… or, Queen + Adam Lambert, doing too much and getting covid.
At the beginning of May I proclaimed that my goal for the next few months would be to take it easy.
The intentions were good, but I ended up doing the exact opposite.
That is, until the universe stepped in.
May and June were filled with lots of positive things and brilliant opportunities.
Work-wise, it was crazy busy, in a good way. I often find that freelancing is comparable to buses (ie. you wait for one for ages and then three all arrive at once) and this is what happened as soon as I decided to take a bit of a step back – it went nuts. I LOVE what I do it, but it isn’t the work itself that takes the time, it’s the calls, meetings, planning and set up that really sucks the minutes from the day. Admittedly, there was a period of a few weeks where I was worried that I had taken on more than I could handle. I eventually figured out the best way to move forward, got into a routine and it has been much better since, but I’ll be more cautious in the future not to take on that amount all in one go again!
On a Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I was downstairs in the living room watching TV, and I heard The Bloke thundering down the stairs. He rushed into the room, almost yelling:
“Want to go and see Queen and Adam Lambert?”
Queen and Adam Lambert have been at the top of my wish list for a long time, so it didn’t seem real. When the tickets were initially released a few years ago for The Rhapsody Tour they sold out pretty quickly, and then the show had been postponed because of covid. Any available tickets that appeared since the tour resumed were way out of our price range, and then randomly, The Bloke had discovered two affordable tickets had suddenly appeared for a show at the Utility Arena in Birmingham (which is about 15 minutes away from where we live) the next night, with great seats.
“Yes. Yes I do!”
He rushed back upstairs, booked the tickets and then we spent the rest of the weekend trying to keep it together with a mixture of sheer excitement and a little amount of apprehension that we were going to arrive and discover we had been duped with fake tickets.
Thankfully, everything went smoothly, the tickets were valid, we had amazing seats that were so close that it was possible to see their faces without having to look at the big screen, and we saw one of the best shows I’ve ever had the privilege to witness. The music, solos from both Brian May and Roger Taylor, Adam Lambert’s voice, the atmosphere, lighting, even projections of Freddie Mercury in which Brian May accompanied him and we sang along to ‘Love of My Life,’ (one of my favourites), at which even Brian shed a little tear. What I loved about it was the most was that it was classic Queen, but Adam Lambert brought a different edge to the songs. He isn’t Freddie, he doesn’t pretend to be Freddie, and performs everything with his insanely powerful voice in his own style, and it works beautifully. It was all just completely amazing – one of those memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I think I buzzed about on a high for about a week afterwards.
The week following Queen was super busy with events. The day after, Diversity returned to the Alexandra Theatre which I had missed last time, so The Bloke surprised me with tickets. It was a great show – important messages on social issues, presented in an innovative and way by a super talented group.
Three days later we had three different things in the same night. The Bloke managed to get a Key to the City in Birmingham which allows us to visit a whole bunch of places all over the city for free, so we went to the viewing platform of the new 103 Colmore building – the Key events are only available for a limited time and so we wanted to see it before the summer when schools finish and it will become busy. It was great timing – we were one of two couples there, the weather was amazing, the views were spectacular, and while I’m never good with heights it was a brilliant way to see Birmingham from a completely different angle.
We then raced across to Digbeth for the opening night of Crazy Pedros pizza. We knew we weren’t going too be able to stay for long, but just enough to check out the venue and try the pizza. We had a nice chat with a few other guests, and then raced back across the city to the Alexandra Theatre for Lord of the Dance, which we made with just three minutes to spare. I’m going to go back to Crazy Pedros as a paying customer to give it a proper review later on – watch this space!
I slept well that night!
The following day I had a mild headache, sore throat and minor cough.
The lateral flow test unfortunately confirmed my suspicions – I tested positive for covid.
It was completely my own fault – I have been super careful over the last few years, often being just one of a few to be wearing a mask when I have watched shows or been in crowded places or on public transport, but when watching Queen I took my mask off as I was singing along and cheering.
I have had all three vaccinations, and I’m so grateful. The first four days were pretty awful, but nowhere near as bad as what I had watched The Bloke go through in 2021 when he got it at a time before vaccines weren’t available. I had some of the symptoms, particularly the headache, sore throat, fever and hot sweats, extreme tiredness and sore muscles, and I also experienced minor muscle spasms. I didn’t have much of a cough though, and didn’t lose my sense of taste or smell, and my appetite returned after a few days. It was difficult to work, so I got into a pattern of sleeping and working to try to keep up, which was fine. The Bloke tested positive a few days later, and thankfully he’s been pretty good with it – slight sore throat and stuffy sinuses, but nothing extreme. The main thing he is suffering from is boredom as he is stuck inside, but compared to the three weeks of hell he went through last time, a bit of boredom is nothing.
The one good thing about it was that it forced me to rest – like the universe had stepped in and made me sleep – and I needed it. I’m in a lucky position in so many ways that it’s difficult sometimes to take a step back and remember that resting and taking care of myself is just as important as doing ALL THE THINGS. Positive experiences and great memories are always at the top of my goals, but they shouldn’t be at the expense of my health.
I know that I have more events coming up over the next few weeks, but perhaps now I will actually try and take it easier in between.
What about you guys? What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments below!
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