I had an idea earlier in the week. Take That announced a tour and I decided that it would be a lovely treat if I took my two big girls together with my first ever friend and her daughter, who also happens to be my god-daughter. I rang my friend and she agreed that such a trip would be fun and as it was my idea I volunteered to get the tickets.
I did my research. The tickets would go on sale at 9.00 on Friday. I checked out the approved ticket agencies, made sure I could remember my ticketmaster password and waited.
I like Take That. I always have done. Not in a mad, passionate, fan kind of way. I was 24 when they formed so a bit old for all that. But I liked the fact that they didn't take themselves too seriously and Gary Barlow writes a jolly good tune.
Friday dawned and I was up with the lark, unable to sleep for that feeling of excited anticipation that you get before a holiday. I got myself showered and dressed and was ready at my computer and logged into ticketmaster at 8.55. I watched the clock tick round not daring to nip to another page in case I missed my moment. 9 'o clock. I went to the appropriate performance, clicked 5 tickets....and it crashed.
This wasn't entirely surprising. The gigs were well advertised and almost every woman in the land seemed to want tickets. I persevered. I loaded, it crashed, I refreshed, it crashed. I sat there, with two computers refreshing pages, for four hours. I despaired as messages popped up on facebook telling my who had been successful in their quest. I tried other approved sites with no success. I kept at it.
But it was half term. My husband had a day off and we had planned a family trip to Harewood House. So I turned off the computers and went out. I reasoned that if I couldn't get on to the site then neither could anyone else. At Harewood I had ticketmaster on speed dial but with no luck. All the talk in the adventure playground was of tickets and tips as to how to get them. Most people seemed to have theirs already.
Home again and my campaign began with renewed vigour. The congestion had lifted a little but whilst I could get tantalizingly close, the page would crash at the crucial moment. And then, finally, after thousands of attempts I got as far as putting my credit card details in. The on screen timer counted down and my hands shook as I typed, terrified that it would crash before I could get my details in accurately or that I would run out of time.
And then suddenly, there it was. A message confirmation. Five tickets for Take That were finally mine. I'm sure they could hear the whoop of delight in Manchester.
The whole experience reminded my of something that I had forgotten about myself - my sheer, bloody minded, determination to get something if I want it enough. It wasn't even that I was so bothered about the actual tickets. The world would not have ended if I hadn't got them. It was more that I would not be beaten and give up when I had invested so much time in the fight. It's not a quality that I have had to use for years but I see it regularly in one of my children. I know that it's slightly ridiculous that I am reminded of my determination in the context of something so trivial but I'm glad that it's still there, lurking deep. You never know when it might come in handy.