Archive for 15 April 2008

Have I Told You Lately That We Need To Go Out Sans Kids

Ciao Bloggisti!!!

Italian election? What election? Don’t know what you’re talking about. Hey, can we change the subject now? Thanks!

Last week a strange and supernatural phenomenon appeared unto me. But it wasn’t a poltergeist or a crop circle in the backyard. Nope, for the first time in eons, my husband and I went out on a date. Those of you without kids must be thinking, “Big fat deal!”. But anyone out there with little ones knows that having time alone with your significant other is as rare as Madonna making a decent movie (luv ya but please give it a rest, Madge!).

So, being the crafty wench that I am, at Christmas I gave Mimmo tickets to see Van Morrison, thus forcing us to spend a few hours together in good company and even better music. Since the concert was scheduled for April we had to wait a bit but it was worth it.

Last Thursday the hubster and I met up after work on a romantic Ferrovia dello Stato train headed for the even more romantic Bicocca neighbourhood of Milan. As you can see, it’s a rather cold and dreary place. Looks more Northern European than Northern Italian.

We stopped in a bar for one of my favourite things in the world: an aperitivo! Happy hour in Milan is great if you’re at the right bar. At this one, Sio Café in the heart of the Bicocca university campus, not only did we become girl-drink drunks, we stuffed ourselves silly at the buffet. There were two different types of ravioli, bruschetta, tomato and mozzarella salad, breaded scallops, crudités, couscous with beef stew, chicken wings, pizza, etc. My Cosmopolitan and margarita were so-so but the food more than made up for it.

Then we quickly made our way to the Arcimboldi Theatre for the concert. We had to make sure to get there on time because Van the Man is notorious for starting his concerts right on time and won’t let latecomers in while he’s singing. He also has a big digital clock onstage which the audience can’t see. It’s a time clock that counts down the minutes of his concert. Once he’s played for 90 min, that’s it. Concert over. He’s a crusty old man but what a talent!

Mr. Morrison came out on stage playing the sax, wearing a grey suit and fedora and accompanied by a tight 10-piece band. His voice hadn’t changed one bit and was as strong and distinctive as ever. He didn’t acknowledge the audience and shout out “Wasssup Milano!”, so that was a bit of a disappointment. But he did give us some fine music. He sang a couple of his hits (a swing version of Have I Told You Lately and Moondance, featuring a pretty mean fiddle). Van also did covers of Ray Charles’ I Can’t Stop Loving You and a Muddy Waters song. The man is a master multi-tasker and showed off his skill with the sax, harmonica, guitar (electric and Spanish) and the piano. Wow!

The audience was tame compared to the ones at the concerts I’ve been to in the past (Foo Fighters, Paul Weller, Disney on Ice). No one stood up and it was hard to even get anyone clapping to the tunes. But the average age was 50 so it was understandable. And the good thing is, they made Mimmo and I feel young again. Woo hoo!

True to form, exactly 90 minutes after they started Van and his band packed up and left. All in all it was a good night even if he could have interacted more with the fans. The mind-blowing picture below is from the concert. Yes, it’s terrible but it’s the only one we were able to take. If you squint real hard you can make out Van the Man breakdancing (another of his hidden talents).

We weren’t allowed to take pictures but I couldn’t help myself. I asked Mimmo to do it for me since he was in a better position. I assured him the flash was off. He clicked. The flash wasn’t off! I was desperately pushing buttons, trying to figure out how to turn the darn thing off when an usher came up to us and quietly but firmly told me to put the camera away. Mimmo was absolutely mortified!

But apart from that glitch our date was wonderful. We love our kids to death but it was so refreshing to have a night out by ourselves, not talking about poop and drool for a change.

How about you? Do you ever get a chance to go out without your kids? When was the last real date you went on and what did you do?

Ciao!

15 April 2008 at 10:35 pm 3 comments


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