It was going well… too well.
We had picked up driving snacks and water in Asda and my co-pilot, Sam, was passing me crisps dipped in sour cream and slices of broccoli quiche as we went. We only stopped once an hour after leaving Hull; I wanted a Soya Milk Cappuccino from Starbucks – nom.
Only as we were approaching the last few junctions into Coventry, did I lose my head. My leg began to ache again and I could feel the skin around the bite getting tight.
So when a van with three men in the front pulled out on me at the roundabout, I shouted every swearword, held my horn down and made sure they saw me sign them. Naturally when I saw they were shouting something back, I was enraged.
“Ugh – who do they think they are? Shouting back?!?! I’m going back round!! I’m gona drive into them.”
“Oook, calm down, calm down -” everyone soothed.
Trying my hardest to get a grip of myself I said, “Sorry, I’m tired and my leg hurts.”
“Shall I drive the last bit?” Sam asked.
“There’s only 18 minutes left, I’ll be ok” – I could almost hear everyone’s thoughts: You might be ok, but we aren’t, you psycho. “- thanks though.”
A few minor rants later we were at the Apartment we had booked.
We parked up next to an SUV with its windows down and plumes of Ganja smoke pouring out.
“Let us in”, I joked.
And that’s when the heavens opened, no really- let us in, I thought.
On the way from Hull we had gone from fluffy clouds, rain, big black grey clouds and stunning sunshine. We really had no idea what to expect from the weather tonight. Google had changed its mind every time we looked.
We grabbed every bag and case we could, nobody was going back out in that – and we scrambled for the front door and sweated up 2 flights of stairs.
It was 3pm.
For the next few hours the rain came down like it was trying to cleanse Coventry of some biblical stain. Never mind Spice Girls, it was looking more like Drowned Girls. The doors to the arena opened at 5pm but there was no way we would be there by then and none of us could see sense in getting there so early.
The others were only too excited to go to the concert and all I could think is how much I wanted to put my PJ’s on and rest my leg. Going out in the cold rain was the last thing I wanted to do. I may have been feeling sorry for myself, but I was genuinely gutted.
The day was ruined.
Within half an hour I was pretty much done and ready. It worked out well because I don’t think I could have managed any other Spice. I had the easiest dress up; trainers on my feet and Braids in my hair.
“I need help with my eyelashes”
“I can’t do my make up”
“What can I do with my hair?”
– well lucky for these lot, I was a bit of a Skilled Spice too and after a bit of sticking and a bit of spraying and lots of puffing and blowing and yanking – I had a Baby Spice, a Scary Spice and a Ginger Spice to go with my Sporty Spice.
….It only took 2 and half hours.
Ok, so everyone looked amazing and I couldnt help feeling excited again.
Time for a photo shoot – well, a phone propped up in front of the TV with a timer on – shoot.
We Zig-a-Zig-ahhed, peace signed and pouted for a good 20 minutes before I looked out the window – ughhh it was so deflating, but Sam and Kate and Alex seemed completely unaffected. All I could think is how gorgeous they all looked and how washed out we would be after the rain got us.
“Did anyone bring a brolly?”…
“No”, everyone chimed.
Sam was counting the Uber down and we knew we would have to make a run for it. As the Uber approached it seemed the rain was getting worse.
We all started to check and pack our little bags.
We touched up our make up.
“Cigs, phones, keys…??”
“Three minutes, ok lets head down”, Sam shouts.
Everyone chugged their final drinks.
“Have you got the tickets?” Kate asks.
“Oooh my God, noooo”, shouts Sam with a giggle, “I almost left them”.
“SAAAMMM!!!” we all shout.
“I’m too excited”, she squeals as she shoves them into her little pink backpack. Thank God for Kate.
We made it down the stairs without falling down them, which was a win considering the Heels on everyone but me.
By the time we were in the Uber, the downpour was so horrendous, we could barely see out of the windows.
I was now Grumpy Spice.
I’m just going to stand at the bar, I want to go home, is it over yet, my leg hurts so bad, this is shit… of course I didn’t say any of that, but you could have probably read it on my face.
As we were pulling into the side of the arena, Sam, Kate and Alex were a gaggle of gorgeous squealing Spice Girl fangirls; meanwhile, I was looking for those people selling ponchos on the side of the road because that was where I was going to ask the driver to pull up.
There were two poncho sellers as we got out the car. A woman first then a man almost right behind her.
I saw immediately what they were selling were little more than bin-liners with hoods.
“How much for four?” I call to the lady.
“Three Pounds each!” She says and I can’t help but scoff.
“Give us four for a tenner?” I ask and she shakes her head in disgust and mutters something under her breath.
The guy behind saw me and I shouted the same over to him, he resisted a little, but Sam was on it and already pushing a soggy £10 note into his hand. Defeated, he dished out the hoods.
“Yessss!” Why I felt this was such a win is beyond me, but I was chuffed to bits with my tinted pink bin-liner hooded poncho.
So with my mood lifted, despite the god-awful rain, the only thing really messing me up now, was my leg. The cues were only a few people deep, so we had timed it perfectly… or had we?
We weren’t waiting long to get into the arena and out of the rain but once inside, there was a 15 minutes wait for the toilets, (I wasn’t bothered about that- I was just happy to be out the rain) and the brief moment on the loo was sweet relief to my poor foot while I was sat down.
The next cue was the food and beer cue!! This was easy going to be half an hour. There may have been nobody in the cues outside, but that was because they were all in cues in the arena waiting for beer and burgers.
In all our waiting about in different cues, I noticed all the men. From 16 to 60!! There were loads of them. What were they all doing here. Spice Girls had a following that surpassed a thousands of 8 year-old school girls and I was shocked to see the range of their audience. But the more the merrier, I guess.
Through the gaps in the stands we could see the rain was stopping. Even in our plastic ponchos and half sodden, we were still the best dressed Spice Girls in the arena and I was chuffed to bits at how awesome everyone looked.
I won’t say what we ended up paying for 4 pints and a burger, but what really pissed me off was that it said there was a veggie option on the menu and when our own Ginger Spice, Kate, asked for one, the server said nowhere in the arena does veggie food!! She was a total bitch about it too (we even saw someone with chips a bit later, but it was way too late at that point). So I hope karma gets a hold of her and gives her a severe rash or something for being so rude. Poor Kate settled for a bit of a burger bun, but she was far too excited to care.
Anyyyyyways!!! Finally we were getting somewhere, the rain had become nothing more than a trickley spit. That was enough for Alex and Sam – they tore off their plastic ponchos in an epic effort to show up the real Spice Girls! Alex even looked so good she ended up on Mel B’s Instagram. G’wwwaaan Alex!
As for me and Kate, we were a little more skeptical about the weather and ours stayed on a little longer. I was keeping mine on because as soon as we found a spot away from the crowd down the side of the arena, I planted myself on the floor. I was going to drink my beers and rest my leg.
I didn’t care who was looking (everyone looked). I’d had less than 3 hours sleep, I’d driven two and half hours and barely sat down since I got out the car, I was cold and wet, my leg hurt and worst of all… I WAS THIRTY TODAY!!!!
Yes, I felt sorry for myself. More than anyone had felt sorry for themselves in the history of feeling sorry for themselves. I was sitting on the floor of that stadium until I had finished this beer and that was that.
It was my birthday and I’ll sulk if I want to.
Ten minutes into my resting-sulk, a ripple of commotion began fluttering through the crowd. It was too early for Spice Girls so it could only be Jess Glynne, the support act; one of Alex’s favourite singers.
I had no choice, something was starting and as patient as Kate and Sam and Alex had been, they needed to be closer to the show – who was I to hold them back.
Maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the atmosphere, (or maybe I really just needed that ten minutes on the floor) but as music started I was lifted (figuratively and physically, because I needed a hand up). Alex, Kate and Sam’s excitement and squeals were infectious.
To me and a lot of others around us, Jess Glynne looked a lot like she was coming out of a Ket-hole and she seemed tired and bored. My sister on the other hand, couldn’t have been more thrilled and was having the time of her life, so that was good enough for me.
As the crowds grew louder laughing, singing and dancing, it was as though the Sun wanted in on the action, and glorious orange beams of light began to light up the arena; it was time to lose the ponchos.
… and go for another wee… and get more beer!
Alex and Kate went first, missing the last two songs from Jess Glynne’s Crack Set and with only minutes to spare Sam and I decided to brave it.
After fighting our way through the crowds… well I smashed people out the way dragging Sam behind me – we finally made up to the stairs, then down to the toilets where 40 other women waited in line. Now if there hadn’t of been attendants checking the male toilet doors, we would have happily hovered over a urinal but not wanting to get thrown out, I restrained myself. So from Stand 23, I dragged my Baby Spice all the way to stand 36 where we waited all of 3-4 minutes for a loo.
As it turns out, Sam’s feet didn’t hurt until I made her run 13 stands worth of arena…
“Aw no, we still need beers”, Sam reminded me. Feeling a little bad for being the most comfy and agile Spice Girl at this point, (as well as for my Grumpy behaviour) I decided to take one for the team because minutes before I was due to be served, we heard the Intro to Spice up your Life.
“Sam, Go Go, get us a little vid of the opening!!!” I shouted, getting butterflies and goosebumps all over. It took everything I had not to start screaming with the overwhelming excitement I felt in that moment.
“No, I can’t it’s your birthday, you go”, Sam argued.
“Get your Baby Spice Ass up them stairs now, I will be up in a minute I am almost being served” I shouted. With the biggest grin and a little squeak she was flying up the stairs!!
Moments later I had 5 bottles and was running up the stairs after her.
AND THERE THEY WERE!!!!!!
Every good thing I remember about being a little girl was right there!! The Mother Ducking Spice Girls Baby!!!!!!!
It took my breath away!! The real girls were stood right there, singing their hearts out. Trotting up and down the stage like they did in their 20’s. Here they were now, with a whole generation of life and experiences behind them like we all did. They had all grown-up!! But here we were and I felt eight years old again.
Grabbing my hand and with so much hysterical energy that it almost came off, Sam took over dragging us both back to the spot where Alex and Kate were waiting.
When they saw us through the crowds we were finally complete. We were a frenzy of screams and squeals.
We sang, we laughed, we cuddled, we screamed, we cheered, we danced we screamed and cheered some more!
I was not prepared for how overwhelmed and emotional I felt seeing our childhood superstars chatting and laughing and singing right in front of us. I imagine a lot of people might think, Oh Come On, it’s only the Spice Girls for God sake; but to think when I was a little girl, going to concerts just didn’t happen to us, they were just too expensive. So stood there, in that moment, it was like we were at a concert we had been waiting 20 years to go to.
It may have been a helluva day –
But it was nothing compared to the birthday night of my life.
The night was mindblowing from one song to the next! The Spice Girls, from what I have read, have had some rave reviews. I aren’t going to go into much detail about the night with the girls on stage. They were absolutely fantastic and deserved every bit of praise they get and if you didn’t get chance to go then I am sorry you missed out.
Thanks Dad and Sam – you did good!!!