Pour yourself a stiff drink, you’re going to need it. Go on, I don’t mind waiting.
A few days ago I invited suggestions for people to be photographed with in Me Made June. Miss P had something to say:
‘I ‘d scream if you bagged a photo with someone famous!’
Yesterday, she added this comment to my blog:
‘Can’t wait to see who you find to be photographed with in Paris!’
I want us all to bear these two statements in mind and I think we should find some cotton wool balls, too.
But let’s start at the beginning. The reason I’m in Paris is because my boyfriend was taking part in the London-Paris 2011 bike ride. I spent yesterday travelling to the finish line to meet him, starting at the Eurostar check in desk at Kings Cross, where I met…
I was wearing my Sorbetto top, Oli and Rachel were wearing a lot of lycra. They were doing a charity hitchhike to France to raise money for St Peter’s as part of the How Far Challenge, details to be seen here. They’d started that morning in Brighton – where my sewing friends were about to gather! – and had made it to London. So far, so successful. I left them approaching a man in a suit and saying, ‘Are you the manager?’ I really hope they blagged their way onto Eurostar!
After a journey that involved trying to check in at the wrong hotel, I quickly got changed because of the HEAT in Paris (yeah, crazy, I know) and went to catch the bus to the Eiffel Tower to cheer the cycling heros. Except the bus route had been taken over by a gay pride parade:
I’m wearing my Tilly necklace, but you’re not really looking at the necklace are you? What is the name of the exotic butterfly beside me? Kevin. At this point in the day I am so stressed at trying not to miss the end of the race that my hands are shaking. I hope Kevin didn’t mind my quivering digits on his hip.
Finally, I arrived at the finish line on time to witness this:
Then things started to get really interesting. I had Miss P’s words ringing in my ears. I decided to be braver than I’d been for the rest of June put together.
Here I am with Will Carling, former England rugby captain. When I asked if the photo could go on my sewing blog, the expression on his face was priceless. I think it was saying something along these lines: What is this ‘sewing’ of which you speak? I’ve just finished cycling for three solid days, where’s the bar? His actual words were, ‘Do what you like with it.’ Said in a nice way. In a charming accent. I skipped back to my friends! No, I didn’t. I ran back, waving my hands above my head and screaming.
Once I’d calmed down, I decided to take a second plunge:
This guy drives cars, apparently.
It’s Nigel Mansell, OBE and Formula One Champion! I didn’t ask him if he minded going on my sewing blog because I don’t think formula one racers give a fig about sewing and knitting. Though I could be wrong. He was cycling on behalf of the charity UK Youth.
By now, I had four photos with strangers for Me Made June 25, two of whom satisifed the ‘famous’ category. But the most important photo was this one:
Do you know what a man’s hands look like when he’s been cycling for three solid days in sometimes searing heat whilst wearing cycle gloves:
Our adventure was almost at an end. There was nothing left to do but go out for dinner. Finally, I tipped into bed, my body limp with exhaustion.
That was my first day in Paris.
Are you screaming yet, Miss P?