Thursday, 30 April 2009

2004 May - Another Meeting At HQ

Julie and I had another weeks holiday in Dublin, by now it had become a tradition to holiday in Dublin in May - which actually is usually a lovely month to go there weather-wise. We did some of our favourite things there and also went beyond the city.

One place we visited was the ancient tomb of Newgrange (it's around 5000 years old) about 30 miles north of Dublin. I'd been before but this was Julie's first visit. It's an amazing, atmospheric place that still has a mystic feel about it, almost as if that magic is seeping out from within the stone it is made from. As you walk down the passage to the inner chamber you see symbols such as wavy lines, concentric circles, spirals carved into the stone - their meaning long lost in the passing of time.

We also saw a play at Bewley's Cafe Theatre, and went on the Dublin Ghost Tour. During this we found out how Misery Hill (which then was a piece of waste ground at the western end of Hanover Quay, now it's full of anonymous glass and steel buildings) got it's name. Apparently hundreds of years ago there was a leper colony there and that's where the name came from. Lepers were secretly taken by boat up the Liffey to St Audoen's Church in the city where there was a special door where they could hear mass. They say there is a ghost with missing body parts seen on the 40 steps at St Audeon's which is supposed to be one of the poor lepers. I must say those steps feel pretty creepy, so you never know.....

Anyway, I digress from U2. On the Thursday we went to HQ and again it was a United Nations of U2 fans with Hungary, USA, Austria, Holland and the UK represented. The American girl had been there two weeks previously and had met Edge, Adam and Larry. She heard Bono was back at the studio, so she came all the way back from the US to try to meet him! Dedication or what??
Bono arrived first and went into the garage, but didn't come out. Dallas came out not long afterwards for no apparent reason and chatted with us, think he was just sussing us out. Adam arrived and then Edge. Not long after Edge had arrived the front door opened and Bono stood in the doorway and gave a peace sign and just stood there. So we went across and gathered round the door, which was a bit dangerous as the Kilsaran lorries were careering up and down the road! Soon though I forgot all about them.

The American girl flung herself at Bono and gave him at hug which he returned, he seemed really overwhelmed. He looked really tired and I remember the girl saying he must be tired just getting back home and he said he was. Around this time Edge joined Bono, they often seem to do the meet and greet in twos when there are quite a few fans. I was quite near Bono and he looked across and recognised me. "Awww, hello sweetheart." He said and leaned forward and gave me a kiss on the cheek, I was so chuffed! I had Peter And The Wolf book ready to sign but as there were eleven fans there, he was busy with someone else. I noticed Edge was unoccupied so asked him to sign a DVD a friend wanted signed. Then Bono got to me and signed my book with his usual self portrait and name.

At this point I pulled back and took a few photos. I noticed Bono was quieter than usual, friendly and warm, but seemed worn out and slightly distracted. His hair was a lovely auburn colour, but needed a wash!

One of the Hungarian lads told Bono about the U2 tribute band he and the other guys with him were in and gave him a CD they had made. He really listened to the lad and seemed genuinely interested. They were really nice and I took a photo with Bono and Edge and the lads from the band.

Then Bono said he would have to go as he had a lot of work to do, and he quickly disappeared into the building. Edge then kind of took over, signed everything people wanted signed, posed for photos with all who wanted them and chatted. He was so lovely! I find Edge's quiet, calm manner and touch of shyness so endearing, he's very sweet.

So another meeting over with, we had been incredibly lucky over the last few years with meetings with U2 and really appreciate the band giving their time as they did. It's also really lovely to meet fans from all over the world at HQ.

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