Saturday, 4 April 2009

2002 May - Dublin, Just What I Needed.

For once I didn't feel particularly excited about going to Dublin as I'd been through a very difficult time in my life. In the last four months my mother died after a long illness, a close friend died suddenly and totally unexpectedly at the age of 55, and just two days before the trip I had to put my gorgeous dog Toffie to sleep. I was wrung out emotionally and felt numb, but I went ahead with the trip that had been arranged for months as I felt it would do me good. And it was true, once in Dublin I was able to get away from reminders that caused pain, and start the road to recovery.

On the Wednesday Julie and I went down to HQ. There were a few fans there from the US, Spain and Romania - an United Nations of U2 fans. Hanover Quay was it's usual noisy self. Lorries trundled in and and out of the concrete works which was busier than ever with the building boom in the city. Cement dust was in the air and every now and twice a bulldozer came out with water in its trough and spewed it into the street - the wave of water slammed into the door of the studio. Maybe they were trying to damp down the dust, who knows!

At 3pm Bono and Edge arrived together and shortly after their cars went into the garage the front door of the studio opened and Bono appeared in the doorway. He looked at us, we looked at him, not sure whether to approach or not. Eventually he broke the silence by saying.

"Are you going to come in?"

We all shot across the road and were allowed to enter the hallway at the bottom of the stairs of the studio. Edge was there too and did a very polite meet and greet, shaking hands with everyone as they came in. By now Bono was sitting on the stairs, he looked tired and pale, but was very warm and kind to us all. When I got to him he looked at me, smiled in recognition and said.

"Hello darling." My knees went weak! The rest of the people there kind of took over then and I stood back and took a few photos. Bono was saying.

"Don't come to close, I've got a bug." While the others were talking to Bono I got a photo and autograph from Edge. Eventually I got my time with Bono, he was talking about the Slane video and said it was coming together well and was affirmative when I asked if it was going to be released.
Edge took his leave at this time saying he wasn't well either. He looked rather flushed.
"Have you all got the cold?" I asked.

"Yes." he replied, "I'm going upstairs to get some Aspirin."

The Romanian lad was in a U2 tribute band and asked Bono if he could swap glasses for a photo, he obliged, saying afterwards. "I'd give you them but I can't." When asked why, for once he was lost for words! Bono then took a guitar the lad had and played it a little and sang a few lines.

I was last to get a photo with Bono, as usual he put his arm around me and pulled me close. He gently rubbed my arm soothingly as he held me, it was almost as if he knew I was fragile at the moment and needed some TLC. He is a very intuitive man and maybe he did pick up some of my sadness.

And that was it, We all said our goodbyes and we left and the studio closed behind us. Bono is my favourite (as you've probably guessed!) and meeting him and having that soothing hug really did make me feel better. He'll never know how such a simple gesture helped me. And over the next few months I was to get strength from U2's music which helped me to gradually heal.

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