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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Michael in Melbourne by Miss-M on 29 January 2003 12:42pm
Well, the day finally arrived - I met Michael this afternoon! I'm still so excited, I can hardly get my thoughts together!

The luncheon was held at the Melbourne Town Hall (nice venue - lovely architecture, for those of you who are interested!) and about 750 people were at the event. I went with my friend Angela, another Palin/Python devotee who is the same age as me, 22. I spotted maybe a dozen other people in our age group - most of the crowd was... mature ;)

Michael spoke on the SAHARA travelogue for about an hour; he was entertaining, knowledgeable and thoroughly charming (and he threw in the occasional Pythonic reference for good measure!) After he concluded the talk a few people asked questions - the organizers of the event made it very clear beforehand that all questions should be SAHARA related and that 'Dead Parrot' questions would not be permitted. (Or something to that effect; very amusing anyhow!)

Michael spent a further hour signing SAHARA products in the foyer. The organizers also specified that he would be signing only these products and not extraneous material (I assume this meant Monty Python books, CDS and so forth!) Angela and I purchased a copy of the book, SAHARA - I love how Michael took the time to personalise the items. He was genuinely interested and appreciative of his fans; not at all aloof like some other stars can be. We were lucky to be able to take several photos at the signing table, and were bold enough to ask for a photo with Michael (not many people went round the other side of the table, from what I could see). He was most obliging and when I put my arm around his shoulder he said something like 'Oh this is nice, lots of hugs!' (So sweet!) Admittedly, Angela and I had brought along Monty Python memorabilia and when we saw Michael signing a non-SAHARA related item for another man (although the guy had also purchased a copy of the appropriate book so Michael didn't mind too much), we decided to join the queue again! Michael signed Angela's LIFE OF BRIAN CD cover and my DVD boxed set (which has Pontius Pilate on the front!) and this time a nice lady took a photo of Angela and I on either side of Michael. Before I left I told him how much I enjoyed AMERICAN FRIENDS (he seemed very touched) and I shook his hand and he said, 'Bye bye darling, lovely to meet you!' Michael truly is one of the warmest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, and he is thoroughly deserving of every success that comes his way.

Well, that's my little anecdote for the day! I hope those of you in Sydney and Perth have a great time at your respective events. And the New Zealanders too, of course, when Michael arrives on your shores, shortly!

Michelle :)

P.S. Can't wait for the photos to be developed!
Re: Michael in Melbourne by pandk2 on 29 January 2003 1:15pm
Well Michelle, thanks for a concise and entertaining report.It sound like you had a day to remember and the photos will certainly help!
The way you describe Michael is exactly how I found him a few years ago, warm and genuine...just how you would expect him to be! Bet you're grinning from ear to ear!
See ya...Karen
Re: Michael in Melbourne by ellenpc on 29 January 2003 1:53pm
Oh thats wonderful Michelle, so thrilled for you. :-}}
Thanks for sharing your story. :-}}

Michael sounds so amazing!! :-}

BIG HUG @@@@@@@

Makes my stomach do little *flip flops* in anticipation. I'll spare you what the rest of me is doing!! :-}}

Ellen x

6 days to go!! :-}}
Re: Michael in Melbourne by hancar on 29 January 2003 3:17pm
I'm not at all jealous, I really am not! Me jealous? No way!

*repeating "I'm not jealous" to herself until she almost believes it*
Re: Michael in Melbourne by pandk2 on 30 January 2003 7:20am
I'm jealous!
Re: Michael in Melbourne by Rusted on 30 January 2003 9:00am
LOL! Me too, Karen! :O)

Michelle, I am SOOOOOO happy for you, however jealous I may be! LOL!

Thank you tons for sharing your cool story, Michael really does sound so sweet and friendly! I too can't wait for those pics to be developed! *sigh*

Re: Michael in Melbourne by Miss-M on 30 January 2003 9:06am
Thanks, guys! *hugs*

I hope the event is just as wonderful for you, Ellen - 5 days to go!!

And Mary, I'm sure you'll devise a plan to make it to one of Michael's US appearances... even if you have to hitchhike!

Michelle :)
Re: Michael in Melbourne by Lindill on 30 January 2003 11:11am
As one of the "mature" members of the Melbourne town hall crowd I was inspired by the fact that Michael started this travel thing at around my current age. As I clutch my personally signed copy of Sahara and regret that I forgot to take along a camera, I am glad to hear that there are younger fans out there who recognise the genius and the generosity of this man, not to mention his stamina(no not stammer, that was Ken) To my knowledge he had given a similar presentation the previous evening, followed by a book "defacing". Prior to the lunch he was a guest on radio (774 John Faine's conversation hour)which John later described as "lots of fun". When he signed my book he had at least 40 more in line, not to mention the sundry Python DVD's etc. Before I blather on too much I really wanted to say what a great web site this is, but if you're reading this then you already know that. Despite the rampant commercialism attached to the book our (available from all good book stores A$49.95)it is terrific that this web site is absolutely free. At this point I have to admit that I'm a tight arsed Yorkshireman. Believe it or not I'm a Chartered Accountant from Bridlington (Python fans will understand that I would have preferred to be a lion tamer or a lumberjack). I also spent a significant portion of my formative years in Ipswich, Suffolk and then in London. I can clearly relate to so many of Michael's experiences. I have since travelled pretty extensively, but not as much as Michael. It was great to meet him, albeit briefly and I now plan to spend quite a few hours wandering through this web site. Thanks for the inspiration and travel safe.
Re: Michael in Melbourne by Miss-M on 30 January 2003 11:57am
Hello Lindill,

Terrific to hear that you also had a nice afternoon at the luncheon. I had no idea that Michael was also giving a talk at the Athenaeum theatre the previous night - apparently the event attracted a crowd of 950! Unfortunately I missed his radio interview on the ABC but I did hear him the day before on 3AW. However, I have an idea that the ABC keeps an online archive of interviews so perhaps I'll be able to listen to it sometime soon.

While standing in line waiting to get my copy of SAHARA signed, I overheard a gentleman telling Michael that he was a "fellow countryman." That wasn't you by any chance, was it? *Hehe* I think it's splendid that you're a Chartered Accountant, by the way! But if you really have your heart set on being a lion-tamer or lumberjack, I'm sure it's not too late for a career change. Contact your local vocational guidance counsellor today! It was also interesting to learn that you spent some of your formative years in Ipswich - although I'm sure you really meant Bolton, didn't you? (Or Notlob, if you're into palindromes!)

Great to see another Melbournian enjoying the site!

Michelle :)

P.S. It's unfortunate that you didn't have a camera with you yesterday. I managed to take several photos which, once developed, I'd be very happy to share with you and other Palin fans.
Re: Michael in Melbourne by Piglet2 on 30 January 2003 3:24pm
someone pass me a hanky please I have tears in my eyes - sooooo jealous and wishing I was with you all to give you and michael a hug!! lovely story michelle - that is michael to a tee! darling hey- he only said happy christmas over here!!

Lindill i am writing this not far from Ipswich - near Sudbury - do you know that area?

do you think If I started hitchhiking now I would make for the NZ dates!! have to wade though all this awful snow that is just settling as I write!! do you want me to send some ellen - be glad to - there did that snowball get you- no dont duck!! stand still - Oh blow it Ill just go and make a snowman and call him Michael instead! looks rather nasty outside and to think that two hours ago i was playing tennis outside! bit cold but we had fun!

LOL to you all

Lyn two kisses

please can I swap photos with you michelle - can soon get copies of the good ones.
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