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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Meeting Jonny Wilkinson - THANK YOU LOU - you're the best!! by Diamond on 19 November 2004 6:40pm

Well thanks to my bestest palinite buddy Louise – who is the most wonderful person in the world!! – I went to London yesterday and guess what!! I MET JONNY WILKINSON – Yipppeeeeee!!!

I had no idea that Jonny was going to do a book signing in Oxford St on Thursday 18th Nov until I received an e mail from Lou – the googling expert – on Weds 17th to say that Jonny would be at Waterstone’s Oxford St London 4.30pm – numbers were limited to 250 for the signing and only two dedicated copies of his book “My World” would be signed – OMG thinks Lyn I HAVE TO GO – Will I get in though? Can I afford the train fare and what happens if the queue is so long when I get there I cannot get in? Will I have a wasted journey? To say I had a night of do I – don’t I go was an understatement, I nearly talked myself out of it thinking will my credit card stand the strain of train fare and buying two books? But then I thought ONE LIFE – give it a go at least you will have tried!

SO I found myself travelling to London yesterday – in the pouring rain but that did not dampen my spirits – Lyn was on a mission!!! I nearly missed the earliest train that I could get – silly me was standing on the wrong platform, I have never moved so fast to catch a train in my life – but I made it and when in London caught the No 8 bus to Oxford St, by this time it was about 10.40am and I was worried that even though it was early that there would be people there and I might not get in, don’t forget we are talking Jonny Wilkinson and the man who dropped that goal for the Rugby World Cup !!! but to my surprise when I arrived at the book store there was no queue at all!! Crikey talk about lucky but apparently the book store had changed the policy of queuing early to get a ticket at 2pm to giving tickets out in the morning so that people could leave and come back later by 3pm at the latest. When I asked about tickets and the books an assistant took me to the right person to talk to and he very kindly agreed to give me the last ticket to be handed out that morning – phew – so long as I bought my copies of the My World book there and then, I promptly went and paid – and not only was I given a ticket but the books were on special offer at £14 instead of £20 – bargain!! Then to my surprise –Jason (who had the tickets) gave me mine and said that I could come back by 3pm or start queuing now, if I did so I would be first in the queue and that when Jonny appeared at 4.30pm he would have a photo shoot with the press first and then I would have my books signed and as I was the first one would then have a photo shoot with Jonny by the press as well !! I couldn’t resist the offer – OK it was only 10.45 am and I had nearly SIX HOURS to wait but I started to queue!! Talk about being a lucky bastard or what but as soon as I went over another man appeared – he too was wearing an England rugby top like me!! – and he had been sitting waiting for the queue to form in the shop, so I just beat him to it by a whisker!!

It was a very I DON’T BELIEVE IT situation – not only was I actually in the queue but the first to be able to meet Jonny – talk about lucky, I felt very privileged and honoured to be there but so grateful too – THANK YOU LOUISE – you’re the bestest ever!!
Re: Meeting Jonny Wilkinson - THANK YOU LOU - you're the best!! by Diamond on 19 November 2004 6:41pm
Part two :
At first to while away the time, I sat and started to read the copy of Jonny’s book - but then I started to talk to others who appeared in the queue and soon we had a really good repartee going, there was a café upstairs, so some went to get cups of tea for others but I had taken a sandwich etc (so did another lady from Stafford!!) and we talked amongst ourselves on various topics – one of them was other book signings and for me Michael Palin, for some reason cropped up !! It was really good fun and the time passed by with some very interesting people, its amazing how other people touch your life at times and I hope I touched theirs with respect in return.

At 2pm tickets were handed out to those who queued after me and talk about security conscious as twice we had our receipts checked to see that we had bought the books in Waterstone’s itself and that we only had two copies and no other memorabilia!! I can understand why as from a marketing point of view they want to sell as many books as possible and it would not be fair to others or themselves if people took in books from other stores, but I have never come across such strict security before I must admit, there were many staff from the store in attendance too, mostly women to look at jonny, wonder why! There were staff from Waterstone’s head office there as well !!

By 3pm the security men arrived and OH BOY did they look like they were not going to take any messing – they were all dressed in black suits with black shirts and ties and very well built, but we talked to one of them while we waited and he was very pleasant to talk to, providing you abided by the rules and treated them with respect, they gave you that respect back. Again there were rules about no photos with jonny himself but you could stop for a short time to take photos of him after you had your book signed!

The camaraderie in the queue was brilliant and I really enjoyed my time there, it didn’t seem like SIX hours at all but the last ten minutes before the man HIMSELF appeared were the longest of all

Re: Meeting Jonny Wilkinson - THANK YOU LOU - you're the best!! by Diamond on 19 November 2004 6:42pm
Part three!!

THEN the moment came and one member of staff announced Jonny’s arrival and asked us to applaud as he came through the doors (right next to me I might add!!) but as the doors opened and we applauded the first four people were staff two of them women and Jonny walked behind them – which made every one laugh after the build up, you couldn’t see him in amongst the other people!! But he was here and he took his seat in the bay allocated – heavy steel barriers had been put in front of the bay earlier and by this time the press were in attendance with their cameras – then click, flash and poor jonny was inundated with “jonny over here look this way” from them as he was subjected to a barrage of flashlight!! At this point they moved the queue forward to next to the bay and I was in the front ready with my two books to meet my hero!! I don’t think I was really nervous more overwhelmed and feeling really lucky and appreciative to be there (I don’t know how many people were turned away as they shut the basement off at 3.30pm for three hours while the signing took place!)

Then it was my turn –Jonny is so cute, and to my surprise not as well built as I thought but it was him and who cares!! he was wearing a beige jumper and jeans – as if to say please don’t notice me I am not a celebrity, he is so unassuming and very pleasant BLESS – I explained as Jonny signed my first book dedicated to Lyn that I had waited Six hours to see him and he seemed to appreciate it as he wrote in my book “To Lyn – with Love , Take Care Jonny Wilkinson – and then at the bottom of the page – “I hope you like it” as he signed the second book – which I had dedicated to Touching Lives the press then wanted photos of the two of us together – WOW so there was me in my England shirt having photos with Jonny and I now understand why Michael has banned flash photography as by the end of the very short session I was seeing stars!!! It really is very unpleasant to be on the receiving end all those flash lights and I fully respect Michael’s wishes on the topic! Then it was nearly over and so I shook Jonny by the hand AND for some reason as he moved I bent down and kissed him on the cheek – I hadn’t planned to do so but it was just so spontaneous and he didn’t object – BLESS he is such a natural person - it was an honour to have met him!!

I moved round to the other side of the steel barriers in front of Jonny and as the press were moving off I managed to take about 15 photos of him but as I say the security were rather strict and understandably I was asked to move on, but I was pleased with what I had taken – some of them are really good of Jonny! So not only have I met Jonny I have a memento of the day to remind me of the day.

THANK YOU SO MUCH LOUISE with out you this would never have happened at all and I really do owe you one – to say I really appreciate your friendship and support is the understatement of the year!

For those of you who think shall I? shan’t I? go to see anyone – especially Michael! Perhaps you think you cant afford it – well you have but ONE LIFE – enjoy it I DID !!
Re: Meeting Jonny Wilkinson - THANK YOU LOU - you're the best!! by Spursfan on 19 November 2004 10:30pm
Stafford seems to crop up a lot, well a bit anyway, on this site!!

As I'm from there, it's nice to see!

Anyway, you were a lucky, lucky....! I'm a footie girl myself, but will keep my eyes open for your piccy.

Glad you had a wonderful day.


Re: Meeting Jonny Wilkinson - THANK YOU LOU - you're the best!! by Louise on 19 November 2004 11:33pm
Pleased you had a n*ce meeting with Jonny!
btw - I got the info from the London Evening Standard, not Google.

Re: Meeting Jonny Wilkinson - THANK YOU LOU - you're the best!! by rick694uk on 20 November 2004 8:04pm

You brazen hussie! Michael flies out the country for a coupla days and already you're out st-, chasing some other guy? :D

Sounds like you had a great day. Good job, girl! :) Post the pic somewhere if you get hold of it.

JW, the boy every parent hopes their daughter will bring home!

Re: Meeting Jonny Wilkinson - THANK YOU LOU - you're the best!! by Diamond on 20 November 2004 9:08pm
Ha ha ha ha Rick - well at least I didnt invite Jonny to Covent garden for a baked potato - so it wasnt too deceitful - giggle!! and it was a great day out - cant really believe my luck

Louise - i cant get through to you by e mail they keep coming back to me! so can you send me the piece from the evening standard and anything about Neil Diamond please - thanks so much my palinite buddy!!


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