was the most packed tube carriage I have ever experienced – and I commuted for years on the Underground. Yet it was all good humored: it was clear where most of the passengers would be leaving the train.
As still more people struggled to get on at the last stop before the stadium, in the ridiculously jammed car I had become separated from my wife. As we pulled into Wembley Park, a woman rather closer to me than any woman other than my wife should be, asked me to give her some space to pass so she could get off the train. However, no one was moving an inch until the doors opened. I chuckled and replied, “I think we’re all going to the same place anyway.”
And I was right. She had no trouble disembarking. After the doors parted, our “slow stampede” for the stairs up to the street began…
Ah, a concert. Adele. We even altered the timing of a possible trip to America to be here for this.
No writing. Nor even a need to think about writing.
Or so I had, uh, thought.
I see photos of last night are all over Instagram. I might as well add a couple of my own. Adele, at Wembley: pre-show and during the performance. . Her singing speaks for itself. What is also amazing is how amusing she is between songs. She manages to make a stadium show to 98,000 seem intimate. . If you are fortunate enough to be at one of the remaining 3 performances, you will enjoy it. . #Adele #wembleystadium #June28 #Wembley #concert #photos #photography #music #London #England #travel #writers #authors #writersofinstagram #authorsofinstagram #fun #instagood #expats #expatlife
Adele made no effort to hide the fact that she claims she suffers from terrible stage fright. The gigantic size of this audience, she repeatedly stated (sometimes using “coarse” language; she has a bit of what English relations of mine would term “a potty mouth“), was almost too much for her to comprehend. (“I don’t play to crowds like this. This ain’t usual.”) Yet the crowd’s connection with her was remarkable: she seemed to have had 98,000 fawning admirers in attendance.
That said, she joked at one point also about the men present having likely been dragged to her show by their women. I will say that there were groups of women together; and many men did seem to be accompanying women. Regardless, it was a diverse crowd in terms of ages, running the gamut from teenagers to what appeared to be retirees.
Between songs, Adele had also voiced this at one point – or at a couple of points, because I am unsure now if she said it all at once, or in a few separate bursts of “thinking out loud” to the crowd. And this is not verbatim. So although I write it here as a single quote, it is really a more general recollection:
I’m so pleased to be in your life. I can’t know all of you, but I’m so humbled I’m in your car on the way to college or work; that you’ve let me into your life. I don’t listen to my own music around the house. That would be weird.
Thus a singer/songwriter. What she said there could apply to any singer or other entertainer. Indeed, it could, in its way, apply to a book writer, too, of course.
So much for not thinking about writing.
Briefly I recalled how I tend to behave. When I’ve finished writing a novel, I don’t like to re-read it. The problem is I must re-read it if the next one is based in any way on that previous one. I may feel quite content about it and then, bam, I find something I wrote that aggravates me which I had somehow not noticed before – because, after all, no writing is ever “perfect.” You can produce 120,000 words and even post-publication still find sentences here and there that make you groan.
For the first time in about 15 months, this morning I was staring once more at that *blank page!* . Terrifying! Horrifying! A feeling of being lost! Utterly alone! Hopeless! Trapped! My life is over! I've got nothing left to say!😳 . Can I do it again?🤔 . Such is what every writer perpetually faces. You pour all of you into an effort, and after it is completed you have to start all over. . Since I snapped that photo around 8 am, it's not a blank page any longer.📸The first disjointed, messy "brainstorming" pages are on that Microsoft Surface. Uh, "2019," here we come!📕📝💻😂 . Ooh, it's after 5pm UK time, too! 👏🥃 . #writer #writers #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #photo #photography #homeoffice #microsoftsurface #fiction #novel #historicalfiction #romancenovels #romancenovel #humor #humour #Hertfordshire #England #afternoon #drinks #alcohol #aperitif
I had been “messing around” in recent weeks, trying to rest, and only occasionally making some notes and writing tiny bits and pieces. Conventions was finished in April. At nearly two and a half months, this has been my longest “vacation” from writing since I began to write Passports in 2012.
Perhaps it was the concert: it did help relax me and got me thinking once more. “Okay, friends, what are we going to do today?” was a line my uncle always asked himself as he began his writing day and I have shamelessly appropriated it. I’m finally feeling fully that way again…
This morning there are images dancing around in my head of a sailing ship, a future U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, a gentleman, a lady, and young children, on a voyage to Europe in 1797…
Yes, it’s time to get back to work. It’s the last day of June. As we know, no novel ever gets written unless you write it.
Have a good weekend, wherever you are in the world. 🙂
UPDATE: July 1: The BBC tells us:
Adele has cancelled the final two shows of her world tour, due to take place at London’s Wembley Stadium this weekend, after damaging her vocal cords.
The “devastated” singer said she had taken the decision on medical advice.
“To say I’m heartbroken would be a complete understatement,” London-born Adele wrote in a Twitter post in the early hours
Her voice apparently couldn’t take it. And she refused to “mime” to the audience. She hopes to reschedule the shows.
I am really glad now we went the first night. Whew.