Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pop and Panic

Last night I went to Wembley Arena to see Madonna in concert. For free, through work. I was four rows from the front, so close that, if I had reached, I could have brushed the tips of my fingers against a lycra-encased Madonna-calf. I didn't reach, but I was so close to the runway-bit, and I could see all the dancers up close. Dancers, it turns out, sweat. A lot. This is alright, though, because they are really good at dancing and often have breath-taking muscular definition, and this is exhilirating to watch from two metres away.

Despite not usually being a fan of huge shows in huge venues, I really enjoyed the show. As a spectacle it was very impressive, and Madonna herself just exudes strength. Physically she is a strange mix of delicate and muscular. One the one hand she is petite, compact and feminine, and on the other her thighs look like they could break a man's arm. Also the way she is on stage, she just comes across as being so powerful, like nothing would faze her, which is quite an inspiring thing to be up close to. There were, at one point, a pair of awesome sparkly purple shoes with a matching jacket, of which I was a big fan. She was great. With the most amazing arse I have ever seen. As my friend said, wistfully: "She makes you really think about going to the gym".

Also it was free. Not sure I'd've paid £160 for it, as good as it was. That's the best sort of free thing, though, something you wouldn't consider paying for but which you really enjoy anyway.

My back is feeling much better. Perhaps standing in a sweaty stadium squashed against thousands of buff gay men is the cure for back problems. I shall have to do some research.

So, it turns out that there have been some problems at the airports. Namely some bomb plots have been foiled. Without pausing to actually consider how fucking scary this is all getting, I will move directly onto considering how this will affect me on my upcoming flight across the whole world.

(The below was taken from an email someone sent to me)

"Heightened security has been imposed at UK airports after a plot to blow up flights to the US was foiled by anti-terrorist police last night.

Passengers have been banned from taking any hand luggage on flights as a precautionary measure, creating long queues at check in.

Hand baggage will not be allowed on board, unless it is carried in a single (ideally transparent) plastic carrier bag, and must only contain the following items;

* pocket size wallets and pocket size purses plus contents (for example money, credit cards, identity cards etc
(not handbags))
* travel documents essential for the journey (for example passports and travel tickets)
* prescription medicines and medical items sufficient and essential for the flight (e.g. diabetic kit), except
in liquid form unless verified as authentic
* spectacles and sunglasses, without cases
* contact lens holders, without bottles of solution

* female sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight, if unboxed (eg tampons, pads, towels and
wipes)* tissues (unboxed) and/or handkerchiefs
* keys (but no electrical key fobs)

All passengers must be hand searched, and their footwear and all the items they are carrying must be x-ray
screened. Nothing may be carried in pockets."

This is all good. I am relieved that they are not letting anything or anyone potentially dangerous onto flights. The heightened security measures are necessary and it is a good thing that they foiled the plots yesterday and that they are being extra vigilant as a result. Short of there being no need for security measures and the world being a totally different place, this is the short-term course of action preferable at the moment, no doubt about it.

There is a tiny part of me, though, that is a bit pissed off that I can't bring a book on a twelve hour flight. Oh well. There will be films with Tom Cruise in them, so that's something. I will be able to feel intense dislike and annoyance for someone for twelve hours, which will be a positive and happy use of my time.

I am, to tell you the truth, a little nervous about the flight. Heathrow is going to be unbelievably slow and arduous, not to mention the combined tension of all the hundreds and hundreds of people scheduled to fly on a Saturday in the middle of the school holidays will be palpable. I wish I wasn't going to be on my own.

I have so much to get done before I go. I'm not even sure I have everything that I need, for all the skiing and all the walking and stuff. Also I have less time to do it than I thought, because I must now leave a good few hours extra for delays checking in.

It is at moments like these that I am glad for the words 'Don't Panic' written in large, friendly letters on the front of my diary.
I am not panicking, but there is some part of me panicking slightly at the lack of panic, because usually panic means things get done. I am going to demonstrate how one can remain calm and collected, and get things done without actually running around in circles tearing out their hair and screaming wordlessly.


Not panicking.


Anonymous Paul said...



The cops probably got it wrong anyway, again, and packing always takes less time than you anticipate.

Have all the snow-bound fun in the antipodes...

4:06 pm

Blogger treespotter said...

it's always weird to fly with all those security measures.

I went boating on the coast where tsunami just killed 500 people three weeks ago. it gives you an eerie feeling of vulnerability.

safe trip, don't panic.

4:14 pm

Anonymous Euan said...

Your flight is still a couple of days away. Look on the bright side:

1. Security will be the best it's ever been so you'll be extra safe
2. You won't be at work

Hey! I think I'm going to New Zealand over Christmas now. Could you stay for a few extra months? We can meet up!

4:28 pm

Anonymous e. said...

Oof, good luck with the masses and the tired, cranky security people, and the 12 hours without a book. I would be anxious about all of those. BUT! Then end result will be fun, fun, fun, so it's all worth it.

Have a fun trip!

5:02 pm

Blogger Man With A One Track Mind said...

yo, just found your blog. reading it now. trying to listen to your stuff.
was wondering if you would check mine. im pretty new to this. decided to set up a blog that is none too original;)

7:30 pm

Anonymous Adrian said...

You just can't beat Don't Panic in big friendly letters.

You should make more of them and sell them. You can spread around the anti-panic.

10:59 pm

Blogger gilmic said...

panicing ensures that you will pack everything that you could possibly ever your entire life ever.

10:12 am

Anonymous Impish little sister said...

dear mr. léonie head,

last night i fell off my bike and hurt my knee, there was lots of blood, it was the roads fault.

ring me before you go,

loads of love,

impish xxx

10:25 am

Blogger Miss Devylish said...

Don't panic sweetie.. just breathe.. you're not coming to the states and that seems to be what they were after.. tho it does cause some delays and questions - really? I can't take LIP GLOSS on a fucking plane? Are you kidding me? Seriously.. when is lip gloss going to kill anyone? That's what I want to know! Try to sleep.. that's my suggestion. And dream of cute ponies!

11:31 pm


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