Posted by: Admin | July 19, 2010

The Invisible Woman, or, “Paul McCartney gave me Freckles”

I am beginning to wonder if I am invisible. Checked in the mirror this morning, in fact, (I’ve seen those films where the main character thinks they’re being haunted and it turns out that no, they ARE the ghost!) but I appeared to be all present and correct.  Husband of my heart confirmed it when he rolled over and said “your turn to make the tea.” He wouldn’t say that if I wasn’t really there, would he? Unless he‘s a ghost too…

Anyway, there have been several incidents recently that have led me to this worrying conclusion. The first was in Hyde Park a couple of weeks ago at the Paul McCartney concert (more of which on Friday) when I was literally trodden on several times.

Did you see the coverage of that gig? The full set has been posted on Sir Macca’s website and if you’re a fan, you’ll love it. The crowd was enormous and I was there, in the middle, about eight heaving rows from the front. Luckily, having arrived early doors, I was completely oblivious to the enormity of the audience, or I think I might have had a panic attack (which just proves that my perceived fear of crowds really is all in the mind).

It was a great line-up, including Elvis Costelloe and Crosby, Stills and Nash, but it involved standing, on one of the hottest days in London this summer, for approximately 11 hours. So I tried to pace myself a bit by sitting down between acts. Problem was, as the hour of Sir Paul’s appearance neared, the crowd kept surging forward and packing itself tighter and tighter.

I had toes insinuated beneath my buttocks (and not in a pleasant way) when I was sitting, elbows driven into my ribs when I was standing, on one occasion a girl actually crashed into me and would have knocked me off my feet if there had been somewhere for me to fall. If it wasn’t for Son No.2 standing firm behind me, I would have been manoeuvred to the margins well before the end of the gig. Thanks to him, I was able to at least bend my knees in time to the music and had room for my (not insubstantial) chest to rise and fall as I sang along to “Hey Jude“.

When it was time for me to leave, Daughter No.1 had to grasp me by the wrist and drag me along behind her for fear of losing me in the heaving, now mobile crowd all heading for the last Tube home.

It happened when I was boarding a flight last month. Caught in an EasyJet melee, my family were all seated, belted and plugged into iPods before I even got through the plane door. At least they remembered to save me a seat.

On Friday night it was Son No.1’s turn to protect me from dance floor revellers as we watched The Beavers (see next Saturday’s interview) in a function suite at Heaton Moor


Conservative Club in Stockport. That crowd was considerably more amiable than some of Sir Paul’s so-called fans, but still I found myself being edged further and further back until, before I knew it, I was in a stranger’s lap (but I was invisible, so luckily she didn’t notice).

I asked my husband about it. “Who said that?” he replied with some alarm.

I clearly don’t have a presence, an aura about me that says, “Here I am – I have a right to be here, so back off!” Maybe I’m too polite, too English, too self-effacing? Too short? Psychologically timid? Lacking energy? Whatever it is, it’s beginning to hack me off.

Just as an aside, you remember I told you that the McCartney concert took place in 31 degree heat? I was so squashed I couldn’t get to my bag to reapply sunscreen. Consequently, my careful, if doomed preservation of my face went to pot for a day. So you could say that Paul McCartney gave me freckles. Only it doesn’t matter because I’m invisible.



  1. You couldn’t be invisible if you tried. The problem is that huge amounts of other people have absolutely no manners and they just make you feel invisible because of their carelessness.

    I get very tired of being bumped into by people in the street, I automatically say sorry, and THEY say “Oh that’s alright”. Or I hold open a door for someone and they walk through without acknowledging it. I then follow them saying “No, no it’s quite alright, I’ll just stand here opening doors for you all day shall I? Or perhaps you’d like me to carry your shopping?” They look at me in bewilderment and I walk off fuming. m Their bad manners turns ME into Mrs Mad, which is all wrong.

    Although frankly, if you must go to see Macca you’ve only yourelf to blame… x

  2. Poor Paul – what has he done to deserve such derision? um, it might be best not to answer that, but he’s only human, poor man! X

  3. […] Lighthouse Family have now re-formed and are about to go on tour. I hope the venues have seats (see previous post on standing only gigs!) because I’ll be there – you, me, forever… we’re […]

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