Daddy duties - Dodie in concert

Saturday night was spent running around. Not literally. I break into a sweat if my nose runs, much less anything involving prior exertion. It was spent on daddy duties as I took the kids to see Dodie in concert.

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“Daddy duties” is the catch-all phrase for that period of time where you’re going out of your way to do something for the kids that ultimately brings nothing to you but expense and boredom.  But you do it because you love your kids.

At Christmas, I bought four tickets to see Dodie in concert. One for my eldest daughter, Charisma, one for middle daughter, Aaliyah, and one each for them to take a friend.

In my joy at getting them a gift I knew they would love (as they are both massive Dodie fans), I hadn’t thought through how the day would work.

The youngest two couldn’t stay at home alone together. Or rather Brooke, who turns 13 soon, didn’t want to.

I’d already said that I would drive all for ticket holders to the concert. All of a sudden I was stuck.

The youngest two couldn’t stay with their mum as she had plans because it was her fiance’s birthday. Step forward superfriend Loz who (thankfully) offered to look after them both.

So Saturday afternoon I had to drive the two youngest to Braintree. Then I had to drive back to Chelmsford to pick up Aaliyah and her friend, who she’d arranged to meet at the flat.

Bundling them both into the car we then drove to collect Charisma from work where she was waiting with her friend before then driving the hour or so journey into London.

Parking in Islington can be a nightmare.  Thankfully, Lady luck was smiling on us as I found a parking spot quite near the venue. I jumped out, took all four girls down to the queue and then made my way to the local Costa. (Where else, you may ask, in mock surprise.)

Parking in Islington

You can park here after these times IF you’re a resident? Or regardless?

I’d already scouted the Costa map and found not only a store that I hadn’t visited, but one that was open until 8 pm.


I knew the concert started at 7 pm which gave me enough time to have a coffee, do some work and then waste whatever time was left after that.

I figured that even if I left bang on 8 pm, that was still far better than dropping the girls off at 6 pm and sitting in the car or spending much more money in a restaurant somewhere.

You can only imagine my annoyance when, at 6.45pm, the staff in Costa announced they were closing at 7 pm.

I did the typical British thing and said nothing. At least, not out loud. I tweeted Costa to have a little whinge and then sulked for a few minutes.

Before leaving I figured I’d make use of the facilities. Had I been 5 seconds quicker out of my chair, I’d have got in front of the pensioner who was also on his way to the loo.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t 5 seconds faster.

Caught behind the old guy as he walked slowly to the toilets, I was out-foxed in my manoeuvring by the tightly packed collection of tables and chairs. I had no choice but to let the guy take his time as I meandered behind him.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was only one toilet working.

I waited my turn as Mr OAP went before me. I heard the loo flush, then the door open as he tottered out.

Now I was getting annoyed.

Not only was I being made to leave earlier than I wanted. Then I got caught behind Mr Tortoise himself. And then he’d obviously left without washing his hands.  Gross.

This lack of basic hygiene has always annoyed me. I’d cope with it better if I didn’t have to touch the same lock and handle as his willy-holding hand did shortly before.

I sighed and stepped into the loo. Without being too graphic, I needed more than a wee.

That’s when I noticed that the dirty old man had also somehow peed all over the toilet seat.

I’m now sat writing this in my car. I’ve liberally washed my hands with alcohol soap but still feel unclean.

The concert started at more or less the same time I got to the car, so I’ve a couple of hours to kill at least.

Dodie in concert

The lovely Dodie

Once I’ve picked up the girls it’s then a drive back to Chelmsford, drop the two friends off to their homes, back up to Braintree and then back home from there.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I could get a lay in tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, Charisma has her moped test booked in and has to be on site at 9 am, so it’s an early start.

I only hope the kids enjoy the concert.

by DannyUK

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