Daughter #1 started her first proper job earlier this month in Manchester but because her flat share isn’t ready until this weekend she’s dossing down at a friend’s place in Studentville, Fallowfield.
She needed a massive suitcase from her recent holiday to Faliraki bringing home to Lancaster as well as a big bag of clothes that would be too heavy and cumbersome to cart back on the train, so yours truly had one of those ideas that dads have when they think they’re helping.
I offered to collect them last Thursday night, as it would dovetail neatly with picking up daughter #2 and her mate from the Harry Styles show at Lancashire Cricket Club in dad’s taxi before driving them back to their student flat in Liverpool before driving back home. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. Oh so very wrong.
Congratulations to the nimrods in charge who thought the middle of summer is the ideal time of year to close the motorway to Manchester Airport (the quickest way to Fallowfield) and diverting traffic through Manchester city centre, an absolute rabbit warren at the best of times.
I got there, about an hour late, then high tailed it over to Old Trafford just as Harry finished his set to collect daughter #2 and her buddy after crawling through roadworks around Manchester United.
Stadium gigs by world famous pop stars are a very wonderful thing, especially after the two years of Covid s*** that we’ve lived through, or not in more than 170,000 cases. But if the show finishes around 11pm and there’s no way of getting home on public transport, what do you do?
Ask dad. That’s what. Well they didn’t ask because I offered. But you get the picture.
I’ll say this, after five hours behind the wheel it felt like I’d invented a new torture technique. After sitting in a stress position from 8pm to 1am, I needed a tin opener to squeeze myself out of the car and heard myself making an involuntary noise I’d never heard before that came from deep within as I slowly, so very slowly, crawled out and raised myself to full height.
It sounded like lifting a washing machine while trying to stand up after foolishly sitting in a bean bag for any length of time if you’re over 25.