Zero-nine-eight yanked down on the stiff metal handle of the giant metal door; it didn’t budge.
She pulled down on it with all her weight, then she jumped up and pushed down on it. Nothing.
Almost out of energy, she tugged hard and pulled down again, her skinny arms stretched upward as she hung from it and her bum grazed the floor. It wasn’t giving even slightly.
She looked about with a mix of fear and anger on her face. She had been running around in a labyrinth of corridors for what felt like hours and her bare feet were so cold they hurt.
There was a keypad too high up to reach next to the door but she didn’t know what she could do about that anyway, they always used a different number on the one in her room.
Brick walls lined the long corridors of concrete floors. There were three different kinds of lights; Long fluorescent strips in the middle of the ceiling which were off at the moment, small tinted red round ones on the wall about two meters apart, which were also off – finally, small white rectangle ones evenly spaced between the red ones, which were on. Most of them didn’t work and there wasn’t a great deal of light, but Zero-nine-eight could see there were no vents, no holes, no spaces to hide in or crawl through.
As she was about to head back the way she came, the hall lit up with the red lights which seemed to be swirling, followed by a shrill siren which sounded three times and stopped.
They were back.
Zero-nine-eight fell down, startled. She scrambled herself backwards into the corner next to the metal door. There was a light beeping noise followed by heavy metal grinding noise from behind the it and she saw the handle move downward. Frozen in the corner, the door swung open, trapping her in the space behind it as it opened slowly until wall stopped it. For the moment she was shielded from the those coming through the it.
“Lieutenants, round up Zero-nine-zero through to Zero-nine-nine”, boomed a voice.
“Yessir, Commander”, came two more voices in unison.
“Take them to the ship, but be discreet. There are a lot of people about this time of day. Use the Trojan.”
“On it Sir”, and that was it; the bright white fluorescent strip lights came on in the ceiling and the red swirling lights stopped. She heard footsteps heading away before hearing the beeping noises again and the door began to move closed.
It swung slowly and she crept around following it. She peered around but it was completely black. As the gap became smaller she gulped and taking a big breath back, she went through.
That’s how old I was when Spice World, the Spice Girls movie came out in 1997.
I remember knowing every single dance move and every word of every song. I had their official Spice Fever cheap bubble bomber jacket that I wore until there were big tears with fluff coming out.
Let’s just say, like millions of other young Girls, my sister and I thought we were real Mini-Spices!
To many of us Generation Y kids, they were the original Girl Band. Baby, Ginger, Posh, Scary and Sporty – a girl for almost every personality. Good or Bad – thousands of us Loved It.
Imagine my excitement when my Dad’s Girlfriend messaged me and my sister to say she was dragging us both, with her friend, to see Spice Girls on my 30th birthday (courtesy of Dad’s bank account – thank you, Dad).
The date was June 4th. The place was Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
No expense would be spared. This was the concert of our lives. There were going to be t-shirts, dress-ups, playlists and poses!!!
On the lead up to an event we had been waiting for months, we made so many plans for the day, it had to be just right.
So naturally, when it came to the actual day, a LOT of things went wrong.
I had been lucky enough to have a birthday party planned by my friends on the 1st of June. It was Festival themed – with tents, music, a BBQ and acrobatics in the grass. Despite my friend Amber, spraying us all down numerous times with bug repellent, I was bitten by some cheeky little nipper on my foot.
Nevermind, one bite is annoying, but manageable, ay? Hahahaa, nope!
As midnight rolled over and the 3rd of June became the 4th (my birthday), I was on the phone to emergency doctors worried I may need my foot amputating. Of course, I was being dramatic but I did have a bad infection and I spent the early hours of the morning seeing a GP who had to prescribe me with antibiotics (for a brief moment I was devastated until he advised me that alcohol was not a problem with this particular brand – what a win).
Off I went, hobbling home in pain, now dreading the concert I had looked forward to for the most part of the year.
I flopped into bed gobbling down my first Antibiotic, and with a cold flannel on my poorly, bright red and purple throbbing balloon ankle I tried to sleep.
When I woke up a few hours later I threw back my covers in a panic because I could still feel the ache. Although it still looked like I’d been bitten by zombie, my leg was a lot less swollen. Thank God, I thought.
Keep your leg up, everyone said – and ohhh did intend to. There was a two and a half hour journey to Coventry – plenty of resting time.
From a mixture of road-rage, stress and headaches I’d given up my car over a year ago, but I could still bomb about in my Dad’s if I needed to. On this occasion though, Dad’s girlfriend, Sam had opted to drive so I looked forward to keeping my leg firmly rested on the back seat
We all planned to meet at my Dad’s house, so at 9.30am my sister picked me up with my bags.
I was surprised to walk through the door and see banners, balloons, party poppers, a cake, cards, presents, a breakfast banquet and everyone lined up shouting Happy Birthday.
I was immediately happier. The ache in my foot was fading away and being replaced by excited squeals.
So, let me introduce you to the Spice Girls from Hull. There was me, I was Sporty Spice. Alex (my sister) was Scary Spice. Sam (Dad’s Girlfriend) was Baby spice. Kate (Sam’s bestie) was Ginger Spice (Posh spice wasn’t doing the tour so we weren’t too bothered about finding our 5th traitor Spice).
After a photo shoot by Dad (a real photographer), we had our t-shirts on and our bags packed – the car loaded up and Spice Girls CD at the ready; so it was time to get on the road.
– oh, er after we went to Asda… Oh, and then the petrol station… Oh, and back home for the SatNav…
That was it, really…
…but just as I got my poorly leg sprawled out on the back seat (over my sister’s legs) -“Oh no”, shouts Sam, as we set off for the 3rd time, “I haven’t taxed my car”. We all look at each other.
“I’m on it”, shouts Alex, “what’s your Reg Number?”
They to-and-fro questions and answers as Alex tries to make the transaction on her phone.
“Unable to complete- MOT Out of Date. Sam, when is your MOT due?” Says Alex.
“Whaaaaat?” Squeals Sam. “Not for, like, another month. Let me call your Dad.”
At this point we are only approaching the town centre and not too far away from home.
“Dean, we can’t tax my car it says the MOT is out of date”
“Whaaaaat?” He laughs down the speaker phone. “Hang on, let me have a look.” There’s a pause, some scrambling and paper-shuffling noises at the other side of the line — “Sam, it ran out yesterday.”
“Saaaaam” Me, Kate and Alex shout in unison.
Sam let’s out a nervous giggle and a much quieter “Oh No”. We all see her look about the car and realise she needs to pull over.
“Dad, I shout from the back, can you get your car to us on St Andrews Quay? We will pull over there. You can take Sam’s car home and we will take yours.”
“Going to have to, aren’t I”, he chuckles.
The phone clicks off. There’s a silence before we all burst out laughing and start ribbing Sam.
“I can’t believe it, I thought it was next month”, obviously a bit shocked, she then says, “erm, I can’t drive your Dad’s car though”. Before anyone can get anymore concerned about the situation –
“Don’t worry I love that little Golf”, I pipe up, “it’s a right go-er, I’ll do it.”
“What about your leg though?!” She says, a little worried.
We turn into the car park of the Quay.
“It’ll be fine, I’ll only be using it to accelerate, if it gets bad, you might have to bite the bullet – but Kate and Alex can both drive too. We’ll be fine.”
Thirty minutes pass and my little brother rolls into the car park.
“Yayyyy,” we all cheer, “Thanks Ben.”
We repack the cars, going from a 2006 Ford Fusion 1.6 TdCi to a 2006 Golf 2 Litre SDI 60mpg car in a few minutes. We weren’t messing about.
I strap myself in, adjust the mirrors, make the seat low and get into gear.
We tear out the car park before Sam shouts again, “Oh no, WE LEFT THE CD IN THE OTHER CAR!”
“Let’s just get there shall we”, Kate and Alex shout.
yes, I just nicked the title of a famous Only Fools and Horses episode… well I guess they’re all famous 🤔
new, welcome. If you’ve been before, then welcome back.
welcomes all round.
trying this blogging thing out and I reckon one of the easiest ways to practice
writing to a bunch of people is to write about the things I know (I’ll blag what
I don’t when I’m a bit more of an expert).
my home town.
One of my
favourite things about Hull is that if you want something to do for the day, we
have a little bunch of Free Museums. They’re decent ones too, especially if you
don’t have a lot of money.
they are no Natural History or Science Museum (like in London), but they make
for a nice wander around the city centre.
have the Deep, which is about a tenner per person, but you only need to pay
once for the whole year.
to the point, there’s a new addition to the city centre.
open a few months and if you live in Hull you may have missed it. I went with
some friends and we all remembered it as the old art shop down West Street
(behind Brookes and Cooplands).
It had a
door price of £11 but they were having a 2-4-1 deal and I thought that was
reasonable for something different. As it happened, we weren’t in there for
very long, so with the full price in mind, I’d think £11 was a bit steep.
experience is that you’re guided around a few rooms by different actresses in
full costume and let’s just say, it does not look like the art shop now. I
don’t want to spoil it for anyone that’s not been yet, so I won’t give away too
It looks great in there, but…
And yes, there is a but which I don’t like because it’s not like anyone heads to a day out and thinks,
‘i hope this event is a waste of my money and there’s loads wrong with it’…
on Live Experience tours before and they have blown me away and this Live
Experience had a few well executed scares. BUT –
hoping for a bit more information around the tour, a few more fact nuggets. The
stories they told us weren’t very well formed and there were a few things that just
didn’t quite make sense.
would also say things like stay away from that corner, or that some people
would be coming, but nothing would happen, or the people didn’t show up.
agreed we got the sense the actresses are only just learning their roles. It
was very amateurish and felt a bit silly. The last lady was brilliant, but we
only had her for a few minutes.
maybe the tour guides need to go see a few live tours, they need to fine tune
their scripts and work on the information they’re telling customers.
If they accept they’re not quite there yet and try and learn a more about the stories they are telling and what do’s and don’ts work in a Live Experience tour then I am sure it’ll all get much better.
Places trying to get established in Hull need our support so I definitely think everyone should give it a go, even if its to leave some feedback.
For now, though, I hope they keep that 2-4-1 offer on while they are still practicing.