Debbi and I had a short break in Dublin in November. We treated ourselves to a one night stay in the Garden Terrace Suite at the Clarence, much cheaper than the Penthouse but nowhere near as grand! The other two days we stayed at Bewley's which was as nice as usual, it's always a good place to stay.
We went down to Hanover Quay on our last full day in Dublin, and luckily we managed to get parked right opposite the studio. There were a couple of girls and two young men already waiting at the studio. The second stroke of luck was that all the signs that the band were there or coming were there so we waited.
Shortly after we got there Adam arrived and stopped to talk, both Debbi and I got good photos taken with him and were able to have a little chat. Debbi told him she wasn't too well and he asked why and she said about overdoing it the previous night, he asked where she'd been and she replied the Clarence. I then asked how the recording of the album was going, and after a short pause he said, with a hint of frustration. "Well, we haven't really started on it yet!" Not what we were wanting to hear! At this point a young man came and asked for an autograph and shortly afterwards Adam went into the studio. The men left after that.
Edge and Larry arrived shortly afterwards but didn't stop, three down one to go, Bono. It was dry and not cold so it wasn't unpleasant waiting and there is always something to watch at HQ. The area has changed beyond recognition, each time we come there are new blocks of offices or apartments, shops and restaurants. Grimy Misery Hill, noisy, dusty Kilsaran Concrete, the garage with the German Shepherd guard dog up the road all gone. And soon HQ will be gone too and it will be the end of an era for us, I feel a little sad about that.
A courier van drew up outside the studio and the driver asked us what we were waiting for and Debbi said "a bus", he laughed and said that this was a very "odd street". Around this time the two girls left, so now it was just Debbi and I left waiting.
I had my usually very reliable "feeling" that we'd meet Bono but time was passing and there was no sign of him. Then luck smiled on us for the third time - at about 3.30pm Bono arrived in a taxi, he waved to us as it pulled up outside the studio. He got out and after saying goodbye to someone who was in the taxi with him he came across to us. At this point I got that familiar, surreal feeling, as I watched him walking towards us. Unusually he wasn't wearing his glasses which was nice, he stopped in front of us and greeted us in his usual way,
"Hi how are you?"
We said we were ok and Debbi said,
"Fancy meeting you here",
Bono smiled and then he leaned forward and kissed Debbi and said he liked her hair (she's had part of it dyed dark pink), then he leaned over to me and kissed me. We both noticed he had no aftershave on. He was just about to say something when Debbi jumped in and said.
"Can we just say something to you," immediately she had his attention, he looked at her intently, waiting for what was coming next. She continued to thank him for what he did for us when we were in the penthouse in May. I added that it made our stay there just perfect.
"Did you stay up really late?" he asked.
"We stayed up all night!" I replied, Bono was very impressed with that and with a gesture said,
"YES, great stuff!"
He obviously approved! Debbi continued saying that we'd really enjoyed every minute there, going in the hot tub, drinking champagne..... Bono smiled as he listened. Then she said,
"Actually we were at the Clarence last night, but not in the penthouse".
"I should think not," he said emphatically, "what do you think you are, bleedin' rock stars?!"
We all laughed, he is so funny. Then Bono said he would have to go as he was an hour late, so we said our goodbyes and then he disappeared into the studio. It had been a very short but sweet meeting. We had so wanted to be able to thank him personally on behalf of ourselves and our friends Dianne and Julie, for his kindness in May. We had left a thank you note at the studio in May but we never knew if he got it of course. So we were so pleased to be able to thank him in person and we were lucky to have been the only fans there when he arrived. It was great to have a kiss from him too! He really is so sweet. I'd like to say he looked well, but he looked very tired and drawn. Later we found out that he had already been to a meeting of Irish Hunger Taskforce in Cork earlier that day. He really needs to slow down a bit.
We went to our car and were sitting getting ourselves sorted when four young and very beautiful Italian girls appeared from nowhere and came over to us. They asked if Bono was in the studio we told them he was and that he had arrived just a few minutes earlier. The girls were ecstatic, apparently Bono had told them yesterday that he would see them for autographs and photos at 6pm today. The girls were so excited, shouting repeated thanks yous and blowing kisses to us over and over as they walked away. I'd have loved to have been there when they met Bono!
That meeting was a lovely ending to our short Dublin trip and it felt like we had been able to make a perfect ending also for our May Penthouse trip by giving our thanks to the B-man.