So that was back in 2005. Now to last Friday’s events...
The evening was in support of the Millennium Mum’s campaign and invitees were various very active twitter folk (don’t know what twitter is? Check it out, this is my profile). I had my recorder class that afternoon (teaching not learning) and the kids were very over-excited when I told them just why I was wearing a posh frock and suit jacket. I met Sarah beforehand and we walked through the gates together and up to the door of number 10. The sign had been changed to mark the occasion and the Christmas tree was beautiful.
The Love Actually representation of Number 10 is actually fairly accurate! We queued up to get our name badges and I was a tad over excited to see various celeb tweeters on the guestlist. I was pretty determined to network as much as I could (why waste a good opportunity) and so moved round the room chatting to various people. Oli Barrett – Holly’s mentor for her Gift of Life Battlefront campaign was there and did a fantastic job of introducing us to as many people as he could (Thanks Oli!).
We were mingling and chatting when there was a clinking of glasses and shushing as Sarah Brown stepped forwards to talk. She thanked everyone for coming and explained about the Millennium Mum’s campaign and why she was so passionate about it. She then told the assembled that one of the guests was very kindly going to sing for us – the fabulous Beverley Knight! I hadn’t even realised she was there at this point immediately sought her out to thank her for her support in retweeting pretty much every message we went out about the Save Jess campaign. She was lovely, so down to earth, and we chatted for quite a while. She sang “Shoulda Woulda Coulda” and “Gold” with just a piano to accompany her and it was incredible; it brought tears to my eyes. She spoke briefly in between her two songs of her love of twitter, and mentioned the Save Jess campaign then! The woman is a legend.
It was so lovely to get to chat to Sarah Brown and show her how well I was doing. Later on in the evening, Gordon Brown joined her and looked genuinely delighted to see me standing and chatting and looking so well. We had a pic taken with them which amuses me greatly as I think it looks like a family photo!
We chatted to lots of other people including Location Location Location's Kirstie Allsopp (who has been tweeting about organ donation today) and Brian Friedman - X Factor choreographer - (who was really lovely and showed us his US driving licence which has a clear orange circle saying “donor” to mark his wishes – made me think we need a similar clear marker on UK ones...)
The biggest highlight for me? The fact I was standing up, I was walking around chatting and laughing and the only things to be aching were my feet. Whenever I return to somewhere or something I did with my old lungs, it reminds me just how far I’ve come. I’m such a lucky girl, I really really am.
All images courtesy of http://twitpic.com/photos/sarahbrown10