Thursday 10pm: I really should go to bed. The kids will be up early tomorrow but I know that if I stay up until midnight there’s a chance that the new album pre-order will download to my phone. The temptation is huge. Being in New Zealand, it’s one of the only perks of being in the fandom. I get to download first.
11pm: I’m in bed, but I’m still awake…and on Twitter. The excitement of the fandom is palpable. I should really go to sleep. I should really switch my phone off. I’m pretty tired, but excited.
11.30pm: Okay, lights off, phone down. Let’s be grown up and responsible. The download will be there when I wake up. It’s only six hours away until I will be up for the day, I can listen to it then.
2am: I wake up. Shall I look at my phone? It’s not even a question really, there it is…the notification: It has downloaded. Wonderland is on my phone.
I creep out of bed so as not to wake the husband or the kids, avoiding the creaky bits on the stairs and rummage through my bag to find my earphones. In the pitch dark, on the sofa I put my earphones in and begin to listen.
I have been waiting for this for months, I could have waited a few more hours but I seriously couldn’t. I tuck my feet under myself and let the music wash over me. If you haven’t yet listened to on earphones make sure you do, you hear so much detail, all the little neat tricks they have squeezed into each song. I am in love straight away.
It’s the middle of the night so I do a little listen of each song to get a quick overview of what, realistically, will be the soundtrack to my life for the next few months at least. I write a few tweets with my views and chat with a few fans online. Some want to know who is singing what, the overall feel of the album. I gladly answer their questions the best I can.
3am: I finally crawl back into bed. Happy.
6am: Time to start the day, I have a quick read of Twitter so see how the album is being received around the world as the time zones wake up. It is good news. A happy fandom is a happy place to be.
9am: Kids safely at school, I begin excessive caffeine consumption to stay awake and listening on repeat to the album on the living room speakers. I’ve organised my week so I don’t need to be doing anything much today. Being able to mulit-task effectively is my super power. I am glad about it today.
11am: An email from takethat.com – my box set has been dispatched from the UK. Being in New Zealand it will probably take weeks but I’m glad it’s on the way.
1pm: The UK finally gets the download and I see hundreds of other people just like me who stayed up late to hear something we have been waiting for months. It’s good to know it’s not just me. The UK tweeters go crazy for it. It’s brilliant.
Twitter goes quiet as they eventually fall asleep and I get on with my day…with Wonderland as the soundtrack, school pick up, swimming lessons, dinner, bath time, bedtime for the kids, and then it all begins again.
8pm: I chat to friends online who are on their way to London to the album signing. I revel in their excitement and I am happy to see them happy. I can’t even begin to imagine how they must be feeling. I know that when I wake up in their morning my feed will be full of their stories, their pics, their selfies and I am looking forward to it.
9pm: I’m exhausted now. Sleep is calling. Was it worth getting up in the middle of the night? Hell yeah. Is the album everything and more than I was expecting? YES, oh YES. Have Take That still got it? Damn yes, they will never lose it.
I love this fandom. It’s my happy place.