Hijacking Rainbows

8 12 2010

Who says you can’t go home?/There’s only one place they call me one of their own/I’m just a hometown boy, born a rollin’ stone/Who says you can’t go home?/Who says you can’t go back?/Been all around the world and as a matter of fact/There’s only one place left I want to go/Who says you can’t go home?

Rewind to the last Friday of January 2008 and I was sitting in Wellington Airport waiting to board a domestic flight to Christchurch.  There was one reason, and one reason only, for this trip and that was to see Bon Jovi perform at AMI Stadium on the following Monday night.  As I mentioned in this post I am bit of a fan of the boys from New Jersey.  In that post I described the Christchurch gig as a

glorious mix of good company, good live music and a gorgeous late summer evening

That particular weekend was one of those magical moments of serendipity.  I had decided to make a proper mini-break of the experience and planned to spend the whole weekend in Christchurch.  I had booked an early morning flight on that Friday and was sitting in my seat on the plane, about to buckle myself in, when looking up I spotted Cat sitting one row in front of me but in the other aisle.  Cat is one of my best friends, however at that point I hadn’t seen her for a couple of years – I certainly didn’t expect to see her sitting on this plane.  I forgot about my seat belt and reaching forward I tapped her on the shoulder “Cat?” I asked “Oh my god, Lizzie?” came the surprised response.  It turned out that not only did Cat have tickets to Bon Jovi but that her tickets were for the same area as my ticket.  In the end I had an awesome weekend catching up and rockin’ out with a fellow rock chick.  The entire weekend ended up being that little bit more special than it would’ve otherwise been due to that chance meeting.

Fast forward a few months later and I found myself once again sitting in Wellington Airport, this time waiting to board an international flight for London on a one way ticket.  Fast forward even further to June this year and I received the following message from Cat

hey so Bon Jovi are playing Wellington on December 4th – totally an excuse to come back and visit NZ!! If you’re keen, we have a spare room…

I thought about it, but not for that long (Bon Jovi? Wellington? Home? a chance to catch up with family?).  I responded with

re: Bon Jovi – you’re on

That conversation started a series of events which resulted with me sitting in Heathrow Airport on Monday 29 November waiting to board an international flight back home to Wellington, New Zealand.

Yes readers, I did fly half way around the world for Bon Jovi.

And for my family and friends.

Most importantly for family and friends.

But also for Bon Jovi.

The concert itself was excellent.  I revelled in the fact that I was sitting in Westpac Stadium next to my brother and best friend (and even near my cousin who turned out was not far from us) waiting for the show to start .  It was felt both surreal to be back in Wellington but at the same time it also felt like I had never left.  Particular highlights for me was the nod to various Kiwis in the video for Born to Follow and Jon’s tribute to the Pike River Miners – the latter was especially appreciated.  The encore of Wanted was also wicked cool and the inclusion of Who says you can’t go home also stuck a personal note with me.  All in all, it was well worth the 26 hour flight from London.

It doesn’t matter where you are, doesn’t matter where you go/If it’s a million miles away or just a mile up the road/Take it in, take it with you when you go/Who says you can’t go home?

Set list: blood on blood/we weren’t born to follow/you give love a bad name/born to be my baby/lost highway/whole lot of leavin’/when we were beautiful/it’s my life/I’ll sleep when I’m dead/we got it goin’ on/bad medicine (with pretty woman)/lay your hands on me/what do you got?/I’ll be there for you/work for the working man/raise your hands/runaway/who says you can’t go home/keep the faith Encore: wanted dead or alive/livin’ on a prayer


East, West, South and North

21 11 2010

Go get yourself a cuppa because it is time for a Lizzie catch up and what a busy month it has been, traversing the four corners of Great Britain. I did take more photos than appear below, a couple more are on flickr, I’ll add more when I get the opportunity.

East. Lincoln (England) 23-24 October. Lincoln sits in the East Midlands and is often overlooked in a London-centric England, which is a bit of a shame as it is a gem of a city.  It is one of the closest cities to where my parents live and as I was at my parents for both the obligatory birthday dinner (yes it is that time of year again), and as I had other necessary tasks to complete, a trip into Lincoln was required.  Sites in Lincoln that are particularly worthy of a visit include the Cathedral and the Castle, both of which originally date back to the 11th century.   One of my favourite places in Lincoln is Stokes, a cafe which sits on the High Bridge over the River Witham.  The bridge itself is the oldest bridge in the UK to still have buildings on it and dates to the 12th century.  From the windows you can look over the river (which is often decorated with swans) and the Empowerment sculpture (one of my favourite sites in Lincoln).  This shot is actually taken looking back towards High Bridge (which is obscured by trees) and the sculpture.  To add to the surreality of the moment the Merry-Go-Round was playing the Dambusters theme (617 Squadron were stationed in Lincolnshire, including at RAF Scampton which is not far from the city):

West. Caerdydd/Cardiff (Cymru/Wales) 30-31 October. I had no real plans when I booked my weekend in Caerdydd, other than a desire to return to the city since my trip last year for a Stereophonics’ concert at the Castle.  In I had a lovely time walking around the city.  The Welsh are high on my list of likes for a few reasons which are neither great nor grand but regardless are important to me, namely:

  • Ms Griffith. My teacher in 5th Form (History) and in 6th Form (Human Development).  She was originally from Cymru and was one of my favourite teachers at secondary school.  If I were to ever get into teaching it would be in part due to her, she was wicked cool.
  • Rugby. The Welsh take the game of Rugby Union as seriously and passionately as New Zealand and a Wales vs New Zealand fixture is always eagerly anticipated.  Unsurprisingly I am rather totally excited about the opportunity to go to the All Black game at the Millennium Stadium this Saturday.
  • Stereophonics. I’ve written about this band more than once and how much I like them, so enough said on this occasion.
  • Dr Who/Torchwood. Last time I visited Caerdydd I made a point of visiting Bae Caerdydd (where the fictional Torchwood facility is located) and the Doctor Who exhibition. I took many photos and was a total nerd.  It was great.  Here is a shot of Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru/Wales Millennium Centre taken on this trip (Torchwood fans will recognise it as the vicinity where the facility is located):

South.  Brighton (England)  7 November. I would say a day by the seaside, but a visit to the English seaside doesn’t really extend into Autumnal November.  Instead the day was spent hopping between cafes with a trip to the local museum thrown in for good measure. The museum was interesting, and had a rather eclectic, but enjoyable, array of exhibits. It was rather surreal (but lovely and heart cockle warming) to see a carved stern of a waka and a carved tiki from New Zealand amongst the artifacts.  Brighton is known, amongst other things, for its pier and seaside attractions, on an earlier visit I took this shot of a Merry-Go-Round sitting on the sea front before it was put to bed for the evening:

North.  Edinburgh (Scotland)  13-14 November. RUGBY.  That was the reason for the trip to Edinburgh: Scotland vs New Zealand at Murrayfield.  Scotland is one place that I have wanted to visit since moving here, and for some strange reason I hadn’t managed to get there until last weekend (though I had a brief wander around Jedburgh in 2008). Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to really appreciate Edinburgh on this occasion, so I anticipate a return trip sometime next year. I will definitely stay at the same hostel though, it had the most crazy-cool decor, including a baby grand piano and bust of Caracalla in the Posh Lounge and pictures of Hendrix and Marley in the Cool Lounge. My favourite little guy in the hostel was this fella I found lurking in the stairwell:

The match itself was well worth the trip up north, and along with yesterday’s game against Ireland, served as hearty appetizers for New Zealand vs Wales in Caerdydd this Saturday (where I will once again wave the New Zealand flag with gusto and pride).

Rugby & Rock Concerts

23 10 2010

Rugby and rock concerts.  Two pursuits of happiness that make for a contented Lizzie.  Last weekend was all about that particular combination with a rugby match at Wembley and not one, but two, Stereophonics concerts.

Amazingly I had not actually attended a rugby match here in the UK until last Saturday.  Considering I made a point of attending every possible Lions, Hurricanes and All Black game back in Wellington, this long gap in rugby attendance is rather uncharacteristic.  However, for the grand total of ten quid I found myself among 45,000+ other spectators for Saracens vs Leinster at Wembley.  Wembley is a stunning ground, and while Leinster took the victory over the home team (thanks to Sexton and to the delight of the Irish supporters around me), I was just a bit gutted that my camera wasn’t working because it was a truly gorgeous early Autumn’s day.  Well, I thought my camera wasn’t working.  I tried turning it on and got the message change battery pack. I thought this was a strange message as the last time I checked the battery (the day before) it was full but nevertheless I put it back in my bag.  It wasn’t till I got home that I found that the battery was fine, the camera was fine, it was just having a bit of a moment on me.  Shame, because there was a clear, crisp blue sky behind Wembley and you could see out over most of the City of London from the stadium – it would have made a lovely photo or two.  This disappointment was tempered somewhat by the Elvis impersonator I passed on the way to the ground singing Suspicious Minds. Awesome.

The Stereophonics performed their two shows at the Hammersmith Apollo with Word Gets Around on the Sunday night and Performance & Cocktails on the Monday night.  Not used to school night excursions two nights running, I was a zombie at work on the Tuesday, fuelled by tea and anything with sugar. 

I have been a bit of a mark for the ‘Phonics since I was but a school girl and – as I mentioned in this post – I have made a point of attending as many of their concerts as possible while I’m here in the UK.  The ‘Phonics are supreme live and these concerts were no exception.  Both nights started with Kelly telling anecdotes of Stuart Cable, who sadly passed away earlier this year.  I particularly appreciated the story of Stuart and their first ever gig at Wembley Stadium in 1999.  Stuart was big on rugby and the same day and time that the ‘Phonics were playing Wembley (supporting Aerosmith no less) was the same day and time that Wales were playing the ‘Boks.  This presented a dilemma for Stuart (and one with which I can sympathise).  Faced with a 60,000+ audience, Steven Tyler on one wing of the stage and Noel Gallagher on the other wing of the stage, Stuart solved his problem by taking a small portable telly on stage with him so to not miss the match.  Good on ya, mate. 

Highlights of the concerts?  For Sunday, one would be Kelly’s response for a request for Sex on Fire from someone in the audience. “F*#k your Sex on Fire” was his reply, easily one of the best quips of the night, week, month, year.  Thank you Mr Jones.  But seriously, closing with Bartender instead of Dakota (and similarly closing with Local Boy instead of Dakota on the Monday) was awesome.  Also well enjoyed was Too Many Sandwiches.  Back in the days of school uniforms and homework I wrote out the lyrics to this song in Carla’s leaving book – that was how much I liked it, so much so that I knew it off by heart and ten years on and I still know it by heart.  Also deserving an honourable mention was the Word Gets Around version of She Takes Her Clothes Off and the humble request that they play this version more often? Please and thank you.  Highlights for Monday night would be  Roll Up and Shine, Is Yesterday Tomorrow Today? Nice To Be Out, Plastic California and I Stopped to Fill My Car Up which ends with a particularly storming solo by Adam and worth hunting out online. 

Set list 17 October:

Chaplin/Tramp’s Vest/Thousand Trees/Carrot Cake & Wine/Chris Chambers/Tie Me Up & Tie Me Down/Same Sized Feet/Traffic/Goldfish Bowl/Check My Eyelids for Holes/Buy Myself a Small Plane/Poppy Day/Home to Me/She Takes Her Clothes Off/Too Many Sandwiches Encore 1: Billy Davy’s Daughter/Raymond’s Shop/Last of the Big Time Drinkers/Local Boy Encore 2: Pick a Part that’s New/Radio/Maybe Tomorrow/Have a Nice Day/Dakota/Bartender

Set list 18 October:

Roll Up & Shine/Bartender/Hurry Up & Wait/Pick a Part that’s New/Just Looking/Half the Lies You Tell Ain’t True/Radio/Fiddlers Green/T Shirt Suntan/Is Yesterday Tomorrow Today?/In My Day/A Minute Longer/Sunny Afternoon/Nice To Be Out/She Takes Her Clothes Off/Plastic California/I Stopped To Fill My Car Up Encore 1 Thousand Trees/Tramp’s Vest/Same Sized Feet/Too Many Sandwiches Encore 2: Traffic/Maybe Tomorrow/Have a Nice Day/Dakota/Local Boy

Lizzie meets an Angel

8 10 2010

The following is an account of what happened to me this Monday (4th October).  It was a timely reminder that there are people of grace and kindness all around us, even if there are times when we can’t see them for the crowds that surround us. 

Monday started early, I had a lot to do (even for a Monday) and there was a Tube strike to contend with and work around.  I thought I had arrived early enough at the Regent Street bus stop to miss the crush of people who would normally catch the tube to work but had opted (like me) to try their luck with the buses instead.  It didn’t take long before I realised that I had underestimated the situation.  Fearing that it was now or never, I managed to squeeze onto the third number 23 bus which stopped at Regent Street.  Relieved to be on my way, I found a spot on the floor near my feet for my backpack and grocery bag and tried to make myself as comfortable as possible amidst the crowd of Monday morning commuters.  Everything was fine for the first 30 minutes or so and then I began to feel unwell.

Pull yourself together girl

I tried telling myself

You’ll be fine

No such luck.  I began to feel as if I were no longer welcome in my own body and the bus around me began to change into a tunnel.  I awoke in the door well, lying on my back with an angelic commuter (there is no other way to describe her) holding my hand in both of hers, reassuring me that I’d be alright.  Confusion morphed into realisation as I slowly figured out what must have happened.  I felt something metallic under my head 

I must have hit my head when I landed

It was the first coherent thought that I could manage.  Shock began to set in and I felt my body start to tremble slightly.  The raw emotion of the past week (which I had done so well to mask up until that point) mixed with the shock and formed a tidal wave under which I felt overwhelmed

You’ll be alright

Reassured my Angel.  I felt tears began to warm my eyes and then slide down my cheeks.  I gripped her hand a little tighter.  The bus driver arrived at the back door

You alright love?

Someone told him what had happened, that I’d hit my head.  I felt unable to speak.

Should I call an ambulance?

I wasn’t sure, but I felt that right now wasn’t the time to be stoic.  I wasn’t the right person to assess whether or not I’d hurt myself.

Yeah, maybe, yes.

I managed to get out those three words out, though they felt strange and like someone else was talking.  The other commuters began to file off the bus as an ambulance was called.  I felt like a bizarre specimen in a science lab which everyone glances at but doesn’t want to be seen to have done so.  The bus driver reappeared at the back door.  My Angel remained by my side, holding my hand.  Not sure where to look, my let my gaze flit from my Angel, to my abdomen (watching as I breathed in and out, I was wearing red, my power colour), to the commuters as they left the bus.  A police officer who was passing by stopped and asked the driver what had happened.  He bent down to talk to me.

What’s your name?


You fell?


Even though I was still collecting myself  (I could only now feel blood tingling back into my fingers), I was beginning to feel stubbornly frustrated that I was only able to manage monosyllabic answers.

You two travelling together?

This time the question was directed at my Angel.  It occurred to me that I didn’t know where she had come from.  I couldn’t recall seeing her on the bus. 

No, I was walking by and I saw her fall

Her slight eastern european accent began to filter through, I noticed for the first time her ringlets of strawberry blonde hair and realised that the look of concern which I had first noticed about her hadn’t left her face.  I felt more tears slid down and drop onto my shoulders.  I heard the bus driver’s London accent again

They asked me how old you were

He waited for effect

I said 40

I felt a giggle escape from my body and then a smile.  I could hear sirens in the background.

Sirens? I get sirens?

The thought puzzled me and the moment felt immeasurably surreal.  I had heard plenty of sirens during my time  in London.  I never thought I’d hear them ringing through the city for me.  The police officer remarked

I think these are for you

Before adding with a reassuring smile

You’re getting well looked after – Police, Ambulance…

The ambulance arrived and one of the medics looked me over. All the while my Angel remained by my side, the last commuter left on the bus. 

You’re going to survive, we’ll just take you to the ambulance for a couple of small tests

She followed just behind me as I slowly made my to the ambulance.  I stopped at the ambulance door

Thank you

Those words seemed horribly inadequate

I wouldn’t have left you

Was her reply, her reassurance that I would have never had to pass through that moment in my life alone.  I felt tears prick my eyes again.  I had not before experienced such grace and kindness from a complete stranger.  I felt humbled by it.  Words failed me and it was the best I could do to say

Thank you.

Lizzie returns and the Battle of Britain

1 10 2010

Almost three months gone and no post…holy blogosphere Batman! But seriously, that is a long time between drinks. Rest assured that the silence on the blogging front wasn’t for a lack of material, but rather it was a lack of machinery that left me stranded in the blogging wilderness. After seven years my much-loved laptop is finally on its last legs. Until my last encounter with it I wasn’t actually aware that you could get the blue-screen-of-death so many times in a row. After the fourth blue-out I began to engage in that futile talk one feels they need to have with an uncooperative computer “Come on laptop, you’re overheated and so am I…either you start up, or blow up, which do you prefer?” While it didn’t blow up, it is now resting in a state of retirement.

Anyway, back to the business of blogging. Much has happened in the world of Lizzie. Some of the escapades, trails & tribulations of the past twelve weeks were enjoyable and others weren’t so much – some may end up as posts, while others are unlikely to become posting material.* However this post is one that I’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks and it would be remiss of me to let the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain to go by without commenting on it.

Seventy years ago the Blitz was raining down on London while the Battle of Britain was being waged in the clear late summer skies over the city and south-east of England.  I was twelve during the 55th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and I developed an all-consuming interest in it.  This interest had been sparked by the movie (starring Laurence Olivier amongst others in a stellar cast).  When my Form Two teacher, Mr Sullivan, asked the class to do a project on something that interested them I chose the Battle of Britain.  Other girls chose to do their projects on horses and pro surfers – it was another moment in my school life that marked me out as a bit of a total nerd.  Not that I cared, everything about this battle fascinated me: the planes, the pilots and the personalities of those involved.  

Like many a spectator of history who finds themselves separated from the events that intrigue them by the passage of time, I’ve often wondered what this moment was like for those Londoners who witnessed it. This is especially true for me now as I have begun to consider London a home of sorts.  With all that was at stake, when those Londoners watched the dog fights raging above the familiar landmarks, could they distinguish between the men and the machines?  Between the pilots of flesh & blood who flew, and the machines of metal and armour that were flown? Hmmm, I think such a distinction might be a luxury of us spectators of history, who posses the ability of hindsight.  What I do know for certain was that amongst those Londoners was my Nana.  Too young to enlist, she joined the WAAF the following year.  As a spectator of history, this is as tangibly close as I will get to the actual event.  

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend I caught the second half of the Battle of Britain movie on TV.  It was a moment of serendipity, as it was quite possibly the first time that I had seen it in almost ten years.  Watching it through adult eyes brought home just how young some of the pilots were who were flying those planes.  As a twelve-year-old, a 22-year-old pilot sounded well, rather, old. Now, as a 20 something who is on the greater side of 30, a 22-year-old pilot sounds exactly like what it was – young.  

A similar moment of reflection had occurred earlier that day when I visited the Yorkshire village of Aldborough.  Ostensibly I had visited this village as it was built on the site of a Roman town and it had some Roman remains (which I did see while I was there).  However, amongst the park benches and maypole on the village green I came across the following plaque:

So, here is a moment to reflect on the men and women who had given their lives during this conflict, the preceding world war and all other wars that have followed.  To die young in these circumstances is to die too soon. Further, to die in the act of saving the lives of others exemplifies a selflessness that demonstrates the better side of our humanity and is something that is worth remembrance and reflection. 

*As I said, I’ve not been short of material, just means. While the value of this material (if one can put a value on words) is a moot point – I do wonder what the point of having a blog is if one does not actually post onto it one’s words. Hence the new tab, pieces of writing that are not exactly posts but are the end results of thoughts, feelings and experiences bundled into nouns and verbs.

shininglikeadiamond turns one

3 07 2010

About thirteen months ago I created shininglikeadiamond: a result of a curiosity about the blogosphere combined with the desire to write more.  I played around with the settings and set up of the blog for a while, read up about the ins and outs of the blogosphere and sat and chewed the end of my metaphorical pencil while I contemplated the topic of my first post.  Nothing came, and then the unexpected passing of Michael Jackson provided the spark my Muse needed to create my first post.  Twelve months later we arrive here, post number 20 and one year older.  I’ll admit that I haven’t written as much as I would have liked, and that’s something that I will rectify, but overall I’m pleased with shininglikeadiamond

Ideally I would have penned a post centered around this little milestone, but to be honest it kinda snuck up on me and I haven’t had the time to fully create the celebratory post that I would’ve liked to have written.  Instead, and in order to not miss the anniversary completely,  I offer a Lizzie update and birthday cupcake.

Last post centered around Bon Jovi concert number 4 of 12 at the O2.  I ended the post with

In the end, the concert was so enjoyable that I’m going back for the final of the twelve shows.*  Proof that you can’t have too much of a good thing – and that you should take all the opportunities there are to let out your inner Rock Chick.

Not a truer word has been written, heed the lesson my friends: always take the opportunity to let the Rock Chick out (or whatever musical form it may take).  Despite the fact that this concert clashed with the second of the two-part finale of Dr Who (thank you VCR) it was the right decision to go.  We were treated to not only a spine tingling Bed of Roses, but also a wicked set list (see the end of the post) which included a six song encore.  Jon and the boys were on fire when it came to energy and musicianship.  It was easily the best sixty quid I’ve spent this year, and totally worth a wait before seeing the Doctor in action. 

Update now out of the way, it is time for birthday cupcake.  If I haven’t mentioned yet that I worship at the altar of the culinary genius that is Isa and Terry, then I will now.  Isa and Terry rock, and if I could cook and bake like anyone else on this planet it would be them.  Needless to say the birthday cupcake came via the awesome Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and is the mighty yummy Toasted Coconut Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting.  Did I mention that there is also cocoa powder involved?  Oh yes, this recipe is a perfect ten. 

Not wanting to waste half a can of coconut milk, I also made some Chocolate Coconut Pudding from the ever faithful VWAV.  Seriously delicious pudding.

Now there is nothing left but to say many and sincere thanks to those who take the time to read my musings.  Here’s to another year.



Set list: blood on blood/we weren’t born to follow/you give love a bad name/born to be my baby/lost highway/in these arms/when we were beautiful/blaze of glory/captain crash/sleep when I’m dead/we got it going on/bad medicine w/ old time rock & roll (performed with Kid Rock)/lay your hands on me (Richie Samora)/bed of roses/diamond ring/I’ll be there for you/Saturday night/bullet/it’s my life/who says you can’t go home/keep the faith.

Encore: have a nice day/wanted/these days/it’s hard letting you go/I love this town/livin’ on a prayer

Time to party like it’s 1989

12 06 2010

Friday marked the two-year anniversary of my move from Aotearoa to the UK.  As luck would have it Bon Jovi were playing show four of twelve at the O2, thus gifting me the perfect opportunity to acknowledge my little milestone.

As one may gather from my explanation of why my blog is called shininglikeadiamond, I am one of the Bon Jovi faithful.  One of the first albums I bought was their 1994 best of album Cross Road.  As I mentioned in my virgin post I didn’t have a lot of exposure to contemporary music until the dawn of the nineties.  The purchase of Cross Road, like Jackson’s Thriller, was the start of forming my own opinion of what music I liked (even if the purchase was based purely on a review I read in the teen magazine TV Hits).  In the end that little blurb of a review started a life long love affair with the New Jersey rockers.  It also paved the way for one of my first acts of teen rebellion as the charm of Jon and crew did not rub off on my parents (to put it mildly). 

The O2 concert was the second time I’ve seen Bon Jovi live.  The first was during their Lost Highway tour when they played Christchurch, NZ.  This particular concert ranks high on my list of favourite concerts as it was a glorious mix of good company, good live music and a gorgeous late summer evening.  Friday’s concert was just as good, if not for different reasons.  Up in the gods of the O2 the view actually exceeded my expectations and wasn’t nearly as vertigo inducing as I had imagined (a photo from the night has been included at the end).  Much like the Stereophonics’ concert earlier in the year, Friday’s fix was a timely opportunity to let loose the inner Rock Chick (which was long overdue an outing).  If I had to choose three top moments from the evening it would go something like

  1. The inclusion of let it rock on the set list. Seriously cool. For the curious I’ve added the set list to the end of this post.
  2. Richie Sambora’s lay your hands on me.  Would it be cheeky to ask for more Sambora taking the lead?  Hmm, possibly.  Muchly enjoyed all the same.  I’m gonna add the double necked Telecaster Sambora plays during have a nice day, it’s a beast and I love it.
  3. The acoustic someday I’ll be saturday night. Made all the better for the fact that all four members were out front on the outer ring of the stage.

Honourable mentions for the night would also go to work for the working man which was as good live as I thought it’d be, bad medicine with pretty woman thrown in (ok, yes, it sounds like it should’ve been naff, but it wasn’t, please believe me) and Jon purely for his energy level throughout the evening – the man’s an energizer bunny.

In the end, the concert was so enjoyable that I’m going back for the final of the twelve shows.*  Proof that you can’t have too much of a good thing – and that you should take all the opportunities there are to let out your inner Rock Chick.

Set list: happy now/we weren’t born to follow/you give love a bad name/born to be my baby/radio saved my life/lost highway/when we were beautiful/raise your hands/we got it going on/sleep when I’m dead/bad medicine w/ pretty woman/lay your hands on me (Richie Sambora)/open all night/diamond ring/I’ll be there for you/something for the pain/someday I’ll be Saturday night/let it rock/it’s my life/work for the working man/who says you can’t go home/keep the faith.  Encore: have a nice day/wanted dead or alive/livin’ on a prayer.

*Even though it clashes with the Dr Who finale. Oh, did that cause me some consternation when I realised this was the case.  Thank goodness for i-player –  I wouldn’t want to have to choose between Bon Jovi and The Doctor otherwise.