Dear Cat & Fi,
Goood afternooon! It’s Sunday, and I’m back in my usual place when I come to write to you both – on my bed, with my laptop on my fold up desk, a coffee in hand and Enya playing in the background as I look out on a dark autumn afternoon…anyway. Poetic moment over, let’s now wrap up part 2 of the two parter blog to you both…
When I left things off last Friday, I’d decided to toddle off for a nap after 5 hours of travelling that morning…so let’s get up to speed. After a shower I ordered in pizza and watched Graham Norton as planned. Nigella Lawson was, of course, an absolute hoot but didn’t get near enough talk time. Unlike, say, Nicole Kidman, who did (on the show along with Meryl Streep and some other actress, the name of whom escapes us) and was mind-numbingly dull to listen to rabbit on and on. It wasn’t a memorable episode because of it, put it that way.
So anyway, I got a reasonably good night’s sleep, and was up at 6am the following morning for the first round of Olly Murs’ new book related antics, deciding I’d go downstairs to the hotel bar area and order breakfast. A bad move on two counts: firstly, the breakfast wasn’t much to write home about as they were out of sausages and fried eggs. And also because I was rather crippled with nerves, and thus felt a tiny bit sick after. Which sounds silly when I’ve now been fortunate enough to meet Olly as much as I have (7 times, soon to be 8 – more on which in a bit), but there’s always a part of us that is nervous. The hotel did however make up for a below average brekkie by having a lift that was manned by a former CBBC puppet:
The actual signing for the book was at the WHSmith in Milton Keynes’ MK Centre – officially one of the most difficult places to traverse on Earth. And I should know, I’ve been on toll roads in France. Google Maps have a lot to answer for. Anyway, the signing got going at 10am – and given there was 300 of us there (including some of my Twitter #MursArmy buds like Vany, who used to do the video capping for my fansite’s YouTube channel and is thus awesome) and that he had another similar event up in Birmingham that afternoon, we were all seen by about midday. It was my turn about halfway through the process, and this is what happened…
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ME: Olly! OLLY: Alex, morning! How are you, fella? ME: Good! OLLY: *catches sight of a parcel in my hand wrapped in Marvel Comics Superheroes paper* Is that for me? What is it? ME: Oh, it's a travel journal, I thought you could have it as something for your next tour. OLLY: Oh mate, that's so thoughtful of you, thanks! Hey, I'll write the next book with it! So you liking 'Kiss Me'? ME: I love it, one of your best! OLLY: Sweet. Thanks for coming down mate, I really appreciate it and thank you for the journal! Take care! ME: Thanks Olly! I'll see you at the IndigO2 tomorrow! OLLY: Wicked are you coming? See you then! Bye mate! #myidol #thebest #whatageez 😄 😄 😄 😄 👍 👍 👍 👍 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉 @ollymurs
I know I’ve mentioned this countless times on other blogs, and I know my giant fanboy rambling probably sounds exactly like that to others but oh…whoever said don’t meet your idols is a big fat liar. Last weekend was my 7th time meeting Olly – and it’s certainly not the last as he has another event in Chelmsford a week this Wednesday which I’m attending – and he has not changed one bit from the first time I met him five years ago (I found the pictures from that first signing the other day. I look horrific, even by 2010 standards). He is still the same down to earth, funny, caring and general good egg that he was back then even with all his success and that’s so refreshing and unique to find in someone, let alone someone who’s successful in the public eye. The fact he still remembers us even after all this time is testament to that.
Of course, it’s been well documented in his new book ‘On the Road’ (which is brilliant by the way) and in the press this week that ahead of this tour he did this year, he had put himself on a boot camp style fitness regime with his trainer Rob Solly and ended up shedding an impressive two stone. As I’ve been on a health kick myself lately, it’s inspired me no end and I’ve now joined up to a gym down the road from my work in order to get as buff as the Murs which I start next weekend with a personal trainer – more on which in the next blog, naturally. So there, another example of how he’s been a positive influence on me and my life!
Last Sunday then, I came to see you Cat, and Trent and gorgeous baby Indi, and it was lovely too to see Mohit and Pooja who I’d not seen since your wedding. It was a short but sweet visit, and I’ve got some time off end of November so I intend to come up for a longer visit! We went for a lovely walk round the green and down by the river in Richmond (which is so pretty in the autumn, I loved it) and had lunch out at Whole Foods which I rather enjoyed. Then it was back on a train across town to The O2, for the second Olly related jaunt of the weekend, this time an ‘In Conversation’ event with Olly inside the smaller, ‘IndigO2’ venue about the book, hosted by his good pal and Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills.
I’ve never been to this kind of event before – OK, tell a lie, I sort of have. It was a few years ago with an author, the name of whom escapes us now, who’d come to an event at the Essex Book Festival at our local library to talk about his new book. But not with Olly, and it was so nice to just hear him talk about the book (man, he can talk for England) but also get his take on his crazy life that he has completely unadulterated and as he sees it. He answered questions from the audience – I didn’t get to ask mine because there was quite a lot of people who wanted to ask questions but it was still a great afternoon anyway. His story about when he met Michael Bublé in his year on X Factor was particularly amusing!
So that was my weekend really, and it was brilliant – a lot of travelling, but good to blow off some steam and more importantly have fun doing what makes us happy and see the people I love. I’m gonna leave it there for now. I think I should do more of these two parter blogs in future, I love a good cliffhanger!
Cat – thanks for such an awesome time last weekend and I promise I will come up for a longer visit soon. Fi – nice talking to you this morning and indeed a few days ago. FYI – you should get the navy parka that you asked me to show Mum. It’s a nice colour.
In the words of Zebedee from The Magic Roundabout, it’s time for bed…BOIIING!!!